Friday, June 1, 2012

Summer to-do list

All right, I'm going to take a page from Haphazard Musing's book, and post a list of the things I want to accomplish this summer.  Aside from needing to keep all of this stuff clear to myself, I need to ratchet up my sense of accountability — 'tis oh so easy on pleasant summer days to find that an entire working day has gone by and I have done nothing but mix myself drinks and eat processed food while fucking around on the internet.  That will not do, friends.  Let's see what I have on my docket:

1. Read Painfully Boring Book and write a review of it.  This will actually be my first book review for a dedicated pseudological journal; I've done a few others before, but they were always for journals in allied disciplines.  Now I've been solicited (on a senior colleague's recommendation!) to write a review of a book very much in several of my subfields, for a respected journal.  And I'm so fucking bored by the goddamn thing that I can hardly stand to pick it up.  I'm already dreading concocting a suitable review for it — we all know that you don't want to write a really negative review unless the piece under consideration is truly dire.  I'm just not excited by the methodology, nor the analysis, although there is nothing wrong with either.  I need to bang this one out before anything else, since it's on deadline, so I must focus myself and power through it.  I fear this will be one of those reviews that summarizes a book more than assesses it critically, if only because I do not want to translate my yawns of apathy into a review of a book by a colleague whom I am almost bound to meet soon at one event or another.

2. Work out THREE (count 'em, three!) new syllabi.  Or, to be more precise, two new syllabi and a revision of one I've already taught.  I'm just beginning to comprehend the scale of this task, since I am
a) painfully ignorant of my intro course material;
b) obliged to re-structure and enrich my Pseudology of Area Studies syllabus to suit an academically intense SLAC; and
c) have not actually read most of the texts I've considered assigning for my new seminar course, Super Awesome Cool Stuff.  (Admission: the actual course title is very much in the vein of Two Apparently Unconnected Things Juxtaposed to Suggest an Insidious and Fascinating Structural Relationship, as discussed several years ago on this here blog.) 
All of this means that I have to catch up on as much of the material as possible before I can even attempt to parcel out readings by class session.  I've already looked over the academic calendar at CBU, so I know that we have precisely fourteen weeks per semester.  (Which, given the clusterfuck of outside obligations that occurs every fall without fail, means that we really have only about twelve or thirteen weeks of class time in the fall semester.)  I have to figure out what we're going to read, when we will read it, and what evaluative assignments I can/should cook up so that the students are challenged but not crushed.  Sigh.  At least I can start naming texts I like for the area studies class off the top of my head.

3. Start making plans for apartment hunting ahead of time in Tinytown.  I know from last year's experience how stressful it is to search for an apartment when you're already in town and have to worry about paying for a motel room while you look.  It would be that much worse if I did that in Tinytown with an entire moving truck full of my belongings.  It's a little easier to drive from Ghosttown to Tinytown than my last move, so I'm planning to drive to Tinytown some weeks from now, do my recon, and secure an apartment before I make the big move.  Really, that's the easy part.  The bitch will be the big move, since I will have to transport both my car and my possessions.  I'm hoping that I can wheedle a relative into coming out to Ghosttown to perpetrate a one-way road trip with me.  But if I can't, I'll have to do the same pain-in-the-ass rigmarole I did last year, doing the one-way drive twice over, with an expensive one-way airfare in between.  (ATTENTION BLOGGING FRIENDS: Come with me to Tinytown!  Drive the truck!  I will pay your meals and beer, I promise!  Don't make me do this by myself, please!)
The other thing that comes to mind with apartment hunting is that I should be a little pickier this time around.  I'm slated to be at CBU for two years, and I want a more comfortable, homey dwelling space than the serviceable but kind of crappy apartment I'm in now.  I'll need to schedule sufficient hunting time to get something good, and not just something cheap and immediately available.

4. Plan short visit to Hometown.  Sigh.  I should go home for a bit to say hi to everyone, since I'm going to be dead busy once July comes around.  I'm dawdling about figuring it out, since then I'd have to actually, you know, commit.  And I'm pissed that I have to pay yet another airfare for this.  Maybe I can find something cheap on a red-eye.  Sigh.

5. Exercise more.  Which is to say, exercise at all.  I can feel how soft and pudgy I'm getting, now that I'm not obligated to go anywhere on a daily basis.  I don't kid myself that I'm going to start paying gym fees here in Ghosttown, although I have every intention of getting more serious about this stuff when I get settled in Tinytown and can make good use of the facilities at CBU.  I do plan to walk more, though: with a little extra drinking water and some sunscreen, I wouldn't need to drive to get to about half the places in town that I frequent.  My spare tire tends to balloon during the summer, which has a number of unpleasant effects for me.  I wonder if I could actually force myself to start doing crunches at home...?

I can look ahead to a whole other to-do list that revolves around moving, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.


  1. You can rent a uhaul with a hitch to tow your car. It's not the most comfortable way to move, but it's not horrible. I did it once when I was about 24 -- I found that, as long as I didn't get myself in a situation where I needed to back up, it was fine.

  2. I'm with you on the moving misery--at least three days with cats in cars and hotels are not in the works for you! Have you looked into the pod thing?

  3. I echo Shedding's suggestion. I did the U-Box thing last summer for my move and it was awesome. Fairly cheap, too. E-mail me if you want to know more about it.

    Good luck with all of your objectives. I'll try to keep you honest if you'll do the same for me! :)

  4. Good list! And good luck with everything. You can do it. You can.