Explore: #Oneword2011

You may be wondering why there is a pound sign in my post title…it’s a Twitter thing. ūüôā Last January, this idea of #oneword2011 was flying around among the people I follow on Twitter. The philosophy behind it was to find one word that describe what you want to accomplish in 2011. About mid-January I jumped on the bandwagon (see my post here) and picked my word based on resolutions I had set for the year. My word: Explore.

What does “Explore” mean to me?
For me, it means to embark on adventure to a new place or exposure and embracing of new knowledge. “Explore” embodies my goal to be a lifelong learner.

So how did I explore? Oh let me count the ways! I literally traveled to several new geographic locations and revisited some locales as well.

Baltimore, MD!! This trip embodied both exploring a new location and also professional exploration. I attended my first national conference where I met so many people and was introduced to new practices/ideas in the world of student affairs. I ate crab for the first time on this trip. I flew in an airplane for the first time (I’m generally a car driving type of traveler).

Dakotas Road Trip!! This trip was 6 days with my younger sister to celebrate my graduating with my Master’s degree and her starting work on her Master’s degree. We explored history with this trip by visiting three home sites of the famed author Laura Ingalls Wilder. My sister and I grew up reading these books and it was fun to see where the stories actually took place. We also visited national parks and monuments all of which were new to my sister, and for me some were new and some were revisits. We even celebrated Julie’s 25th birthday during our trip! Here are the posts from the trip.

Duluth! I moved here in June. I was in full explorer mode most of the summer to learn about the new city I was living in.

North Shore of Lake Superior! This stretch of geography from Duluth to Canada will provide years of exploration opportunities.

Pattison State Park! Hiked and photographed another state park in Wisconsin.


Other Exploration

  • Moved to another city and state. I didn’t know anyone in Duluth when I moved here, and thankfully that has now changed. ūüôā I’m slowly, but surely, becoming a Minnesotan. However, my Wisconsin roots are deep and will never go away. Go Blugolds, Warhawks, & Badgers!!
  • New Institution! Working for UMD has been a dream so far. All of my presentations and joining a knitting group have aided me to get to know people across campus.
  • I’ve been making new friends!! We’ve done fun stuff such as attending the Christmas Parade. We also have plans to attend the Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon. Could you get anymore quintessential Northern MN than a sled dog race? I’m so excited for it!!
  • Other professional development. This has included attending the MCPA conference and completing some assessment trainings (Strong Interest Inventory & StrengthsQuest).


Looking back on 2011, “Explore” was a perfect way to describe how I tackled the year. I’m on such a roll, I may keep it as my #oneword2012!

How would you describe your 2011 in one word?




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