The season for To Do lists

Happy 2008 everyone! Now, right down to business. I’m not a huge fan of making resolutions for the new year, but I do love making lists and this is the season for list making if ever there was one. I’ve been thinking about my reading and my academic life, so here are some things I would like to work toward this year:

General Reading

  • Read more books outside of those assigned for my coursework (I really need to read more over the summer months, and since I won’t be moving this summer, I have no excuses!)
  • Successfully finish the Russian Reading Challenge–it would be great to finish one challenge
  • I have decided that this year is the year that I delve into more French literature as well. I’ve read some Victor Hugo, Alexandre Dumas, Gustave Flaubert (long, long ago), and one novel by Emile Zola…but there are so many others to try! I’ll have to come up with a list of some sort, and if anyone has any suggestions please let me know (particularly if there are certain translations I should look for, etc).
  • Perhaps post a few more reviews of books than I have been doing. I’m terrible at this.

Academic Fun

  • Finish my single grad school application (it’s due by the 9th, but I’ve been slacking. I really hate writing Statements of Teaching Purpose, especially as I’ve only ever been a grader and this is for an M.A. program)
  • If I’m accepted, perhaps try to convince my department that I really don’t need to take 2 years to do an M.A. I’ll be transferring in 3 courses, leaving me with only 7 left to take. As I tend to work better when I’m supremely busy, I don’t see this as a problem (squeezing them all in to one year, that is).
  • Perhaps think of tweaking reworking one of my papers for publication. There is one specific paper that I have in mind, and it needs quite a bit o’ work. But not much has been written on the subject I’ve written about, and it could be interesting if I do a more thorough job with it now that I’m not operating under an immediate deadline.
  • Compile lists of books in my field(s) that need to be read and actually–gasp!–read them. Oh, and I need to read A LOT more when it comes to theory.


  • All the standard healthy stuff: eat better, exercise more, blah, blah, blah. We’re joining our local CSA thing-a-ma-jiggy (Community Supported Agriculture) this year, so that will provide us with some amazing–and locally grown–fruits and vegetables.
  • Celebrate my brother’s wedding! He’s getting married August 2 (the same day that Apparent Dip and I regularly forget to celebrate our own anniversary). I’m having a hard time admitting that my younger brother is old enough to get married–he’s always about 12 in my mind–but I’m so happy for him. This will be an easy item to check off the list.
  • Get better about communicating with friends and family. Perhaps even go so far as to send out cards next holiday season (we still have the cards we bought six years ago–we’re terrible at remembering to do this in time).
  • Travel to visit friends more often. This is a tough one, as money is never plentiful, but we need to take the time to visit nearby friends more often than we do (by nearby, I mean within a 6 hour drive). And now that we’re living in an apartment that we like, we need to host more dinners as well.
  • Perhaps plant a garden. I amazed myself by keeping a tomato plant alive for an entire summer, so perhaps my black thumb is getting greener! I would love to have a garden if our landlord will let us. And if not, we should at least think about some container gardening.

So there you have it, my initial plans (soon to be completely redone or ignored, I promise you) for the year 2008. I know we’re only 2 days in, but it’s already shaping up to be an excellent year!


7 responses to this post.

  1. Great thoughts! I celebrated my brother’s wedding last week and surprised myself by crying! Crying at a wedding, honest to pete! What an exciting upcoming year you have.


  2. I read Cousin Bette by Balzac last summer and really enjoyed it. 🙂

    I have to do a grad school application too-it’s due the 15th. *sigh* My plan is to do it all tomorrow. Glad I’m not the only one that procrastinates and procrastinates!


  3. Courtney: I’m really looking forward to it!

    Eva: Balzac definitely needs to go on the top of my list. And hurrah for procrastinators. It’s rather silly actually, as this statement of teaching purpose is THE ONLY THING that I have to finish for the application and I’m just dragging my feet…


  4. how about some Camus? And Candide is such an awesome read in French! Oscar Wilde wrote many of his plays in French originally which would be interesting to explore.

    Some Quebec literature may be fun as well! I love Richler and Balconville by David Fennario is a play that will make you cry with laughter since it is so true! If I think of any more will send your way.


  5. One of my happiest discoveries in 2007 was a contemporary French writer named Patrick Modiano. Very well known in France apparently, but I just stumbled on one of his books accidently at the remainder table in my university bookstore. He writes fascinating short novels that teeter on the line between fiction and non-fiction. I read two of his books, loved both of them, and have several more lined up to read this year.


  6. Great list! Good luck with everything. 🙂


  7. Nessa: Camus is definitely a must, as is Candide. And I’m always up for Quebec literature!

    Kate: Thanks for the recommendation! Modiano is going on the list.

    Andi: Thanks! I think this will be a great year.


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