Blog Archives

On Balancing Breaks

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It is the end of April. Spring is in the air, and summer is just around the corner. Those of us who are instructors or teaching assistants will soon be free. Free from preparing for classes, giving lectures and tutorials, and

Posted in Overwork, Productivity, Staying Well, Thesis, Time off Tagged with: , , , , ,

Where do I start? Strategies for writing effectively

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Reading and writing are key components of life, curiosity, inquiry, and learning. Writing, in particular, is an important skill that is at the foundation of graduate student learning and professional life. However, writing is not easy; it is a lifelong

Posted in Productivity, Skill Development, Student Perspective, Thesis Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

Surviving Archive Fever

A photograph of some documents from a recent trip to the archives

In Jacques Derrida’s book Archive Fever: A Freudian Impression (1996) he writes about the French idiom mal d’archive (archive fever) explaining that this idea is more than simply suffering from a sickness but it is – “to burn with a passion. It is never to

Posted in Archives, Overwork, Productivity, Skill Development, Staying Well, Student Perspective, Thesis, Uncategorized Tagged with: , , ,

On Dissertation-on-the-Lake

on the lake logo

I am a proponent of making writing social. In one of my previous blog posts, I touched briefly on writing retreats to overcome isolation among graduate students. Here at Queen’s, we are lucky that the School of Graduate Studies (SGS)

Posted in Thesis Tagged with: , , , , , ,

On writing blocks and getting unstuck

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Have you ever experienced a writing block? Last February, I attended a special lecture by Visiting Professor Deborah Britzman. Professor Britzman holds the York Research Chair in Pedagogy and Psycho-Social Transformation. Her lecture was on a topic that is close

Posted in Thesis Tagged with: , , , , ,

On Craftsmanship as a Metaphor for Research

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How do you frame your scholarship? Do you have a metaphor for how you approach your thesis or dissertation? In her book Write No Matter What: Advice for Academics, Joli Jensen extols the benefits of craftsmanship as a metaphor or

Posted in Thesis Tagged with: , , , , ,

Battling the Snake: Surviving your Defense

Photo from Heather Merla's research from the Grotta Grande, Boboli Gardens

In Luke Burn’s 2010 article entitled “The ‘Snake Fight’ Portion of Your Thesis Defense”, he describes the battle that all successful PhD students must go through. In case you didn’t know, university guidelines require PhDs to defeat a snake. These

Posted in Productivity, Skill Development, Student Perspective, Thesis, Uncategorized

On Five for Focus

Featured for focus post

As a graduate student, you’ll often be confronted with mentally challenging tasks. Your thesis, for example, demands you to write about difficult concepts, understand dense research articles, and analyze unruly data. Here are five strategies to help you focus so

Posted in Productivity, Professional Development, Skill Development, Thesis Tagged with: , , ,

Coffee and Cramming: Cafes Around Kingston to Study In

Interior of The Juniper Cafe

Graduate work can often be isolating; whether it’s long hours in the lab, in the library or in your home office pouring over books, experiment results or excel sheets. Sometimes a change in your work space is much needed and

Posted in General, Holidays, Kingston, Productivity, Staying Well, Student Perspective, Teaching, Thesis, Uncategorized

On Writing Productivity – Writing Among Others

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After years of going through the research stage of my PhD program, watching my cohorts graduate one by one, (feels like) I am alone. It has become difficult for me to stay motivated and focus on making progress in my

Posted in Productivity, Professional Development, Publications, Skill Development, Staying Well, Thesis Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

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