fall 2010 syllabus

**i wrote this a couple weeks ago, but didn't have the chance to post until now.**

I started grad school last week. I also quit grad school last week. I had a variety of reasons and I feel good about the decision, but it was still a rather difficult choice. For the past year I’ve been “just Jeff’s wife,” and I thought grad school was going to be a way to stand out and be my own person. Well, what a terrible reason to pay hundreds of dollars when I’m not 100% sure that writing scripts and screenplays is what I want to do in life!

I do, however, think having structured goals would have been nice. Grades have always motivated me, so class would have been instant motivation. Again, not a good reason to pay hundreds of dollars. Therefore, I’m going to put out some goals for the semester and post them on my blog and attempt to accomplish them. My readers (all three or four of you!) will have to keep me accountable.

Ready? Go!

Fall 2010 Syllabus

1. Write an entire play. It does not have to be good, it simply must be complete. If this means I write the world’s crappiest show, so be it. This goal is quantity, not quality. We can work on the quality in another semester.
2. Read Story by Robert McKee. Jeff keeps talking about how great it is, and I think I could learn a lot from it.
3. Learn three ukulele songs by heart. No music or lyrics necessary.
4. Read one novel for fun. At least. Check! I read The Help this weekend. Such a good book.
5. Try at least five new things and blog about them. Check one: Blogged about video chatting.
6. Continue to exercise regularly – at least four times per week.
7. Pray at least ten minutes a day. (I considered deleting this because I'm rather ashamed that I don't do it already. But I decided to be honest instead. I have not been talking to God as much as I - or He - would like. My hope is that I'll devote much more time to this and eventually have a constant dialogue with Him because God is important to me, but let's start with an achievable goal.)
8. Find an entire day to be silent. This can be one of the anything once blog posts.
9. Attempt to remain positive at work. Continue doing my best there and try to take criticism better. Find a balance between accepting change and not compromising my personality and empathy.
10. Discover ways to give glory to God. This could be in finding a place to serve in an organized ministry, but maybe it will be something else. He's much more creative than me.
11. Choose to hang out with people we don’t usually seek out at least three times. 


  1. Great goals, Emily!
    I read a book this summer called "Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life." I'm not a writer but I really enjoyed the book. Good luck with everything!

    PS--I'm a dedicated reader of your blog. :)

  2. emily, you're so inspiring. best of luck and good job on setting goals for yourself. i think i might have to sit down and do the same. :) eagerly awaiting updates!!! <3

  3. Emily that is a great list of goals. Thanks for sharing and being honest!

  4. Bird by bird is terrific. I second the nomination. LOVE the syllabus...are you going to give yourself more detailed week-by-week assignments? And I want to be one of the people you hang out with!

  5. first i would like to point out that i am reader #6 to comment - thereby surpassing your "3-4" estimate. ;)

    question - as grades do so much to motivate you, is this syllabus just a check list, or will there be a grade for each assignment and a final grade at the end of the semester? would you consider designing a grading rubric? will you be your own grader?

    great, well rounded syllabus - much commendation to you for putting yourself out there with humility and embracing accountability.