Week 11, Tuesday: April 20

Ok, I know these final weeks are always hard, and in yet another semester with a lot of remote learning, virus worries still abounding, police brutality and various shootings in the past weeks it's not been a good one to keep focused on course work. The real world keeps intruding. I know. If you need extra time, let me know. If you need more resources to cope: the College has them. Ask me to connect you, I'll set you up with the right people if you want me to. It's not easy being a student right now, but we've got this!

Schedule for today:

  • Get ready for a heavy week (in terms of content): the Great Leap Forward and the concomitant great famine, as well as the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution are fascinating but disturbing topics. Check in with yourself: do you want it all in one go, or rather take small doses every day so you're prepared for Thursday's session? 
  • If you need company and want immediate answers while you work on your preliminary draft, drop by between 2-4PM on our regular Zoom link. I'm around, but I have a consultation with one of you at 3PM

Community Check-in/ Stand in solidary with BSA

5:00 - 6:30PM: Community check-in for students of color to discuss how they feel after the Derek Chauvin trial; the president of the Black Students Association has invited the community to "come and stand in solidarity with them. It would mean a lot to the students to see an outpouring of support from everyone in their community as they grapple with yet another wave of racialized violence." (from Dr. Kucik's email) Please show your support! (Email me if you lost the link to the Zoom.)

Tuesday tech tip:

Simple, but effective: there is an off-button for your devices. Please use it, especially when you feel overwhelmed with the news. It's ok not to know everything as and when it happens. You'll hear what you need to know, somebody will tell you.

In addition, there are also a wealth of options to limit your screen time and distractions. I (foolishly) thought that I could rely on willpower alone, but I ended up using an app to keep me on the straight and narrow while I work on some larger research projects that require more focus and "deep work".

  • Do not disturb or Airplane Mode
  • Screentime on Mac and Mac OS
    • Undoubtedly also available for Android and other devices but I am not familiar with the terminology.
    • Set up limits for apps or websites, either as a daily amount of time, or time periods when access is restricted.
  • Specific apps:
    • Freedom works similarly to Screentime, but you can fine-tune it more: I use it to keep me off Twitter and other social media when I should be doing work. It now works so well the sidebar has dried up a bit on the course websites. Apologies!
  • Filter and block specific words on social media:
    • You can ask twitter to mute specific words; Instagram will mute specific accounts. You don't have to unfollow (and the other side doesn't know, so it's not "rude"), but it may be useful for your own productivity and peace of mind.

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