How Healthy is Your Reading Diet?

Creativity's Workshop

Someone heading to bed with a good book and a bowl of cereal “Good Night” by Leo Hidalgo via Flickr

Last week I mentioned this quote by Ray Bradbury:

“Just write every day of your life. Read intensely. Then see what happens. Most of my friends who are put on that diet have very pleasant careers.”

Now if you’re a writer it’s understandable that you must write (we covered the writing diet in last week’s post), but must you read?

Ray Bradbury and many other successful authors say you do. Why? Because the words you take in as you read affect the words you write.

The reading diet isn’t just about picking up a good book and flicking through the pages. Notice Bradbury said, “Read intensely.” What does that mean?

It means savouring what you read, chewing it over in the mind and noticing the details from word choice to character development. Do you see why it’s called a diet?

Today…

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House of Cards to Return For Third Season in February

Jon Negroni

house of cards season 3

Ross Miller | The Verge

House of Cards, Netflix’s first breakout success, is coming back for a third season. Netflix today announced the premiere date: February 27th, 2015.

The 13-episode second season of House of Cards debuted this past Valentine’s Day, February 14th, and was reportedly finished by over half a million people in the first weekend — and by at least one person (me) in the first 12 hours.

The Season 3 release date announcement was made by the House of Cards official Twitter account, which teased a perfectly chilling video of the “First Couple” entering Air Force One.

Now we just have to come up with something to fill the time until February 27th. I’ll mostly be wondering how they’ll manage to match the near-perfect first episode of Season 2, which featured my personal favorite twist of the entire series thus far.

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Being Time in Kenya with Heidegger

Being Time in Kenya with Heidegger

Global Sojourns Photography

Kenya Maasai Mara Africa-22

The concept of time is fascinating. From physics to philosophy, the notion of time is difficult to define.

From our normal existence in the world, we often define time as ‘fleeting’ in the sense there is never enough. Frustration builds as the majority of time is spent catching up on work…work that is always running further and further away.

Kenya Maasai Mara Africa-19

The more worry about time, the less there is.

This has been the script for me this year.  Just as I am ready to celebrate and enjoy autumn, this great season is fading fast.

Back in September, I noticed the leaves turning color. But instead of picking up my coat and heading out, I dropped my head for a quick analysis of work and business only to look up a couple of months later to find winter staring me in the face.

Kenya Maasai Mara Africa-15

Pushing open the window, a gust of cold wind…

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AYN RAND
It is not in the nature of man-nor of any living entity -to start out by giving up,by spitting in one’s own face and damning existence; that requires a process of corruption whose rapidity differs from man to man. Some give up at the first touch of pressure; some sell out; some run down by imperceptible degrees and lose their fire, never knowing when or how they lost it. Then all of these vanish in the vast swamp of their elders who tell them persistently that maturity consists of abandoning one’s mind ; security; of abandoning one’s values; practically , of losing self-esteem. Yet a few hold on and move on, knowing that fire is not to be betrayed , learning how to give it shape, purpose and reality. But whatever their future , at the dawn of their lives, men seek a noble vision of man’s nature and of life’s potential.

There are very few guideposts to find. The Fountainhead is one of them.

What Students Really Need to Hear

What Students Really Need to Hear

What real purpose of Education should be!!

AFFECTIVE LIVING

It’s 4 a.m.  I’ve struggled for the last hour to go to sleep.  But, I can’t.  Yet again, I am tossing and turning, unable to shut down my brain.  Why?  Because I am stressed about my students.  Really stressed.  I’m so stressed that I can only think to write down what I really want to say — the real truth I’ve been needing to say — and vow to myself that I will let my students hear what I really think tomorrow.

This is what students really need to hear:

First, you need to know right now that I care about you. In fact, I care about you more than you may care about yourself.  And I care not just about your grades or your test scores, but about you as a person. And, because I care, I need to be honest with you. Do I have permission to be…

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The Truth of Fiction

The Truth of Fiction

Define REAL ??? Will you……nothing…Read and DIGEST

Miss Modernist

A young Hemingway in Paris. After a recent chain of events, I have come to the realization that we can no longer use the words real and true interchangeably. What is real may indeed have happened, but what is true is only what happens in the way that we remember. Say, perhaps, you spent your morning walking to the corner café at sunrise, watching the same nonchalant faces you see everyday—real enough of an event—but, looking back on it in the evening, the sun seems more of a painting than it was, the faces seem more of a backdrop than they were, and you seem more peaceful than you were back when it happened. This memory may not be as real as the event, but we know it to be true, because you were there, and you are here, and you are the one writing the story.

I daresay a good work of fiction is…

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Toxic academic mentors

BUllying it never ends -School>College>Workplace

Tenure, She Wrote

Unfortunately for potential scientists, professors don’t receive any formal training in mentoring – and a disastrous mentoring situation can derail a trainee’s career.  Although some professors go out of their way to think about mentoring (see Acclimatrix’s post), and many want to be good mentors, the truth is there are some downright awful ones out there.  So what creates a ‘toxic’ mentoring relationship?  To me, the worst relationships happen when the person in power (the mentor) takes advantage of the mentee’s work without sufficient regard for their career and mental health.  Unfortunately, I’ve never been part of a department where there wasn’t at least one professor that “everyone” knew was a toxic mentor.  Some examples include:

  • One who drags out a student’s defense date for years because of limited resources for that type of research (doesn’t want the competition)
  • One who blocks mentee publications or degrees by putting up…

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