The plan for the year 2020 is the following: Submit a third paper, get a car, finish the PhD, and get visible. High hopes for this year as you can see.
Submit a third paper
The beginning of the year is traditionally going to be about working hard to submit a paper to the IEEE Vis conference. That would be the third one, and hopefully last one, in my PhD. I’ve done this in the last two years so I know how it’s gonna come down: from now on until the end of March it’s heads down, work hard, not much other distractions. Just go to the gym, go to work, make sure to have some good time off. The rest of the year will probably be more exciting.
Get a car
When we were living in Vienna it didn’t make much sense but now that we’re back in Brno I really want to get a car. Suddenly there’s just so many more reasons to go somewhere: visit relatives or friends, go pick something up, even going grocery shopping became much more cumbersome without a car. Really don’t like having to always ask somebody to drive us places. So that’s definitely a goal in the first half of the year, to become more self-reliant and honestly more grown-up.
Finish the PhD
Definitely the biggest goal and expectation in this year is to actually finish the PhD. It seems like it might just happen—right before the year ended, I received some good news about my second paper: it got a minor revision decision, which means that if I can address the brought up remarks, it would get published in the highest journal of our field. This paper got initially rejected from a conference and it really made me question if it’s worth to continue. I reworked it, submitted it again, and here we are. Having two papers published at this level of a venue practically guarantees that I can get the degree. The question is whether I can get a third paper done, and therefore reach the highest grade.
The last point is related to what happens after I finish. I still don’t think academia is the best place for me. While I can absolutely appreciate all the things I’ve learned thanks to doing the PhD, I feel the urge now to go and try to apply these skills in the “real world”. What I want to do this year, is to basically put myself out there: sharpen my skills, figure out what I’m about, work on side projects that I believe in, and put it out there to see what happens. I’m basically hoping that I’ll find out what kind of options I have.
Naturally there are other small things that I would like to do this year: keep writing the blog, learn more German, continue with the training in gym and focus more on my diet. But these are secondary to the four items that are central to me now.
I’m feeling extremely motivated. When I look back at the last year, and what I wanted to do and accomplish then (PhD-wise, as well as our USA trip with Gabi), I have to say that it was a great year. Of course, since I’m a bit superstitious, I’m conscious about all the bad things that can happen. But if everything goes as well as it has up till now I can’t help but imagine that a year from now I’ll be on a completely different level. And that just makes me excited.