Here’s some of what has been on the WLN news radar lately:
“Two-For-One Deal: Killing Boredom with Procrastination”- Lindsay Oden asserts that students are particularly susceptible to apathetic boredom, which he defines as “that feeling of helplessness or desperation produced by overwhelming circumstances when we procrastinate.” He outlines some specific strategies for avoiding apathetic boredom, such as organizing your workspace. [Inside Higher Ed]
From Inside Higher Ed
“What counts as academic writing? #ACWri”- Dr. Raul Pacheco-Vega discusses the focus within academic writing on creating “generative text” and asserts that we should place more value on “non-generative text,” such as emails to colleagues and handwritten notes. [Raul Pacheco]
“An Exercise in Bad Writing”- Dr. Amitava Kumar describes assigning “bad writing” to his students in both fiction and non-fiction writing classes. He explains that through the exercise, students have an opportunity to be creative and identify clichéd writing practices. [The Chronicle of Higher Education]
Here’s some of what has been on the WLN news radar this week:
Happy Hanukkah! Check out this list of 8-book themed gifts for Hanukkah that will delight the readers and writers in your life. [Bustle]
Writing centers connect internationally. Dr. Stephanie Dreyfürst, who founded and directs the Writing Center at Frankfurt’s Goethe-University, shares about her visit to the University of Wisconsin-Madison Writing Center and discusses academia and writing center culture in both Germany and the United States. [Another Word]
A TESOL instructor reflects. Professor Jessica McCaughey shares the biggest lessons that she learned teaching English-language learners and how she sees those lessons as transferrable to other kinds of classes. [The Chronicle of Higher Education]
Rather than delaying your writing projects, start now! For those of you reading this as you procrastinate on finals work, British philosopher Alain de Botton suggests that procrastination stems from perfectionism and that we should find a way to begin projects rather than delay them. [Business Insider]
Check out this video that depicts de Botton’s ideas on procrastination:
Although the Long Night Against Procrastination began five years ago at Viadrina University in Frankfurt/Oder (one hour east of Berlin and the location of the 2014 EWCA conference), universities across the pond have also caught on. Julie Nelson Christoph, Director of the Center for Writing, Learning, and Teaching at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA shares this year’s event with us.
Those of us who procrastinate have a special relationship with our procrastination, in its many varieties and causes. There’s the dreaded procrastination because of fear of the task, there’s joyous procrastination because of more enticing alternatives, and—when we’re smart—there’s what Professor John Perry calls “structured procrastination,” or putting the urge to procrastinate to good use by re-prioritizing our priority lists, so that the truly useful tasks (like major writing projects) become the distractions from the other tasks on the list (like vaguely important emails that seem pressing but have been forgotten by everyone but you).