I love reading. I also feel incredibly lucky to be one of the few people that have not been ruined by graduate school in that the mere sight of another book doesn’t leave me in a panic. I typically read before bed because my insomnia is terrible, and it’s either read or stay up late into the night, remembering every embarrassing thing from childhood I’ve ever read. As a result, I’ve read a lot of great popular press books that aren’t academic but may appeal to academics–books about productivity, books to read before starting grad school, and books for aspiring researchers. Here it is: the first (possibly last? We’ll see how motivated I am…) post of Academic Book Club. I’ve included five extremely different types of books, depending on what you’re in the mood for.
It’s campus visit season–both academic job market campus visits, and grad school campus visits–and I am blissfully doing neither of those things. But I know many people who are, which is stirring up strong memories of the whole process. It’s so interesting to have a full 2 day job interview, isn’t it? Maybe interesting isn’t the right word when you’re in it. Nonetheless, now that I’ve had about a year to reflect on academic job talks, campus visits, and the interview process, here’s what I wish I had known to expect. Plus, some advice that works for grad students visiting potential programs, too!
This month some friends have asked “how was your first semester as a professor?” It’s a funny question to ask someone who is neck-deep in grading papers, writing annual review documents, and random tidbits of service. But I keep coming back to the question (anything to avoid grading!) so here are some of my very-rough-draft reflections on semester one as an assistant professor.
Up until six months ago, I was stuck in a writing pattern: avoid, avoid, avoid, SO MUCH GUILT WRITE FOR 4 HOURS, avoid, avoid, avoid… This boom and bust cycle sort of worked for me. Or it did until the rubber hit the road and I had a job offer contingent on finishing my (only half done!!!) dissertation in 3 months. That’s when I decided to change my habits….
I have survived the first two weeks of my new job! I think anyone in grad school has been told being a professor is different than being a grad student. But how? I certainly don’t have the big picture yet, but I do have the ability to ramble about how it’s felt so far. Featuring some week 1 and 2 outfit pictures, because, you know, blog theme.
Guest blogger alert! This post is by my friend Mackensie.
I’ve always enjoyed treating my body like a pseudo guinea pig, and I am obsessed with any hippy, weird, out there, productivity-lifehack type of thing. I rarely stick with these habits, but I never lose hope despite all evidence to the contrary. In the tradition of treating my existence like one long experiment, I asked Rebecca if I could write about trying a CEO morning routine for a week. She obliged and I got to work researching.
I am by no means an expert on academic jobs just because I now (miraculously?) have one. But I have been told that I am organized, and, yes, that is because being an anxious person sometimes means having a system for everything. So before I totally bury all memories of the academic job market, I thought I would put together a timeline of some of the things I did to get ready to search for academic jobs…
My mom is the happiest person I know, and I was always aware of it growing up. It made me proud, for a while. Then I became a teenager, and I started rolling my eyes. A lot. It was easy to make fun of my mom for being so cheery. Then I went off to college and I started to really appreciate her again. But then, I realized that not only was my mom super happy, she was also really smart about being happy–she made choices to make herself happy everyday. She sings in the grocery store. She laughs super loud while watching tv. She gets excited about everything from running into friends to hearing her favorite songs. And you know what? All of that takes work.
I really started to understand the work of being happy and that appreciation has only grown since I got to grad school, where it’s clear that I can either find a way to enjoy this life, or I can let my potentially demanding job choice swallow me whole. I definitely don’t make the more difficult choice every day, but I do try! So this week, I asked some wise grad school friends why happiness can seem so hard in academia. Here’s what we came up with…
Or, every tip that has helped me write my dissertation.
We are on day 8 of #100daysofdissertation, and if you don’t know what I’m talking about, check out Academeology on Instagram and she’ll get you filled in. I’ve been really enjoying talking to other grad students about what they do to get sh*t done this past week, so I’ve decided to write up what works for me here. I hope this list is helpful to you, whatever large project you might be up against, academic or non. The title is mostly a joke, but I don’t use the Pomodoro method, instead I do a bunch of other stuff, like….
Thanks to @yikesbutmakeitfashion who asked for a bag round-up for grad school ❤ Here are my current favorite workhorse bags….
Let’s start with what I’m currently using, the Everlane twill zip tote. This tote is $48, has a ZIPPER, and it has held up super well–no strap damage or loose stitching. Cons: It doesn’t have any shape so any bulges caused by throwing your whole life in there will show. Other options below.