Please excuse if this post isn’t totally about personal finance. However, it is that time of year again and school is about to begin. Some people lament the end of summer. I love it. I love students coming back to my university, seeing new students, colleagues, staff, and just greater possibilities for the coming year.
One of my saddest times of the year is when graduation occurs because I may never see some of these amazing young people again. So my heart automatically fills with joy when the fall comes.
It also means that football season starts again, the leaves are about to turn, and the weather turns crisp and cool, which reinforce my love for the fall.
However, it has been a while since I put forward any specific challenges for me. I used to do monthly challenges, but for whatever reason I stopped posting those items.
So it is time to turn that around.
I love my job and aside from the normal teaching, research, and service I have four big goals I want to accomplish before the end of fall semester. These aren’t mind blowing activities and more about me than anything else, but are important to my success this semester.
My Four Semester Goals
First, complete a draft of this academic essay. I have been writing an essay on presidents and the United Nations for a little while. I have completed an earlier version, but it is nowhere near close to being publishable. My goal is to have a publishable essay by the end of the semester. I have 2/3 of it complete. I hope to actually finish it in the next two weeks.
Second, process data for my European conference paper. I know this will get done (the conference is in November) but I am putting it as a goal anyway. I need to talk with my co-author who lives in England about processing the data, but I look forward to working with her on this project. I think it is going to be a lot of fun and going to be something outside of my normal comfort zone.
Third, create an assessment plan for our introduction course. I am in charge of one of the basic courses at my university. My charge for myself for this year (and really this semester) is to create an assessment plan for the course. This summer I was part of an assessment team where we put out some larger goals for the university. I hope to build upon that assessment plan by the end of the semester.
Finally, finish planning for a conference. I am one of the people in charge of local arrangements for a conference that will be in April. The truth is I am little worried about it. I am not really good at planning parties that well and this is for over a thousand people. Now I don’t think it will be anything that I can’t handle and I have already started some of the preliminary work, but this is something outside of my comfort zone. I have never done it before and it generally gives me a little anxiety. Everyone says don’t worry about I will be fine, but I don’t want to screw up. Next week I want to start to put together the first of some important items for that conference.
So that is it. Those are my semester goals. Not a big deal. Nothing to do with personal finance, but if I accomplish those four things and don’t screw up teaching or otherwise then it will be a good semester.