Friday, May 22, 2009

Friday Five: Summer Plans

1. Work: On Tuesday, I start a four-week gig as a teaching assistant for an introductory survey course on Africa. I fought for the job---my adviser was very reluctant to hire me---and now I'm wondering what I've gotten myself into. I've never taught at the college level, and I'm not sure I really have the breadth of knowledge to be teaching a survey course on Africa. I tried out some quiz sites to help the students prepare for a map test, and I failed miserably on the practice quizzes!

I'll also still be working part-time as the publications assistant for the African Studies program, but until we get the manuscripts for new journal issues, I really don't have much work to do there.

I'm also going to try to pick up a little proofreading work. I miss editing. I enjoy every part of it---proofreading, copyediting, development, acquisitions. And I actually feel competent at editing. I think it would be nice to have one thing in my life that I feel competent at doing.

2. Home: I've been in my condo for more than two years, and I have yet to hang a single picture. C. and I (well, mostly C.) painted the living room and back hall; and my father and I put up a ceiling fan in the bedroom. But other than that, I really haven't done much to the place. So this summer I'd like to get some stuff up on the walls, repaint the nasty bookcase in the living room, and paint the bedroom. Maybe if I'm feeling really ambitious, I'll get around to making a headboard for my bed.

Part of my delay on decorating is that what I actually want is a built-in bookcase along one of the walls in my living room, but I don't have the skills to build it nor the money to pay someone else to do it. And rather than coming up with an alternative, I keep dragging my feet on decorating.

3. Sailing: I'm just waiting for my next paycheck so I can pay the membership fee.

4. Prelims and Proposals: I still have two literature reviews and a prospectus to write. I have a lot of reading to do for both of the lit reviews, but I think I'll enjoy writing them. One is on the construction of social problems in African media; the other is on the Western "Helper" in southeastern Africa.

I'm not looking forward to revising my proposals.

5. Running: For both physical and mental health reasons, I need to get back to running. Getting through the first couple of weeks is the hardest part---getting back into the rhythm, building up some endurance, pushing through those first killer miles. And every time I start and stop, getting started again is even harder.

But I'm putting it out there: My goal is to run a 10K by the end of the summer. Y'all have to keep me honest now!


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