Monday, December 29, 2008

New Semester's Resolutions

I have a No Good, Very Busy Semester coming up.

Here's the skinny: I'm not back on duty until January 26th, but once it hits, it's going to be a killer.
  1. I am teaching four classes: one senior seminar (with major papers & portfolios), one graduate seminar (underenrolled, so not sure what will happen there), one survey course (old lectures, but new readings), and one upper-division course (for which I'd like to revisit the first 1/3 of the lectures). None of these are new preps, but I'm going to be substantially tinkering with all of them.
  2. I'm going to two conferences, one in April, and the other in May. No papers to present, but I'll be chairing panels at both. The main hassle here is the travel.
  3. With any luck, I'll be doing pre-publication revisions on the book -- though I still haven't heard from reader #2.
  4. Trying to write a conference paper that I hope will be the foundation of a chapter for Shiny New Project. Conference is not until October, but I want it off and running. In any case, I need to get at least 2,500 words (conference paper), and would like to get 8,000 (mini-chapter).
  5. Organizing a plan of action for a research trip this summer -- even doing some preliminary reading.
  6. Possibly working on edited volume.
I've decided I need to use the next three and a half weeks to get some momentum built up. Desk organized, new lectures and writing project underway. Organization has never been my strong suit, nor has consistency. But that's got to change, if I want to make it through this semester without going utterly batshit insane.

So, the New Semester's Resolutions are as follows:
  1. Write every day. And do it first. If this means dragging my lazy ass out of bed at what I would normally consider an ungodly hour, then so be it. 500 words (bearing in mind that they don't have to be good words) should be a nice, attainable goal. I can allow myself exceptions on travel days, though.
  2. Take a picture every day. I really like my hobby, but I've gone off the rails here, and I'm in danger of losing that "whole person" thing that I'd been trying to cultivate.
  3. Move more. Take a walk, get on the bike, whatever. I need this now, more than ever. I do have time -- if I have time to sit around reading stuff online, I can spare half an hour for this.
  4. Read a book a week. I've spent so long focused on The Book that I've developed a bit of tunnel vision. If I could read a book a week per course in grad school and still get my writing churned out while teaching, I can do it now.
That's it. Just four. Still, it seems ambitious and idealistic. Wish me luck...


Brian W. Ogilvie said...

Egad, your resolutions are more or less identical to mine, though I'd add a fifth: reserve half an hour each day to clear my desk and to do all the record-keeping and filing that I tend to put off.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I'm finding the organisation of other stuff always soaks into the reading time. There's only really one way that can end so I shall take your resolve as an example to buck up a bit! Good luck to you also.

Michael said...

Is there less time consumed as a professor than there was as a Grad. student?

AliceAcademic said...

Ambitious, yes, but if anyone can do it, you can. Good luck and Happy New Year!