Sunday, January 31, 2010

Edit your own work - read your paper out loud

Ok, so you don't have to be a rock star and grab a microphone. However, reading your paper out loud will help you edit more effectively.

You will feel a little self-conscious at first! The first time I tried this, my dog was laying nearby and he was snoring by the second paragraph! However stick with it. Reading the paper out loud will help you "hear" mistakes that you won't catch when you read the paper silently.

Keep at it!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Writing Tips - muscular verbs

Here is a strategy to make your writing more powerful (and often more concise):

Cheering you on in your work!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

National Mentoring Month -- THANKS!

Hi Friends,

January is National Mentoring Month! I've been taking some time to reflect on the wonderful people who have mentored me -- some by providing support and encouragement, others primarily by providing opportunities. I think of those people who were there for me at a particular time and place when I needed support. I also am grateful for those who saw my potential and steered me toward opportunities and goals I may not have imagined for myself.

How have mentors impacted your life?

I invite you to post comments here and tell us about your mentor(s). I also invite you to send this post along to your mentors to say THANK YOU!

Cheering you on in your work!

Photo by HLS

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Improve your concentration

Hi All,

Here is a very interesting handout from the University of Texas Learning Center:

Cheering you on in your work!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Saturday morning cartoons - flower animation

Hi Folks,

Hope this brings you a smile as you begin your weekend work:

Cheering you on!

p.s. I have posted this one before, but it's one that I really like, so thought we would be ok with a re-run this week!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Writing - one step at a time

Hi All,

This bit of grad school humor is brought to you by:

"Piled Higher and Deeper" by Jorge Cham

Check out his work!


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

APA now says -- list city AND state!

Here's a quick APA update/tip: Prior to the new (sixth) edition of the APA guide, there was a well-known cities rule. This rule dictated that when listing books published in well-known cities, writers did not need to list the state. However in the new edition, the rule has changed and we now need to list the state, even with well-known cities.


Greenleaf, R. K., & Spears, L. C. (2002). Servant leadership: A journey into the

nature of legitimate power and greatness (25th anniversary ed.). New York:

Paulist Press.


Greenleaf, R. K., & Spears, L. C. (2002). Servant leadership: A journey into the

nature of legitimate power and greatness (25th anniversary ed.). New York, NY:

Paulist Press.

For more info:

APA Blog

Cheering you on in your work!


Monday, January 18, 2010

Time management - Find more time to work

Most adult students also work and many are raising kids, taking care of parents or other family members. And of course we are trying to take care of ourselves (exercise, eat right, sleep, and so on). How, in the midst of all of this, do we find time to add school?

Here are some ideas for carving out addition time to work:

1. Make the most of your commute: If you take a bus or train to work, this is a perfect time to read. If you drive, bike or walk, it's a perfect time to think (review an assignment before you leave and then brainstorm about that assignment while traveling). I often craft my blog posts in my head while I'm walking the dog!

2. Make the most of waiting time: Always carry a book or article with you... you never know when you'll be stuck in line, waiting in a doctor's office, etc. -- this is bonus reading time! This tip was first submitted by one of my former master's students!

3. Ask for help around the house: Ask your partner, spouse, and kids to help clean, cook, or whatever... every task they can take off of your plate, gives you a little more time for school.

4. Get up early or stay up later: Are you more effective with school work in the morning or evening? After you determine this, try to add one or two work sessions a week, accordingly. This will be difficult at first. But I have had various times in my life where I needed to do this and have found that I could do either, work earlier or later... it's like exercise, after you do it a few times, it gets easier. Remind yourself, this isn't forever, but for a time, you will need to (and can!) add these extra work sessions.

Readers -- other ideas?

Cheering you on in your work!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Saturday morning video - light and heavy

Here is your Saturday morning video, a moment of cheer to give you a lift before you begin your work!

Be well,

Friday, January 15, 2010

When the first week of class is overwhelming

Hi All,

For some, a first class, or first week of classes can be overwhelming - papers, projects, exams, a ton of reading... so much work lies ahead.

Steps to reduce your anxiety:

1. Get out your syllabus (or syllabi if you are taking more than one class) and put all of the due dates/exam dates on your calendar (and if you don't have a planner or calendar ((electronic or paper)), go get one NOW!).

2 Assess whether you have all readings on hand -- if not, purchase remaining books, download remaining articles, etc.

3. Make a to-do list of whatever is due in the next week.

4. Look ahead to your coming week and schedule the blocks of time when you will work. Do not leave this up to chance, plan ahead.

5. Be creative about finding more time to work on school work... e.g. can you do some reading over your lunch hours or on the bus?

6. Read assignments ahead of time, so that if you have questions, you can contact your professor.

7. Do at least something every day (or almost every day). Even on busy days, if you read even one or a few pages, you will keep your momentum going and all those short work sessions add up to more work completed.

This list should help you get going. Readers -- any other strategies you wish to suggest?

Ok, we'll look at how it is going next week.

You can do it!

Photo by HLS

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Monday, January 11, 2010

Welcome the new semester!

Hi All,

So, here we are in mid January -- most of us are starting (or have just started) a new semester.

I love the feel of the beginning of the semester. I look forward to meeting new students, and seeing former students as well. The start of a new class holds wonderful promise. How will we collaborate? What will we learn from each other? How will we be different after working through this class together? This is such good stuff.

Cheering you on in your work!


photo by HLS -- Palm Beach, FL

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Are you organized?

Hi All,

For many, this month marks the start of a new semester. And for some, it is the start of a new program. Either way, what are your organizational challenges and successes? Please write via the comments section below so that others can learn from you and/or make suggestions.

Also, today's photo is courtesy of a new blog "A Collection A Day." I'm totally hooked on this one. I don't read many blogs, but I do enjoy this one. Each day features a photo of a collection. The photos are simple and fun, like the one above, and there's no text so I don't spend much time there, but it is a tiny and enjoyable work break. Bravo to artist Lisa Congdon!

Ok friends, have a good day!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Should I friend my professor?

Hi All,

Here is a question from a reader:

Is it appropriate for students and professors to friend each other on facebook? Why or why not?

In terms of whether it is appropriate for students to friend professors...The first thing to consider is whether you are totally comfortable with your prof seeing everything on your Facebook pages, the kinds of things your friends post, etc. If you are cool with that, then the next question is whether your prof is Facebook friends with students.

So I think the best strategy, if you want to friend your prof, is to email her or him and ask if it's ok to send a friend request, that way, if your prof doesn't accept friend requests from current students, she or he can just tell you without having to decline your request via Facebook with no explanation. The profs I have spoken with about this take various approaches -- some are Facebook friends with many of their students, others won't accept friend requests from current students, but will from alums, and others keep their Facebook life separate from their teaching and accept no friend invitations from students. There's no way for you to know, so I think the best approach is to email first (it also shows that you are respectful of boundaries)!

Most profs I know won't friend students because given that we are in a bit of a power position (because we give grades) it could put our students in an awkward or stressful spot (is there a consequence if I decline a friend request from my prof, will it change her or his opinion of me, and so on).

Does this help?

In addition, here is an op-ed piece I wrote for The Chronicle of Higher Education, regarding Facebook:

Other readers -- what are your opinions?

be well,

Sunday, January 3, 2010

How can I help you?

Hi All,

Happy New Year! So, as we head into the spring semester... how can I help? Time management? Stress management? Other academic challenges? Please either post a comment to this blog or email me at and let me know how I can help (please be specific). What's on your mind?

All the best!

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