Saturday, January 01, 2011

The New Year's Blog

I do not “do” New Year's Resolutions. What I have done in the past, though, is look back at my year and determine which of my goals I achieved and which, if not attained, need to be moved to the top of my “to do” list or totally discarded for lack of either effort or interest.

Work
I have worked hard this year to further develop the curriculum within my college. I have many hard working colleagues who have helped the college achieve this goal. It has come with some significant headaches and perhaps the fracturing of what once was a very good personal friendship. In the end, though, my effort will help build a solid foundation for the College of Arts and Sciences.

My goal this year is to branch out to local community colleges and develop partnerships with them.

Academia
I wanted to have a book under contract at this time. The excuse I have for not achieving this goal is the heavy load I carried as an administrator. I also taught too many classes to do anything with my research.

My goal this year is to probably drop the book idea and submit three papers for publication. I think this is more of an achievable goal as long as I don't teach more than my normal load.

Family
This has been a very good year with my current nuclear family. Devin, Susan and I have continued to build a healthy and fun household. David and Cece seem more distant now, given that David no longer lives with us and will soon be joining the Navy. Cece and I had a wonderful two weeks in New Orleans, but she is so similar to me in that she can narrowly focus on those in her current close networks and neglect those who are outside or at a distance. I fully understand these new relationships with my older children, but it still doesn't feel good to me. Susan and I continue to live like best-friends “with benefits” and I am so happy she is in my life.

My goal this year is to play with Devin more outside. I want to teach him baseball, and also work on his soccer. I also want to work with his schoolwork more. If this is a priority, then I've got to rearrange some of my other current priorities that take time away from him and my family.

“The Bike”
My one outlet right now is riding my motorcycle. For those who don't ride, I don't think you will understand this feeling. For those who do ride, you know exactly what I mean. Over the past year, I've participated in rallies and events, gone on more organized rides, and have “hung out” in biker related places and have thoroughly enjoyed it. When Susan is with me, it is all the better. Riding the bike has become my “substitute” for my strolls in the French Quarter. It centers me to a certain extent.

My goal this year is to continue to dive into the motorcycle culture. I plan to use my field experiences to write an article on motorcycle culture in this area. I plan on joining some motorcycle club—most probably the local Harley Owner's Group, but I may start a biker club for academics. That latter idea is probably something to do next year.

Social Life
We seem to throw a party every week, in one form or another. Susan and I have successfully brought this part of New Orleans to Central Texas.

My goal here is not to increase the number of parties but to increase the number of people who participate. I've written off my suburban neighbors, but perhaps more of my biker friends will come over and have a drink and enjoy some good food and company.

There are other things that are part of my life that I should evaluate, but these topics will do for now. I feel pretty good about what we achieved and where we went as a family in 2010. We have our health, our love, and good friends. I don't think we should or can ask for anything more.

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