Year End Summary 2016!

Posted January 12th, 2017 by Deepa and filed in Personal
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NYCARD2017Following the tradition, here are my 2016 highlights.

Lowest Point of the Year: As was the case for most folks in USA and around the world, the year was dominated by the US election coverage and the unfortunate ascendance of Donald Trump. We received US citizenship in early 2016 and voted in USA for the first time. Once the election results were announced, it felt exactly like failing a major exam that you had studied for.  We were clearly living in a bubble because I didn’t know a single Trump supporter personally.  And now we have our fingers crossed and hoping for the best! Continue Reading »

Happy New Year, 2012

Posted January 3rd, 2012 by Deepa and filed in Personal, Uncategorized
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Following the tradition ( 2006, 2007 , 2008, 2009 & 2010), here are the 2011  highlights for me.

The Highlight of the Year : Welcome to Annika Diya Sebastine on November 7 2011.

Achievements this year: Pregnancy, Bed-rest, Tele-working, Labor , Delivery, Newborn Care !

Travels this year: Given that I was on “bed-rest” for about half the year thanks to pregnancy complications, our travel was extremely limited. Other than the beginning of the year trip to Belgium, we did not venture out of the tri-state area (Virginia, Maryland and Washington DC). By the end of my pregnancy, I had severe cabin-fever and was desperate for a vacation.

“Could do better” of the Year: I have pretty much neglected writing on my blog, writing emails or even writing notes! Hopefully I’ll do better next year.

Summary this year:  Everything that happened this year can be summarized in one single word: Annika. Looking forward to more adventures in 2012.

Wish you all a very happy and exciting new year-2012

Year End Summary: 2010

Posted January 2nd, 2011 by Deepa and filed in Personal
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Following the tradition ( 2006, 2007 , 2008, & 2009), here are the 2010  highlights for me.

Achievements this year: The results of the multicenter clinical trial that I worked on while at Naviscan are finally getting published.  I have about seven publications that are as a result of my work with PEM : two are published, three more are in press, one is submitted and three are at various stages of being written.  On the personal front, I have also tried to keep my blog active, exercise a little more regularly, cook a little bit more at home and all in all try to maintain a daily routine—something that was missing during my frenetic days at a start-up!

Travels this year: The travel highlight this year was our much awaited and much planned family trip to Botswana and South Africa with a day trip to the Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.  It was an incredible experience to interact with the wildlife in their natural settings and all I can say is I am glad that I could be part of this.  On the domestic front, Seejo and I (along with our friends Pulkit and Sejal) visited Yosemite National Park in California for a long weekend in October – this was one of the most popular US National Park that we hadn’t yet been to.  The scenery was magnificent and the company was wonderful and we had a very refreshing mini-vacation.

Since we couldn’t take longer breaks because of the lousy leave policy at NCI as well as Seejo’s MBA, we got a chance to visit some of the local spots that we had never been to such as Deep Creek Lake, Virginia Beach and Colonial Williamsburg. The lack of vacation travel was offset by my work trips , especially during the latter half of the year: I went to North Carolina, Minnesota, Boston, twice each to California and Chicago.

Best Buy of the Year: My Nook! I am a Nook-addict now. I can read anywhere and at any time and I never move out of the house (Seejo might say—out of any room) without taking my Nook!  I also finished cataloging all my books this year using Library Thing.

Focus of the year: Seejo’s MBA was the driving factor & our main focus for most of this year.  In an attempt to accelerate his MBA, Seejo had taken several extra classes as well as enrolled in many extra-curricular programs offered at U.Maryland.  While he pulled several all-nighters and juggled classes, assignments, office-work and his other commitments, I am glad to report that it is almost over and I am looking forward to the next challenge in our lives.

Summary this year:  Some ecstatic moments and some moments of agony but overall a relaxed and peaceful year ; I need to kick things up a notch next year!

