Category Archive
for: ‘Reflections’

Work can be seen as a commodity

The third chapter of John Budd’s book “The Thought of Work” handles the concept of work as a commodity. What’s meant here is that work is an object that’s traded on the market. In some countries, like Germany, that’s been historically defined as the time the worker spends. In other countries, like Great Britain, that’s […]

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Creating a Colorful Career: GRADE talk on 7. May 2014

What can you do to make sure your career fits your ideal? There are no guarantees or formulas to follow precisely, but there are some questions you can ask yourself to guide the decisions and options you have along the way. That’s the message I told a group of graduate students at the GRADE Career […]

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Prior Planning prevents Poor Performance: A cautionary tale

I recently was asked to help a masters-student with his thesis. I was horrified to discover that, after years of his effort and a deadline looming in 4 days, the challenge was not to check over the English or make sure that the t’s were crossed and i’s were dotted. The challenge was to CUT […]

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Grapes and graduations: The value is sometimes clear only later

The grapes are in season now, and yesterday I snipped the overripe bunches down off the vine and brought them up to the apartment. Tonight after work I noticed a great moonrise and stepped out onto the balcony – and into my bowl of grapes. Okay, semester start or no semester start, it seems I […]

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Making meaning when the harvest comes to nothing

Before I left on vacation, I carefully preserved the summer’s harvest in the freezer. I spent hours picking and de-stoning cherries, hours picking raspberries and gooseberries (The gooseberry bushes act like angry cats when you try to take their berries, and I am often asked after harvest, “do you have a cat that you bathed […]

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A woman needs a bicycle like a fish needs water

here’s a German expression that says “a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.” The phrase sprang to my mind more than once on Tuesday night when I attended a talk by a colleague on “The history of women and bicycles.” Pause for a moment. Did you ever think about the history […]

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Get offline! For at least a little while

spent a month in Ireland, and during that month, I met a few Americans. Some of them asked me whether it was really, really possible to be disconnected from the office, from electronic communication, for the duration of a month. One American I met relayed a story about discovering on a recent trip that there […]

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Why we need vacation

ere in Europe, taking vacation is a normal part of life. Why? Quite simply, because human beings need it. We need to take time out to discover who we are, really, as human beings, when we strip away from ourselves all the trappings of business and busyness. When the everyday routine falls away, it is […]

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An open letter to the senior scholar at the conference, or, when will sexism end? With you!

Dear Senior Scholar, You gave a talk at a conference we both attended. It had relevance for my research, so I approached you at the coffee break, complimented your work, and asked if we could be seated together at the conference dinner to talk more about the topic. Certainly, you replied, “you’re easy to find.” […]

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The King, Cinderella, and 168 Hours: Work and Free Space

Just published! In: Prethinking Work: Insights on the Future of Work. Sabina Jeschke, Frank Hees, Anja Richert, Sven Trantow (eds). Vienna: LIT Verlag. I’m writing this at my home office on a snowy February morning. The topic Prethinking work invites me to reflect on the prefix pre, sending my thoughts to previous historical times. And […]

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