2011 was special, particularly with the arrival of our daughter Molly. But 2012 is looking pretty great, too!
Although I wasn't able to get an NSF grant application in for Gram's House as planned, one of the researchers I was working with and I have teamed up with another group doing something similar. If that grant gets funded, it leaves us with an opportunity to extend it later with Gram's House. At the same time, the Gram's House researcher is (hopefully) running a pilot project at her university this summer that will help us learn more about how to approach both projects in the most effective way.
I'll be off on maternity leave until September, but I'm looking forward to doing some reading and trying to nail down my thesis plan (I have gone through some iterations already, but am not quite there yet as it turns out). I like knowing that everything I can get done (and feel like getting done) is a bonus, and that I don't have to put myself under a lot of pressure. After all, I want to make sure I enjoy my time with Molly!
I'll be teaching my mini-course (Computer Science and Games: Just for Girls!) for the fifth year. It's only a week long, but that will probably be the first time I'll be away from Molly for so long, so that will be interesting. I'm also considering putting together a programming course for Girl Develop It Ottawa using Processing, which would be fun to teach in the summer.
And perhaps most exciting of all, I'm trying to make attending Grace Hopper 2012 in Baltimore with Andrew and Molly a possibility. It's only a 9 hour drive from home, and if I can get my trip funded, the only cost would be Andrew's conference fee and food (and maybe we can even get him in as a volunteer?). I've wanted Andrew to attend for years now both for the technical content and to get to see into my world of women in computing. As an added bonus, the conference offers free daycare!