Wish you all a very happy and exciting new year-2011

Year End Summary: 2009

Posted January 12th, 2010 by Deepa and filed in Personal
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As in 2006, 2007 and 2008, here is a summary of  2009’s highlights for me.

Biggest Change of the Year: After a 7 year long association with Naviscan , I changed jobs this June. Naviscan was the first “real” job that I had. In many respects, the experience made me grow professionally and personally- saw some major triumphs, some disasters; found a great many friends and well-wishers who have helped me at every step of my career.  Switching jobs from a small start up which I helped grow to a behemoth government organization was a huge change: sort of going from the rat’s eye view to the bird’s eye view.

Achievements this year: I consider learning the ropes at NCI as a major accomplishment of the year, but that apart, I completed my Certification in Quantitative Methods in Public Health from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and even spend some time taking that GMAT. I also managed to re-work my website and made this page –a tad bit more professional.   Oh, also one of the products that I helped build and manage the FDA-sponsored trials for at Naviscan, got the CONNECT award (Most Innovative New Products of 2009) & Frost and Sullivan Award (2009 Emerging Technology of the Year)

Travels this year: Compared to the previous years, we did not travel to many places this year. Most of our trips were concentrated in the summer months with a month long trip to India from mid-April to mid-May, an impromptu 4-day trip to Seattle & other areas in Washington and the travel highlight of the year—a week in Alaska. We also had two weekend jaunts : one to Austin for Ree and Litty’s housewarming,  another a Halloween trip to New York to meet Pooja and Atha and two day trips with Ashu and Shweta: one Longwood gardens & a ski-trip to Liberty Mountains.  The official trips this year were to Nebraska , Boston and my annual pilgrimage to Chicago for the RSNA.

Event of the Year: Undoubtedly, my sister’s wedding qualified as the big fat Indian Wedding.  Between the actual wedding, a lavish reception and assorted ceremonies at his and her homes, there was enough excitement that kept us busy for pretty much the first half of the year. And also, with the addition of Asif, we are a true secular family, we now have a Hindu, Muslim, Christian , Atheist and an Agnostic in our immediate family!

Summary this year:  Professionally a great year, personally –Aal Izz Well!

Wish you all a very happy and exciting new year-2010.

Year End Summary: 2008

Posted January 9th, 2009 by Deepa and filed in Personal
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Year End Summary: 2008

As in the last two years, here is a summary of  2008’s highlights for me.

Fresh start of the year: I started working from home, this year…thanks to my office being relocated to San Diego. It was an interesting experience getting used to working alone, and more importantly learning to stop working at a reasonable time. But now I have a functional and efficient home office. The only thing I miss:  water-cooler gossip sessions.

Achievements this year: The biggest accomplishment of this year was getting our Green Card, it took exactly one year from application to receipt but it was a busy, eventful and anxious year till we had the plastic card in our hands.  Career wise, I completed a professional certification in Clinical Data Management.  Otherwise, I started learning Urdu—now I can decipher the letters slowly.  I had started learning Urdu a couple of years ago but didn’t manage to get time to pursue it regularly but now armed with a book of Ghalib’s ghazals and the trusty internet I can make out the letters pretty well.

Travels the year: The major trip in 2008 was our 5 week India visit, which also  included a 10 day Rajasthan tour.  Then in summer, we went on a weekend trip to a hillside cabin in remote West Virginia, a day trip to the beautiful Longwood gardens in Pennsylvania and a week long trip to Yellowstone, Grand Teton and Glacier National Park with family.  We enjoyed the fall colors early November, again with family at Smoky Mountains in Tennessee. There were a few official trips interspersed through the year including my annual pilgrimage in December to Chicago for RSNA. We ended the year on a relaxed note, a 4 day Christmas cruise to the Bahamas.

Re-Discovery of the Year: The brilliance of M*A*S*H.  Has the average IQ of the viewers dropped—why are today’s TV series more dumbed down than M*A*S*H.?

