Sign and clock for Time Deli and Catering in San Jose, California

Image cc license from Flickr user Thomas Hawk: http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4011/4440874971_5fce369d98_b.jpg

Time is running out. Time keeps flowing like a river. It’s just a question of time.  A query of iTunes reports that I have 42 songs with the word “time” in the title.  I have it on good authority that it would be possible to write a few lines of code to figure out how many times the word “time” appears in lyrics from the 18.6 days of music and audiobooks in my iTunes,  given the appropriate skill set, files of all the song lyrics, and enough time.

However, time being limited and deadlines looming, this experiment remains hypothetical because I simply don’t have the time to spend on it. Earlier this year, I bookmarked and clipped articles on time from Grad Hacker (February’s “Setting time boundaries”) and Hack Library School (“It’s OK to not have time,” also from February), thinking I would read them as soon as I had time. Fast-forward four months and here I am, finally reading posts on time, trying to find some solution to my situation of feeling over-extended, overwhelmed with work, and wondering how much more I could get done or how much better I’d be faring if I only had more time.

As previously discussed on this blog, I keep statistics for our library, in an effort to quantify what we accomplish and what we produce. X number of publications catalogued, y number of reference queries of z duration. However, I could not use this same tool to effectively estimate how much time I spent on a given subject or activity. Following a recommendation, I created an account with Toggl.com and started using the Toggl app for iPhone to try to answer a very important question: where does the time go?

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Webcast of SUNY COIL Conference

For those interested in global education, online learning, and cross-cultural communication, there is a terrific webcast of a conference happening now from the SUNY COIL initiative.  I have blogged previously on the many great projects and opportunities that COIL has made available, including a grant that I am a part of for an online initiative between Lehigh, Drexel, and the University of Ghana Business School.  Today’s conference includes a wide variety of speakers and topics from faculty empowerment to online learning on a budget to using Japanese Manga as a medium for cross-cultural communication.  After a brief lunch break, sessions will start back up at 2PM EST.  The conference will be going on until 5:30 PM EST today, so tune in for some enlightening, interesting sessions!

4th SUNY COIL Conference

Grandiose Challenges

An alternative title for this post could be, “How we make futile attempts to exercise control over the universe.”  I’ll explain…

PhD Comic: “Outside Interests”

I have had a few conversations with colleagues and friends lately that have me thinking about the sometimes irrational, obsessive  hobbying that crops up amongst graduate students.  Even if you do not have your own, you certainly know a colleague or friend that has has taken their “outside interests” to the extreme.  From the friend who was going to dress up for opening night of the Hunger Games (I’m looking at you @LizzyErwin) or the colleague racking up marathon mileage on their bicycle, I know more people who are not just taking up a hobby, but taking it to the next level.  Hobbies and interests are constant through society, but there is something about graduate students who like to kick up the intensity.

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