I have committed myself to a handful of goals / projects for the summer and hope to use the blog as an accountability mechanism. The goals / projects are meagre and aimed at a form of self-improvement after a crazy year of teaching, commuting, finishing grad school, parenting, and looking forward to an uncertain future. I feel like I was rarely my best self this year and know that I can do things even now – every day – to make myself feel more like my best self. For now, I have three goals / projects. Since I am only teaching two courses this summer, I think these are manageable and will help to provide each day with a sense of purpose and accomplishment.
A little Latin and French (and maybe return to Greek)
Language study does not come easy for me and has always been one of my scholarly embarrassments. I am committing to doing daily exercises either through Duolingo, through the piles of flashcards I made (AND SAVED) for those courses, or through daily translation activities. There are a number of other activities I may pursue as time permits: the Old French Reading Group looks like it will meet throughout the summer, there are a couple of language groups not affiliated with the university that I could seek out, and my friend, Brandon, has teased that he would read Latin with me if I bought the first round of beers each time. I do not have a firm goal in mind yet, but I generally want to feel more comfortable with the languages.
Daily: fifteen – thirty minutes of vocabulary or translation exercises
End of Summer: Complete small translation projects / Simply be more comfortable with cold-reading.
Be a runner again
It has been a long time since I could honestly describe myself as a runner. An activity that used to bring me so much pleasure has over the past few years increasingly become one that causes little more than pain and frustration. I have always gotten shin splints from running (even through years of cross-country and track), but now those pains are accompanied by knee pain, a bad hamstring, and frequent back pain. A lot of these, I think, can be attenuated by shedding some weight, hydrating better, stretching more, and returning to a daily routine. The second reason for this desire is that I will not have a gym membership for the first time in my adult life, so I need to renew my old ways of staying active.
Daily: body-weight exercises for core strength, stretches, and at least one mile of running (two if biking)
End of Summer: 40 mile weeks and complete a road race (1/2 marathon or less)
Submit two pieces for publication
I need to build some escape velocity if I want to get out of this cycle of applying for adjunct labor every four or five months. I have two pieces (one from the dissertation and one from so many conferences) that just need some polish and a leap of faith. I want to send these out by mid-June and have a preferred venue in mind for each. (But a long list of back-up plans as well!)
Daily: Work on these pieces.
End of Summer: Have these two off of my plate and have a new idea in draft form (nothing from the dissertation).
Nothing here is too ambitious, and I am not going to allow myself to feel angry or ashamed should I miss a day here or there. I know well how life happens. But I think this could be a good plan for the summer and could give the summer some sense of trajectory regardless of what the Autumn may hold.