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16 April 2011

Decisions and Summer Planning

I'm pleased to announce that I have accepted an offer of admissions and four years of funding at the University of Maryland.  This means that I'll be here in College Park for the next few years working on my Ph.D.  It also means that, for the first time in several years, I'll have a summer in which I'm not undergoing any major transitions (changing apartments, moving to another state, studying abroad, etc.).  As a result, I'm looking forward to having some quiet time to get some work done, read, and do some other projects I've been wanting to do for a long time.  Here's what I have on the agenda so far:


1) Plant a garden.  I haven't had a garden in years, because I haven't been in one place for a whole summer to take care of it.  Now I'll finally be able to do it, and I'm really excited.  I'm going to plant tomatoes, herbs, eggplant, okra, cucumbers, and whatever else I can think of.  It'll be great to have some fresh grown veggies later in the summer.

2) Read.  Here's my list so far:
That's a long and pretty dense list already, so I don't expect to get through all of it.  I would like to read more novels - especially some Sci-Fi.  I also want to read some more foundational philosophy like some Whitehead, James, Dewey, or even Peirce.  Or I was thinking of looking for a good overview of Pragmatist philosophy since I'm only just beginning to learn about it.  If any of you have any suggestions along these lines or anything they found particularly interesting, let me know and I'll consider it! :)

3) This is kind of linked to reading, in that it involves reading a book, but I'm separating it because it's a different kind of practice.  I've been noticing a lot lately the similarities and potential usefulness of some of Gregory Bateson's concepts in relation to some of the theoretical material I've been studying lately.  So what I want to do this summer is to re-read Bateson's Mind and Nature: A Necessary Unity, and really flesh out those key concepts drawing on other theorists to see how Bateson's work might apply to contemporary anthropological practice.  I'll analyze the book chapter by chapter and post those analyses here, much like the cross-blog reading groups that have become so popular.  I'd be willing to make this into a cross-blog project if anyone's interested, but I know most people are already committed to various summer projects as it is.

4) A backpacking trip.  I'm thinking of going either north to Vermont or New Hampshire or south to Kentucky or the Virginias.  Any suggestions for good trails or parks would be great!

That's what I have planned for now - the major projects, that is.  I also plan on baking lots of bread, going hiking a lot, and I'll probably be doing some work on the Bay interviewing folks about climate change.  I'll keep you all posted of my progress.

1 comment:

michael- said...

congrats J!

And if you feel liek organizing a reading group for Bateson, let me know, because i'd be in for that...

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