A short little post: Five things that make my day easier, make it more enjoyable, and/or are just great.
I’ve downloaded Evernote on my Mac, my Android phone, and my husband’s iPad and iPhone – all synced to my account, of course – and man does it make a lot of my tasks both for school but also around home a lot easier. I can add items to my grocery list from pretty much anywhere I am (and so can my husband) and have a method for taking notes on my essentially at all times. I use it mostly for simply things like lists and brainstorming ideas, but it can also be multimodal with the ability to record voice or insert images and graphics. I’m loving Evernote!
Working on your PhD can be stressful at (the best of) times, and much of my first year was spent being too strung out about a lot of things. This year my goal has been to keep the work in perspective and remind myself that being an academic is only one component of my identity. Doing yoga has been a great way to have some personal time while also staying fit. While practicing yoga, I don’t think about anything academic – I clear my mind and enjoy the fact that I have an able body and space to practice it, more than what some folks in the world do. I’m appreciative of that – yoga has brought me more peace this year.
Bolthouse Farms Juice
Of course, life can’t always be peaceful, so when I’m crunched for time and need to eat something really quickly, I turn to this company’s line of juices. Sometimes that’s all I have for breakfast all week. But they are nutritious, delicious, and fresh — all things we all need more of in our diet. My fave varieties are the Mango and Green Goodness, although they’re pretty much all delish.
I’ve talked before about how much I love Mendeley, but I’ll say it again – it’s a great tool for taking notes on PDFs if you don’t have Adobe Pro (which I do, but I still use Mendeley). And if you’re an academic, then it’s also a great tool for managing your citations – something I’m sure we all could use some help with. Spend thirty seconds each time you upload a new file, and I’m sure you’ll save hours of time down the road when importing into a bibliography (or working on your diss!).
And last but not least . . .
There’s nothing like a little puppy love to make your day complete. Chesney is also a really good listener and target audience for practicing explaining a complex rhetorical concept to test how well I know the topic. On top of that, when he snuggles up beside me, he encourages me to stay in place and keep reading (and not go off elsewhere in the house and get distracted) – so he’s a work motivator, too!
I got the idea of doing a “Five things” post from several other bloggers out there and thought it might be a good kind of post to try every once and a while not only to share new finds (apps, software, goods, etc.), but also to think about the things that are important to me and remind myself of what makes me happy. What about you? What five things are you thankful for this week?
I hope you all enjoyed some nice time over a holiday break. Personally, my favorite time over the school break (and one of my favorite weeks of the whole year) is the first week of January, when the business of holiday get-togethers has subsided, and I have one week of blissful quiet in which I can start the year off right by taking care of myself, taking time to think, read fiction, and organize the house for the coming year. I love the first week for all of the promise it holds for the coming year and the bit of time I have to enjoy some nice and quiet time.
But as it always must, that will end tomorrow with the beginning of the semester. Back to the routine, resuming my posts as Assistant Director of the First Year Writing Program and the Campus Writing and Speaking Program. I’m working on a new website for the CWSP, a project that I’m excited about and that will keep me busy this spring. The CWSP team is also continuing our research project, which we have found out that we will be presenting in a workshop format at Computers and Writing in Raleigh this coming May! Come and check out our workshop, titled, “Screencap Your Feedback: Using Screen Capture Technology to Provide Audio-Visual Feedback to Writers.”
Course-wise, this spring is all about preparing for the final legs of my degree: exam and dissertation preparation. I’m taking my final class (I thought the day would never come!) along with directed readings and research. One of my exam lists is in solid draft form, but I must get moving more seriously on the other two. With my goal of taking exams in early October, there’s no time to waste.
Travel-related happenings this spring semester:
- Attending the Carolina Rhetoric Conference at Clemson University with Ashley to present our latest research on the Duke Energy-Progress Energy merger. Hope to see you in Clemson in February!
- Attending CCCC in March with a crew from CRDM and presenting on a panel with fellow CRDMers about establishing a sense of community in hybrid writing courses. With the bit of chatter that is re-emerging on listservs about hybrid courses, I hope our panel will be a timely topic. I also hope to see you in St. Louis this spring!