New (academic) year, new me. Right? Well, only if I take control of my career.
There are two major areas that need improvement in 2020-2021:
1) Latin. I need to have Latin proficiency by the time I defend my dissertation two years from now, otherwise I will never be an adequate Renaissance scholar. I’ve taken four semesters and one summer of Latin, so I technically should have an intermediate level of proficiency. Unfortunately, I never practice. How ironic that the one Western language that the general public dismisses as “dead” and “irrelevant” is the same language that I DESPERATELY need to know!
2) Writing. I feel like I have the same writing weaknesses that I had when I started the PhD program three years ago. I know that a regular writing practice would help, but I haven’t established one yet.
So what am I going to differently this year?
I’ve realized in the past week that I’m still in “student mode”. I haven’t yet acted on what I know will advance my career.
For starters, I will stop thinking of myself as a student and start thinking of myself as a scholar, even an entrepreneur. The academic job market may be a garbage fire, but the skills that universities look for in job candidates differ little from the skills that other businesses look for in their employees. Writing and project management are just as important in the corporate world as they are in Academia. If I focus on being a scholar who’s reasonably competitive on the job market, I will inevitably develop the skills I need to be marketable in other industries. No one, not even professors, care how many years someone has been a student.
This year, I will think of myself as and perform the tasks of an educator and a scholar. I will reflect on my teaching, develop new lessons, learn Latin, and implement a regular writing practice. I will do all of these things because they are the activities that matter the most to my current PhD and my future career (whether inside or outside Academia).