My 2020: By the Numbers

In the spirit of routines and trying to buck some of the frustration that comes with this season, I am again putting out a series of reflection and planning posts, that started with a list of best* posts of the year. Today is a list of numbers, data that somehow defines my year.

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There are any number of numbers that have been used to quantify the experience of 2020, including the people who contracted or died from COVID-19, votes cast, dollars spent on political advertising, false political claims made on Twitter by a sitting US president, wealth increased by the wealthiest billionaires, degrees the average temperatures rose, fires in Brazil and Africa, stock market tickers, shady phone calls, total human population on Earth, instances and casualties of mass- and police-shootings—plus happier statistics that aren’t necessarily kept such as weddings, child-births, mitzvoth, or trivialities like cups of coffee, diapers, or speeding tickets.

Here are some numbers about my year:

  • 10 – classes taught (across 2 semesters)
    • 4 – schools taught at
    • 4 – modes of instruction
    • 5 – classes taught for the first time
    • 2 – self-paced online classes for which I was the instructor of record
    • 143 – students (excluding the self-paced students)
    • 5 – courses scheduled so far for 2021
    • 1 – reference letter written
  • 7 – Job applications
    • 2 – interviews
    • 2 – jobs I applied for cancelled because of COVID
  • 215.26 – Hours spent writing or editing academic work (YtD)
    • 2 – book reviews published
    • 0 – articles published
    • 1 – article-length pieces drafted
    • 1 – book contract signed
    • 1 – manuscript reviewed
    • 2 – interviews given
  • 53 – Books Read (YtD; not counting academic reading)
    • 18,858 – total pages
    • 355.8 – average pages per book
    • 15 – non-fiction books
    • 21 – books by women
    • 6 – books by African or African-American authors
    • 12 – Original languages
    • 15 – countries of origin
    • 2 – Graphic novels
  • 52 – Blog Posts (YtD)
    • 44,912 – words written
    • 864– average words per post
  • 4,128 – site visitors (up, roughly 35%)
  • 5,593 – site views (up, roughly 39%)
  • 5 – states visited
  • 1 – trips cancelled because of COVID
  • 2735 – Tweets (YtD)
    • 227.9 – average Tweets per month
    • 1,887,100 – Twitter impressions, per Twitter analytics
    • 1 –viral tweet (on December 12, it had 322,165 impressions)
  • 77 – miles run
  • 443.65 – miles walked (since mid-August, YtD)
  • 40,594 – pushups pushed (YtD)

As usual, these numbers mean nothing, anything, and everything. There are other metrics, but they are proprietary of NUDEan-inc, a private analytics organization. A NUDEan spokesperson is cagey when asked to share the areas of life quantified while keeping the actual numbers secret, leading one to speculate that the data is only being haphazardly recorded. Whether this situation is a product of gross incompetence or because many aspects of human life cannot or should not be quantified is unknown.

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Previous installments: 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015.

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