Fall 2020 Virtual Writing Groups
Are you eager to develop a community of writers and feel motivated to write? Are you looking for the incentive to write regularly, and to practice communicating your ideas to supportive readers outside your discipline?
Join us this Fall through the McGraw Center to participate in small, robust, interdisciplinary writing groups of post-Generals grad students. Beginning with a virtual launch on Monday Sept. 21, from 12-1:30pm EDT, the groups will convene weekly online for 10 weeks (through mid-December) to give and receive support for the writing process, and possibly to workshop writing. The goal is to offer supportive environments for grad students to clarify and develop writing projects, increase motivation and create accountability, and also foster connections to combat the loneliness and isolation that can accompany writing – especially during continued “social distancing.”
This is a wonderful opportunity to form a writing community, meet your writing goals, and potentially develop skills to give and receive feedback.
To commit to joining a group, please complete the following form: https://form.jotform.com/200493843813961
After committing, please RSVP for the Launch Event on Monday, Sept, 21, 2020 at 12pm by writing directly to Dr. Laura Murray at email@example.com. A Zoom link for the event will be provided. (Note that at the Launch event we will collectively develop groups based on your goals.)
For general information about the writing groups, or any additional questions, please contact Dr. Laura Murray at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Supportive Conversations for Grad Students
Facilitator: Laura Murray, Ph.D., Assistant Director, McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning
(if different, facilitator will be noted in the conversation description.)
Please contact Dr. Laura Murray at email@example.com to share your email address and receive additional resources.
All conversations times are Eastern Standard and held virtually.
Reading and Note-making in Grad School
Graduate school reading demands not only increase, but they are likely qualitatively different from what you were asked to read – and how – in college and the working world. Not only are you expected to critically absorb and analyze an immense number of difficult texts of various types, you are expected to do so quickly.
In this introduction to reading and note-making in grad school, we’ll explore strategies for managing diverse academic demands, such as selecting and prioritizing what to read; retaining more of the material; connecting texts within and across courses; and annotating efficiently.
Connecting with Faculty and Colleagues when Everything is Virtual
Fri 10/9, 12-1; Join us!
Starting grad school is hard enough, but making this major transition during a pandemic is truly unprecedented. You’re likely facing numerous academic demands with also trying to cultivate meaningful relationships with peers, faculty, and mentors whom you may not meet in person for some time. If you’d like to discuss and explore ideas for creating collegial connections and effective communication while “doing” grad school remotely, this workshop is for you. Designed specifically for G1s, but open to all interested grad students and postdocs, we welcome your input and look forward to connecting!
Meta-cognition: Thinking about the situations, processes, and methods that allow you to do your best work
Wed 10/28, 12-1pm; Join us!
Defined loosely as the process of reflecting about thinking or learning so as to make shifts in behavior, metacognition has always been essential to learning. Nowhere is it more essential than in graduate school where so much of our learning and scholarship is self-directed, and at no time does it seem more important to learn how to self-regulate and improve our independent learning than during continued social distancing, when learning is primarily virtual and often entirely on our own. By employing metacognition, we can develop new habits or adjust existing ones as we reflect on what helps or inhibits our learning and scholarship.
If you are a grad student or postdoc curious about ways to think and reflect on your own learning; if you have strategies or tools to share that have helped you understand your learning patterns or practices in new ways; or if you’d just like to connect with supportive colleagues navigating similar challenges to maintain scholarship during this time, please join the conversation.
Harnessing Skills You Already Have as a Grad Student to Manage Work Virtually
Mon 10/29, 12-1pm; Join us!
The pandemic has presented us with new, unprecedented challenges. For many graduate students, work lives have fundamentally shifted: libraries with study spaces and needed books and materials may not be accessible; we spend more time on screens than with physical materials; conferences and research trips may be cancelled; and meetings with advisors, lab-mates, peers, and classmates are likely all virtual. While continued social distancing may feel destabilizing, it is important to remember the many skills and experiences as graduate students that can serve us well in this challenging time. By thinking intentionally about how to “translate” the skills we already have—and that we have developed in different contexts—we can harness and implement them in creative ways to meet this new situation.
If you are a grad student or postdoc curious about ways to apply and translate your hard-won and effective working habits to the reality of social distancing; if you have strategies or tools to share that have allowed you to work effectively during social distancing; or if you’d just like to connect with supportive colleagues navigating similar challenges, please join the conversation.
Facilitator: Kate Thorpe, PhD student in English and Instructional Designer at McGraw
Creating an Environment Conducive to Work and Well-being
Living, learning, and working while continuing to practice "social distancing" is new and challenging for everyone. For many of us, this unprecedented moment necessitates spending nearly all of our time at home or in our rooms, so creating (or adapting) a workspace that “works” is essential. In addition to maintaining focus and attention, accessing the space, furniture, tools and technology that best fit our needs can be transformational to our productivity. Conversely, if something in our environment makes scholarship or effective communication with colleagues more difficult, we risk putting our motivation, productivity, and even our physical health in jeopardy.
If you are a grad student or postdoc curious about ways to construct or improve your home work space(s); if you have strategies or tools to share to promote attention and wellbeing while minimizing distractions and discomfort; or if you'd just like to connect with supportive colleagues navigating similar challenges, please join the conversation.
Managing Screen Time
Living, learning, and working while practicing "social distancing" is new and challenging for everyone. For many of us, this unprecedented moment necessitates spending more time in front of screens than ever before. Indeed, while “screen time” can help us to maintain social ties and collaborate across great distances, it can also feel like an unwanted burden if we don’t set boundaries.
If you are a grad student or postdoc curious about ways to manage time online while continuing to work effectively; if you have strategies to share regarding tech use while maintaining health and well-being; or if you'd just like to connect with supportive colleagues navigating similar screen challenges, please join the conversation.
Maintaining Scholarship and Research while Practicing “Social Distancing”
Full Description: While some of us are “new” to virtual learning and remote work in grad school (welcome, G1s!), others of us have been at it since March. What are some useful strategies to sustain scholarship and make progress toward academic goals when working remotely and/or practicing social distancing in labs during limited hours?
If you are a grad student or postdoc curious about ways to make “remote work” productive; if you have tools or ideas to share that have helped you move toward your academic goals; or if you'd just like to connect with supportive colleagues navigating similar challenges, please join the conversation.