This post contains some (still rather disjointed) notes and ideas from the 2014 Maryland Conference on Academic & Professional Writing, which I recently attended. It was a useful conference, and I was especially excited about presentations by Anne Wysocki and Jeanne Fahnestock.
I’m giving a workshop today on Maintaining Work/Life Balance, with special focus on the difficulties this task presents depending upon a person’s gender. This workshop is part of a series about Writing Instruction Across the Disciplines, but most of these tips are applicable to writing teachers of all kinds as well as many professionals. I’m including here the handout and worksheet used in this short workshop. In addition, some useful resources for thinking about maintaining work/life balance are listed below.
A feminist alternative to MOOCs: Distributed Open Collaborative Courses. DOCCs take all the good stuff from MOOCs but also emphasize collaborative learning and distributed knowledge by decentralizing authority. Hopefully, this will address the problem of retention in a way that is efficient for all participants.
In a sponsor email from the Chronicle today, I saw this tidbit and snapped a screenshot to add to my collection of “efficiency” definitions. In this case, efficiency appears to be synonymous with effectiveness–and is apparently in direct opposition to liberal arts agendas. Fascinating.
A student passed this along to me:
I think having Western women who are so carefully and responsibly engaged–and who make their embodiment clear throughout–in investigating child marriage makes this documentary particularly fascinating.
Also see this post: https://erinafrost.com/2011/08/10/preventing-child-marriage-a-complex-cultural-battle/
Public-benefit corporation (B Corps) designations are a fascinating example of one way to redefine efficiency. This legal designation is a way to recognize when a company explicitly and purposefully values social and environmental benefits, thus encouraging company leaders to rethink the need to “maximize shareholder value at all costs.”
Read more here.
Here’s my favorite quote from this story (This quote is attributed to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and reported by Katie Gilbert): “[M]ore and more people want to use services from companies that believe in something beyond simply maximizing profits.” I think this speaks to the idea that we are affected by many things any given company produces (both intentionally and unintentionally), profits being only one small part of that equation.
One of the main projects of apparent feminism is to complicate notions of efficiency. I often encourage people to ask “Efficient for whom?” “Efficient over what period of time?” and “How are we defining efficiency in this context?” Here’s a great example of a situation where someone ought to be asking those questions.