May 8, 2013, 11:00 am
As this academic year winds down, it’s time to start thinking about next year (after you finish up your semester, of course!). Looking back over the previous year is likely to remind one of things that didn’t go as well as they should have, and to spark ideas for how to do things differently in the future. However, as Jason has written, it’s important not to overcorrect. In some situations, it might be best to stick to one thing to change with regard to your research, teaching, service, or personal activities. That way, you can better track what effect that change has.
Next year, if you could change just one thing under your control, what would it be? Please share in this week’s open thread!
[Creative Commons-licensed flickr photo by Fabio Penna]
April 30, 2013, 11:00 am
As Mark observed last week, ProfHacker has a whole series of posts dedicated to Health and Wellness. In addition to running with/from zombies, we have featured posts on managing stress, fitting in fitness, and even recipes from time to time (granola and pizza!). Well, in most parts of the United States and in many places across Europe, spring has sprung. The Eliot scholar side of me is fairly confident that the opening phrase of The Waste Land is not a reference to hay fever, but since moving to South Carolina a few years ago, the part of me that suffers from seasonal allergies is less sure. In any event, here are a few strategies for managing the symptoms of your seasonal allergies in an attempt to make April at least a little less cruel:
April 26, 2013, 11:00 am
We tend to think of our digital distractions as exactly that—distractions from the otherwise productive business of our daily lives. The Zombies, Run! game, however, could just as easily fit alongside the health and wellness posts on ProfHacker. This smartphone app (available for Android and iOS devices) is essentially a running app wrapped up in zombie narrative. Each run enacts a single “mission” in post-apocalyptic world threatened by zombie hordes. You play Runner 5—a courier with a mysterious past—and while you are running in the physical world, various characters from your struggling military base talk to you through your headphones, slowly revealing a background story. The narrative elements are broken up with music from your device’s playlist. And every once in a while you are “chased” by moaning zombies, which you outrun by picking up your pace a few notches.
February 14, 2013, 8:00 am
For the past few months I’ve written about my move to a standing desk at work. In October I discussed my reasons for making the switch; in November I wrote about some of the benefits I’d seen since beginning to stand. At the end of nearly four months standing, I can report that it’s become a natural part of my day. My legs don’t often tire — so long as I do include some periods of sitting through the day, as further research on sitting/standing at work seems to indicate one should. I do feel considerably better after a day standing at work than I did after a day sitting.
For today’s post, however, I wanted to talk a bit about the specific desk I’ve been using: the GeekDesk Max. As I noted in my previous posts, GeekDesk generously sent me a review unit to use for this experiment. However, instead of returning the review unit at the end of the review period, I decided to purchase it….
February 5, 2013, 11:00 am
The following is reposted from my personal blog. The post generated lively conversation, on Twitter and in response blogs, and seemed to me likely to do the same in the ProfHacker community, especially given how often we discuss Twitter.
Kathleen Fitzpatrick’s post “If You Can’t Say Anything Nice” post about public shaming on Twitter came at a timely moment for me. Describing the culture of Twitter commentary, she writes:
You get irritated by something — something someone said or didn’t say, something that doesn’t work the way you want it to — you toss off a quick complaint, and you link to the offender so that they see it. You’re in a hurry, you’ve only got so much space, and (if you’re being honest with yourself) you’re hoping that your followers will agree with your complaint, or find it funny, or that it will otherwise catch their attention enough to be RT’d.
I’ve done this,…
January 30, 2013, 11:00 am
Spring may not be in the air just yet (at least not here in Chicago, where the wind chill factor has sent us below zero for a few days this week), but it’s certainly coming soon. No, not March 20. February 12.
That’s the day Twins pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training (the rest of the squad will join them on the 15th), even though they won’t play their first regular-season game until April 1.
That amounts to six weeks of prep time before the season begins. And it’s necessary! Jumping right into the regular season without the players first getting into condition and (re)learning to work together as a team could spell disaster. When they’ve been sidelined for a while—whether that’s due to the off-season or to an injury that’s landed them on the disabled list—players need time to get back into shape before getting back into a regular-season schedule.
January 8, 2013, 8:00 am
Before hitting grad school, I spent some pleasant months doing tech support at a call center for Norway’s largest internet provider. Back then, my minimum wage and a 31% income tax still left me with a living wage and four weeks paid vacation in one of the most expensive countries around, so I had very little to complain about.
Perhaps my favorite memory of that job, besides deciphering Norwegian dialects and slowly developing stereotypes about the people who stood behind them, was using the lone convertible standing desk in the office. Pressing a lever with your foot caused it to slowly rise, or allowed your hands to easily press it down to regular sitting height again. I came in early for each of my shifts to claim it. I spent most of my day standing, but loved the ability to quickly convert to a sitting position when I wanted to rest my legs and back. Surely this was the future, I …
December 18, 2012, 8:00 am
I’ve said it probably twenty times already this semester: “Have a great winter break!”
Of course, what’s great for one person may be different from what would be great for another. Here are some questions that can help you figure out what would make your own winter break great:
How do you feel right now?
How do you want to feel during your winter break?
How busy do you want to be?
How relaxed do you want to be?
What would you like to create, build, or make?
What would you like to explore, discover, or learn?
What would you like to give or share?
(A PDF workbook with these and additional reflection questions is available from my website.)
Have a great winter break everybody!
[Creative Commons licensed image from flickr user jpctalbot]