The Duck of Minerva

The Duck Quacks at Twilight

Academic New Year’s Resolutions You Won’t Keep

January 3, 2013

smoking obamaSure we know we don’t stick to New Year resolutions (apparently only 8% of resolutions are fulfilled) but they’re fun to make, right?
In addition to the top 5 New Year’s resolutions that most people don’t keep (losing weight, quitting smoking, going on a diet, stopping a bad habit, and getting more exercise) some of us make professional resolutions. So what do you think are the top 5 Academic New Year’s resolutions you’re likely to break? Here are my guesses/my unrealistic resolutions- feel free to weigh in with yours:

1. Write Every Day
This is like the resolution that never quits. I don’t know a single academic that doesn’t try to commit to this resolution- yet we all fall off the wagon from time to time. Just like when the September issue of Vogue comes out inspiring us to wear uncomfortable shoes more often (no, not you?), the New Year makes me recommit to a new, and often unreasonable word-count quota.

2. Say no more often
I sort of always thought academics were being ego-maniacs or liars when they said they needed to say no to things more often (like when some people brag that they just get too skinny when they’re stressed- wow, still going with the Vogue references). However, the requests for journal/book/proposal reviews, supervision requests, reference letters etc all do add up. New rules: must be in my DIRECT line of expertise, I must remember the student’s face and they must have visited my office at least once, and- thanks to Dan’s recent encouraging post– no referring for journals that don’t report their final decision to you.

3. Use dragon dictate more…yeah right
This isn’t going to happen, but my fantasies of dictating a fantastic book while doing lunges or lounging on a sofa in my office hold strong.

4. Read more material that is inspiring; read less material that a. makes me write “???*** WTF, are you kidding!!” in the columns and b. makes me feel depressed about the state of academia or the world in general.
If I could just stop writing about the US military and having to read polemics about how the military would be a masculine machine/fun frat party without women….

5.Hang out/ interact more with people that are inspiring, healthy, and positive and avoid networks or individuals that aren’t.
Sounds easy enough…

website | + posts

Megan MacKenzie is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney in Australia. Her main research interests include feminist international relations, gender and the military, the combat exclusion for women, the aftermaths of war and post-conflict resolution, and transitional justice. Her book Beyond the Band of Brothers: the US Military and the Myth that Women Can't Fight comes out with Cambridge University Press in July 2015.