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In which we celebrate the new year with a new semester…

Welcome back to school, everyone!  For whatever reason, the return to school in January isn’t marked by the trepidation that marks August’s “new year,” but the excitement of the new semester seems to linger still, despite the chilly weather.  And I find that just as many people make (or at least talk about making) New Year’s resolutions at January 1 (I think healthier eating is on my list somewhere), I also like to make academic resolutions.  To wit: three New Year’s resolutions for the new semester.

  1. While I am still newly the Assistant Dean in the Honors College, I resolve not to forget that I am an English Professor, which is to say, I am a scholar first and an administrator second.  That way, what I learn, believe, and espouse in my scholarship is more likely to show up in my approach to administration.
  2. Now that my first book is out, I resolve to commit one day per week to my second book on documentary theatre and oral history performance.  While I d not expect to finish it this year, I do intend to make significant progress in turning the 125-odd pages I already have drafted into something more like a workable draft.
  3. And finally, I resolve to remember that there is joy in reading and teaching and learning.  This blog is in part an expression of that joy, and a reminder of this resolution.  This semester, that joy should be easily within reach.  My light teaching load includes this semester a return to London with the Theatre Tour course. That, and I’m leading a book club in Honors that will be Tolkein-themed.  In fact, I am currently reading The Hobbit for the first time since fifth grade.  Tonight and tomorrow, first days of class, and then onward into a new semester full of hope and light and big ideas and small victories.

Cheers, and Happy New Year!


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