All glory comes from daring to begin. - Eugene F. Ware
Of late, I have been really enjoying the “My Big Break” series from NPR. The high-stakes storytelling of a life-making moment is compelling; uncovering for the listener a time in the life of someone fairly well-known that essentially opened a door to the path to success and/or achievement.
What’s striking is that for a series called “My Big Break”, it could have easily been called “My Big Choice.” Echoing through each of these stories is a decision point. All the stories outline a time and place where they were presented or perceived an opportunity that they could either seize or turn away. In all of these stories, our protagonist seizes the opportunity, and the outcome is transformational.
A classic speech worthwhile of revisiting. Comedian John Cleese on creativity, psychology, and the conditions necessary for expansive thinking.
As we begin a new academic year, I am thinking of the many people who are about to make the transition (either from undergrad, employment, or full-time family life) to graduate school. I have been reflecting on my own transition – in Summer 2009 – right before began my PhD program. In that time leading into the Fall semester, I was obsessed not only my academic chops and proving my worth, but also with the logistics of A) living apart from my husband B) carrying two rent payments and C) entering a world of uncertain funding.
I was having night terrors thinking about the change, and started to concentrate on the things I felt I could anticipate and plan. While I had little control over what the Fall would bring, I could start being proactive about finances and conscious about spending to prepare for this large economic shift I was making.
As the new semester starts, this classic from PhD Comics will help orient you to the awkward question, “What do I call my professor?”
I am sure that many of you are familiar with, if not avid readers of, GradHacker. The online community hosted on Inside Higher Ed also covers the lived experience of the graduate researcher and academic. For the summer, the blog quiets down (as I’m sure everyone else is recovering from the academic year). However, they are taking the opportunity to host some interesting contests, and the most recent is one which I participated. “Swag for Wisdom: A Fair Exchange” asks readers to share their best advice for incoming graduate students for a chance to win some GradHacker swag. Prize or not, I love sharing lessons learned. So, here was my advice:
It’s been a while, Internet, but I think that we’re ready to get back on track with Research Salad. This year has held many sidetracks and ups/downs. However, that does not mean has left us devoid of material. Au contraire! This year has given we here at Research Salad a wealth of information and experiences to share with you. From dissertation bumps to new full-time employment, we’ve all had some changes. But, with change comes growth, and the chance to try new things.
As we move into summer – and the theoretical vacations that could take place – this seemed an appropriate share that so many of us will recognize: