Saturday, March 1, 2014

The Encouragement Lounge - open but no new posts

Thanks to everyone who has followed The Encouragement Lounge! I am going to step away from this blog -- I'm involved in several scholarly projects and am clearly having trouble making time to post. However I'm going to leave the blog available as much of the advice and many of the resources are timeless and helpful. The links on the right (popular posts) will take you to some of the most helpful posts.

Cheering for you!

Photo by HLS

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Check your workspace ergonomics

Hi all and welcome back from break (for those of you who had a break!). For those who had to work through the between semester time, I hope that you were able to relax at least a little bit along the way and that you were otherwise productive.

As we begin a new semester, I invite you to read the following article that will help you assess your workspaces - this piece is written by a grad student, for grad students on a budget.

Hack Your Workspace with Ergonomics

All the best,

Photo by HLS

Monday, November 4, 2013

Words of inspiration from Dr. Susan Nelson

See note below. I post this every year around this time to honor Susan and share her wisdom.

Hi All,

The following is a sermon given by my friend and former neighbor The Rev. Susan Nelson. Susan and her husband Dave were our dear neighbors for many years here in Pittsburgh, before they moved to California where Susan became the dean of the Claremont School of Theology. Susan passed away from brain cancer earlier this month. Her daughter Kathryn recently shared the following, a welcome address that Susan gave to her students last fall at CST. Susan's words are full of perspective, hope, and encouragement and I'm delighted to share this with you.

Dear students,
I am glad to welcome you
To what I expect will be an exciting
And challenging
Year at Claremont School of Theology.
When I began my journey
Into theological education,
The word “career”
Had not crossed my lips.
I entered my first program, rather,
As a seeker.
I loved to read and muse
And I wanted an opportunity
To think about the meaning of life
And to grow
In wisdom and knowledge
I knew that life is fragile,
But I had not yet learned
How to hold the brokenness of life
With the joy of discovery
That, broken or not
It was worth the journey.
I loved beauty,
But I had not learned that beauty is fleeting
And that finitude is part of what
Makes it so beautiful.
I yearned for loving relations,
And had yet to realize
All the ways in which
I could learn to avoid
The tension of face-to-face relations.
These learnings were critical
To my growth as a human being
And to what eventually became
My calling as teacher and administrator.
I expect that each of you
Is something of a seeker.
Curiosity and possibility
Have drawn you to this place
To this faculty and staff –
To the fellow students you will tussle with
And perhaps enjoy along the way.
I expect that you will not be the same person
When you leave CST
That you are right now.
I expect that you will know moments
When the works feels out of reach,
Your studies less than lustrous
And many other moments
When you will know the satisfaction
Of accomplishment
And the joy of doing something
Really well.
And I expect you will grow friendships
And learn an important lesson,
That mutual respect for all people
Is critical
For the flourishing of life.
May you thrive in your challenges at CST,
May you grow in appreciation
Of the privilege
Of learning
In a community of scholars
May you have stellar teachers and mentors,
May you find moments
When you are surprised by joy
Or struck by a beauty
That totally draws you in
Providing absolute distraction
And, may you risk companionship
And the messiness of life
In genuine community
A year ago,
Students asked me to consider
Giving a “last lecture” –
If I were invited
To give the final lecture of my life,
What would I say?
Since that time,
I’ve had to actually consider
“Last things”
And how to live
In a present reality
That seems so precarious.
What I would say if asked
To give that lecture on this day, is
Practice awareness,
Watch yourselves breathe, -
Every day find at least one thing to be thankful for
- Tell others what they mean to you -
And practice the discipline
Of taking nothing for granted –
Or perhaps, better said,
The discipline of forgiving yourselves
For all the ways
You will take life for granted
And receive it anyway.
Grace and peace
Be upon you.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Keeping it light this week! Fresh Guacamole by PES

Hi all, Decided to lighten things up with a quick and fun video this week. This is by PES, a gifted stop-motion animator. Check it out for a quick study break!

Best wishes!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

APA goldmine - Best of APA

For a wealth of APA style guidance (including sample papers, how to cite..., formatting guidelines, and grammar tips) check out:

Best of the APA Style Blog 2013

Happy writing!

Photo by HLS

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Improve your web search skills

Below is a link to a video from University Libraries at University of Washington regarding some basic search techniques. The video shows a search using Google, though many of you will use Google Scholar to search for journal articles, etc. Nonetheless, the commands that are shown in the video are useful in both cases.

How do I search Google effectively: Part 1

Have a good week!

Photo by HLS
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