The start of a New Year! January was an odd month in Sydney due to the excitement of everything opening up despite stresses of rising covid case numbers. Looking back, I was surprised at how much content I was able to get through this month - I definitely made use of the break in my internship.

Read on for my a summary of my January, including links to articles published!

Jump to sections below:

📚 Books

January was a good month for science fiction, as I was able to knock off both my Dune and Ted Chiang articles from my "✍️ In Progress" tag to completed status.

From left to right, top to bottom of the above gallery:

Wheel of Time #2 The Great Hunt

Managed to speed my way through the second book in the Wheel of Time series. The Great Hunt was a slight improvement over its predecessor, but the series has a ways to go to earn my full recommendation. Read here for more about the first two books in the Wheel of Time series.

Ted Chiang's short story collections

What a fantastic read. Chiang interweaves high concept science fiction paired with engaging philosophical, anthropological and societal discussion in these short but dense tales. To find out more about the author and get a ranking of the stories, check out my full article here.

Content Strategy for the Web

A really great introduction to the terminology and processes of content strategy. In fact, I ended up applying a lot of these learnings on the job during my Westpac internship. If you've ever been curious about content strategy or want to know more about how to better structure your organisation's web content, check out my review and annotated book summary here.

Dune #3 Children of Dune

Finally finished the Dune trilogy. Children of Dune was an enthralling yet sobering read on intergalactic feudal power and familial relationships. Whilst serving as a conclusion of sorts, it also clearly paves the road for the fourth Dune novel. Read the article here for reviews of Dune books 1-3.

🎥 Movies

Title🎬 Director🎥 Date📆 Rewatch🔁 Rating⭐ Article📝
Shutter Island Martin Scorsese 2/1/22 5/5 WIP
Godzilla vs. Kong Adam Wingard 5/1/22 3.5/5
Eternals Chloe Zhao 13/1/22 #2 5/5 WIP
F9 Justin Lin 13/1/22 1.5/5
Sardar Udham Shoojit Sircar 15/1/22 4/5
The Tomorrow War Chris McKay 18/1/22 3.5/5
Eternals Chloe Zhao 21/1/22 #3 5/5 WIP
Heat Michael Mann 28/1/22 4/5 Link here!
The Gentlemen Guy Ritchie 29/1/22 3.5/5 WIP
The Cold Light of Day Mabrouk El Mechri 31/1/22 2/5

📺 TV

This has been a great month for television! From left to right, top to bottom in the above gallery:

  • Kota Factory seasons 1 & 2: A  fantastic coming-of-age story filmed in black and white. The very limited series builds real teenage characters while showing a more positive side of the Indian IIT coaching colleges.
  • Parks and Recreation season 6: This funny comedy show keeps its characters growing alongside its scope. Season 6 was not as strong as Season 5, but leaves the show in a very interesting situation come Season 7, the final series of Parks and Recreation.
  • Star Wars: The Bad Batch: This has really been Clone Wars Season 8 without Jedi and lightsabers. I started watching again after taking a 3-month hiatus following the mid-season finale and enjoyed seeing Clones execute video game like missions in a time where the Empire is just beginning.
  • Hawkeye: This was a fun entry to the growing list of Marvel Studios shows on Disney+. It started strong and kept getting better, while the story seemed to continue burgeoning with plot threads and characters. Whilst I was a bit disappointed in the finale's attempt to tie everything together, I appreciated an exploration into Clint Barton and Kate Bishop (as well as some terrific cameos).
  • Turning Point: 9/11 and the War on Terror: Like the Bad Batch above and Patriot Act below, I completed this one after a few months hiatus. Honestly the five-episode series is an eye-opening and researched exploration into not just an event that changed modern America forever, but all the preludes and far-reaching consequences that the world is still experiencing today. I would highly recommend checking this out for some informative history - just be sure to either drop off viewing after episode 2 out of 5 or push through the slower episodes to finish.
  • Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj: Whilst this show is USA-centric, I have always appreciated how Minhaj layers comedy with educative content and provocative social discussion. Having finished the series, I am disappointed that he is not continuing these segments (though I think Netflix made that decision, not him). You could honestly pick any episode you are curious about and watch it in any order, but I would recommend checking it out especially if you are a young person curious about social politics and legislation.
  • The Book of Boba Fett: I just started watching this one at the end of the month - some Mandalorian-themed cameos started being spoiled on my socials and I decided it was better to get into the series while it is still a hot talking commodity.

🤵 Work

Private Field Hockey Coaching

I really appreciated being able to take the time out of my Summer break to run some coaching sessions for young athletes aged 13-18. This was not something I saw myself doing a few years ago; it took me a long time to attain personal "success" in my field and indoor hockey endeavours when I was a teenager. However I was able to work with these kids in fast-tracking that process, passing on not just technical knowledge but providing some mental resilience. Most of all, I was pleased with how the athletes and their parents opened up as we established lines of contact and relationships about more than just hockey.

Westpac Internship

Coming back from the Summer break meant diving straight back into work on my internship. Whereas my time in November was spent establishing work patterns with my team and December was the month for refining content strategy and getting pre-approval from various internal teams, January was the time period I spent actually creating written copy for my assigned website pages. As my teammates put their skills to work in new projects, this meant a lot more independent work and running meetings as I was literally the Internationals "team". Definitely learnt a bit about my own personal working patterns here, especially with a task like copywriting.

♻️ Volunteering

Sikh Youth Australia (SYA) Charity Gala Dinner

Helped kick-off the marketing campaign for SYA's next big event, a black-tie dinner celebrating the last 21 years of organisational progress and launching two exciting new initiatives - the annual Australian Sikh Awards for Excellence and an official 21st-anniversary book! I won't be there at the event itself but it's good practising event copy technique and discussing content strategy with an experienced marketing professional on the volunteer team.

😅 Phew! You've reached the end of this month, thank you for reading.

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👍 Hope you have a fantastic month ahead.