Welcoming 2017 and My 2016 in Review

A little bit late, but… hello, 2017! ūüôā

I’ve planned and started¬†two commitments for this year. The first one…

The second one is something that I actually started 3 years ago, yes, to master German (with Duolingo)! I’m going to start a stickK commitment soon, after a paper deadline. It seems to be an interesting concept, a friend has tried and recommended¬†it. The idea is: you set your goals, then¬†you can set a referee who verifies your reports. You can also¬†(optionally) set the stakes, in which the money can go to either a friend or foe, charity, or anti-charity, if you fail your commitment. Let’s see how it goes ūüėČ

As for my 2016 in review, inspired by a friend who reviewed his year by embedding¬†the highlight of his tweets for each month, I’m going to do the same! But I don’t tweet anymore, so I’ll embed my Facebook posts instead.

TL;DR: 2016 was a great and hectic but exciting year for me. A year of change and transition. I finished my PhD. I went home for 2,5 weeks. I started a Postdoc position, moved to Germany. I went to Japan for the first time, went back again two months later. And finally I turned 30.

Now, let’s start with…


We celebrated the start of the year in the Czech Republic, I actually wrote here about it. I’m not sure what was going on in this month, my best¬†guess would be that I was on my attempt to produce pages for my thesis.


Definitely thesis time.


…was an extremely hectic month, when I tried to: finish my thesis, submit¬†a paper to¬†ACL 2016, look for a job, send around my CV everywhere, and have interviews here and there… all at the same time! I submitted my thesis on March 25, around 2 weeks before my scheduled defense day. At the end of the month¬†I just felt¬†so relieved and¬†had the best¬†weekend getaway¬†ever! Had a blast at the MUSE ‘Drones’ concert! ūüôā


I defended my thesis! I’m immensely thankful to two people who made¬†it happen: Sara *my PhD advisor* and Simon *the Bear :D*. My sister, Dita, and cousin, Dhika, were visiting to give their supports, I had a nice time showing them around the town. I also visited¬†Saarbr√ľcken for an interview, which is why I end up in Germany now.


I started a job as a research assistant in Bolzano, on a two-month contract. Job description: assisting the Bear’s research… also¬†assisting him (taking pictures and selfies!) while flying around Bolzano in¬†a glider :D.


I did canyoning for the first time,¬†I’m not sure I’ll do it again :p. I spent a lot of money to remove an annoying wisdom tooth. And I hiked around the Italian Alps¬†whenever I could, because¬†I decided to move to (flat) Germany and would definitely miss the mountains. I really am missing the mountains :(.


I went home for lebaran!¬†And had a great time with my dear family and cats… before moving to Saarbr√ľcken. So yeah, July is my month of change: new job, new apartment, new city, new workplace, new friends and colleagues, new language (!), and so on. Still with the same old partner, though ūüėȬ†Hopefully that won’t change.

July is also the month of paper deadlines. We submitted a poster paper to ISWC 2016 as a result of my research assisting job. Some chapters of my thesis were written into two papers and submitted to COLING 2016 (one is actually the reworked version of a rejected ACL paper).


I was taking a free intensive German course offered by the institute. Four hours of German everyday for two weeks! It was intense.


I tried Zumba and was hooked!¬†It was also the perfect time (and weather) to explore Saarbr√ľcken and its surrounding cities.


For ISWC 2016, we were presenting our poster paper in… Japan! I finally fulfilled my old dream of going to Japan, and it didn’t disappoint me. I love Japan! And its¬†sushi, Kobe beef, ramen, okonomiyaki, lovely Kyoto, cute Nara deers, and… among them all, its wonderful toilets!


Trump¬†won the presidential election. Me? Well, I was doing… research, I guess ;).


I love Japan so much that I went back for COLING 2016 before Christmas and New Year holidays :D. Will definitely go back there again given a chance!

Oh, I turned 30. I thought it will feel different as I ended my twenties, but I feel… normal. Just another birthday. The Bear made me a birthday cake though, so it does feel a little bit special ;). And I got a projector (!) as a present so that I can have my own mini cinema at home. Yes, great year indeed *wise nod*.

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