Is Shaming Ourselves an Effective Strategy for Productivity?

Guest post by Megan G. Brown, Ph.D., HSPP, Interim Director of the Rev. James E. McDonald, C.S.C., Center for Student Well-Being.

 

So this is a research study I would totally sign up for! It is about eating cake; my favorite dessert! Participants were randomly assigned to three different groups. What each group had in common was that each individual was seated in front of a huge piece of the most beautiful, layered chocolate cake you could imagine. The kind you see at the Cheesecake Factory. Can you see it? What was different about each group were the instructions they were given. Group #1 was asked to think about how bad they would feel about themselves after eating the piece of cake. Group #2 was asked to think about how good they would feel about themselves if they resisted eating the cake. Group #3 was given no instructions (that’s the group I would want to be in). Researchers wanted to know, Who would resist eating the cake? (That would NOT have been me). Here’s what they found. Ten percent of participants in group #1 (shame group) resisted eating it. But get this, 40% of participants in group #2 (pride group) resisted eating the cake. And the control group? Only 18.8% resisted eating the cake. This simple study confirms a lot of research out there. How we talk to ourselves matters. When we shame ourselves and think about how bad we will feel about something (about not going to the lab, about not working on the dissertation, about not working out, etc.) we make tough things tougher. Have you ever tried to shame yourself into doing or not doing something? Very common human strategy. But scientific evidence suggests this does not work. But just flip it into values-centered pride. That works!

Although attempting to shame ourselves into doing something is a common strategy, scientific evidence suggests it does not work.

As a counseling psychologist who has worked with Notre Dame students for the past 10 years, I have struggled to help students believe that self-criticism and self-shaming do not work. I have often heard, “If I’m not tough on myself, I won’t do anything!” Fortunately, recent neuroscience has helped me make the case more convincingly. What fMRIs show is that shame shuts down the prefrontal cortex of the brain – the part of the brain that helps you make hard decisions that are in-line with your values. Shame activates the amygdala, the alarm center of your brain, and makes your brain look the same as someone whose leg was just broken. If you haven’t experienced that before, it hurts! The automatic, impulsive, reward systems of the brain that say “Watch Netflix instead, that’s more fun and you’ll feel better!” keep working and drive us to do what feels good (i.e. not work).

When we experience shame, the reward systems of the brain drive us to do what feels good (i.e. not work).

I know what some of you are thinking. “I don’t TRY to make myself feel bad, it just happens!” You’re right. Most of our thinking is automatic and it is not easy to change. So don’t try! Instead, just notice those critical thoughts and feelings without trying to change them. Just the act of noticing and naming helps bring the prefrontal cortex back on-line and calms the amygdala.

Practice noticing and naming your critical thoughts and feelings. This practice, also called mindfulness, changes the brain over time.

Pausing and noticing can also help you remember to intentionally imagine how proud you will feel if you do what is in line with your values. And practicing noticing, also called mindfulness, changes the brain over time. When we develop a different relationship with “bad” thoughts and feelings and they become less powerful over us. And get this, when we practice values-oriented pride and self-compassion, the reward centers of the brain light up and look like we are going to eat a piece of chocolate cake!

Values-oriented pride and self-compassion are helpful ways of talking to ourselves.

What the H!? What Is an H-Index, and What Does It Say about Authors Anyway?

Guest post by Monica Moore, Scholarly Communications Librarian, and Cheri Smith, Psychology Librarian, Hesburgh Libraries.

 

As a member of the scholarly community, you may occasionally hear people mention the term “h-index.” The h-index is a number assigned to individual scholars that measures both their scholarly output and scholarly impact. It is a calculation based on the number of papers a scholar has published, and how often those publications have been cited. The “h” stands for Dr. Jorge E. Hirsch, a physicist from UCSD, who, in 2005, recommended using this calculation to measure impact.

This is the formula for calculating an index:

 

However, the easiest way to understand it is to think about actual examples. If an author has published 20 papers, and 10 of those papers have been cited 10 times, then the author has an h-index of 10. If an author has published 100 papers, and all of them have been cited at least 100 times, then the author has an h-index of 100.

 

How is the h-index used?

