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.



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.



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.


Div III Reception with Jonathan Lash

Congratulations on being officially Div III!!!!!

President Lash cordially invites you to a reception in honor of all
students who will be completing their Division III in either December or
May of this academic year. This event will take place on THURSDAY,
OCTOBER 13TH FROM 4:30PM TO 6:00PM IN THE RED BARN and will provide an
opportunity to explore how he can best support you in your role as
leaders and mentors on campus.  Learn about other resources and supports on campus too!

Kindly RSVP via this link. [1]

We hope you can join us!

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.



Forum and Workshop: “Graduate School for Feminist Scholarship”

Facilitated by Profs. Angie Willey, WGSS UMASS Amherst and Lisa Armstrong, SWG Smith College

Friday, October 7, 10am-1pm, Seelye 207
Please rsvp:, lunch provided
If you are considering applying to graduate school to pursue further feminist scholarly work, please join this workshop and forum. The first half is a forum to discuss general questions, departments, and strategies of applying. Students will share what programs they are considering, ask questions about the process, and discuss how to make this decision with each other and attending faculty. 
The second half will provide a write-on-site session where students can work on application components with Prof. Willey there to consult.


Div III Orientation – Notes and Audio

Below are notes and audio from each participant. You’ll find tips and an idea of what you might expect from: Laura Wenk (CS), Anne Downes (CASA), Bonnie Vigeland (Library), Michele Hardesty (HACU), Jane Couperus (CS), Kim Chang (CSI), Chris Cianfrani (NS), and John Slepian (IA)

grid_wenkLaura Wenk: Intro
One stop shop for all Div III resources and info.

How much time should I be working on my Div?

  • 3 classes of work = 35 hrs a week aka a full time job

What does that look like?

  • Not just on the Computer
  • Time meeting with your committee.
  • Talking to Peers.
  • Researching.
  • Piloting
  • Creating
  • Finding a placement for you work if applicable.
  • Talking about your work.
  • Giving and getting feedback.
  • Etc.

More on Div III
This is about the process as much as the product. Learning about and from the process (it is a year of learning) – don’t think you need to use everything you read or write or do in the Div III product.
Take a breath.

annedownesAnn Downs: CASA all things DIV III

None of you have done a Div III before and we are aware that it requires a specific skillset that you have been working on but it has yet to be put all together. When you aren’t sure or don’t know what to do always ask for help.

Ask for help at any point of your div be it starting, where to go, how to approach it, all the way to the logistics.

You need to be doing 2 advanced activities.

-3 documents (link or post)
– Best Practices for Div III
-Div III Calendar

CASA does not have to be a scary place. There are a lot of people here to help you through the Div III journey and don’t hesitate to ask for their help!

photo-2Bonnie Vigeland: Research Librarian in Humanities and Film (She/Her/Hers)

There are 4 research librarians here to help you!
All they need to know is what you are interested in or need help with and they can assist you. Part of their jobs is to continually be learning through reading, watching, listening etc. They can point you in helpful directions as well as strategize research methods.

How to best contact the Research Librarians?
Email to make an appointment. Mention what you are interested in and what help you are looking for.

Other Library Based Resources:
Writing Fellows from the Writing Center are in the library Sunday 1-9 p.m., Monday – Thursday, 6-10 p.m.
New Knowledge Commons Fellows

img_0001Michele Hardesty: Associate Professor of U.S. Literatures/ Cultural Studies

Find Community with fellow Div IIIs
Create a routine
Envision the year ahead with your committee and setting deadlines
Look at your year in chunks
If things don’t feel totally right in the start, that’s okay! It takes time.

Tripp: Recent Div III
Self Care
Do a little bit of work everyday
You will have on and off days and that’s okay

grid_coperusJane Couperus: Associate Professor of Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience

Faculty can learn as much from you as you from them. Sometimes you’ll be the expert!
Bring in accountability from outside sources if you are struggling with deadlines.
Build in slack time for moments that derail you from your Div. Having a packed calendar with no wiggle room might lead to things not being done if something comes up or takes longer.
Make other goals that help you learn about the process of your Div vs. only the product.
Your Div is a single project. If you hate it at the end that’s okay. You’ll have other bigger and better projects in your life.
COMMUNICATE. COMMUNICATE. COMMUNICATE. If you don’t tell your advisors what you are doing then they don’t know what is going on especially when you need help.
Eat, Sleep, Play.
Did you eat your normal amount?
Did you get enough sleep?
Make time to play. Have fun. Relax.

Abby Hanus: Recent Div III/ Alumni Fellow

First steps in self care is recognizing yourself and that you deserve care of yourself and from others. Asking for care along with accepting it takes acts of bravery within yourself. Learning care was a huge part of the divisional process for Abby. Communicate with your committee. Tell them when you are struggling because their role is to support you.

changKim Chang: Associate Professor of Cultural Psychology


Seek community

Read widely
Talk widely
Scoping a project: making your div a manageable size
Cycles in your Div III
Div III seminars are really helpful

grid_slepianJohn Slepian: Five College Associate Professor of Art and Technology

Div III is weird. If you are weirded out its normal.
Chances are your div III will be great. But it won’t be the most amazing thing ever. Chances are your Div will just be a good part of college and you will have more projects to follow.
Do something you like doing. You are getting up everyday and doing something, make sure you like it or you won’t be successful in it.


Looking for Grants?

Click Here

Grants Info Session 9/29 at 3:30

The Culture, Brain & Development program (CBD) will offer a grants info session Thursday, September 29, from 3:30-5:00, in the Kern Center Gallery. Students can learn more about CBD grants, and get pointers for applying to other funding sources at Hampshire. Students who are thinking of applying for a grant from CBD are strongly encouraged to attend the workshop prior to submitting their application.

The deadline to apply for CBD student grants is Friday, October 14 at noon. Completed applications should be handed in at the CS office, Adele Simmons Hall,.
CBD provides grants to support Division II and Division III projects, research internships and volunteer placements that explore intersections between culture, mind/brain and human growth and development. Students from all schools are welcome to apply. For complete guidelines and examples of funded projects go to the CBD web site.

Students can pick up a copy of the application from the main offices for the schools of Cognitive Sciences; Critical & Social Inquiry; Humanities, Arts & Cultural Studies; Interdisciplinary Arts; and Natural Sciences or downlaod a copy at the CBD web page.

Questions, call CBD at 559-5730 or email us at