"I, as secret as yon buried stream, plod dumbly on and dream . . ."

How did the year go by so fast? It feels like January was just last month, sometimes. Overall this year has been a good one, though busy! I teach and tutor math most of the time, and even teach the odd piano lesson. My schedule is very full, but somehow I squeeze in some time for Sacred Harp singing, fanfiction, languages, and enjoying my Linux computer.

So here's my wishlist. Several of the first ones are software or web development-related, but there are other things!

1. More than anything, I would love a specific custom-built software program (see this pdf for a description if the link is working). In fact, I want this badly enough that I'd settle for someone teaching me how to code it myself (my only experience with coding is my own webpages, but I'm not afraid of it, just don't want to dive in without an actual guide of sorts), despite not having a ton of time. I spend anywhere from 4-6 hours creating individualized quizzes and homework assignments for my students each week (they're far enough behind that their math is entirely individualized). I'd really love to have the bulk of that time back to use each week. My family would thank you, too. It would require building a simple but customized (I am creating my own curriculum) database with a front-end that includes the ability to save settings per student, to enter questions into the database that are text-based but may include pictures, and to output to LibreOffice Writer. It also needs to run on Linux (I run Linux Mint). If that sounds like something that interests you, let me know!

2. Another software request. If math databases aren't up your alley, but music players are . . . then check out my dream music player. It's a 14-page document outlining the features I'd love to see (with the following being some of the harder to impossible-to-find ones): database-oriented, in-database-only genre labeling (separate from genre tags on the file itself), multi-genre labeling via checkbox, Boolean AND and OR filtering via genre labels, and adding files manually so not to overwhelm the database with new songs that one hasn't had a chance to process labelwise yet. I'd be content with being instructed on how to create it myself, also.

3. Here's the REAL crazy biggest dream ever: someone, or more like multiple someones (because this is the sort of thing that would take a software COMPANY, not just a programmer) to create a computer program that would work as a math curriculum--the way I've designed it. I can see all the logic for what concept you need to have before you get to this one and that one (I created a flowchart just for kindergarten level math, it was crazy complex--I decided that unless this was a reality, it would be a waste of time to design one for any higher level, lol). It would do an assessment first thing, to find the farthest that a student could demonstrate current achievement in every area (and there are lots and lots of areas out there), and would be server-based, so students could login from a client at home or at school, either way. It would require parents or teachers to enter passwords when present to administer tests, but allow students to work at learning new concepts through manipulatives, with audio, so students with weak reading abilities aren't limited in their math while they work to improve reading. It would run on all platforms (because requiring a student to have a specific OS is tantamount to promoting that OS specifically, and the only OS I think worthy of that--Linux--is too limited to have much viability as a sole destination for this program, ergo everything). I have ALL THE IDEAS here. And no experience in programming (other than a forgotten quarter-long class of C++ in high school). Does this intrigue you? :D

4. A web-specific request here--I would love to have a way to design a website with customizable pages per student. Let me explain further: I'd like to be able to go down a list of educational games that I've linked to, and for a specific student, check off specific games to include on the page, and have them shuffle around, as if each game was a tile and it chose whether to place the tile on the page or not by my checkbox. Hand-coding is too clunky to manage for more than one or two students (I work with 10 in classes, not to mention my tutoring students). It needs to be very easy to create new student pages from a template and quickly check-check-check for the games or activities that would be suitable for them at their current level. Bonus if the game listings can include small photos (for children who aren't reading fluently yet).

5. Are you a linguist, conlanger, or have a good command of grammar? I don't mean English grammar. I mean grammar in general, like weird constructs you only see in this language or that one (cases, moods, split plural systems, etc.). Because I've created a language but I need to fix a few grammar bits and I have a hard time with some concepts. I tend to have lots of questions and I need a live person to answer that can listen to me explain what's confusing and help me with examples of how this or that language feature might work. I can do either IM (Yahoo, Skype, Gmail) or IRC (I'm in the ##conlang channel on Freenode, but I lurk mostly so PM-ing is the best way to get a hold of me).

