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Week in Review: Time for Spring Cleaning

I like the idea of spring cleaning and getting the house bright, fresh, and tidy—but actually DOING the spring cleaning? Ugh. I’m running out of ways to procrastinate the inevitable at this point. My to-clean list for this weekend includes window washing and deep cleaning the fridge and the dishwasher, which may be one of the worst tasks. I mean, it’s a dishwasher—it should be self cleaning, right? It’s filled with soap and hot water all the time. But sadly, I have to give mine some extra attention this weekend.

If the only thing you want to give extra attention to is the latest in higher ed news, scroll down for more.

What’s new this week:

Grinnell College President Raynard Kington added his voice—and his perspective as a scientist—to those appalled by the proposed elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities for an Inside Higher Ed article.

Dan Alexander, math professor at Drake University, explains why polls aren’t always right in a piece for The Conversation.

This week on Inside Higher Ed’s Call to Action blog, don’t miss tips on how to respectfully communicate differing viewpoints in turbulent times.

What we’ve been talking about:

We’ve got two Quick Hits for you this week. First up, Cristal shared a resource to help spring clean your AP style. And Teresa used a great example to explain the difference between bridging and spinning.


Wishing we were working poolside AND side-by-side! #tbt

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What’s next on our calendars:

On March 30, Erin will be presenting with Inside Higher Ed’s Paul Fain on crisis communications at CASE’s 25th Annual Conference for Institutionally Related Foundations.

On April 1, Erin will be presenting with Scripps College’s Binti Harvey at the Association of Governing Boards’ Workshop for Board Professionals. They will talk about the anatomy of a crisis and how to respond appropriately.

On April 4, Teresa will be presenting at the CASE Institute for Senior Marketing and Communications Professionals.

Teresa is a member of the planning committee for PRSA’s Counselors to Higher Education Senior Summit, which will be held in Washington, DC, April 5-7. At the Summit, Erin will participate in a panel discussion on the importance of a smooth presidential transition.

What we’re recommending:

Kristine Maloney
While “multitasking” on Twitter this week, I came across this New York Times piece on how to make your workday even more productive. While I don’t necessarily feel unproductive at the end of a given day/week, I sometimes feel like I’m being pulled in too many directions, and this was a great reminder of how to take back control. I could definitely benefit from more monotasking (which I think will require some discipline on my part) and from taking more breaks—to let creativity creep in—when a project isn’t coming together the way I’d like. The best angles for pitches usually hit me in the shower, or on a walk, not by spending hours on end wracking my brain. Stepping away and focusing on something else is usually more fruitful, but it can be hard to do knowing that particular item won’t get crossed off your list for at least another day. As it happens, to-do list tips are also included in this article.

Erin Hennessy
As we head into the NCAA tournament’s Elite 8 this weekend (sadly, without my beloved Villanova Wildcats), the sound of basketball games will be pouring from millions of televisions across the country. So it’s worth taking a minute to read this New York Times piece on the science behind basketball’s signature sound: the squeaking of sneakers on a hardwood floor. Turns out that it has a lot to do with spiny lobsters and violin strings.

The other game I’m obsessed with this week is Typeshift, a new app from your favorite snarky online dictionary, Merriam-Webster. Typeshift features all sorts of word games that are a mix between word search and anagrams. I’ve already hooked two friends and now I’m hoping to hook you, too.

Cristal Steuer
In less than a month, my husband will take to the streets of Boston to run the 2017 Boston Marathon for Team MR8, a charitable foundation started by the parents of Martin Richard, an eight-year-old who died in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. I was touched by this article about a local elementary school taking part in a juggling contest to help their teacher (who is running the marathon) raise money for the Martin Richard Foundation. The entire school participated in this effort, continuously juggling scarfs for 26.2 minutes.

Teresa Valerio Parrot
Twenty-five years and 2.1 seconds, 85 feet by 10 feet and 190 degrees. It’s March Madness, which means it’s time for my annual celebration of the best college basketball matchup ever. Somehow it has been 25 years since Duke beat the University of Kentucky at the buzzer with that amazing shot from Christian Laetner. ESPN interviewed players, coaches, fans and even the team manager, all of whom where there and saw that miracles can happen in less than 2.1 seconds. So, for me, consider reading this great play-by-play account of an amazing moment in collegiate basketball history.

And I’m sending good thoughts and prayers to those in Peru who are facing significant flooding. I was in the country less than two years ago and fell in love with the Sacred Valley and its people. May those who touched my heart stay safe.

Ali Lincoln
Climate change—and its direct impact on our lives—is a regular topic of discussion in my house and a major source of concern. In fact, climate change has dictated a lot of decisions my husband and I have made as consumers and homeowners. But I know this isn’t the case everywhere. This set of graphics from the New York Times on how Americans think about climate change was fascinating, and while it didn’t quell my worries, it did give me some hope that perhaps Americans are more concerned about climate change than I thought.

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