Summer Goals


Well it’s been a little over a week since I’ve been done with school and back at my parents’ home, so I figure it’s time to start being productive. I want to start waking up with an action plan for what I need do each day, and that includes continuously referencing the major goals I have for the summer which I have listed below.

I’m still hoping to get some type of summer employment so I can start saving up money, but I also have a lot personally that I would like to accomplish. As I hope to continue my graduate studies past my MA with a PhD and to make a life of academic research, this summer is integral to my future studies and passions so I really would like to make the most of this time to create and learn without the constructs of a class setting.

The following include my book blogging, reading, and writing challenges for the summer as well as my goals related to continuing my personal research over the summer.

Book Blogging Challenge

I had wanted to try and dedicate myself to blogging schedule, but I’ve since realized I don’t really want to do that. I think part of the joy of blogging last year was I would post whenever I felt like it, and I’d like to recover that. I want to be proud of the posts I publish, but I also don’t want to spend too much time worrying if they’re good enough or if more time should be put into them.

So I’m going to say I would like to post twice a week this summer, but I’m not going to commit by saying when or what they will be.

I will say I would also like to start doing individual book posts for each of the books I read the day I finish them so that my thoughts are fresh in my mind. I don’t want to call them reviews necessarily, just purely thoughts I’m left with by time I finish reading them.  I would also like to do weekly recaps of some sort where I reflect on everything I’ve read or progress on my projects preposed above.

Reading Challenge

I do not have particular number of books I would like to read this summer, but I would like to be ahead of my Goodreads Reading Challenge goal by the beginning of September, which probably means around 25 books. I would also like to challenge myself to read diversely and tackle some of the books that have been on my TBR for over two years.

Writing Challenge

At the beginning of the year I set myself a challenge of completing my first book and also writing a short story every month. After some setbacks, I’m ready to return to the challenge of fiction writing, but I’d also like to tie it into my graduate studies wherever possible.

I don’t know if this is exactly what I want to do (so don’t hold me to it!), but I would like to write original, creative interactive narratives. Last fall I took a class where I essentially wrote two original stories, and while I didn’t love the final outcomes then, I see potential in the final one and I’m ready to finally revisit the idea of that story and turn it into what I originally would have liked it to be.

If I am turning my stories into interactive narratives, I would want to learn a bit of code to have the stories unfold the way I want, but also work on accompanying graphics to set the tone and enhance the story. So this would be a major undertaking, and probably take the whole summer to do the whole thing if the story turned out to be the equivalent of a full-length novel (or film).

I’ll keep you updated throughout the summer on how this idea goes. I might just end up sticking to linear storytelling!

Research Goals

1. Capstone Ideas

To receive my Master’s in Emerging Media & Communication, I will need to prove my mastery of my studies with my Capstone project during my final semester of the program. I will either be graduating in Spring 2017 or Fall 2017 so it would be great to know what I want to do by the beginning of Fall 2016.

Ideally this project will apply what I’ve learned from the program to what I’m passionate about, which I imagine will either be oriented toward my future research or career goals. So this summer I want to figure out what those are! I bought a book called How to Do Media and Cultural Studies which I’m hoping to read early this summer so that I can maybe even begin working on a project that I’m passionate about.

I already have a couple of project ideas, I just need to figure out what the main objectives or purposes of the projects would be.

2. Continue App Development

This past semester I took a class where I learned to design apps with the best possible user experience in mind. I learned some prototyping tools and design methods I would like to continue to practice and develop in apps of my own. One of my Capstone ideas involves developing an original app, or incorporating one into a larger project. So continuing to practice the things I learned would be a good idea and might also still be worthy of including into a creative portfolio.

3. Research Doctorate Programs

As you may know, I decided in February that I would like to pursue my PhD after I finish my MA at the University of Texas at Dallas. As I’m thinking I will graduate either Spring or Fall 2017, I will need to start looking into programs that would be the best fit for my next step into graduate studies and preparing for my applications now.

I think researching these schools and their requirements now will also inform me of what I should be doing to make myself an attractive applicant. I’m sure buffing up my CV with publications, conferences, etc. would be really beneficial so this might mean a few more ancillary research and writing projects this summer.

 Thank you for reading!
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  1. Oh god, I wish it was going into Summer here. Why did I think it’d be a good idea to have two Winters this year? I didn’t know that you’d decided to do a PhD, but that’s so exciting. You’re so far ahead of me too! I’ve got my first meeting tomorrow to talk about my Honours program for next year, which I’m actually super pumped for.

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