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Showing posts from March, 2013

Advisor-advisee stress: It goes both ways

It's About Time:  Managing the Dissertation Advisor-Advisee Relationship During The Chaos of the End of the Semester

Grad student:  “I put so much work into this draft!  What does she want from me?”

Advisor:  “How many more times will I have to tell him before he gets it right?”

Grad student and advisor:  “Aaaaack!”

This is a stressful time of year for academics. A friend of mine used to say that we go from "Mad March,” to "Awful April," and then finally to "Mellow May," and “Joyous June.” 

What makes this season so difficult?
Full drafts of theses and dissertations are coming in from this year's graduatesFuture graduates are preparing dissertation and thesis proposals and beginning to start their researchClasses are at their most intense workload for both students and professors. Job talks are ongoing, as are hiring decisionsFor many, it’s nearing the end of two long semesters, so people are even more depleted than they were in December.At times like this,…

"Do You Write Every Day?" Three Famous Playwrights Answer This Question

At Academic Ladder, we emphasize the importance of writing in brief, regular sessions. We encourage our clients to write every day, or at least almost every day, based on Robert Boice's theory that the most prolific writers and researchers are the ones who write the most regularly. But what about other types of writers? Does the same mantra hold? In this video, David Henry Hwang asks the question of his fellow playwrights, Lydia Diamond and Suzan Lori Parks. Hwang asks the question at 19:50, and the discussion lasts until roughly 26:00. If you're short on time, you may want to go right to 19:50 and just start with the question. The answers are interesting and somewhat surprising, but the best part is when Suzan Lori Parks starts discussing (at around 24:30) why we might be more likely to engage in daily writing if we lower our expectations of what daily writing actually means. Great stuff.

At least you're trying.

This makes me happy, so I thought I'd share it with all of you.  Every mile counts, no matter how slowly you think you're going.



Slow Writing, Slow Running: the Benefits of Stepping out of The Fast Lane

For the last two months, I've been a runner.  Well, not really. For the last two months, I've been doing a Couch to 5k program, which means that I'm sometimes running, but more often walking.  In fact, out of the total work out time, I probably run only about a quarter of the time and walk the rest.  And yet, from this near-daily practice, I can feel my legs getting stronger, I can run progressively faster and further distances, and I'm noticing a distinct difference in my body shape and body fat percentage.  I wouldn't say I would be ready to run a marathon any time soon, but that 5k is looking more and more likely, and I'm even starting to consider what it would be like to work up to a 10k afterwards. I've often heard the act of writing a dissertation or any book-length manuscript compared to running a marathon.  "It's a marathon, not a sprint," we writing coaches will say, and there's some truth to that.  Like marathon runners, those w…