Auld Lang Syne (Farewell, 2017)
Thomas here! Welcome to the final post of 2017. While I typically share updates biweekly, this post is the last of the year given how I also typically spend New Year’s Eve in a new country every year.
In two weeks I should be on my way to Thailand, and blissfully far away from any computers. And so, I gladly end the year with this post.
The end of the year is typically a time of reflection and consideration for what may come next. In light of that, I pulled up the first entry I made here in 2017, written back on 3/22/17.
Back then, I had switched from posting regularly at ESL101.com over to posting updates here. Such was a sign of the increased personal focus I have since then had for ME.mory.
A number of points from across this year follow below:
Soon after switching to regular updates, I had shared from the variety of media pieces previously featuring ME.mory to date, in order to provide any new readers a sense of my and of ME.mory’s history. Pieces had included those appearing in The Philadelphia Citizen, Fox29 News, Chestnut Hill Local, Generocity and Philadelphia Magazine (the last of which having another piece being discussed at this moment).
I then noted our progress as the year progressed. Some of the awards received throughout this year had included the “Reach Award” (given to me at the No Barriers Summit, after I had shared about my life and about ME.mory with Erik Weihenmayer on 2/7/17) and the “Dev Product of the Year” award (given to our team at ME.mory as part of the 2017 Philly Geek Awards).
ME.mory’s appearance on the TEDMED stage, as noted in a talk by Tomás Ryan, appeared online for all to see. For him to share about ME.mory on that stage likely caused many to become curious about our work, and further created the sense that we are changing what options people have available for remembering their own lives in a readily-searchable and in a form easy to interpret.
We met with a number of potential medical partners, huge institutions in our area which allowed us to consider how ME.mory could fit in within a healthcare space.
A member of our team had passed away, and I think of how easily he was able to brighten up the smiles of all of us. It was my pleasure to have known him and have worked closely with him on our vision for what ME.mory could become.
Book-wise, I devoted an hour per day to writing and then editing the entirety of “I’m Sorry… That’s Awesome!”. I ate that elephant one bite at a time, so to speak. This work has now been shared with a number of literary agents and potential publishers. Friends and family both have provided feedback on this book as it currently stands, feedback which will help to guide further revisions in the beginning of next year, as I have taken a break on it for the remainder of 2017, partly to provide others with time to provide further feedback.
University lectures were given by me at multiple points throughout this year, in courses such as “Biological Reasoning”, “Assistive Technology”, and “Assistive Technology and Universal Design for Learning”. Nick and I spoke together for a presentation given at the Digital Marketing in Healthcare Summit, held here in Philadelphia. Also at that meeting, I had served as a panelist in a discussion panel on the topic of “Engaging with Your Customer”.
Concern about diversity in Philadelphia’s startup ecosystem were addressed by me and a variety of others at the “2nd Annual Philly Startup Leaders Diversity Dinner” on 10/26/17. Just what was the extent of presence for individuals with disabilities within this community, given their insights into problems experienced more-severely than by members of the population generally? For such is what I had vocalized my attention.
For all that had been noted (and the other items not noted) above… Thank you, 2017.
Looking forward, what can we look forward to in 2018?:
-Newer media pieces, for which we are currently in discussion.
-The publication of “I’m Sorry… That’s Awesome!”.
-A new design and feel for ME.mory.
-Along with a retooled website.
After having noted all of the above, we here at ME.mory wish you a “Happy New Year”, and the sincere desire that you may be looking forward to what 2018 will bring just as much as we do.
See you in 2018!