I love Black History Month! It is a great time of the year to reflect on the achievements and contributions of African Americans to American society. I will refrain of getting on my soap box, but I’d encourage you to reflect on the achievements of African Americans during February but year round. I’m just sayin’. Anyway here are some pictures from BGSA’s event the State of Black History at IU. Enjoy!
I hope everyone had a very happy holidays and a pleasant break between semesters. I traveled home to Montana and enjoyed some quiet time with my family.
We ate a lot of food, played a lot of games, stayed up late, slept in late, and pretty much let our cares rest for a while. Since the breaks between the semesters are often a time for students and professors to catch up on work, it felt a little indulgent to relax so much.
But actually, taking breaks can help your productivity in the long-run (as I’m sure most of us have heard.) Here’s some advice for graduate students from Rachel Manes and the American Psychological Association:
First off, consider how long the designated vacation period will last. While writing up results of a study might seem like a tempting way to spend this time during the extended break, planning non-academic related events is an equally productive way to spend time during the designated vacation period because they stand to improve productivity after the break is over. These off-line activities could range from travel and recreation to leisure time with friends and loved ones. (rest of the article here)
So you see, there’s no need to feel guilty about your vacation – and I hope you took one! Instead, you can focus on transitioning into the new semester and having a productive start. Happy spring semester everyone!
This year I chose to not do any international or cross-country travel. Instead I took short trips with my family to Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, and Chicago.
Our first day trip was to experience Christmas at the Indianapolis Zoo. Where we enjoyed the holiday lights event, partook in kids activities and caught a glimpse of some of the animals.
Next was our visit to the Fort. Fort Wayne is the second largest city in the state after Indianapolis, and has many attractions. The activities range from shows at the historic Embassy Theatre to an outdoor stroll through downtown and Headwaters Park. While visiting family there we went ice skating at the Headwaters outdoor rink, and later got some hot chocolate at DeBrand–a local chocolate shop.
From there we headed three hours west to the windy city. While in Chicago we visited the LEGOLAND Discovery Center and did some last minute holiday shopping at the Woodfield Mall. The next morning we had brunch at Restaurante Aguascalientes at La Villita ( Little Village). La Villita is densely packed with Mexican businesses and what I consider the closest thing to being in Mexico as I can get in the Midwest.
While we didn’t go very far, the quality time spent visiting friends and family at these locations definitely took me out of the everyday routine.
Next on the list…outdoor winter activities in the area.
I’m sure most of us would agree that one of the more difficult parts of graduate school is being far from your family, especially at the holidays. I’m happy to be going home this Christmas (first time in two years!), but I’m also happy that the holidays I’ve spent in Bloomington when I can’t go home have also been quite nice. This Thanksgiving I stayed in Bloomington and enjoyed a delicious potluck dinner with good friends, and the next night we went out to see the annual ceremony where the courthouse square is lit up by a canopy of lights.
I can’t believe this is my fifth year in Bloomington and I never saw the lights celebration before! It was festive and fun, if a little chilly.
There’s plenty of fun to be had in Bloomington when you can’t go home – especially when other students in the same position get together. Our Thanksgiving party this year was made up of a wonderful conglomeration of people from around the U.S. and around the world. I think my friend said it best when he said he was thankful that such a diverse group of people could get together and enjoy each other’s company and excellent food and good spirits. It was a very special holiday.
Happy holidays everyone! Only two weeks til winter break!
It has been a tradition of ours to always have a small Thanksgiving dinner for all those who are far from home away from family and friends during the holidays. The dinners often consist of an eclectic group of friends and acquaintances both domestic and international graduate students spanning across nearly a dozen academic disciplines. We also encourage a cultural potluck where people bring cuisine from different cultures to share with others. Food aplenty, good music in the air and libations flowing makes for an unforgettable night. Numerous interdisciplinary collaborations have sprang forth from these social events aimed to both entertain and as an opportunity to network outside the academic setting. Techniques and tool that a researcher use in his or her specific discipline can be very well applied to another completely different field with profound results. Good times!
Happy New Years Blogheads! Today’s FREE TIP OF THE DAY is very short and sweet. Don’t make new years resolutions, only resolve to live each day like it’s your last. Much love and peace.
Happy holidays to everyone! It’s the most wonderful time of the year! I have been back in the wonderful state of Texas for a couple of weeks now, and I am feeling energized and refreshed. I just wanted to share our new family photos with you, my faithful blog readers. Thank you for your support!
PS – You know I couldn’t leave you with out the FREE TIP OF THE DAY. Today’s tip is appreciate your family, because at the end of the day. They are all you got. Also check out the making of our family photos by clicking here.
Earn your Ph.D. & also experience this while at INDIANA UNIVERSITY.
Hey friends! Today my blog post will be a little more somber than they usually are. Do not despair – there will be a FREE TIP OF THE DAY. However first I want to take a second to talk about a historical figure that means a lot to me as an African American. Fifty-six years ago on December 1. Rosa Parks refuse to give up her seat to White passengers, and her act of defiance started a movement. I was surprised to find out that Rosa Parks was not the first woman arrested for not giving up her seat on a bus.
Nine months earlier a fifteen year old girl by the name of Claudette Colvin refused to give up her seat. When asked to reflect on what inspired her to refuse to capitulate to systems of white supremacy. She simply responded, “I was thinking of the slavery fighters I had read about recently during Negro History Week in February. The spirit of Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth was in me. I didn’t get up.” She was arrested and taken to jail. But in doing so I believe that her actions inspired Rosa Parks, who served as Colvin’s friend and mentor.
So my FREE TIP OF THE DAY is a simple one. Stand up for what you believe in even if initially you stand alone. The youtube video above features my colleague, Carl Darnell, the organizer of the commemoration. When he initially brought up the idea for the commemoration no one was on board, but he carried on rallied support and started an amazing event. So friends I encourage you to go out and be the change you wish to see.
Lately I’ve been thinking a bit about the work/life balance that we all hear about in graduate school. At this point in my life, I’ve realized that I’ll always be one of those people who has to tell myself to take the necessary breaks in my work schedule. Coming up on the TG holiday, I’ve set aside some time (not much, but some) for family, friends, food, sleep, etc. It will be interesting to see if I’m able to stick to my “scheduled relaxation” or not (yikes, that doesn’t sound good when it’s typed out!), given that there’s always more to do. That said, there’s real wisdom in taking that break if you need it. But, as many of you already know, achieving that work/life balance is always tricky in graduate school. I think it’s a critical life skill–and one that I’ve certainly not perfected yet. But, I’m getting better with age.