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

February 14, 2013 - 9:12pm
Research is a creative activity. In essence, to solve your research question, you will need to take a step outside of the boundaries of the current knowledge. If you are expected to develop a new theory as part of your research, you certainly need to get your creative juices flowing.
February 12, 2013 - 9:26pm
Valentine’s Day is finally here, although the decorations and candy have been on shelves for the past month. Last year for this heart shaped holiday we gave some advice on how to negotiate the dating scene. We gave some advice on potential ways to meet people and some advice on how to make time for it. In this post we want to talk about negotiating the relationship in grad school. This year we want to focus on celebrating all of your relationships: family, friends, co-workers and significant others! Beyond thinking about academic (and non!) crushes, how do you see yourself in your existing multiple relationships both within and outside of academia?
February 10, 2013 - 8:14pm
At the beginning of January I opened a word document and started to write my dissertation. I hadn’t collected a single participant and am probably a couple years away from defending my thesis. That being said, it felt good to start writing and here are seven reasons why you should be writing as soon as you begin anything related to your thesis collection:
February 7, 2013 - 8:53pm
Social media is often stereotyped as a frivolous, navel-gazing enterprise, and completely antithetical to the deep thinking and thoughtful questioning of academia. However, most gradhackers know that academia and social media are not at all incompatible. Used well, social media can be a vibrant and fruitful space for networking, exchanging ideas, and--dare I say it--building supportive friendships.
February 5, 2013 - 8:23pm
In the sticky, sweltering heat of late summer, I wrote a little post called “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Dissertation,” which translated my writing struggles into a therapeutic list of writing tips. This post was written as I despairingly grappled with many of the negative emotions that can accompany slogging through a long form project like a dissertation (guilt, self-loathing, and a healthy dose of but I don’t wanna, primarily).
February 4, 2013 - 12:13am
What digital skills, technologies, and tools should we develop while in graduate school? And how do we do that?  I’ve put together a few suggestions and hope readers from a variety of disciplines will offer additional ideas in the comments section below.
January 31, 2013 - 8:58pm
One of the challenges to teaching with technology is helping students figure out the "who", "what", and "how" of internet messages.  As a grad instructor of “Human Diversity, Power, and Schools”, a course that centers on issues of difference, this challenge coincides with a key concept: social construction, or the idea that dominant groups’ norms are positioned as natural, to the exclusion of non-dominant groups. I have stumbled into memes as one fruitful teaching tool for helping students to uncover the ways mass media shapes how we view ourselves, others, and the world around us.
January 29, 2013 - 9:18pm
This is a personal narrative of how I’m trying to strike a better balance in my life. For some people, finding a balance isn’t hard and taking time off doesn't lead to guilt- I'm not one of those people. For those of you who are perfectionist workaholics like me (i.e. anyone who related to Julie's post on the perils of perfectionism), relaxing can be one of the most difficult things in the world.
January 27, 2013 - 8:02pm
Some of you reading this article are about to start your first round of graduate school interviews this spring. Many of these interviews will take place during what is known as recruitment weekend. However, this is a much different process than your standard job interview and you should be aware that there are some key differences between the two.
January 22, 2013 - 9:15pm
I've found that the end of 2012/beginning of 2013 has brought some changes to a number of services that I rely on for my Grad Student productivity/teaching/ writing/etc. Since it's always hard to keep up with tech changes (especially when the pace of change seems to be daily, even hourly), I thought I'd share a brief round-up of the news that has been of interest or of use recently.

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