 

Many universities, including Notre Dame, use the h-index as a part of the promotion and tenure process. It is most heavily used in the sciences and social sciences, as these are the disciplines that are most likely to generate publications that are frequently cited. Works of fiction, poetry, or art are not typically cited, so their impact should be measured in other ways. If you are in a science or social science field, it is a good idea to keep track of how often people are citing your work. You can set up a profile for yourself in Google Scholar, Web of Science or Scopus, and attach it to your ORCiD so that your publications are disambiguated from other publications from authors with names that are similar to your own. This way you can easily help colleagues, employers, or potential employers see the measurable impact you’ve had in your discipline.

 

Where can you find the h-index for an author?

 

In order to calculate an author’s h-index accurately, you would have to have a list of all of the author’s publications and know the number of citations to each of those publications.

There are several resources you can use to make this easier: Web of Science, Scopus, and Google Scholar. While Google Scholar is a freely available resource which indexes content on the open web, Web of Science and Scopus are library subscription indexes that are available to all University of Notre Dame faculty, staff, and students. Google Scholar requires the individual researcher to set up a profile to track their publications and calculate their h-index, while Web of Science and Scopus provide a report based on the author name entered.

 

Web of Science: h-index

 

Let’s say we’re interested in finding the h-index for Jane Goodall. In Web of Science, we can do an author search for her publications, using the Author dropdown menu from the Web of Science search page, and find the Jane Goodall that we’re looking for by disambiguating by an affiliated organization or through another author identifier such as an ORCiD. Once we’ve done that, we can click on the “Create Citation Report” option on the right-hand side of the screen to get her h-index:

 

 

Scopus: h-index

 

In Scopus, we would use a similar process for finding the h-index of an author: from the Search menu, we would search for the author name, disambiguate by organization or another author ID, and click on the author name details to bring up their h-index information:

 

 

You can see that the h-index in Scopus is different from what is in Web of Science. Why is this?

Title lists, subject area, and time period coverage can vary between these two resources, which will affect the h-index calculation. For an overview of the differences between Scopus and Web of Science, you can view this guide from Boston College, or learn more about the Web of Science content coverage policy or the Scopus content policy.

Another variable to be aware of is the author name itself, and any variations associated with it. While things like affiliation can help to disambiguate author names, it’s always better to search by some type of author identifier if one exists for that author. The primary example of an author identifier that is system-neutral is the ORCiD. Both Web of Science and Scopus allow for searching by the author’s ORCiD, and both Scopus and Web of Science allow for the exclusion of self-citations in articles before calculating the h-index.

 

Google Scholar: h-index

 

Unlike Web of Science and Scopus, Google Scholar requires the author to set up a profile in order to track the author’s h-index; however, you can check to see if one is available for an author in Google Scholar by searching for their profile from Google Scholar, as shown below:

 

 

In the above example, we can see that there is a profile for “jane goodall,” but not the same “jane goodall” that we saw in Web of Science or Scopus. If it had existed, we might have seen another, different h-index number since the pool of publications and citation information could also be different from what is used by Web of Science and Scopus.

 

Things to consider…

 

The h-index is actually just one method of measuring scholarly impact collectively known as citation indicators, and it’s not without its critics.  The difference in title coverage for the tools that generate the h-index number is one of the biggest issues, along with the need for researchers to maintain and keep up with their publication profiles in Google Scholar or monitor their citation analysis information in Scopus or Web of Science. Retracted papers that are still cited and self-citations can distort the h-index unless these are not excluded in the calculation of it. The article “Multiple versions of the h-index: Cautionary use for formal academic purposes,” provides a good overview of these and other questions related to the h-index.

Perhaps the most important thing to remember about the h-index is that is just one measure of scholarly activity and impact. For more information on h-index concerns and other methods of measurement, check out this information at ImpactStory, and stay tuned for another blog entry on Altmetrics!

 

What Does the GSU Do?

In this guest post, Caitlin Smith Oyekole, a 5th-year English Ph.D. student and current Co-Vice President of the GSU explains the functions of the GSU and the many ways in which they support graduate students

This year, the 2018 Graduate Student Union executive board is focusing on improving communication between the GSU and the average grad student. Our big, first question is: Where’s the breakdown happening? Is it the website? Emails? Representative participation? And the answer is all of the above, but there’s a big central problem that keeps coming up.

