Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Two Challenges

Many folks make New Year's resolutions. But do you know when the urge strikes me? It's in the calm after the storm of Christmas, when the running around and stress lifts, and it's weeks and weeks before the semester begins, and you are feeling like you have a few weeks of grace.

That's how I woke up feeling this morning. Like there was a window of possibility. And so I'm issuing myself two challenges, and I'd be happy if anyone would want to join.

  1. Clean [Digital] House: I've said in this space that I do better with short- and medium-term achievable goals, so that's the I'd like to have some short-term goals, usually one a month. But before the year even begins, I'd like to have a clean slate, a little breathing space. So here is the first challenge: By December 31, organize my digital life, purging as much as possible.
  2. The Big Read: Every year, I have a goal of reading 24 + 1 books. The "plus one" ought to be a big, potentially intimidating classic that I've not read before; I take it a chapter a night, and gently work my way through it. This year's "big read" is George Eliot's Middlemarch. Join me beginning January 1. The plan is to read a chapter a night, six nights a week, and blog about it each Monday until we're done. 
That's it. Anyone care to join in?

(Oh, and if you're new here and would rather post anonymously, I'd recommend picking a pseudonym, so we don't have 8 different people named "Anon" posting.)


10 comments:

Fie upon this quiet life! said...

I felt like making some resolutions yesterday. Essentially my goal is to "do better" in 2018. I know that's vague. But it mostly has to do with paying more attention to the world around me and getting less freaked out by national news unless I'm going to do something more than post on FB about it.

What Now? said...

I'm in for Middlemarch and am looking forward to it! I've been rushing through murder mysteries for the past week, which is a fun and appropriate-for-break reading activity, but I'm already feeling the need for more "solid food." So Eliot it is. See you on Mondays!

Lily said...

Oh Middlemarch! I'm in --

Notorious Ph.D. said...

Love it! The "Grand Opening" of the Middlemarch challenge will be Monday, Jan. 1. We all shoot to read the first six chapters by January 8, when I'll post for those who want to discuss, book-club style.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1: I would like to commit to staying in touch with old friends more via phone rather than email or text this year. So I will try one phone call every other week in January. And working out two times a week as a minimum.

MS1964 said...

Girl Scholar is one of the most generous motivators I know. Thank you! For me, the New Year starts on my birthday, which is in early January -- so I build in a little grace period -- which could also just be straight up procrastination. I'm in for Middle March! I'm giving myself a break on any other commitments til my kids leave town (next Sunday); then, I have plenty of goals. But I'll have to think about the resolutions -- I like what I've read here!

PhysioProffe said...

How many pages is that book? What's it about? Are we gonna do this on twitter?

Notorious Ph.D. said...

GIRLSCHOLAR DOES NOT TWEET.

I think the book is some 800 pages long. I'll post here on Mondays. This Monday is the kick-off. Six chapters (about 8-10 pages each) a week, or one a night, with one night off. We should finish by the end of March (not the middle-of-March, as I'd hoped).

Mrs. Wray said...

I'm in - just discovered your blog and have been enjoying it this morning as I put off lesson planning for my upcoming semester! I'd love to read Middlemarch!

Notorious Ph.D. said...

Welcome, Mrs. Wray~! And welcome back, other friends. Glad to have y'all on board. By the way, a commenter in the kickoff post from Jan. 1 recommended the following site, put together by a scholar of Victorian lit:

https://middlemarchforbookclubs.wordpress.com/