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Book Review–How to be Everything

book review, education
Emilie Wapnik, author of How to be Everything: A Guide for Those Who (Still) Don't Know What They Want to be When They Grow Up, is the creative director at the internet's "home for multipotentialites," I heard her interviewed on a podcast and checked out the book. I did this less because I feel like I'm a multipotentialite and more because what I heard in the interview made it sound like Emilie--a millennial--was tapping into not only a certain type of worker (the person who can't pursue just one thing, or who refuses to accept the notion that each person has "a thing") but also into the current way of doing work. We have all read the statistics about the future of work: average people will switch jobs multiple…
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Mindfulness, Creativity and Being Comfortable with Uncertainty

creative work, productivity, services, Uncategorized
The interwebz are full of articles extolling the virtues of mindfulness. You can find encouragement to practice mindfulness whether you are a reader of Forbes, The Guardian, Time, Harvard Health, or Cosmo! ┬áIt appears that any industry or endeavour can point to mindfulness or meditation and draw connections between being aware and paying attention, non-judgmentally, to the present moment as a way to boost well being and productivity and reduce stress, burnout, and fatigue. I'm on board. I know that when I take even 10 or 15 minutes a day to sit and watch my brain work and remind myself that I am not my thoughts my days go better, my mood is more stable, I am less likely to lose my temper or be irritated by little things, and…
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Thrive, PhD will launch in January 2018

  How's grad school going? I hope that you are enjoying every minute of it! I remember my time in graduate school with great fondness. It was the 1990s and most of us read and wrote and argued and taught under the assumption that this is what we were (a) meant to do with our lives and (b) going to do for the rest of our lives. And for some of us--including me, for quite a while--that totally panned out. Today's graduate students face a completely different landscape. The changing economic structure of most universities, increased adjunctification, have led to calls for PhD education to be curtailed (why bring in more students than the academy can employ?) or expanded (why not re-think the PhD as preparation for careers other than…
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Is there a doctor in the house?

coaching, networking, post-academic
    I have an acquaintance who is one amazingly smart woman. She has an interdisciplinary PhD in philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience and has all sorts of interesting insights into the world and people. She is married to a physician. One day, when her young daughter was musing that daddy and mommy both had Dr. in front of their names but only daddy worked in a hospital, her father told her: "That's because your daddy solves problems, dear. Your mother just thinks about them." He said this with his tongue planted firmly in his cheek, but it zings because so many of us academics know the discomfort of not being (publicly) recognized for our expertise. As someone new to the coaching profession, I've had to do a lot of thinking…
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What are you BEST at?

coaching, job market, productivity
I work in the world of self-improvement now and, as you might suspect, there are some shady claims out there. A lot of self-help or self-actualization or self-improvement work seems to be focused on what you can do to overcome some essential flaw in your human make up. They imply that if you can just get this one thing in order, you'll be a champ. Flaws--we all have them and most of them are not likely to go away any time soon. Stress, excitement, sincerity all speak to the fact that we will let our true light shine when it matters most. We regress to the mean, as it were. Ok then. Go with that. What is it about you that makes you most YOU? Most unique? Most interesting? It…
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Book Review–The War of Art

book review, creative work
You've probably heard of Steven Pressfield's The War of Art. Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles. (2002) And if you haven't, never fear, this short review is here to help. Before I get there, though, you might want to know that Pressfield wrote The Legend of Bagger Vance, is a former Marine, and was made an honorary citizen of Sparta, Greece. Take from the above: Golf Marines Spartan warrior ethos Add in: William Blake Angels Muses Don't forget: Actual time doing the work and overcoming Resistance. And you've got Pressfield's recipe for overcoming your creative blocks. He's not alone. Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich from the 1930s and Rhonda Byrne's The Secret from 2006 both cover some of the same territory. Pressfield occupies a singular…
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5 Tips for Taking On #AcWriMo

coaching, creative work, networking, productivity
And since you should be writing anyway . . . here are a few ways to approach a BIG writing push during the month of November. You can make your daily goal about time spent writing, number of words, number of items dealt with (annotations, notes, etc.). Whatever makes sense for your biggest priority project at its current stage is a great goal for #AcWriMo. Daily is HARD but it isn't impossible. As we all know, even fifteen minutes per day will slowly but surely amass enough words to move a project from where it is now to where it needs to be next. Commit to at least one writing session per day during the month and stick to it. You and your physical or virtual writing group can keep…
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Turn Good Intentions into Concrete Action with the Energized Leadership Program

coaching, networking, services
You have goals and aspirations; they're easier to meet when you have a team! Guys, I am so excited about this!! My code-word for October has been "collaboration," because, for me, October was traditionally the Month of All the Conferences. For me, conferences are those spaces you go to not only to share your work but to get super excited about what other people are doing. You find synergy at conferences, or impulses to enhance your research, or reminders of why it is you do the work that you do. The problem is that conferences only last a weekend, at most. Then you go home, back into the classroom and the regular rhythm of the semester and all of your energy to Do All the Things begins to fade. Your…
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Wigging Out (On Leaving Academia, Part ?)

In my 20+ years as a student and practitioner of Germanistik (German Studies), I went to the same conference almost every single year. I got introduced to Women in German (an MLA affiliated organization for feminist scholars in German Studies) in 1996 and only missed a couple of them over the next twenty years. Each of my daughters, both born in April, went to WiG as six-month olds and twice I left for WiG when it was time to wean my toddler babes. The women and men I met at the WiG conference became my friends, mentors, and intellectual community. I was in awe of the elder stateswomen of the organization, those SWiGs (Senior Women in German) who had staked out a position for feminist literary scholarship in German literature…
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Feminist Leadership

book review, creative work, networking
Earlier this year, I co-wrote an article on technology, silo-ing, and the affordances of intersectional feminist leadership with my husband, Dale. The book in which that article appears is now out and if you are an academic leader of any stripe, you should really take a look at it. Feminists Among Us: Resistance and Advocacy in Library Leadership. Eds. Shirley Yew & Baharak Yousefi. Sacramento, CA: Library Juice Press, 2017. ISBN 978-1-63400-027-7 Dale and I decided to join forces and write something that addresses our individual passions in a collective way. His interest in library leadership, mentoring the next generation of leaders and managers in academic libraries, and the persistent cultural divide around "hard" technical skills and "soft" people skills in the library combined with my commitment to teaching and…
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