If I have to choose two words to describe 2017 they would be Love and Exhaustion. In June my third son was born and needless to say his arrival was an amazing experience. I am physically exhausted, last night for example I had no sleep at all since I had to send some reports and right now I am waiting for the arrival of the “three wise kings” (Los tres Reyes Magos), it is already 1 am. Nevertheless, I love being a dad and I love having my three boys with me, regardless of how much work I have overdue. I know I haven´t had much time to write on this blog but when you are faced with the decision of writing here or go to bed I invariably choose to go to sleep a bit before one of my two babies wakes up.
For the first time in my professional career, in 2017 I decided not to submit a single proposal for a grant; with four active grants totalling more than a million dollars and 16 students I thought I had enough. Loosing my research assistant was also a big thing to me this year since now I had to redistribute the administrative work, which is not very pleasant. I am desperate for a new assistant or better yet a postdoc. This year I also saw an important change in the number of students in my group: 2 MSc and 1 PhD student graduated, with three more about to present their BSc, MSc and PhD viva. Although I currently have only 10 students, I have three PhD students waiting to start working in my Group in March this year, so my Group is not going to get smaller any time soon. In the area of publications 2017 wasn´t a good year, however 2018 will be different since we already have 10 papers submitted and to be submitted.
Outreach was also a bit slow, I decided not to organise Cinvesniños-Saltillo in the hope that this year we would have a stronger interest from colleagues and students to participate. On the other hand, we finally received all the material from Lego Education and a few microscopes to start our work with rural schools. Next week I am expecting to arrange a visit to our pilot school to formally arrange the dates and activities that we will perform with the kids. I have been waiting for this to happen since a couple of years so for me this will be a big thing.
Now that I see it, it seems I left many things on hold in 2017 only to realise that they are getting accumulated for 2018, anyway, HAPPY NEW YEAR!