I’ve seen quite a few people post their 2011 goals and I figured I would jump in. I have a few goals:
1) Read more primary sources. It’s always easier to read a book about Augustine than it is to sit down and plow through Augustine’s own writings. Considering that I’m straddling the lines between Classics and Patristics, I have two huge bodies of literature with which I need to familiarize myself.
2) Get better at Greek and Latin. I imagine this one will be perennial until I’m about 80 years old. Watching Peter Green sight-read Homer’s Odyssey was amazing and I’d like to do that one day. This semester I have two Latin courses and a Greek course.
3) Retake and do better on the GRE. I will be applying to doctoral programs in the Fall. The GRE was the weakest part of my application and I think it was my downfall when I applied to Duke’s Ph.D in Classical Studies.
4) Be more organized. I was much better about keeping a calendar and keeping up with assignments last semester than I have ever been. However, I actually forgot about a paper and only remembered it about a week before it was due. Bad news. I did well on it, but I spent a lot of what should have been sleeping time on it.
5) Hang out more. I turned down a lot of offers to be social last semester because I was certain I was going to be kicked out of Notre Dame within my first month. I was wrong. It turns out ND is filled with humans who have human expectations of their students and I can meet those expectations. Burn out is a real problem and I should say ‘Yes’ to grabbing a brew or meal more often.
6) Read Scripture more. Between trying to read more Classical and Patristic literature, I have been neglectful of actually reading the Bible. Granted, reading Patristic literature keeps one immersed in the Bible, but it’s just not the same. I want to develop a plan of reading the Vulgate and LXX/Greek NT, so that I can keep up my languages while also reading the Bible.
7) Stop being scared of being stupid. Not knowing everything about everything scares me to death to the point that I stall out in my papers, or I over-research (if there is such a thing). I need to understand that any topic that is complex is going to pose problems for the person who wants to be exhaustive. I don’t need to write the definitive work on any topic, I just need to write smartly.
8.) Blog more. I learned a lot of cool stuff last semester that I should have shared. I will try to blog more this semester.