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About The Tao of Grad School

What credibility do I have to write the Tao of Graduate School?

Since 2007, my personal, professional, and academic life has revolved around teaching reading and writing, particularly in higher education. While receiving my master's degree in Political Science in 2008-2010, I taught the difficult skill of reading and writing in the academy. I tutored both professionally and for university, with my students ranging from incoming freshman to well-published faculty. I was invited to discuss the intricacies of reading, writing, and teaching in the ivory tower.

I'm currently pursing my PhD in Literacy, with an emphasis on reading and writing in higher education. In other words, my entire academic career is focused on a single, overarching question: How can the difficulties of reading and writing in higher education be demystified? In addition to my ongoing work with students and faculty, I'm immersed in the current academic literature on the topic. Paired with my PhD work, my primary occupation is as a consultant to graduate students and faculty as to how they might teach reading and writing in their courses.

I believe that success in graduate school is a function of skills that can be learned. I believe that success in graduate school is rarely about intelligence; rather, success in the ivory tower is a function of one's ability to read and write well in his or her discipline while thriving in one's personal pursuits.Most importantly, I believe that Graduate School can be fulfilling.

As more and more of people attend graduate school, I perceive a dark cloud of fear and self-doubt in my peers. It's the fear that one isn't smart enough, that one is merely an impostor waiting to be found out, that one is merely wasting time. To banish these fears, among others, is the purpose of the Tao of Graduate School.

Ben Franklin's Time Tracking

On SEBASTIAN MARSHALL

Reader Daniella just sent this to me, which is quite cool -

I read the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin a bit back, and I was very impressed with it. This was my second attempt at reading it - the first time, I didn't think it was worth reading since the language was hard to get through and the book was mostly anecdotes that I wasn't getting much from.

What I didn't realize was, the book was written at two very different time periods in Franklin's life. He wrote the first half as kind of a rough set of notes just for his family. Then about 10 years later, he finished it.

The second half of the book is where the gold is. Well, there's a number of interesting points in the first half, but I found the second much more practical and enlightening. Also, he cuts down on the slang and the English modernizes a bit for he second half. I'd recommend it.

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