For the past couple months, I’ve been working on a couple projects that fulfill long-term goals. I’m going to finally have a published French translation on the books, which I have been hoping to do ever since I was thwarted in my attempt to publish the Derrida translation I did as my masters thesis. And I’m getting tantalizingly close to completing an edited volume, which hasn’t been a major ambition of mine but feels like the kind of thing every academic should do at least once.
This put me in mind of other longer-term goals that I have had in mind for a significant period:
- Learning to read biblical Hebrew and classical Arabic — I bought all the books for Hebrew many years ago, but the can keeps getting kicked down the road. More recently, I was told that Hebrew would be a good stepping stone to learning Arabic, and being able to do at least some minimal “compare-and-contrast” work with the original text of the Qur’an would be cool.
- Teaching a Natural Sciences course at Shimer — I really enjoyed the opportunity to take Shimer’s chemistry course as part of my training, and I’ve taught some evolutionary theory in an interdisciplinary course, so I think I could make a go at our lower-level Natural Sciences curriculum. I almost got to do the chemistry course this semester as an overload, but it turned out to be more practical to let one of the traditional science faculty do it. (A next step beyond this goal would be to teach the whole Shimer curriculum, but realistically speaking, the upper-level science courses are really hard.)
- Gaining teaching competence in a non-monotheistic tradition — Being pushed to teach Islam a few years ago was a really great experience that stretched me in a lot of ways. While I hope I get to continue deepening my knowledge of Islam through teaching, it would also be an interesting challenge to take a step further out of my comfort zone of monotheistic/prophetic traditions.
What about you, readers? Do you have any very long-term goals that you keep in the back of your mind?