Most grad students don’t really know what we do.

So here’s a quick overview of what the GSU is, what it does, and how you can get involved!

The GSU supports graduate students in all facets of life

The GSU is the largest and oldest graduate student organization at Notre Dame. It exists to support graduate students in all facets of life—academics, personal life, social programming, research, etc. It provides support in three main ways: money, programming, and proximity to power.

  1. Money
Above: GSU officers delivering bags of gold to hardworking grad students

Our budget comes from the GSU Student Fee and donations from the Graduate School, and we are supported by a dedicated ND staff member, Mimi Beck.

Above: Mimi Beck, a truly wonderful person 

The GSU has much bigger budget than the other graduate student organizations, and we’re happy to share! In addition to using our money to fund the programming for our committees, we set aside money to fund events for other student organizations. We also devote money to the Conference Presentation Grant and the Graduate Teaching Awards.

 

The GSU also centralizes other organizations’ funding for graduate students, like GradLife’s GO Grants, the Graduate School’s emergency fund for graduate students, and the Shirt Fund, which supports Notre Dame students with extraordinary medical conditions who have demonstrated financial need.

  1. Programming
Oh yes! We have parties, professional development, and… no snappy “p”-word to describe what Quality of Life does. Darn.

Three of the GSU’s five committees (Social and Community Engagement, Quality of Life, and Professional Development) organize events throughout the year. These can range from a big event like the Professional Development Fair, to smaller, demographic-targeted events, like Quality of Life’s coffee & chat series for married or partnered grad students.

 

Some big, long-running events happen every year. For example, the GSU always sponsors the Jingle Bell Ball in December and a Charity Gala in May. Check out the full programming schedule on our new website, which will go live at the end of Fall Break, to see exactly what’s planned for the year! And watch your inboxes for email alerts.

  1. Proximity to Power
What, you were expecting a different Hamilton reference?

While we aren’t a labor union, the GSU is the primary vehicle for communication between the university administration and grad student community. We mostly do this through committee work. The Academic Affairs Committee and Healthcare Committees place GSU officers on a wide range of university committees—everything from the Parking Lot Committee, to the upper-tier Academic Council!

 

Why committees? By sitting on committees, the GSU officer can represent the interests of graduate students at multiple levels within the administrative hierarchy. The GSU officer also makes sure that grad students know about important decisions that are being deliberated—by presenting a report at the GSU meeting. Anyone can come to GSU’s monthly meetings—you don’t have to be a departmental representative!

Passionate about something? Come to the GSU meeting and let your voice be heard!

 

The easiest, quickest way to get involved in GSU is simply to show up! We meet every 3rd Thursday of the month at 6:30 PM in the Duncan Ballroom. Dinner is provided.

 

You can also reach out directly to any of the Committee Chairs or the Executive Board. We want to hear from you—and we want to support you (E.G. make your lives easier)! Don’t hesitate to let us know what’s on your mind. We are a GSU that works for you!

President: Matyas Tsegaye 

Vice President: Oyekola Oyekole 

Vice President: Caitlin Smith Oyekole

Academic Affairs Chairs:

Alex Brodersen

Tony Rosales

Healthcare Chair:

Kris Murray 

Professional Development Chairs:

Tracy-Lynn Lockwood

Mortaza Saeidi-Javash

Jessica Zinna

Quality of Life Chairs:

Shinjini Chattopadhyay

Connor Mullen 

Joseph Thomas

Social and Community Engagement Chairs:

Alyssa Oberman

Hui Yin Tan

New Research Tool Brought to You by Hesburgh Libraries

Guest post by Mandy Havert, Digital Research and Outreach Librarian.

 

The Hesburgh Libraries recently purchased access to Scopus which delivers a comprehensive overview of the world’s research output in the fields of science, technology, medicine, social sciences, and the arts and humanities. The database allows users to make better research decisions, find leading experts and potential partners and maintain a competitive edge.

The Hesburgh Libraries will conduct workshops on Scopus which are open to all faculty, staff, postdocs, graduate and undergraduate students.

