I have never accorded much importance to Resolutions or list-making. I am not a very organized person (euphemism for "scattered"), and lists and such have always seemed a little superfluous to me. I have always believed in going with the flow, to take things as they come, and take one day at a time. I still do. But as I am growing older, I am realizing, I don't have much time left. It's important for me to make the best use of the time I have, to be accountable to myself, to stay focused on things I want to achieve. Lists can be really helpful in that-- I can always log in to this page, and see for myself how much of my own stated goals I have achieved. So, here is my 2012 resolutions, with one caveat. I think, a year is TOO long a time. And the way my life is right now, I cannot really plan an entire year. So, here, I am trying to come up with a list of goals for the next six months of my life.
Finish my dissertation, defend and get my PhD. This can be achieved by writing and revising everyday. For that, I will also need to read articles, monographs and such everyday. Right now, I am working on my Introduction. I hope to get it done by the end of this break.
I am teaching a class called "Food And Asian-American Popular Cultural Imagination" this Spring. I have the syllabus more or less planned. I am excited about the topic, and hope to do the best job I can. I am hoping to come up with some kind of a pedagogy article from my experience of teaching this class. So, I will try to keep extensive records of day-to-day teaching. I will also use this class as a springboard to conceptualize a conference paper, later to be developed into a journal article.
I have been working on my first collection of poems while working on my dissertation. A lot of these poems have come out individually in journals, some I am still sending out. Now, I need to make that leap-- collect, collate these poems into a coherent manuscript. I have begun that work during this break. By June 2012, I want to have a collection that is more solid, and send it out to two of my readers. Like the dissertation, for this too, I need to keep working on it everyday. I don't have any lofty goals for it yet, since my first priority is to get the dissertation done. But I want to stay with this project, keep thinking about it, revise the poems, tweak their orders, just so I am in touch. My aim here is progress, not perfection. The latter will come in the post-dissertation stage.
Three Bengali Novels: Keyapatar Nouko by Prafulla Roy, Epar Ganga Opar Ganga by Jyotirmoyee Debi, Meghe Dhaka Tara by Shaktipada Rajguru
Three English Novels: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, The Circle of Reason by Amitav Ghosh
I am not making a list of poetry collections here. Since, in my experience, I do a better job of reading poems while working on the dissertation and regular pressures of teaching.
Food And Cooking
Learning six new recipes and blogging about them. Fall 2011 had been plain bad in terms of this. I was so tired that I failed to cook on most nights. Either I was fed by a friend (thanks, Ani) or, I would make some mush of rice, lentils and onions. I didn't even feel like making an one-pot stew. This needs to change. I do have a few recipes memorized which I can cook, improvise on etc. at the drop of a hat. But I would also like to get a little bit more adventurous in terms of my cooking skills.
Find A Job
Keep on applying...and ....er, finish the dissertation.
Developing A Consistent Offline Reflection Journal
I have tried this before, and have consistently failed. But as I am growing older, I feel this increasing need to write, reflect on things. But very few of these can be shared online. I recognize, so many of my reflections, memories, tidbits will be lost if I don't keep a regular log of these. So, I will try it one more time this year. Devote 10 mins. to it. Everyday.