A Lesson Plan for Democratic Co-Creation: Forging a Syllabus by Students, for Students

Earlier in the semester, I wrote a post about Structuring Equality in my early American Lit classroom. On the first day of class, I asked my students (individually and then in pairs, using Think-Pair-Share) to determine their goals and priorities for the year. Then, in larger groups, students revised and added to parts of the … Continue reading A Lesson Plan for Democratic Co-Creation: Forging a Syllabus by Students, for Students

Strategies for Time Management

[Originally posted on futuresinitiative.org on October 14, 2018] During a recent business meeting at the Futures Initiative, we spent 15-20 minutes sharing strategies for time management in a fishbowl activity. There are different ways to do a fishbowl: you can divide a class into discussants and listeners, where groups sit in different spaces in the room; or … Continue reading Strategies for Time Management

Structuring Equality in my American Literature Survey Course

It's syllabus-writing season! After some time away from teaching, time for reflection and growth as an educator, I am thrilled to be teaching "American Literature: Origins to the Civil War" again this fall. I've taught this course twice, so I feel confident enough to hand my syllabus over to my students to plan all the … Continue reading Structuring Equality in my American Literature Survey Course

“Wild,” a Book Review

After hiking 1,000+ miles of the Appalachian Trail (from the Smokies of North Carolina to the corn fields of Pennsylvania), I finally allowed myself the chance to read Wild by Cheryl Strayed. I had been putting this off, not wanting another woman's long-distance hike to muddy my own, until a friend let me borrow her … Continue reading “Wild,” a Book Review

STAR Method, or What Academics Can Learn from Project Managers, Part II

In a previous post, I talked about using Gantt Charts to map out dissertation timelines and estimate how long it will take you to meet short and long-term goals. All of that I learned from my fiancé, who works in a world of glass skyscrapers far different from mine. Over the past two and a … Continue reading STAR Method, or What Academics Can Learn from Project Managers, Part II

Revolutionary Office Meetings

[Originally posted on May 24, 2018 on futuresinitiative.org, and featured in "Better Meetings Through Pedagogy" by ProfHacker, The Chronicle of Higher Education.] Pedagogy is something we take with us when we leave a classroom, and it’s something (as I learned this year at the Futures Initiative) that we can bring into office meetings to make … Continue reading Revolutionary Office Meetings

Gantt Charts, or What Academics Can Learn From Project Managers, Part I

When I met with a colleague to talk about her Orals, she very kindly told me she had no idea how I managed all of the things that I do. I admitted that sometimes I only just barely manage to do them, and I said exactly the same thing to her. We both juggle multiple … Continue reading Gantt Charts, or What Academics Can Learn From Project Managers, Part I

What Hiking Taught Me About Writing the Dissertation

It's March and it's snowing on top of the springtime buds (because March) and I'm getting that familiar itch telling me that it's time to go for another very long walk outside. Over the past two summers, I've completed two long section hikes (400 and 500 miles) of the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) and I'm ready … Continue reading What Hiking Taught Me About Writing the Dissertation

What I Wish I Knew Before Starting my PhD

Now in my fifth year, writing my dissertation, I've had some time to reflect on my beginnings as a PhD student and the years preceding it when I was getting my Masters. I've attended the same institution for 7 years and watched it change for 9 (I took a 2-year break between degrees). I've realized … Continue reading What I Wish I Knew Before Starting my PhD