Saturday, May 22, 2010

New Summer's Resolutions

So normal people -- that is, not academics -- traditionally make their resolutions at the new year. When I was a student (high school and college), I'd make them at the beginning of every semester. But now that I'm in professor-land (I taught summers throughout grad school), the end of May marks the time for resolutions.** With three teaching/grading-free months stretching out ahead, the air is full of promise, and anything seems possible.

So, I thought I'd share my probably-too-ambitious summer resolutions:
  • Every day (beginning June 1): transcribe 1 document from the mess I brought home from the archives; write 1 page (even if it's just a summary of what I've transcribed, or read in the secondary sources)
  • Every week: read 1 book or 2 articles each from two running reading lists (one for research, one for a new topical course I'd like to develop)
  • Whole-summer goals: Finish one round of revisions on collected volume article; have an outline and a proposal for a conference paper-length piece; draft syllabus for new topical course; prep my two oft-taught courses for fall so I can focus on the less-oft-taught one.
I'd also like to go to yoga at least once a week, and try one new recipe a week from my backlog of really excellent cookbooks. And keep up with my photo-a-day project, of course:

(picture from day 131 of 365)

Other than one short week out of town, I'm not going anywhere all summer, so I can really burrow in. Even so, I'm probably being too ambitious here, so the goal within the goal is to achieve about 85% of the goal. That's a solid B, right?

Anyone else care to tempt fate by posting your own new summer's resolutions?

**This is not to say that I don't still make new-semester resolutions -- I do: stay on top of the grading, get those assignments posted on time; the usual pipe dreams that last about as long as the "go to the gym three times a week" ones from January 1st did.


Fie upon this quiet life! said...

Wow. That's very ambitious. I am exhausted just reading your list. I bet you can get a lot accomplished if you establish and stick to a routine, though. Good luck!

clio's disciple said...

I'll make mine next week, once the grades are in.

Anonymous said...

I have enough resolutions just meting deadlines right now, but some years ago I made one important one which I think is worth sharing. It was to stop watching progress meters. If you are waiting on a computer to do something, stand up and go do something else. Don't let the machine own you! This may not apply to you, but it has, apart from anything else, made my house a much nicer place to live in...

Clio Bluestocking said...

I do the same thing: semesterly resolutions, especially in the summer. I rather like the cycle of possibilities.

Good luck on the success of yours!

The Steel Magnolia said...

Here's mine:
1) embark on new my new hair plan;
2) grow something in the yard with my children;
3) revise an article and submit for publication;
4) go from notes to draft of another article;
5) read a classic novel that I've never read;
6) read a new novel for a research project
7) crochet
8) take walks and work on academic stuff with the children to prepare for next year.

Maybe I should pare this down a bit . . . .

Notorious Ph.D. said...

@ Steel Magnolia: What is a "hair plan"?

And should I have one?

Geophrie said...

It's amazing how much less wonderful the summer is when you don't live in academia. Best of luck!

Good Enough Woman said...

As soon as I finish grading finals, I will make a list. Right now, it's "get as much done for dissertation as possible" and purge/clean the garage. Clearly, I need to break these down into specific, manageable goals. I like the idea of summer resolutions! I might need to push past mere "goals" to other types of commitments.

(And check out Steel Magnolia's latest post for an update about her "hair plan.")

Tigs said...

I love summer resolutions! This is the first summer since starting grad school that I'm not teaching, so I think my eyes are a bit starry...

1.)(Like G.E.W.) As much dissertation as possible (at least 2 more chapters, including theoretical frame)
2.) Edited volume proposal out the door (So close! Have first draft of everything, need edits and feedback from DA).
3.) Finish D. article (requires intro, conclusion, editing).
4.) Go into fall semester healthy and not anxious.