After an orientation to Scopus, you should be able to answer these questions:

  1. Scopus: What is it? and why would I use it instead of Google Scholar or PubMed?
  2. Can I easily find my h-index in Scopus?
  3. What are the best practices for using Scopus to give my research a boost?
  4. How can I find potential collaborators using Scopus?
  5. How can I use Author Profiles to help me showcase my research?
  6. How will PlumX Metrics on Scopus help me tell the story of my research?

Three 1-hour sessions are offered October 24, 2018. Each session will have a slightly different focus: Engineering, Science, Social Sciences & Humanities. Choose a session that fits your interests or a session that fits your schedule.

  • 10:30 am (202 Nieuwland) Science focus
  • 1:00 pm (231 Hesburgh Library) Social Sciences & Humanities focus
  • 2:30 pm (231 Hesburgh Library) Engineering focus

Unable to attend one of these workshops? You can find tutorials on the Scopus Website: https://service.elsevier.com/app/overview/scopus/

Prefer to talk with a librarian about Scopus? Contact your subject librarian today to ask for more information.

Contact Mandy Havert at asklib@nd.edu for more information.

What You Need to Know Now about the New Hesburgh Library Spaces

In this guest post, Mandy Havert, Digital Research and Outreach Librarian, encourages graduate students to take advantage of the new spaces at the Hesburgh Library.

Four newly renovated spaces have opened in Hesburgh Library since April 2018. What’s there and how do you use them?

First and second floor collaboration hubs opened in the northwest corner of Hesburgh Library and the Navari Family Center for Digital Scholarship and a portion of our Technology Row opened on the second floor, east side.

Reimagined for multiple uses, you’ll find everything from group study and consultation spaces to multimedia classrooms and a data visualization lab. Come visit and see what is on offer.

  • Current floor maps available at: https://library.nd.edu/hesburgh-floor-maps
  • Room reservation status monitors display the availability of rooms that may be reserved for classes, meetings or group study. The information displayed is one-directional and does not update from the monitor itself.
    A tip to share: Those who use the rooms on a walk-in basis need to be prepared to move for those who have booked or scheduled the room via the online booking calendar system.

First Floor Collaboration Hub

Designed with our campus partners in mind, the spaces are prioritized for work with academic partners on campus, like the University Writing Center, which hosts Sunday-Thursday writing consultations in rooms 130 and 132.

First Floor Consultation Room

The first floor Collaboration Hub includes work tables and soft seating for individual and group study. Along the south wall, we shelve the materials for the Extensive Reading classes, materials used in foreign language instruction. Additionally:

  • Consultation rooms may be reserved through the “book a group study room” link on library.nd.edu by campus partners or students for activities such as group study, tutorials, or consultations. NOTE: Minimum occupancy: two persons. Rooms may be reserved up to two weeks in advance. Maximum seating capacity varies by room.
  • Videoconferencing rooms – Intended for interviews, webinars, conference calls and other similar purposes, advance booking is required. The rooms are kept locked and the key maybe borrowed from Circulation Desk when reserved time approaches. NOTE: Maximum capacity 2 persons. 
  • Classroom 125 – Campus partners have booking priority for this space. Walk-in use is allowed when the room is not reserved. Reservation requests for this space may be made using the Event and Meeting Space site: https://library.nd.edu/room-reservations
  • Mobile monitors – First-come, first-served, these monitors may be used wherever they’re needed in the library. Please return them to the pillars outside of Classroom 125 so that others can find them when you’re done. An additional mobile monitor can be checked out at the Circulation Desk

 

Videoconferencing Room

Second Floor Collaboration Hub

The space on the second floor, northwest corner of Hesburgh Library is another collaborative space that is home to instruction rooms, group study rooms available for walk-in use, study nooks, and videoconferencing rooms. The space is also outfitted with soft seating and open carrel-style tables for your individual or group study needs. To serve student study and research needs, the classrooms are left open for walk-in access. While this walk-in use is encouraged, scheduled use of the rooms for instruction or meetings take priority. You may be asked to leave the space when the rooms are booked.

A featured space in the second floor collaboration hub are the study nooks. These open but partitioned spaces are available on a first-come, first-served basis and are intended for groups of more than one person. Frosted glass walls function as whiteboard space.

