Earlier, I tweeted my New Year’s Resolutions. Please let me begin by saying that I am not big on these things. I’ve never aspired to lose weight, just gain it (don't be a hater.) I don’t have some horrible habit to kick (oh, except wasting time on the internet, but, let’s face it, that’s never going to happen.) And finally, I already recycle, eat healthily, have a decent job, and pay my bills on time. All in all, I am a stand-up citizen.
But this year, well, I fear that I’m falling into a pattern. I’m not big on patterns. They bore me. I like shirts that lack symmetry, for example. Also, I have three holes for earrings in one of my ear lobes and two in the other. I only ever use one of each, but that’s not the point. The point is, I need to step it up. I should probably resolve to not be on the internet as much, but I need the internet for school, so there goes that for breaking up the monotony. Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook & Gmail, don’t sweat it, I’ll still be visiting. Daily.
But I have come up with some legitimate goals for the new year, and I wanted to elaborate from my tweet.
@kimannjosouth tweeted: My #NYResolutions: Get GS nonprofit status, read at least 52 books, send out PhD apps in December, discover 10 new bands that I like.
1) Get GS nonprofit status
This is something that just needs to happen for Gigantic Sequins. I am not the best when it comes to business or legal or mathematic related things. Nonprofit status falls in there somewhere. I’ve done some research, heard it was hard, heard it was easy, had other people do research for me, but it seems like Greek to me when I try to sit down and sort through any of it. I need to sit down with someone, face to face, and have them walk me through the steps, and then send out the forms/money/baked goods, whatever the heck it takes to make it happen. One of our raffles got shut down off of the ‘net by Google Checkout in 2011, and we had to sell the tickets for it in person. This was a shame because we had really good prizes, and our staff didn’t have as much success as we would have in selling the tickets had we been able to push for people to purchase them online. We did have enough success that 3.1 will be hot off the press in a couple of days, but we could have made more had we been able to sell online. One of my former professors offered to help me figure out the best route to take, and I’m going to take him up on it. This needs to happen. It’s important to me and to the future of Gigantic Sequins.
2) Read at least 52 books
I’ve seen people have goals like this in the past. Ever since I’ve been adjuncting, finding time to read has been more difficult in the past. This upcoming semester, however, I will offer no excuses. I’ve already taught the four classes that I am scheduled to teach come January. At Rowan, I have American English Grammar (2 sections) and Experiencing Literature. And at the University of Phoenix, I’m teaching a 5-week class Elements of University Composition and Communication I. This gives me no excuses when it comes to lack of reading time. Sure, I should refresh myself on the details of the shorts stories, poems, and novels I’ll be teaching, but that should not interfere with my reading like it did the first time I taught a literature class. Why 52 books? That’s one book a week. Considering I polish some off in a day, and with dedication, most in no less than a week and a half, that should be easy. I have a list of every book I’ve read (and reread, or read part of—marked as such) since 2001. No partial or rereads count: I want 52 new books added to that list. Any suggestions? I’m currently reading Inferno: a poet’s novel by Eileen Myles. Has someone created an app yet where you plug in books you like and books you’ve read and whether you feel like reading fiction, non-fiction, poetry at this time, and it spits out the perfect book you should read next? Emphasis on the “perfect”? No? Didn’t think so.
3) Send out PhD apps in December
I made this goal back in November after meeting with one of the Deans at one of the Universities I taught at this semester. In my awkward way of talking about things that really mean a lot to me, I told her quite scatteredly about how I want to teach classes on Jay-Z and Walt Whitman and small press poetry and advertising—how I feel like English Departments that aren’t Comp. Lit. departments need to expand before they become completely irrelevant—and how much getting into a good school is important to me. She earnestly said she thinks I’d be a good candidate. Rather than waiting until the summer, I want to start this process now. Doing the research, drafting the perfect Statement, electing past professors as letter-of-recommendation writers. I love teaching at the University level. Let’s make this thing permanent. But wait. There are two things standing in the way, here, more than anything I’ve listed so far. I need to get at least a 600 on the Verbal section of the GRE. And I need to retake the English Subject GRE. Any tips on how not to completely bomb the latter? And any tips on how to pass the former? I was so close last time. But we all know what close counts in.
4) Discover 10 new bands/musical artists that I like
The emphasis here is on “that I like”. And ten may seem like a small number, but I am content to only discover ten. I love music. I love sounds and lyrics. I love them separately, and especially when they come together. I have an extensive collection of music on iTunes, but I’ve found that I haven’t bonded very much with music like I have in the past. This may be a “Symptom of Getting Older”, and is perhaps why so much music is marketed to teenagers and college kids. But I did mention above that I love music. And I am absolutely positive that there is music out there, or even yet to be made in 2012, that I can and will love. And I’m going to find it.