Friday, December 16, 2011

End of Fall 2011


Well, that’s that! Another semester down, and this guy is officially a junior!

It used to be that when a break came along, I did not cherish it. I wanted more than anything to continue my classes, keep moving, keep going. I could never bring myself to read for fun, because I felt that any time that wasn't spent studying was time wasted. That’s not really the case now, but I’m still torn. I look on the ensuing break as a chance to breathe, but I still look at it as an opportunity to study what I want to study. Reading for “fun” pretty much means reading textbooks or edited volumes, as opposed to reading ahead in the textbooks for the coming semester. I might even let myself play a video game here and there. (I do fear playing Skyrim however, as it may put my relationship with my girlfriend and school in jeopardy.)

Now is also the time that I start to look at summer programs. Having gone through this twice already, I will look into summer programs with little expectation; the last two years, I was stonewalled by the negligence of my university’s study abroad office. Nevertheless, I am interested in going to Senegal with Washington University for a French study abroad. Funds lacking, I might like to go to Nicaragua with Dr. Katie MacKinnon’s primatology field school. We’ll see what pans out.

Officially, this winter break I intend to:
  • read ahead in a few textbooks
  • read Le Petit Prince for the first time, and in French
  • read Why I Am Not A Scientist, by Marks [It better have something to do with a teapot.]
  • read Plagues and Epidemics, edited by Herring and Swedlund
  • reteach myself all major, minor, 7th, and diminished scales on piano (and combinations thereof)
  • start and beat Arkham City
  • rewrite my CV [If anyone wants to take a look and give some feedback, let me know.]
  • write up a research design for my senior project (which isn’t really due for 18 months, but hey, why not?)

By the way, it’s not all that related, but I wanted to mention: Jason Antrosio, Associate Professor of Anthropology at Hartwick College, has just launched the Anthropology Report. This is one of those genius, “why-hasn’t-anyone-thought-of-this” ideas that I’m kind of madly in love with. It’s so simple and…elegant (as Lovejoy might say): by accumulating a series of research topics over time, and developing what are basically annotated bibliographies for each topic, Antrosio is making available a ready-made resource for those that may wish to do cursory research on a given topic and its relationship to anthropology. Furthermore, by bringing these initially unapparent (read: to Google) resources to the surface, the mission of the site is also furthering one of my most heartfelt academic passions: open-access and social networking. Consider making a donation (which will pay for search engine ads), linking the Anthropology Report on your blog or sharing it in your social networks. At the very least, go check out the site and keep checking back for more updates.

Cheers and Happy Holidays!