Weekend Reading: Start of Term Edition

StartI’ll just use this space as a chance to wish a happy start of the term for everyone who has started already, or about to. I myself have been enjoying an annual game of “enrollment chicken,” in which my course that doesn’t meet any requirements at all struggles to make the minimum enrollment thresholds to run.

The good news is, it did! The more complicated bit: Looks like a weekend full of WordPress-wrangling to get everything up and running for the first day. Wheeee!

May your classes be full of interesting, interested students!

On to this week’s links:

  • I meant to re-read the new story about how academic fathers handle work-life issues, but thought I’d link to this story by, not about, a local third-grader instead. (His name rings a bell.)
  • Miriam K. Posner has an excellent post of “Dissertation Advice”: So here’s what I told my friend, and what I would tell myself if I could: You are more important than any damn dissertation.
  • In case anyone still uses intricate folder systems to organize their e-mail or files, science says you’re doing it wrong (.pdf; via Ben Brooks): People who create complex folders indeed rely on these for retrieval, but these preparatory behaviors are inefficient and do not improve retrieval success. In contrast, both search and threading promote more effective finding.
  • At Evening Redness, Ben Robertson offers “Nine theses on teaching with technology”: we have always taught with technology, even before we were aware of doing so. Our use of such technologies was mimetic (based on having seen others doing something similar), done without an abstract knowledge of what we were doing. Thus “teaching with technology” abstracts our practices so that we might know them.
  • I’ve been reading Kate Clancy’s November post about inducing labor this week, thanks to a situation in my wife’s family: That said, think of late pregnancy as an #occupyuterus movement. If current events are any indicator, no good comes of forcing peaceful protestors to leave by violent means.
  • Neven Mrgan defends “focused dabbling”: The hardest thing for humans to persuade each other of is priorities. Should you be an exercise freak? A computer wiz? A classical-literature buff? A badass hiker? A game maker? A dedicated volunteer? A great cook? These are all worthy activities, each enriching your life and likely the lives of others.

I think everyone who didn’t resolve to learn to code this year probably resolved to lose weight (with apologies to A. Trubek), and so in that spirit I offer Amelia Greenhall’s talk, “Weigh Everyday = Understanding” (via Alexandra Carmichael at the Quantified Self blog):

Have a great weekend!

Photo “Start Starting Line Americorps Cinema Service Night Wilcox Park May 20, 20118″ by Flickr user stevendepolo / Creative Commons licensed

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