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

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.
January 20, 2013 - 7:51pm
Graduate school is a competitive, stressful and extremely demanding environment. We’re all continuously trying to live up to everybody’s expectations: our supervisors’ expectations, our perfectionism-induced expectations of ourselves, while trying to meet the demands of students, a family and friends. To stay sane in this pressure cooker, it’s important to come back to our senses regularly and regain focus.
January 18, 2013 - 12:03am
It's a digital world, and I'm a digital girl. Well, sometimes. I use my Google calendar to remind me of every single event crammed into my days, my Dropbox account has all of my data and writing backed up so I can access it at any moment, I read off a Kindle before I go to sleep, and my phone pretty much runs my life from the moment the alarm goes off to the minute that I put it on silent for bedtime. Despite the fact that I tote my laptop with me everywhere and have thousands of PDFs and word documents for all my courses and research, I really like paper.
January 15, 2013 - 8:18pm
Back when I was a nervous, first-time instructor, my colleagues and I decided to include a multi-class blog in our First Year Comp classrooms. We figured this would be a good way to keep tabs on each other: all of our students would write in the same place, and with three of us running it, there was no way we could screw it up.
January 13, 2013 - 9:37pm
As of this post, we’re two weeks into January. By now you’ve come back to school and the serenity you felt while at home for the holidays may have vanished the minute you stepped back on campus. While it can be nice to get back to work, if you’re overly anxious or completely overwhelmed, you may be wishing that you weren’t so stressed, weren’t so anxious, that these feelings didn’t get in the way of your work, or that they would vanish completely.
January 10, 2013 - 10:01pm
The academic job market is a journey. A long, complex, stressful journey. I'm in the thick of this journey right now, having just arrived back from the Modern Language Association annual conference, where hundreds of scholarly hopefuls in English studies interviewed with search committees from universities all over the United States. Generally, the next step after a phone interview is a campus visit, wherein you travel to the interested university, interact with the faculty, staff and students, give a job talk, and possibly do a teaching demonstration. What follows is a bit of advice from my job mentors about what to expect during the campus visit, and what strategies you can use to be successful during it.
January 8, 2013 - 8:00pm
What did you do yesterday? I can tell you exactly what I did, because it's the same way I spend almost all my time as a graduate student.
January 6, 2013 - 10:12pm
I don't know about you, but when I come back to my work after the holiday break I get a serious case of the winter doldrums. Being in the throes of the Michigan winter, what I really want to do is snuggle up in some warm fleece and read murder-mysteries in between episodes of Downton Abbey. I long for the wide-eyed optimism I had going into the fall semester when everything seemed possible, but now I'm lucky if I remember what day it is, what exactly it is I have to do, and what in the world I was thinking when I was working on this draft of my dissertation proposal a few weeks ago.

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