Confession: I don’t listen to music much. Or rather, I don’t listen to a lot of different music much. Like many people, I don’t diligently work my way through entire albums, but skim the singles or a few tracks here and there. I tend to latch on to 10-12 songs (conveniently the length of your standard mix CD) at a time, and learn them inside out before allowing new ones in my heart. I tell you this because this week I have discovered my song to soundtrack last few months of winter: Light of a Clear Blue Morning by Dolly Parton. It’s so good! “Everything’s gonna be alright, it’s gonna be okay.”
- Open office plans are terrible for workers, so why do they persist? Alison Green for Slate. “I work at an interior design firm that specializes in commercial offices. Oftentimes, these open office situations are put into play because it is a cost savings for the company (more people in less space, often saving money on a new office or major renovation to accommodate company growth). Also, almost every approval for this is being made by someone high up enough that they won’t be affected by it. They overlook the value of employees’ happiness, not realizing that the distraction and lack of privacy can be detrimental to employees’ job satisfaction. Ultimately, in their goal to save building/space cost, they increase turnover and rarely do they realize the connection.” I have wondered why upper management likes open plans but the actual employees hate it — of course! Money!
- Family Dinner: 50 Conversation Starters for Young Kids. These conversation starters for kids at the dinner table are so sweet! Some examples: “If you were invisible – where would you want to go?” and “What’s one rule you wish your mom and dad didn’t have?” and “If you had to rename yourself –what name would you give yourself?” and “If you could only eat one fruit forever – what fruit would it be?” Sidenote, I could totally use some of these questions for our conversation board at the college library (haha).
- How I Became an Early Riser, Zen Habits. David and I are working on getting up earlier so that I can adjust to my new commute time next month. The two things working best for us so far are: moving the alarm clock so you have to get out out bed to turn it off, and easing wake-up time back 15 minutes at a time. It’s less shocking that way, and we’ve been enjoying less-rushed mornings!
- Why Is All of New Zealand Obsessed With This Drunken, Littering, Rowdy Tourist Family?, Slate. This is a wild story about some rude tourists becoming infamous as they travel (and litter) their way around New Zealand. My favorite thing about this article are the 3 quotes from hecklers at the courthouse: “How’s your holiday?” asked one. “Are you going to pick up your rubbish?” inquired another. “When are you going home?” a third person wanted to know.” Such mild censure!
- A Simple Trick for Getting Students to Ask Questions in Class, Faculty Focus. I really like this idea of having students write their questions on notecards so they’re anonymous. Do any of my teacher friends have tips on getting students more comfortable speaking up or asking questions in class? I would love to hear your strategies in the comments!
- There’s a new Cup of Jo column! I enjoyed this enthusiastic look at royal fashion.