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

August 22, 2012 - 9:23pm
Why think about productivity systems at all? Why try to think about ways we can be more productive? Doesn’t that imply we’re not doing enough, or that we’re wasting time?
August 21, 2012 - 10:06pm
Starbucks is one of my favorite places to work. Coffee, company, and a relaxing atmosphere help me concentrate and keep focused on my task. As it can be a pain to lug my laptop everywhere, I have a tablet and a mobile phone that I use when working away from my desk.
August 20, 2012 - 9:10pm
The very term "productivity system" makes me happy -- I like to think systematically in order to design solutions to problems and I enjoy learning about and creating new systems for doing things.
August 19, 2012 - 10:22pm
Have you ever organized an unconference session? Being good Gradhacker readers, I’m sure many of you have. My first was at the Digital Humanities Summer Institute this year at the University of Victoria. I proposed a session I called “Free and Cheap Apps to Improve Your Life.” For some reason, that made people laugh. For some other reason, people decided to come!
August 16, 2012 - 9:05pm
It is no secret that I am a Google+ fan. This is mainly because Google Hangouts is hands down my favorite multi-party video chat client. This past summer I integrated Google+ into the hybrid online course for which I was a teaching assistant. While I was teaching mostly online, Google+ could be a nice support for face-to-face courses as well.
August 14, 2012 - 9:23pm
This summer I found myself in the fortunate position to work full time on my thesis. As a result, I have been confronted with what I consider to be one of the biggest demons of graduate work: loneliness.
August 12, 2012 - 4:59pm
It starts innocently enough. We save a PDF file to our desktop or in a folder. After some more work we suddenly have a folder stuffed with files and we lose the sense of structure that ties the work together. Folders and subfolders appear to try and capture structure, filenames no longer carry any meaning, and the mass of files and folders loses meaning. Then the process repeats itself.
August 9, 2012 - 7:50pm
It is a truth universally acknowledged that where there's a hacker up for mischief, there are security settings just waiting to be breached. I have a begrudging respect for mischievous hackers: wherever the rest of us have been blithely accepting of whatever security protocols we don't read about in Terms of Service, they have figured out exactly how to exploit that for their own purposes.
August 8, 2012 - 7:24am
Ask any graduate student about their Lit Review and each would have a few not so pleasant things to say about the process. Fellow GradHacker Andrea Zellner previously wrote about ways to survive a Lit Review, but what happens when you’ve survived and the Lit Review is no longer your biggest priority?
August 5, 2012 - 9:34pm
Some of you reading this will be starting graduate school this coming fall. Congratulations! You are just beginning what will be one of the most difficult and rewarding processes of your life. Those of you going into PhD programs will likely do rotations in various labs during your first year before settling in lab where you will do your thesis research. Choosing this laboratory is extremely important as you will end up spending more time with these people than your family and establishing good working conditions is critical to finishing your dissertation in a timely fashion.


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