 

Study Nooks

 

Navari Family Center for Digital Scholarship

Formerly located on the first floor of Hesburgh Library, the Navari Family Center for Digital Scholarship has moved and expanded in its new home on the northeast corner of the second floor of the building. The space includes familiar features, such as a dual-monitor computer lab, large monitors in the rooms and public areas, and research consultations and workshops with experts on digital scholarship tools and techniques, such as mapping, data analysis, and text mining and analysis. One of the classrooms now offers the ability to capture lectures, and a new data visualization lab has been added. The 3D printing, large format printing, new Legacy Technology Collection, and equipment lending services are consolidated into one Specialty Technology Room. Please see the Technology Lending link on library.nd.edu to learn about equipment you may borrow for your work here at the University. See space layout and room location information at https://library.nd.edu/floor/hesburgh-2nd-floor. Questions? Email cds@nd.edu.

Technology Row

Technology row is a workspace on the second floor that will open in two phases. Phase 1 is already open and provides workstations for use by members of the university community. Here, you can get work done and use other services located nearby.

The OIT Outpost Desk, formerly located by the Ask Us Desk on first floor has moved to the second floor. This dedicated service desk is located across from the grand staircase to serve you with your OIT Helpdesk needs, including diagnosing software installation, network and printing problems.

A new service called Media Corps has launched to help students in classes with multimedia assignments. The Media Corps Coaches are trained to offer peer-to-peer help with capturing, editing and producing media projects.

Contact Mandy Havert at asklib@nd.edu for more information..

Are you enjoying the new spaces in the Hesburgh Library? What is your favorite place to work or study on campus? Leave a comment below!

Advice for Academic Writing from Wendy Laura Belcher

If there is one book I wish I read at the beginning of my graduate studies it is Writing Your Journal Article in 12 Weeks by Wendy Laura Belcher. Although Belcher provides a detailed plan for completing and submitting an academic article, she also offers honest, useful, and more importantly, realistic advice which is applicable for other sorts of writing such as seminar papers, notes for comprehensive exams, dissertations, and even creative endeavors. Belcher acknowledges that scientific writing generally has other parameters, so she mainly addresses scholars in fields such as the Humanities and the Social Sciences.

Here are some of my favorite suggestions from the book:

  • Identify your feelings about writing.
    • Are you experiencing guilt, fear of failure, impostor syndrome? It is actually very common to have negative feelings about writing. It is important to acknowledge these feelings and even talk about them rather than repress them.
  • Prepare a realistic writing schedule.
    • Work on a writing schedule and anticipate weeks when you might not be able to write.
    • Pick a time of day that works with your other responsibilities and habits. Consider if you are a morning or an evening person before deciding on the best time to write.
    • If you cannot write at the same time every day, try to come up with a regular pattern for your schedule.
  • Make writing social.
    • Writing does not require isolation. In fact, it should be done in community. Join a writing group or attend a writing class. A good conversation about your manuscript will help you think further about your argument and will teach you how to respond to feedback and criticism.
  • Write every day.
  • Do not wait to write. Do not wait for:
    • Inspiration
    • The last minute
    • Big blocks of time.
  • Do not wait until all of your research is done to start writing.
    • It is not possible to read every book which might be related to our topic.
    • Start writing and this will help you determine what information you actually need.
    • Leave holes in your manuscript. These can be filled up later.
    • Approach writing and thinking as simultaneous tasks.
  • Persist!
    • Rejection is common, do not take it as a measure of your worth. The best writers get rejections as well, but they persist.  

Overall, Belcher’s book encourages graduates students to persevere, even when we feel we do not have the time to write. She also offers practical solutions to common internal and external obstacles. If you would like to know more about her approach or if you are interested in following her 12-week plan, you can find her book at the Hesburgh Library. (The Spanish edition is also available for online access).

Did you enjoy Belcher’s book? Do you have any more questions about it? Ask the Salmon! Submit your questions to gradlife@nd.edu or go to the Ask a Question tab at the top of this page.

