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    A Blog from GradHacker and MATRIX: The Center for Humane Arts, Letters and Social Sciences Online

All we want for the holidays...
December 19, 2011 - 7:45am

 

Here at GradHacker, we all have things that we want and that we think are great gifts for grads. From some of our authors, here are our suggestions for last minute gifts for grads.

Amy Rubens

For me, grad life often boils down to one state of being: I'm always on the go. During most weekdays, I dash around campus fulfilling teaching duties, which includes meeting students without the aid of an office. On other weekdays, particularly when I'm writing, I like to move between off-campus work spots, such as my local coffee shop, and my home office. In the evening and after dinner, I head out again, although this time, my gym's the destination.

If you know a grad who leads a similarly nomadic life, consider buying him or her:

      Reusable, BPA-free food storage containers for transporting leftovers from home to campus.

      An automatic pet feeder for occasional longer-than-usual days/nights away from home. 

      Smart phone gloves (also called "tech" gloves) to stay connected without risking frostbite.

      An attractive journal made of recycled and/or sustainable materials to use for recording ideas whenever the muse strikes. Kindle, iPad, or tablet case for added protection and durability.

       Gymboss timer for interval training exercises which can be done at home (and with no equipment) or at the gym.

Julie Platt

I recommend the following albums to help you get that last-minute paper done:

       Drive Original Soundtrack

       M83 – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming

       Pallers – The Sea of Memories

       Ford & Lopatin – Channel Pressure

       Motor City Drum Ensemble – DJ Kicks

       Gold Panda – DJ Kicks

       AraabMuzik – Electronic Dream

Enjoy and happy holidays!

Katy Meyers

The holiday season is a good time to give grad students the things that they don’t want to buy for themselves, and the things that they use everyday.

First, every grad student loves coffee. I don’t actually own a coffee maker, so I buy instant coffee packets. Not only do these new and improved packets produce coffee that is actually delicious, but they are nice for taking coffee on the go when hot water is more available than coffee machines. I’m a fan of the Nescafe Taster’s Choice, because of the flavors and price. However, for Christmas I’d love to get the more expensive Starbucks Via version.

Second, it’s nice to give grad students luxury foods that they may not buy for themselves. I really love cashew and almond butter, but at $8-10 a jar I won’t buy them for myself on a normal basis. My favorite is Once Again nut butters. I also think its nice to get grads gift cards for their favorite food joints, especially places that they don’t want to get themselves. I love Great Harvest bread, but it can get a little expensive so getting a gift card there would be great. 

Finally, getting them gift cards for exercise places or new workout videos is a great gift for grads. Exercising in the winter can get expensive if you get a gym pass, so help out your grad by getting them a month or two of membership to somewhere nice. Personally, I’m asking for Pure Barre memberships because the classes are fun and a great workout.

Terry Brock

The holiday season can be a stressful one for graduate students: we often rely on these gifts to help us get through the next year, or to provide that extra needed help with that important technological item that we so desperately need to help us finish that pesky dissertation. So, here are some gifts that may help your grad student get through the year.

First, make sure your grad student is always backed up with a subscription to Dropbox. While the free option is nice, make sure they never lose anything by purchasing them a 50 GB or 100 GB upgrade!

Then, give the gift of extra storage in the physical sense: these portable shopping bags from Baggu crumple up into a tiny zipper pouch. I keep mine in my school bag, giving me extra storage for those piles of library books I check out and have no way to carry. Anther great gift helps your grad student eat healthy, balanced, and fun meals: Meet Mr. Bento. Inspired by the bento box, this lunchbox has four compartments, two of which will keep food warm for up to eight hours!

Lastly, give the gift of music. Instead of trying to select a band, consider giving a yearly subscription to Pandora or Spotify, so your grad student can pick their own tunes! Happy Holidays!!

Trent Kays

For the reader: I recommend When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris. I first read this book a few years ago, and while it’s been out since 2008, it’s an excellent collection of nonfiction humor essays filled with Sedaris’ sardonic wit and observations.

For the TV watcher: Lately, I’ve been watching a lot of anime, and if you’re unfamiliar with the genre, then you might use some time over break to watch some anime series. My suggestion is Cowboy Bebop. It’s an older anime (1998), which you’ll frequently find on in the early morning on Adult Swim. It’s a cool space/bounty hunter/mystery anime, which for first time Western audience anime watchers is perfect.

For the iPad user: I love my iPad 2. I didn’t think I’d use it as much as I do when I first bought it. It’s great. I recommend the Flipboard app. It’s a great news aggregation app, which pulls in news stories and puts them in an easy to read and navigate format. It’s like reading through a magazine. You can tweet stories from your Twitter feed from inside the app and peruse stories with ease.

For the iPhone user: I love my iPhone 4. I’m never without it, and it keeps me connected to the world. The number one item I recommend for any iPhone 4 user is the Speck CandyShell. This case has saved my iPhone more times than I can count. It has a hard outer shell with a shock absorbent inner honeycomb membrane.

 

What are your suggestions for grad student gifts?

[Image from Flickr user Aine D and used under Creative Commons license]

 

 

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