Staying Active in No Time at All

Laura B. McGrath is a PhD student in English at Michigan State University. She tweets at @lbmcgrathand blogs at Emerging Modernisms. When people ask me what I actually do all day, I tell them: I sit and read. I also sit and write, and I also sit-while-driving. The demands of my scholarship require me to be stationary while I expend …

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GradHacker on Pinterest

GradHacker first discussed the social network Pinterest in April of 2012, and we are finally taking our own advice and setting up an account. As GradHacker Terry Brock described it in his post on the subject, “The tool itself is simple: when you find something you think is interesting,  you ‘pin’ it to a topical …

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Student Referrals: How and When

Many of us regularly refer students to different university services. Without batting an eye, I’ve encouraged students to visit the University Writing Center, to set up a meeting with a subject librarian, or to see a tutor in the English Language Center. These fantastic services can offer more specialized attention than I am able to give, …

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Commuting to Campus

My first five years of grad school,  I lived within walking distance of the campus. I always felt that being close to the university community was important for bonding with other students and becoming a part of the general area. I loved spending my Sundays buying fresh vegetables from the university’s farmers markets, visiting campus …

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Keeping up with Trends

In our crazy, everyday graduate student and “real” lives, how does one keep up with broader academic, discipline-specific, and tech trends? Should we even try? Is it worth it? Is it too late/too early to do so? In this post, I offer tips and tools to stay on top of the most important research, academic …

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Working with Faculty of Record

Many early graduate student instructors have the opportunity to work as a teaching assistant for a large, lecture-based course. These assignments come in all different shapes and sizes: leading a weekly discussion section (how I cut my teaching-teeth), conducting a lab, or serving as a grader. When I received my first TA assignment, I’ll admit, I was …

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Preparing for the Job Market Maze

Many of us are preparing to enter the academic job market this fall and are wondering where to start and how to navigate this unfamiliar and intimidating terrain. In a recent professional development talk at Michigan State University, Dr. Sowande’ Mustakeem offered the following suggestions from her own successful experience on the job market: Begin …

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Secret Lives of Grad Students

A few weeks ago I stumbled across this essay by Amy Boesky in The Kenyon Review that reflected on her time ghostwriting for the Sweet Valley High series. What caught my attention was the fact that she wrote for the series throughout her time as a doctoral student (okay, I admit it–I  actually started reading because I …

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GradHacking the MOOC

It is undeniable that we are currently living in the time of the MOOC (Massively Open Online Course, just in case you were catching up on Downton Abbey and missed it). Every day new headlines pop up at Inside Higher Ed and The New York Times discussing the impact of MOOCs, who’s joined forces with …

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Learning to Code

So it’s come to your attention that, *gulp*, you are going to have to learn to code something. This is happening more and more across disciplines: be it the explosion of interest in digital humanities, robust software or support data analysis, more and more graduate students are finding themselves moving beyond the WSYIWYG toolbars and …

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