6. I'm already a part of Yuletide, but even if you're not, you're welcome to write me a fic! I prefer nonsexual (romantic friendship or gen is fine! nonsexual smut and h/c and apocalyptic AUs are all totally awesome) for the following fandoms/pairings: Women's Murder Club (Lindsay/Cindy), Rizzoli & Isles (Jane/Maura), The Pretender (Jarod/Miss Parker), Sue Thomas F.B.Eye (Myles/Tara), Gold Diggers: The Secret of Bear Mountain (Beth/Jody), plus others (see link in next sentence). For specific details on some of the canons (and for a few more that I know), you can take a look at my Dear Yuletide Writer letter for 2013.

7. I spent some time in Central America a few years back, and returned with a love for plantain chips (disc-shaped or strip-shaped don't matter, they're delicious either way). Strangely enough, they're difficult to find here in the US (I sometimes see bags in Ross but I don't get out to shop there more than maybe once a year, if that, so I haven't had them in ages!). I like plain salt on them, not sweet or any other seasoning or flavor added.

8. I love LONG flowing skirts, down to ankle-length. They're rather hard to find--everything tends to be knee-length or higher, and I have a small waist and long legs so that doesn't help matters any. Storebought or homemade, both are fine by me. E-mail me and I'll send the sizing plus any color/pattern preferences to you. (I hate ironing, so I generally go for clothes that don't wrinkle when washed. I also rarely get to a dry cleaner, so machine wash clothing is the only way I manage things.)

9. Donate to ADRA International. It's a humanitarian agency committed to improving the quality of life for people in need through "community development initiatives targeting Food Security, Economic Development, Primary Health and Basic Education", "regardless of race, gender, and political, or religious affiliation". You can give to specific projects that call to you, so you can choose to donate to whichever of these you are most passionate about: feed, clothe, and give schooling and healthcare to children/orphans, provide a community or school with clean accessible drinking water, protect women and girls from abuse and violence, provide food or improved cooking materials for children to elderly people who are struggling to feed themselves properly. ADRA is also active when disasters strike, and are often one of the first on the ground working because of infrastructure in 120 countries. After the immediate needs are met, ADRA stays by to work with the community for years to come, connecting with other organizations to help restore the community to better living conditions than before the disaster, if possible.

10. As always, I welcome gifts from my Amazon wishlist! I love used books (most of my library is composed of those), and used CDs and DVDs are OK too if they're not scratched up. I've commented on EVERYTHING on the list, and there are priorities but really, anything on there would make me happy! Feel free to surprise me, or tell me ahead of time, I'm great with either way.

Amazon should allow purchases without you needing my address; if you need my address for one of the others, or just need to communicate privately, my e-mail is doranwen AT Yahoo (DOT com).
A little something is making its way to you from your wishlist.
Not sure if it will make it there for christmas. Sadly, I couldn't add a gift note but it's from me and they say it will be delivered dec 23-jan 9...
Oh, AWESOME. Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh, timing doesn't matter. (One year we had 'Christmas' with one side of the family on New Year's. The fun of that is we had the advantage of all the post-Christmas sales in getting presents. :D )

A mystery package is so exciting! :D
We just had our family Christmas on Sunday. My bro, sis in law and niece are off interstate to spend time with sis in law's family.

Yes, mystery packages are awesome;)
Just got home from a trip and found The Garden of the Stone--no gift note, was that you? :D (It completes my collection of that series, so awesome!)
I'll have to check. I *think* that was me:D
Yes it was!
WOO! Nothing better than having all the books in a series. I am so annoyed at myself. I bought the Stormlord Trilogy. I decided to reread it. Finished book one and was still... omg omg... like I was the first time... and can I find where I've hidden book 2? Of course not.... but don't worry I have book 3 handy LOL.
Yay! :D Thank you so much! And lol, I know what you mean. *g* Good luck in finding your lost book!
A little something from your amazon wishlist is on its way. I believe it should arrive on the 20th. Happy Holidays! :)
Thank you! :D :D :D I'll be driving over to visit my grandparents' that day, and I'll get home just before Christmas, so I'll have a present to open Christmas Eve. How delightful! :D *loves opening packages in the mail, even when she ordered them, lol*
Yay!!!!! :D I'll have to reread it--has been SO long since I read them (I don't get to a library much these days). :D Thank you very very much! :D