7 Books Every Grad Student Should Read

Are you looking for some beginning of the semester reading? I’m a fourth-year grad student and I have found these 7 books to be quite influential in my own ability to navigate the world of academia. You may find them helpful too:

The Professor is In: The Essential Guide to Turning Your PhD into a Job by

Karen Kelsky

  • Shows you how to structure your time and priorities to meet the demands of the job market.
  • Best for those in the Social Sciences and Humanities.
  • Get it from the ND Library here

 

Advice for New Faculty Members by Robert Boice

  • Empirically informed explanation for how to overcome the bad habits you’ve formed as a student and how to start thinking like a true scholar
  • Get it from the ND Library here

 

The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women: Why Capable People Suffer from the Impostor Syndrome and How to Thrive in Spite of It by Valeri Young

  • Good for all people- explains impostor syndrome and how to identify that this is the problem that you or your colleagues are suffering from and some key ways to overcome it

 

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

  • Explains the importance of being in touch with your core values and how to approach structuring your work around those values.
  • Get it from the ND Library here

 

Rejection Proof: How I Beat Fear and Became Invincible Through 100 Days of Rejection by Jia Jiang

  • You will get rejected again and again as an academic. This book shows how you can understand these rejections as opportunities while transforming them from ego crushers to ego boosters.

 

The Power of Habit: Why We do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

  • Learn how to craft your approach to your work. By incorporating cues and automating a lot of your research process, you can get more done with less resistance.
  • Get it from the ND Library here

 

The Art of Learning: An Inner Journey to Optimal Performance by Josh Waitzkin

  • Understanding all of the intricacies of top performers can inform your work process. There are many subtle nuances to becoming an expert in a field, and this book explores how the good from the great are defined by very subtle differences in everyday decisions.

Sneak Peek: Find library workshops to build your skills and marketability

In this guest post, Mandy Havert, Digital Research and Outreach Librarian in charge of Graduate Outreach Services, shares some of the excellent training opportunities for Grad Students! 

As you prepare for the new academic year, be sure to keep informed of library events, including professional development workshops.  Details of upcoming events always can be found on the Hesburgh Libraries Events Calendar: https://library.nd.edu/events

Watch for dates and times to be announced for this sample of sessions planned for the coming academic year, register and put them in your calendar.

 

 

Up and Running with HTML and CSS (Beginner)

A basic familiarity with HTML and CSS can improve the clarity, efficiency, and effectiveness of your communication and design. No previous experience with HTML or CSS is necessary. These skills help you work effectively and save time when formatting content.

 

Up and Running with Bootstrap (Intermediate)

Bootstrap is one of the most popular frameworks for rapidly building professional-looking,  seamless, mobile-friendly websites with HTML, CSS, and Javascript. A basic working understanding of HTML and CSS is required. You will create a great-looking and effective bootstrap website from the ground up.

 

Create Your Professional Website with WordPress.com (Beginner)

A well-designed website enhances one’s professional ethos offering a collective, public, discoverable space to share thoughts (blog) or publications, as well as other information—such as where, when and how to contact you. No coding experience is required. Bring your cv. You’ll find that your potential grant funders and employers can learn more about you and put you ahead of others in the same job or funding pool.

 

Introduction to Archival Research

Does your advisor assume you know how to do archival research? Have you never set foot in an archive or special collections library? Here’s your chance. This workshop will give you a hands-on crash course working with rare materials and finding aids in our rare books and special collections.

 

Careers: What’s Involved in Working in Special Collections, Archives, and Museums?

Whether earning a Master’s or PhD, there are great careers to explore outside of the tenure-track. Hear about careers in Special Collections, Archives, and Museums. This panel discussion with give you a chance to ask questions and hear different perspectives from people in the field. Learn about different ways to use your graduate degree and still remain in the academy.

 

Read more thoroughly through text mining and natural language processing 

This session provides a very high level overview of the various levels of text mining techniques and how the technology can be used to process or read many texts at one time.

 

Datafile and File Organization and Management 

Do you struggle with locating your files? Is it nearly impossible for you to find and retrieve articles and content that you’ve saved on a moment’s notice? Some organizational approaches will be shared in this session and you’ll have the opportunity to try out some techniques for more effectively managing your data files.

 

 

We’re here for you! This is a sample of our offerings. Don’t see the workshop you need on our events or calendar pages? Contact Mandy Havert at asklib@nd.edu with your request and contact information.

Getting Started with Hesburgh Libraries

In this guest post, Mandy Havert, Digital Research and Outreach Librarian in charge of Graduate Outreach Services, shares how to make the most of your Hesburgh Library experience. 

