In Which I Get Obsessed With MOOC

So here’s what I do, sometimes, while I’m working:  I have Coursera on in the background.  Well, and sometimes I just sit and listen to it. If you haven’t run across Coursera yet, it’s one of the online sites that offers university-level courses, on various topics.  For free!  Yes.  For free.  (Oh, I know, a…

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Aventure and Falling in Love

  In my online Taking the Aventure classes, we start off with “Remembering Your Aventures,” and there’s a guided meditation (which you can get for free if you sign up for my newsletter!), meant to help the listener remember some of the previous aventures he or she has had in his or her life.  Because…

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Deep Work

Cal Newport has recently posted a technique for setting up what he calls “deep work” sessions, a technique that seems very useful indeed.  His picture of how he uses the technique isn’t very illuminating, though, at least to me; here’s my translation: He’s got a list of things he wants to work on.  (In his…

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Down Time and Deep Projects

It’s finals week in the university where I teach.  All time changes.  The papers that we knew were coming, all semester, get written, and get read.  The finals which we knew were coming, all semester, get taken, and get graded.  All the departmental work that has to get finished before the summer is getting shoved…

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Passion for the Work

As I have said before, I admire Cal Newport’s Study Hacks blog very much; even when I don’t agree with his conclusions, I find his ideas useful.  He is good to think on if a man would express himself neatly.* But yesterday one of my friends told me he was absolutely turned off by the…

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On Writing Every Day

I admire greatly Cal Newport’s blog Study Hacks; he’s interested in examining myths about studying, and entrepreneurship, and achievement, stacking the myths up against data, and thinking about what really works and what doesn’t.  And he’s usually got extremely good advice.  So I was very amused to come across one of his posts with which,…

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My Best PhD Exam Advice

For those of you getting ready to take such things as PhD exams (and you know who you are; I’ve got one of you in mind specially), my advice: (Now, this is not about the studying.  Let’s assume that you had a plan, and you had a schedule, and you spent months going over your…

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