Thursday, May 22, 2008

IN THE NEWS: why this blog is anonymous

I was going to write about the funny thing my adviser said to me today. But after reading this article, I think I'll just keep the joke to myself. This article is chilling. And if you write a blog or put any portion of yourself on the internet, you must consider this cautionary tale.

You should also check out the comments to this article. The "people" have some pretty interesting reactions. Also, what are your opinions on the paradox of her self-disclosure? The article is about how it ruined her, and yet it also gave her a NY Times byline. Are contemporary intellectuals not a little forced to "overshare," as she calls it?


Published: May 25, 2008

Back in 2006, when I was 24, my life was cozy and safe. I had just been promoted to associate editor at the publishing house where I’d been working since I graduated from college, and I was living with my boyfriend, Henry, and two cats in a grubby but spacious two-bedroom apartment in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. I spent most of my free time sitting with Henry in our cheery yellow living room on our stained Ikea couch, watching TV. And almost every day I updated my year-old blog, Emily Magazine, to let a few hundred people know what I was reading and watching and thinking about. read more

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

READERS SPEAK: study music

Ahoy bloggerinos! You guys and gals are slacking off. So few of you voted in this poll. And nobody likes rock 'n' roll? What's your problem? Perhaps I need to replace you folks with some newer and cooler readers? Nah, I'm just joking. You guys are great and I love you! Anyway, I'm the one that's been slacking off by not posting. I guess I'll have to be a little more diligent next time. Well, I've chatted enough, here's your results: 

What is your study anthem (by musical genre)?
Classical 33%
Jazz 16%
Rock 'n' Roll 0%
Electronic 33%

Monday, May 19, 2008

STUDY ANTHEM O THE DAY: in the summertime

Back when I first quit my job to finish my thesis, the trees were bare and the women were covered. It was February, a cold, dark and studious month if I've ever heard of one. Yet even then, when the weather was on my side, I found it hard to study. Now the thermometer conspires against me. It's certainly that much harder to study when it seems like everybody else is having fun. But hey, if you can't beat 'em, you can at least study by the pool, right? No? OK, well you can at least listen to today's study anthem to imagine all the fun you'll have post-graduation! I dreged this baby up from the funny facial hair days of the '70s. Which leads me to ask, is there anything that YouTube doesn't have on file?

"In the Summertime" by Mungo Jerry

Sunday, May 18, 2008

VIEW FROM THE IVORY TOWER: after-hours study spot

When the task of writing a thesis grows from a discrete event into a lifestyle, the socially inclined grad student must adjust his or her habits to accommodate this burden. Sometimes that involves taking your laptop to the bar. Ironically, I found it no less distracting than the oh-so-studious coffee shop. And as an added bonus, the alcohol takes the edge off the academic anxiety. One word of advice: Bar studying should only be done Sunday thru Tuesday nights so as not to disturb the bar-goers who actually have lives and want to have fun.

PS. I don't care how starving a student you are; tip your barstaff!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Elevation of Procrastination

I love! Sometimes it gives me a reason for living. Often it gives me a reason to avoid working. Last week, it did both. And it explained the raison d'etre of my blog in the process. You guessed it, my dearest Slate did a special issue on procrastination. I wanted to provide links to it everyday, but I never got around to it. So here are the links to all their amazing articles on procrastination in one easy blob. Enjoy!


"Lollygagging Through Life: I'm joining Procrastinators Anonymous—can I get past step one?" by Emily Yoffe. Posted May 13, 2008.

"Procrastination Lit: Great novels about wasting time," by Jessica Winter. Posted May 13, 2008.

"Lazy Money: The procrastinator's portfolio: An investment guide," by Daniel Gross. Posted May 13, 2008.

"Letter to a Young Procrastinator: Some last-minute advice from a veteran slacker," by Seth Stevenson. Posted May 13, 2008.

"Procrastinators Without Borders: Do the Japanese waste more time than we do?" by Heather Smith. Posted May 13, 2008.


"Solitaire-y Confinement: Why we can't stop playing a computerized card game," by Josh Levin. Posted May 14, 2008.

"Pro·cras·ti·na·tion: How we got a word for "putting things off," by Ben Zimmer. Posted May 14, 2008.

" 'It's All in My Head': Did Truman Capote and Ralph Ellison have writer's block—or were they just chronic procrastinators?" by Jessiac Winter. Posted May 14, 2008.


"The Unfinished Stories: All the stuff we never got around to including in the special issue," by Daniel Engber. Posted May 15, 1008.

"Like There's No Tomorrow: How economists think about procrastination," by Ray Fisman. Posted May 15, 2008.

"Procrasti-Nation: Workers of the world, slack off!" Posted May 15, 2008.


"Taking Your Time: Josh Levin and Seth Stevenson finally get around to answering readers' questions on procrastination." Posted May 16, 2008.

Friday, May 16, 2008

School's Out for the Summer!

The semester ended last week, and from my perch at the university library I watched another generation of students clutch their diplomas in one hand and swimsuits in another as they marched to their graduation kegger/pool parties. I am still trucking away. Unfortunately, the more progress I make, the further away from the goal I seem to be. For example, my adviser is now giving me the corrections to my corrections to my lit review. For the love of God, I just want to graduate.

Photo by Brandt Luke Zorn

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Prodigal Blogger

Inevitably, the habits that transform a diligent grad student into a miserable grad student are the very same ones that turned me into an errant blogger. So, I apologize to all of you who have missed their preferred source of procrastination for the last few weeks. But I'm more or less back. I don't promise you anything. But here I am nonetheless.

I can't say that things have been particularly good in the interim. Somewhere in the drudgery of it all, I lost my sense of humor. And while problems viewed through a fun-house mirror are hilarious and entertaining, those same problems when viewed through a department store dressing-room mirror are a burden for all to witness. That's probably why I stopped writing. But for the sake of all involved, I will try to re-find my sense of humor. If I can find my glasses after losing them under my bed for a year and a half, I can certainly find my missing humor. If nothing else, I'm sure I can buy one used on Craigslist.

NOTE: This painting by BANKSY is a visual representation of my thesis with a sense of humor attached