As a new graduate student or returning student at Notre Dame, you will find the Hesburgh Libraries has a lot to offer. Begin by checking out this guide for getting started with Hesburgh Libraries before you come to campus: https://resources.library.nd.edu/documents/faculty-checklist.pdf  Once you have a campus network login – your NetID – you will be able to sign in and customize your library account. This includes being able to monitor the status of materials you have borrowed from our local collections or materials you have requested from other libraries.

In addition to our materials and collections, take a look at people and events in the Hesburgh Libraries. We have over 30 subject librarians located throughout campus to help you become familiar with what’s available to you, and to keep you up-to-date on how the libraries can support your research. You are able to request purchases for our collections, and if you develop a working relationship with your librarian, he or she will be able to anticipate what’s important for your research. Contact information for our subject librarians is available to you from our directory page: https://directory.library.nd.edu/directory, Visit this page to learn about campus locations for the Hesburgh Libraries: https://library.nd.edu/hesburgh-floor-maps#

The “Events” section of the library home page is regularly updated and includes information about special events, exhibitions, and workshops. Be sure to check our events listings regularly. The Graduate Student Newsletter also includes information on these and other events and is  delivered right to your mailbox!

Workshops held by the libraries range from learning ways to add to your citation and research management skills to conducting archival research. Digital scholarship workshops are offered by our Navari Family Center for Digital Scholarship. Regular workshops include beginner and intermediate sessions for building your professional web presence, how to use geographical information systems, working with data and statistics, and text mining. You can register for workshops using the Hesburgh Libraries Workshop Calendar: http://nd.libcal.com/calendar/allworkshops/?cid=447&t=m&d=0000-00-00&cal=447

If you’re not sure where to start, you can reach out to the Graduate Student Services librarian, Mandy Havert – mhavert@nd.edu, to ask questions and receive some tips on how to get the most out of  the Hesburgh Libraries. Mandy will fill you in on regular events, such as our weeklong Dissertation Camps, and regularly scheduled Dissertation Day Camps.

 

Life and Living Well

I’ll begin by stating the obvious: grad school is hard.

As graduate students, we are familiar with the toil of prioritizing and accomplishing our to-do lists. But grad student to-do lists grow faster than grad students can work. We’ve always got a nagging feeling that we ought to be doing something productive right now.

Part of what helps us tolerate long hours of labor and high expectations is knowing that it’s temporary. Only a few years of suffering; then comes the really meaningful work. We’ll land the job we desire, and then our life can really begin.

But we spend so much of our lives in this mindset. As an undergrad, we looked forward to grad school – that’s when I’ll finally get to do what I really want! And as high-schoolers, we looked forward to college – finally, a chance to be out on my own!

And then Master Yoda suddenly pokes us in our (metaphorical) ribs: “All his life has he looked away – to the future – to the horizon! Never his mind on where he was! Hm? What he was doing! Hmph. Adventure – heh! Excitement – heh! A Jedi craves not these things.” (The Empire Strikes Back) And somehow, in the words of a weird, shrivel-faced puppet, we recognize the truth: we can spend our whole lives looking forward to the next thing, believing that our life hasn’t begun yet.

But the fact is – it has. Life isn’t in the future. It’s happening right now.

And if life has meaning, it must be somewhere in the present. It must be here and now: in the friends and neighbors who, by chance or providence, surround us; in our own hearts and spirits, calling us to pay attention, to look – to really look! – and to listen – to really listen! Our life may not be what we’d like – but it is – it exists. And that’s good.

Work hard, then, but don’t be deceived – the meaning of your life isn’t all in what you produce. It’s in your relationships. It’s in who you are.

Listen to people. Bless them and tell the truth with humility. Don’t rush. Stop. See the living world around you. The beauty of it all is that life’s not useful- it’s just good. It’s all the gift of God, who didn’t need to create anything at all.

But he did. He willed the world to be. And he willed you to live so that he can love you. He’s already given you all that’s necessary for happiness, free, no strings. It’s there if only you have eyes to see – if you only ask him.

Trust God’s love. Hear his voice. Enjoy his grace. He is the meaning in the present moment. He is the Beauty in the beautiful. He is the Goodness in all that’s good.