How I Spent My Thanksgiving Vacation

This Thanksgiving was the first time in six years that I haven’t had to work on a class or a dissertation over the holiday.  I wasn’t sure how I would spend my time, but I was determined to relax and to do no work.  Of course, I had things that I could have done.  And things that I should have done.  But I didn’t do any of those.  Instead, I binge-watched episodes of Doctor Who (I’ve been trying to catch up on this series for 2 years) and started The Blacklist.  I also colored:  it’s the newest stress-reliever for adults.  And, of course, I did the holiday thing – I cooked dinner and spent time with my loved ones.  Overall, it was a very relaxing and enjoyable week of no work.

However, I couldn’t completely shut down.  I still monitored Twitter and bookmarked (and actually read!) some of the articles I had marked to read later.   I also discovered that the word I was looking for in my November 13 post that describes the genre of using lists on the Internet– the listicle.  Yes, it is a thing and apparently it’s here to stay.  With that thought in mind, here are 4 themes I discovered, or found interesting, over my Thanksgiving vacation.

  1. Writing is huge, and maybe it shouldn’t be.  I’ve never really considered myself a “good” writer.  I know the mechanics, but I’ve always worried that my writing wasn’t “academic” enough.  It was my greatest concern all the way through my dissertation and in getting my first article published.  Therefore, I guess it isn’t surprising that I tend to gravitate toward writing articles, especially the ones that focus on the idea that writing needn’t be as complicated as we sometimes make it.  Here are several that I found interesting and would like to pass along:
    1. Clear, Concise Writing: It’s the Law (Seriously)
    2. The High School/College Writing Classroom Disconnect
    3. The Power of Simple Words
  2. Reading is still an issue. On November 20, I wrote about the challenges in getting students to read and with reading in general.  Here are some additional links on that topic:
    1. Addicted to Distraction
    2. Even at Harvard, students don’t read the book. Unless…
  3. Course Endings. I haven’t written much about my findings and explorations of course evaluations this semester, but they have been a topic of interest in a lot of my research.  As the semester draws to a close, I’ve been thinking a great deal about endings and the final impressions that I’m leaving on my students.
    1. Final Exams or Epic Finales
    2. That’s a Wrap: Or, Planning for Course Endings
    3. Planning for Course Endings: Closure Activities
    4. A New Twist on End-of-Semester Evaluations
  4. Of course, not all of my time was spent working.  I did find some time to have fun and found the following of interest:
    1. Introducing FOH: Faculty Office Hours
    2. Bob Ross Lipsum

How did you spend your break?




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