Poetry, books, convents, and the academy or “Things to Do Before Death.”

I’ve counted. Eleven weeks until graduation. Eleven weeks until the first day of the rest of my life (go cliches!). As my time as an undergraduate draws to a slow close, I’ve been thinking about things I’d like to do with my life. I think it’s great to have a plan of action and to pursue it. I’ll be the first to admit that I sometimes let fear get in my way, but I’m slowly abandoning fear in exchange for a full life.

Below is a list of things I’d like to do before I die or finally crawl into an anchorhold:

1. Publish a small book of poems.

2. Get a Master of Arts in English.

3. Get a Ph.D. in English.

4. Stay a few days in a convent.

5. Own a bookstore / bakery called Made in America (I got good ideas, ya’ll). I’ll sell American literature, with an emphasis on literature of the
American South. Of course, I’ll have a Medievalist’s Corner.

6. Present a paper at an academic conference.

7. Work as a Christian missionary.

8. Get married OR…

9. Not get married and live happily as a single.

10. Heck. I might even become a Protestant nun (refer back to #4).

11. Visit the Shrine of Julian of Norwich.

12. Wear nothing but dresses for a week.

13. Have five babies (dependent on #8).

14. Name all five babies with literary references. (Cordelia, I appreciate your unabashed honesty. Pearl, watch your dialectic tone.)

15. See a production of The Taming of the Shrew.

16. Teach good and other stuff.

17. Get business cards. Fancy business cards.

18. Get a cat. Or a bulldog.

19. Spontaneous plane trip.

20. Take a course in Latin or Greek language.

21. Volunteer at a women’s shelter.

22. Write more paper letters.

23. Write more fiction and poetry.

24. Throw my parents an anniversary party.

25. Write spontaneous thank you notes.

26. Just write more.

27. Become a good mentor.

28. Find a good mentor.

29. Read all of The Hunger Games series.

30. Stop worrying.

What’s on your “to do list?”


5 thoughts on “Poetry, books, convents, and the academy or “Things to Do Before Death.”

  1. I hear a woman’s chance of being married at least once in her lifetime (US statistic, I think) is 90%. Your chances of 8 are high!

    I’m in the same boat with you when it comes to 29. I have the first book sitting on my shelf (glaring at me occasionally). But all the good things I’ve heard about it make me reluctant to pick it up. What if my expectations are too high?

    Why English PhD?

    • I hope you’re right about #8!

      Also, I don’t want to pick up the rest of the series because I’m certain I’ll never get anything finished. I’ll just read into an oblivion.

      As far as the Ph.D., I’m at my happiest when I’m engaged with a text or set of words. Nothing says bliss like dissecting a fine work of literature.

      • I guess the reason I asked about your academic goals was that I wasn’t sure I saw a connection between what you wanted to do from what I could see of the list and what you wanted to study.

        Of course, no harm in going to school for school’s sake (but yowch, the debts. Scholarship plz!).

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