Make the most of your Div III meetings

Your committee meetings should propel you  forward. To get the most out of them, there are things you can do before, during, and after the meeting to share your work, clarify your questions, and plan for next steps.

See if this handout helps you organize yourself to make the most of your meetings. Use what is helpful and adapt it.

 

Bullet Journals to Keep You on Track

Some people find the practice of keeping a bullet journal helpful. It organizes your to-do lists, sets dates for tasks, helps with prioritizing and seeing what you have finished and what you still need to do. Watch this video to see if it might be for you. Of course, there are other ways to use a journal if this one way is not helpful.

 

Archive your Div III

Congratulations! You just finished or are close to finishing up your Division III project! As you are ringing the bell and enjoying the glories of being Div Free you should also consider archiving your Div.  Archiving your project is a wonderful way to share your work with the community and for future students to get inspired.

You can find the Div III archives online or you can browse the Library’s physical collection.

For instructions on how to submit a physical or digital copy of your Division III project click here!

Div III Orientation: Faculty Advice + Audio

Here are some highlights from a past faculty panel (NOTE: audio is currently as .mov files)

First, a bit on expectations (.mov) — Laura Wenk

ADVICE FROM FACULTY

Jason Tor (.mov)  Associate Professor of Microbiology

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  • Stay connected to other students
    • ask committee members for suggestions of other students who do similar things
    • attend events
    • set up peer reading/writing groups
  • Time management
    • It gets complicated. If you start work early it will give your project time to evolve.
  • Instead of avoiding your sore spots get help from your committee and campus resources

Elly Donkin (.mov) Professor of Theater
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  • Establish a balance between staying connected to other students and retreating into your workspace and work time.
  • You will reach a moment of truth where you might feel adrift in an ocean. Consider your faculty committee as collaborators and seek out their input.
  • Be prepared to have some progress made by December. Don’t wait to move ideas forward.
  • Leave time to encounter the unexpected.

Rachel Rubinstein (.mov) Associate Professor of American Literature & Jewish Studies

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  • Don’t be afraid to approach faculty outside of your disciplinary area. They can bring a fresh perspective to your work.
  • No one knows how to do a Div III until you’ve done one. Be patient with yourself in the process.
  • Meet regularly with your full faculty committee.You’re responsible for getting them in the same room and when you do: write everything down!
  • Meet with the librarians to get help with research. Including online bibliographical systems like Zotero.
  • Seek out writing support through concentrator seminars, peer groups, and the writing center.
  • As you’re reading, write down your thoughts. Trust your ideas!
  • Expect moments of pain and struggle.
  • Don’t disappear! There’s always a way to get back on track and your committee can help.

Aaron Berman (,mov) Professor of History

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  • Div III is an exciting and important part of your Hampshire experience (it is his favorite as a faculty member and was his favorite as a student)
  • Picking a topic can be complicated. Here are some tips.
    • Like your topic. If you’re not invested in it you’ll be miserable by April.
    • It needs to be doable in 2 semesters. Consider access to resources when making your decision
    • Have fun!

Melissa Burch (.mov) Associate Professor of Cognitive Development
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  • In defining the scale and scope of your process, consider:
    • A sustaining question and what you’re prepared to do to investigate it.
    • The methods you want to explore and your ideal outcomes.
    • Consider the future. What experiences will get you where you want to go?

Q & A (.mov)

Any advice for students with Five College faculty on their committees or other off-campus members?

  • If you can’t meet in person, just be sure you’re all on the same page.
  • Skype members in.


How long of a reading period should I aim for?

The first semester of your Div III is a time to be reading and writing all the time. As you move into second semester you may end up reading only as needed and working on revising your writing. You should speak with your committee members about what the best plan is for you.

Where can students find grants?

  • Want more advice?
    Visit the Creativity Center drop-in hours:
    Wednesdays from 1-4pm in the Lemelson Building
    Thursdays from 4-6pm at the Library Info Bar.

Introduction of some Hampshire Resource Staff (.mov)

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Trying to get work done over the holiday?

play1If you are spending time with family and/or friends this break and are bringing work with you, you will need to be planful so that you get some work done and ALSO get to play and relax. It is all important. Don’t shortchange yourself in either direction. Consider what would be a reasonable amount of time to spend on your work. Thinking about how much time to spend, rather than how much to complete can help you make sure you do get a break.

Look at tools and resources on this page, or search for tips in the archived posts to find strategies to help you get things done.

When working this break:

Schedule it in.

Do it.

Then – enjoy your time off*!!!!

*even if there is more you could get done – you have met your schedule and play is important too.

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Struggling with Procrastination? Schedule in the Play Time!

Perhaps you would do well by UNSCHEDULING your time. Rather than schedule in work and see if there is time left for play, try scheduling in your play time. You’ll soon see the unscheduled blocks of time you have for work – without feeling you are depriving yourself of fun.

If you follow the advice in this article on unscheduling, you’ll be able to have the guilt-free play time you have scheduled in. No surprises here, it does mean that play time can’t be all day; the unscheduled time is now for work in productive chunks. The really good news is that the work is done without feeling bad for wanting to play!

Write as if…

Done…you were done!

Of course you are not done. But if you don’t already have an introduction written, try writing your one as if you were. Just sit and bang out 2-5 pages. Write about the larger problem or issue (what do you know about it? include what you think you know too) and write your way to your purpose.

You are bound to see more clearly what you already know and what you need to find out. You’re also likely to sharpen your focus. Try it! Then share it with your committee.

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Create a Concept Map (Mind Map) of your Div III

concept mapLikely, there are a number of related ideas you are capturing in your Div III or using to create your argument, design your project, or create your art. Sometimes we get stuck trying to order these ideas linearly. It helps to look at the ideas in a 2-D way that allows us to see how our ideas relate to one another. Concept maps help us do just that – and there are many online tools that help you create a concept map.

Try to create a concept map of your ideas – telling the story of the map might ultimately help you organize your ideas into a more linear fashion. You might find that there are a number of ideas that you really want to focus on and you can let the more far flung ideas go.

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Clarify and Focus – but don’t lose the big idea

Problem PurposeIf you are like most Div III students, your committee is telling you that you have to focus your topic more, that the project is too big as it stands. You might be wondering how a more focused project will allow you to still hold onto the larger issues that brought you to your Div III.

For a written Div III, you often begin with an introduction that lays out the bigger “problem” or issue. This is where you write about the big ideas. It might take a few pages to do that. Since you are dealing with a large problem at first, you’ll note that there is more than one way to approach it (that is why it is a big, unstructured problem). Keep in mind that you can’t solve BIG issues in one project – not in any project, but especially one done in, say, 7 months (we’d be willing to have you stay longer, but you’ll probably want to focus instead).

So, you’ll have to figure out your purpose. This is where you funnel down from the big issue and figure out your research questions or specific goals of the project. You’ll select methods that help you accomplish that goal or answer those questions.

But don’t despair, after you are done you bring what you learned back to bear on the larger issue in your conclusions or generalizations section or chapter. You didn’t fix the whole problem, but you’ll have something important to say about the problem. This is your contribution to the larger understanding.

If you are doing a creative project, you still might be doing so because of a larger issue or unsolved problem (maybe about how to accomplish something). You will still have your methods and your take on the issues with your own creative contribution.

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