A new semester begins tomorrow, and this provides some structure to an academic’s life even if he does not take classes. As an aside, I often have difficulty communicating to those ignorant what exactly a graduate student does if he does not take classes. They ask me if I’m working on my thesis, and I say, sort of. I try to explain to them what “research” means, and how I’m trying to build a collection of findings that will eventually make up my thesis. Anyway, there still is structure to be derived from an academic calendar for those of us who must also teach (or, as I prefer to view it, baby sit the lazy).
Considering the new semester begins tomorrow, now seems as good a time as any to lay out some plans for the upcoming semester. Here are the ten things I need to do before the end of May:
- Do some wet lab work (I’ve become quite computational).
- Push some flies (see #1).
- Write at least one good science blog post a day to make me think about the literature I’m reading (unless there aren’t enough articles published worthy of writing about, a decision that will be determined based on whether I feel like writing a blog post).
- Read every article that I’ve downloaded to my hard drive (and put into a folder called “To Read”).
- Master Perl, R, and MySQL (just because I’m computational, doesn’t mean I know what I’m doing).
- Publish three papers in Nature, one in science, and a couple each in Genetics, MBE, and Evolution (because my CV looks more barren than Gilda Radner . . . too soon?).
- Sequence five eukaryotic genomes in my spare time.
- Get a stalker.
- Derive the grand unifying theory of everything.
- Figure out a tenth goal for the upcoming semester.
Too much? Maybe it’s a bit ambitious. The way I see it, at least if I shoot for the moon and miss, I’ll end up in the stars . . . or some bullshit like that.