I love shopping for school supplies. Picking out new pencils and pens, notebooks and loose leaf, binders and duo-tangs. There’s something about collecting everything you need and starting off with blank pages. It’s like a chance for everything to work out again – before you’ve had a chance to fall behind in your readings or get lost in the math problems.
Of course, even though it’s back to school time again, it’s really just “continue to be in school time” and it’s been years since I’ve been able to justify buying new school supplies at this time of year. I have enough random notebooks and pens and pencils laying around my place, and I rarely use them since I almost always have my laptop with me. Of course, I still stop at every display of school supplies I pass and wish I could justify buying stuff.
This year, as has become my new normal, back to school “shopping” consists of updating my bus pass for the next semester and paying tuition. No where near as fun, and way more expensive. And, because I’ve long become a crabby grad student, it also means whining about all the undergrads who are coming back to take over the campus. And how they just stand there in a daze and block your quick passage from point A to point B and make all the lines for buying lunch so long.
Of course, since September always feels much more like the mark of a new year then January 1st, and because it’s the start of a new semester, it’s a good time to wipe the slate clean and start over. I want to come up with some achievable goals for this fall. And not ones that I’ll just revisit at the end of December, but ones that have milestones throughout the semester. I know one will consist of running my experiment (likely split into chunks of finish getting it ready, get ethics approval, get participants, run it, and analyze results). I need to think more about what the rest should be. And I want them to cover more than just school. I also have startup stuff that will need to be done and I want to make sure I continue to exercise. I think I’ll spend sometime this week thinking about this, and share what I come up with either later this week or next week. I challenge you to do the same.