BITeS

25 Jul 2019

What to do when you're waiting for your professor - lessons from the bulletin board

Submitted by Barbara Reisner, James Madison University

For as long as we've been in our "new" (now 14 year old) building, I've curated a bulletin board across from some of the faculty offices. I often see students reading whatever is up there as they pass the time while waiting for office hours... or to speak to a professor... or just because. As you can see from the picture below, the bulletin board has a mixture of papers, things from C&EN Magazine, and comics. The content ranges from the useful (Whitesides' How to Write a Paper) to the humourous (How to write consistently boring scientific literature or The importance of stupidity in scientific research).

I'm always looking for new content to engage or interest students. I'm pretty good at finding comics (those usually end up on my door) or interesting things from C&EN, but have a harder time finding articles that will suck in students.

This week, a member of the IONiC Community sent me the perfect article for my door... Jen Heemstra's (@jenheemstra) article Self-Care Is Not the Enemy of Performance (ChemBioChem 2019 DOI: 10.1002/cbic.201900285). Jen reminds us that working hard and taking care of our mental health are not mutually exclusive. She makes analogies with athletics to help us understand the importance of taking care of and self-assessing our physical and mental health as well as turning these things into (good) habits. She reminds us of the importance of self-care. As Jeff said in the last BITeS, we have the power of permission. Jen has reminded us that we have that power with respect to our mental health. I thought this was worth sharing beyond the bulletin board outside of my office.

As you can tell from the picture, there is a lot of yellow paper on my bulletin board. Here's what's up there right now...

While I could say that these papers were put up for the meaningful reasons above, many of them just made me laugh. My criteria are that either the article is useful for students or it causes me to crack a smile!

I'm always looking for updates. Do you have any favorites to recommend?
 

 

Comments

Your board looks great, Barb! They aren't new, but these NanoPutians always make me smile: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jo0349227. I've put the TOC figure on my non-majors chemistry final exam with the caption, "What you feel like when finals are over."

I also enjoy this one about writer's block: 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1311997/ 

I like this essay on "The Importance of Stupidity in Science." Although the author is gearing the message to PhD candidates, it really applies to everyone who does research.