January evaluation, February goals

Well, many of the one-month resolutions went the way of all such resolutions, but in the spirit of disclosure:

1. Start nothing new

Mostly, I was good with this. I promised to referee articles for three journals (JASIST, JCMC, and New Media & Society), but that is less “new project” and more “normal business.” I managed to say “no” to a lot of projects and people (sorry!).

2. Two new distance courses.

I think both of these have semi-miraculously gotten off the ground. I hear reports that students are freaked out and nervous, but again, I don’t consider this a failure. Part of my job is to freak out students, as long as it is at some sub-deer-in-the-headlights level of incapacitation. I’ll keep up with weekly (or so) updates from the front.

3. See at least one play, watch at least three movies, and read at least one new novel.

I have gotten a solid start on Spook Country, which is about locative art. Not a huge fan of Gibson, but this is entertaining enough. Also reading or read three other books during the month: The Know-It-All, A Christmas Memory, and Poems from Guantanamo: The Detainees Speak.

Went to see Stoppard’s Rock n’ Roll with friends. Really outstanding play; well acted and compelling. For all the cultural studies stuff I’ve read about the relationship of popular culture to political action, none really gets at that relationship at a gut level in the way Rock n’ Roll does. At times, it seems a bit funny to think of an audience in a theater loving this stuff–how many theater-goers really plug into the question of the degree to which the October Revolution represented a betrayal of the ideals of contemporary anarchistic socialism?–but it’s clear that they did, and do.

Did manage three movies. I had moderate hopes for Walk Hard, given that I’ve enjoyed other films Judd Apatow has been involved in, but this one fell flat, I think. The critics are all drooling over There Will Be Blood, and it is definitely and enjoyable film. I hate to drink their milkshake, but I don’t think it’s anywhere near the best film of the last year. That honor may go to Atonement, which has gotten a lot of critical nods (and a Golden Globe for best picture), but not nearly the widespread appreciation I think it deserves. Still near the top of my “want to see” list: Persepolis and Taxi to the Dark Side.

4. Finish writing a book

Well, not much progress there at all, I’m afraid. Need to make some inroads soon.

5. Make progress on hire

Can’t say much more specifically about this, except that we have significantly narrowed the field and are making progress toward identifying the next member of our team.

6. Learn new manual skill

No, nothing new here for the moment. I will have to roll this over to the next month.

7. No more Digg.

Managed to stay away from Digg almost completely. Also spent next to no time in Second Life. It’s not that I don’t find the latter interesting and fun, it’s just that I think my time is better invested elsewhere for the moment.

There is a theme here: I’ve been pretty good with the resolutions that require me to do less.

8. Do something about AoIR Wiki

Still have problems with the wiki. I’ve set up a new version of the wiki, and plan to export only the most recent version of all the pages, to do away with some of the spammy history.

9. Lose 10 pounds

Managed to stay on a diet for a few days, and lost about five pounds during the month. Since I only managed about a week of actual dieting, I’m counting that a glorious success and trying to do better next month.

10. There will be blog

At least this one I’ve done an OK job with. I made 10 posts during January, up from 7 in December, 7 in November, and 6 in October.

February Goals

So, I may not have reached the outcomes I had hoped, but here are my resolutions for February, without much explanation:

1. All book revisions completed.
2. Extended abstracts in for at least two conferences.
3. Finish refereeing I’ve promised, but take on no new reviews.
4. Upgrade the motherboard/CPU on my main machine.
5. Sleep better – I am going to aim for a steady 8.5 hours, and the same 8.5 hours, each night.
6. Increase my level of physical activity
7. Keep my email inbox <50 items throughout the month.
8. Lose 10 pounds (let’s try that again!)
9. Bring some people in for interviews for our tenure-track position.
10. Improve the processes for setting up on our blog-server.
11. Make the transfer on the AoIR wiki.
12. New solution for AoIR papers.
13. Web archiving grant proposal.
14. Complete one craft project.

That should keep me busy!

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