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

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.
December 20, 2012 - 9:01pm
On our last day of holiday gift guide posts we are suggesting some good personal buys to help your grad student survive. Grad school isn't just about work; it's still life. So here are some suggestions to make life easier!
December 18, 2012 - 9:33pm
Technology is important to the grad student life nowadays. With Twitter being a major form of networking, and constant online updates running our lives, it's important to have technology to make it easier and faster. Here are some tech gift suggestions from our authors.
December 17, 2012 - 9:32pm
In case you're still doing your holiday shopping or, like many of us grad students, haven't even thought about it yet, here is part one of our handy gift guide for graduate students. Graduate students can be difficult to shop for- often our needs can be different and we don't have too much time to make extensive lists.
December 13, 2012 - 9:10pm
“A synthesis of cognitive research endorses the idea that deep understanding of subject matter transforms factual information into usable knowledge. Knowledge learned at the level of rote memory rarely transfers; transfer most likely occurs when the learner knows and understands underlying concepts and principles that can be applied to problems in new contexts. Learning with understanding is more likely to promote transfer and application than simply memorizing information from a text or lecture.”
December 11, 2012 - 9:10pm
One of the most frequent comments I receive on student evaluations is that my enthusiasm for the subjects I teach is infectious. Students tell me that I help to enliven topics they would be otherwise uninterested in, and that my obvious joy for what I teach motivates them to enjoy the topics as well. This enthusiasm often translates into electrified classroom meetings that are full of lively discussion and collaboration between students. Regardless of the topic, there are very seldom days when I am met with silence from my students.
December 6, 2012 - 7:39pm
Readers of ProfHacker and Lifehacker will likely be aware of text expansion software. Brian Croxall, Ethan Watrall, Ryan Cordell, and Jason Jones have shared their tips for using software like TextExpander for Mac and PhraseExpress in Windows that have aided their workflow.
December 4, 2012 - 8:26pm
When asked about how you're doing on your academic work, does your heart race, adrenaline spike, or do you just go numb? If you answered, “yes” to any of these questions, you are in “triage” mode, just trying to stem the bleeding of your time and energy enough to complete your tasks and (hopefully) get a few hours of sleep. However, you probably want more out of your life and work than this.



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