Skip to main content

I Like to Hear My Own Work

July 21, 2020

Over the years, I’ve developed a strong sense of myself as a writer and learner. When I compose information, I do so with my audience in mind, so the last step in my writing process is hearing my own work. Because I live alone—even though I do have my wonderful dog-daughter, Sam, she’s not the best reader—I love to have my computer read my work back to me. So, hearing how my work sounds, especially with my audience in mind, enables me to clarify and strengthen my ideas.

Papers as Puzzles

July 14, 2020

By applying these strategies to my writing process, I now think of my own writing as a puzzle. The techniques that I’d use during my puzzle night are also useful for making progress on writing, especially when the project’s structure won’t become clear until closer to the end. To illustrate how this works for me, let’s look at an example of a lecture series about Marx that I recently wrote.

Do You Ever Note with Evernote?

June 30, 2020

I see it everywhere–the caricature of frazzled academics taking notes on endless scraps of paper, a trail of ideas flying behind them in the wind. In my case, I used to shove my notes into a drawer, where they were promptly lost and forgotten. Then I found Evernote.

Getting Motivated

June 23, 2020

“I have a hard time motivating myself to write.” “I struggle to find the motivation to sit down and study.” As an academic coach, I hear these comments countless times from students. If I had the one infallible solution for how to motivate students to write and learn, I’m sure I would be a much sought after speaker, could go on a world-wide tour, and eventually would retire among the rich and famous! Unfortunately, I don’t think that’s quite how it is going to work.

My Many Methods of Organization

May 19, 2020

When I first came to college, I found it challenging to balance various elements of my life. From class assignments and club meetings to my work schedule and meet ups with friends, it didn’t take long before I started feeling very overwhelmed. I started thinking: How am I supposed to stay on top of all of these deadlines? How can I figure out when I’ll have time to fit everything in my schedule? Eventually I developed a three-part system to keep myself organized.

Taking Life Week by Week

April 27, 2020

Like many other students, I’ve recently had to move back home. While I was happy to be reunited with my cat, all the upheaval (and my inability to go get work done at Davis) has made it difficult for me to stay as organized and on top of my work as I used to be. I’ve been using Trello to keep track of all my work and assignments since the start of spring semester, but I began to think that something similar to a traditional planner might also help me keep track of what needs to be done and when it needs to be done. So, I turned to the Learning Center’s weekly planners.

How I Use Calendars

April 13, 2020

I wholeheartedly believe that the perfect calendar doesn’t exist. It took me a few years of trial and error to learn that a combination of paper and electronic calendars works best for me. This system doesn’t need to be complicated. In my case, I use Google Calendar to figure out where I need to be (as well as any recurring reminders) and a paper calendar for what I need to do.

Using Trello to Stay Organized in a Virtual World

April 6, 2020

What a spring. As new developments surrounding COVID-19 are announced on what seems like a daily basis, getting back to coursework remotely is a daunting and extraordinary task for all of us. One of the biggest difficulties posed by a switch to virtual learning is the loss of routine, which can severely impact our ability to stay organized and keep ourselves accountable for the many projects we have going on. How are you going to balance all of these tasks to make sure you budget your time wisely, prioritize effectively, and remember to do everything?