“Just because you’re better at doing something doesn’t mean you doing it is the most productive use of your time.”―Tiffany Dufu, Drop the Ball: Achieving More by Doing Less
The ongoing atrocities of the past week, this time in Kenosha, have had me thinking about faculty health, and mental health in particular. Yes, student health is a precious and urgent need, but who will care for the faculty?
All too often, this issue falls on the shoulders of professors themselves. …
I’ve been writing on Medium for over a year now, and I wish more academics would use it to:
(1) express themselves,
(2) to share their research and theorizing, and
(3) as a method to keep writing, even when it seems impossible during such stressful times.
1. Rapid production and feedback (write it and hit publish!).
2. Reach an audience who will benefit from your analysis, experience, and research.
3. Easy sharing between multiple platforms, such as LinkedIn and FB.
4. You retain publishing rights (so it’s more like a blog) and can republish elsewhere.
5. It’s a great place to experiment with new ideas. …
“Mistress Epps was not naturally such an evil woman, after all. She was possessed of the devil, jealousy, it is true, but aside from that, there was much in her character to admire.”
“[I]f she was not watchful when about her cabin, or when walking in the yard, a billet of wood, or a broken bottle perhaps, hurled from her mistress [Epps]’ hand, would smite her unexpectedly in the face.” — Narrative of Solomon Northup, a Citizen of New-York, Kidnapped in Washington City in 1841, and Rescued in 1853
Amy Cooper. (2020)
Parking Lot Karen. (2020)
BBQ Becky. (2019)
Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose. It is a seeking that he who wishes may know the cosmic secrets of the world and they that dwell therein. — Zora Neal Hurston, Dust Tracks on a Road
“I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.” — Albert Einstein
This story is for a good friend. A good friend whose superpower is her attraction to shiny objects — so-called “shiny object syndrome.”
I also succumb to shiny object syndrome. Especially when writing on Medium. Should I write about writing? COVID-19? Productivity? …
Have you ever been baffled by these levitating lines when writing?
En Dash: –
Em Dash: —
Sigh. Hyphens, en dashes, and em dashes are often most problematic when they’re missing.
American (U.S.) English differences with other forms of English make matters worse. We’ll focus on American English for this explanation.
Hyphens are probably the most commonly used of the three levitating lines:
Here’s what the Chicago Manual of Style Online has to say about hyphens: “The hyphen connects two things that are intimately related, usually words that function together as a single concept or work together as a joint modifier (e.g., …
“We can’t control our circumstances. But we can control our thoughts. We
can control our feelings, our actions, and our results, and what we decide
to do with all of them.” — Brooke Castillo
Even in the best of times, writing can be a rollercoaster of joy, guilt, and anxiety.
When the world comes crashing down around you, it’s hard to focus.
So how do you keep writing?
Focus on what you can control.
Easier said than done, right? I agree. However, one key to writing momentum that applies regardless of a global pandemic is to move forward, even when you cannot focus, are tired, or just cranky. …
We’ve seen it in the grocery store: “10 items or less.”
Unfortunately, this infamous sign has led us all astray in confusing the meaning of “fewer” and “less.” Shall we rectify this situation?
According to Cambridge Dictionary, “the quantifiers less and fewer . . . talk about quantities, amounts and degree. Less and fewer are comparative words. Less is the comparative form of little. Fewer is the comparative form of few.” The basic rule is that few is used with countable items, while less is used with uncountable items.
Here are two examples of few:
As an editor, I’ve noticed an increase in the use and misuse of within. Like the misuse of I and me (I do this all the time!), I believe the misuse of within stems from overcompensation. We don’t know which word to use, so we over-rely on the formal for fear of being corrected or sounding ‘ignorant.’
Within, however, is not a more formal version of in. They’re actually separate prepositions altogether.
Let’s take a closer look.
Are you stuck at home?
As you know, being at home can easily lead to a cycle of endless checking of your phone for updates or social input of any kind. The same applies to email, even though if I asked you if you enjoy checking email, you’d probably say no, you don’t enjoy it.
The problem for academics and writers at this moment is that email, like social media/news media outlets, are tempting distractions from anxiety, cabin-fever, and uncertainty. It gives us something concrete to do.
I’ve certainly found myself hitting refresh multiple times and answering emails more quickly than usual. …
What happens when you first wake up?
Do you grab your phone and start scrolling, only to be flooded with other people’s emotions? Or, given these challenging times, do you check the news? Do you groan because you have to get to work? Do you leap out of bed to make breakfast for the kids?
Or do you just hit the snooze button? Maybe twice?
My morning routine first developed out of necessity. And now I’m sticking to it.
If I jump out of bed immediately, I get nauseous. No idea why, but that’s just how I am. …