New Year's Goals

New Year’s Hopes: 2008 Edition

Just like last year, I have another set of hopes. I call them hopes instead of resolutions because I feel that that term almost has inherent failure by tradition. Besides, it’s not a whole-hearted resolution; just a plan.

How did I do on the one from last year?
Exercise More. I could’ve picked up a book and walked down the street once a day and gotten more exercise than I did 2 years ago. Not a failure. I picked up running for awhile, and have been playing a lot more sports. And there are tons of opportunities for pick-up games and random fun at college.

So here’s what I came up for this year:
1) Read a book for fun every night. This isn’t too hard, since I usually read something or write in my journal before I sleep. I know a lot of people who love to read, but can’t find the energy or time. It just seems like there’s so much to read for school. I want to break past that. I know it’s an untruthful excuse. I have some books to read, and I really want to do it.

For Christmas, I picked up Marvin Minsky’s “The Emotion Machine”, a sequel to the great book “Society of Mind.” Minsky, a co-founder of the MIT AI laboratory, writes about the function of the mind in a series of simple essays. Very accessible for everyone.

The other book I got was Scott Adams’ “Religion War,” a sequel to “God’s Debris.” Adams is more famous for being the writer of “Dilbert,” but these books are just a series of thought experiments on the workings of the universe and people. Very interesting work.

2) Do something musical everyday. Another one I’ve always wanted to do. In the past several months, my view of music has expanded so much. Picking up bass trombone allowed me to actually get into jazz and discover how my favorite genre has been done. My conducting class exposed me to the human aspects of classical orchestral music, and that’s also been powerful. The Roots concert brought me hip-hop and contemporary music, which surprised me by proving that even popular music can be good.

To do this, I guess I’ll hack away at piano some, and teach myself how to play. I know how to form chords and read music, so it’ll be pure exploration past that. With tuba and trombone, I’ll be playing whatever seems fun, whether a new etude, or figuring out and playing through some of my favorite songs. I’m also planning to take a Chinese music class, where we learn to play the guzheng. That will be amazing, to learn non-western music, with different tuning and notation.

3) Get more sleep. This one is more a hope than the others. 8 1/2 sounds really good, but we’ll see how that goes.

And there it is. What a hack of a post. Anyways, good luck with whatever hopes or resolutions you might put out as well.

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