Moment of the Year: Undoubtedly the Obama Victory. Its rare that I envy the average American—but on Nov 4 2008 watching the Obama’s victory, I was envious of Americans in having a public political hero they could look up to, the ability to participate in politics without it being associated as “dirty”, the hope that he embodies and the pride that many Americans felt in having elected Obama, creating history. Amazing.

Summary this year: 2008 was good but 2009 is indeed going to be the year of changes at least for me.….Looking forward to 2009!

Here is to a wonderful 2009! Wish you all a very happy and exciting new year!

Year End Summary : 2007

Posted January 12th, 2008 by Deepa and filed in Uncategorized
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To continue the trend started last year, I present my highlights of the year 2007.

Discovery of the year: The romance with my work-place has finally ended. Although I continue to cherish my work, the all encompassing passion that I felt for the company has gradually faded. Like I explained to couple of my friends: “ The love has gone out of the marriage but we are still together for the kids ”.

Travels the year: Travels started slow this year, with almost no trips for the first half of the year, save a day trip to Maryland ’s capital city- Annapolis . We more than made up for it in the second half of the year with a wonderful long weekend by the sea at Outer Banks, NC followed by a 4 day trip to Oregon and rounded the year off with a week-long RV trip to New Mexico and Arizona. October- November was the most traveled month of the year and included a quick trip to Austin for Michelle’s first birthday, a weekend trip to New Orleans (with a pit stop at Atlanta) for a friend’s wedding and the usual Chicago visit for the RSNA.

Achievement of the year: I finally completed compilation of our family tree….translating it from Malayalam and inputting all of the data into a family tree software. With some help from Seejo, we also launched the mamasa.org ( www.mamasa.org ) website. Although started in 2006, it was completed only in 2007!

Fresh Start of the Year: I have started studying again and am taking a few courses at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. It has been quite a process trying to manage both a hectic work schedule and coursework with regular projects, assignments and lectures. Especially if you have not been used to attending lectures for the last 7 years. But it is much easier to study something when you are actually “living” your education. I am almost having fun— except for the assignments!

Realization of the year: Last year in my twenties. Nothing more to say.

Summary: Could be better !

I wish all of you a wonderful 2008!

Ring out the Old, Ring in the New

Posted January 25th, 2007 by Deepa and filed in Uncategorized
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At the end of every year, both the print and electronic news media publishes lists of the top events of the year 2006. I am doing something similar to give an update of the year that was 2006 .

Discovery of the year: This entire year can actually be summed up in one non exciting word: work. As, I have already exhausted this topic by droning in great detail about the calamities at my workplace on personal phone conversations, I am going to nip that right in the bud and say only that 2006 can be called the year in which Deepa discovered that she is a workaholic.

Surprise of the year: The surprise of this year was also one of the memorable events of this year, the birth of my niece Michelle. Seejo’s brother Antony and wife Teresa had an apple-cheeked little baby girl on November 6 2006.

Best month of the year: After several years of coaxing, my mother visited me for two months: August & September. It was two months of freedom from many responsibilities around the house, hectic traveling and old food favorites.

Travels the year: This years travel included a short trip to India with side trips to Mysore and Bangalore, Bombay and Pune, a cruise down the Kerala backwaters in a houseboat, three visits to San Diego, couple to visits to Austin, tourist attractions in an around the Washington DC area, yet another visit to Niagara falls ( this time from the Canadian side), a wonderful long weekend in Maine and spur of the moment trip to the casinos in Las Vegas & canyons in Utah.

Achievement of the year: This year’s proud achievement was a successful kitchen garden. Chillies, cucumbers, green beans, mint leaves, basil leaves, curry leaves & coriander all grew successfully throughout spring and summer in my deck behind the house.

Reunion : What happens when 10 old engineering school friends meet up after 7 long years? A big blast! Lots of fun times, new memories are made, old memories get wilder and all in all a fantastic weekend. And there was a realization that despite individual changes, and successful careers and “growing up”, put us all together and time rewinds back.

Summary : Not bad!