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Weekend Reading: The 42nd Year Edition

Ghostbusters cake

Saturday is my 41st birthday, which I am observing, as all reasonable people do, by attending a 9am meeting on campus. (These people who call for these meetings . . . they are people without young children!) There’s some chance I am doing it wrong.

Hopefully everyone out there has a splendid weekend, and toward that end, on to the links!

  • It’s probably just the calendar, but I liked Thomas Heise’s essay on Fitzgerald’s Depression”: After forty, all life is a matter of saving face. For those whose successes have run out early, the years are measured less by the decreasing increments of honors achieved, than by the humiliations staved off and the reversals slowed.
  • Yet another thing they’re trying to take away from me in my middle age: “Lie-ins at the weekend are bad for your and make you feel sleepier during the week”. ‘This pattern – combined with sleep-defeating actions that may include alcohol consumption and late-night checking of emails just prior to bedtime – makes for a painful Monday wake-up call,’ [Gregory Carter] added.
  • Stephanie Bernhard’s house, on the evidence of “A Slob’s Apology”, sounds not-unlike my office: I’m not ready to claim that I have a “soul.” But my “house,” or really any place I inhabit for more than a week, is much like an Augustinian “soul,” which is to say it contains much clutter that no one is pleased to see.
  • Lauren at Mama Nervosa unpacks “Advising Magic: What Advising Does Offer the Teaching Junkie”: One lovely thing about advising is that my entire purpose is to support students in their success, so if they are truly unhappy, I have a lot of resources and options available that are within the scope of my role (unlike teaching, which has to maintain a focus on learning outcomes, content, the specifics of your class or dept, etc).
  • Harj Taggar describes life with “No Email” (via Alex Soojung-Kim Pang): I’ve long realized that email is the biggest killer of my productivity e.g. if I’m trying to code I never stop to go and play video games but I did stop and check my email because I could justify it as work (“work” that is both significantly easier and provides a quicker dopamine hit than trying to solve a hard problem).

In this week’s video, Douglas Thomas introduces “A New Culture of Learning”:

Bonus: The Hold Steady’s performance at Rockpalast 2009

Have a great weekend!

Photo “Ghostbusters cake” by Flickr user poppet with a camera / Creative Commons licensed BY-2.0 I should make clear that’s not my cake, which obviously I haven’t seen, but is just a photo of an awesome cake.

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