Sunday, March 15, 2020

5 Tips for Greening Your Social Distancing and Self Quarantines

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With the advent of the coronavirus, many are wisely opting to self quarantine and are practicing social distancing. As a result, we are spending much more time alone with our families at home. I have moved my courses online for the time being and thus will be teaching using Zoom and Blackboard from my home office. I thought it would be a good idea to find the silver (or green!) lining in all of this and consider how we can social distance and self quarantine in a green way.

1. Walk in nature. The carriers of the virus are humans and thus distancing from your fellow humans by taking walks in nature is a great way to get exercise and keep yourself safe. It will also keep you away from the never-ending news and help keep your mind healthy.

2. Eat your old food. We all have stuff in our pantries and freezers that has been around for a while that will end up being tossed away unless we find some use for it. Why not cut down on food waste while also cleaning out your pantry by developing creative recipes for stuff that has lingered. It's time for a home version of Chopped.

3. Don't shop online. It is tempting to try to avoid boredom by doing some online shopping. Try to avoid this. You don't need a new pair of shoes or some gadget. Read a book, play a game, do a jigsaw puzzle, or find an exercise video online.

4. Educate yourself about climate change. If you haven't taken the time to understand the science of climate change, now would be a great time to do a deep dive to understand the issues. A great place to start is this Website of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

5. Plant your spring garden. We will get through this odd time. China, which saw the worst of it not that long ago, is returning to normalcy. Plant your spring garden. It will give you hope for the future and it will also provide you with healthy local food.

Monday, March 9, 2020

Pop Up Writing Productivity Workshop

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Hofstra University is closed this coming week in an abundance of caution around the coronavirus situation. As a result, I have a little bit of extra free time over the next several days so I thought I would offer a free pop up writing productivity workshop. If you are interested in being part of it, just send me a message with your email address.

The workshop will be conducted online starting tomorrow, Tuesday, March 10, 2020, within a closed Facebook group. I will offer 15-30 minute live lessons/discussions on video each day over the next four days. I'll post a schedule of the live sessions soon. You don't have to watch the videos live to be part of the workshop. You can watch them any time.

The workshop will cover the following topics along with several others:

  • Goal setting
  • Outlining
  • Creating space for writing
  • Building a writing mindset
  • Informal and formal writing goals
  • Productivity techniques
  • Finishing long-standing projects
The workshop is designed for anyone interested in writing and is open to the public. I think students and faculty will find the workshop particularly helpful as we start to approach the end of the semester. I encourage participants to have a writing project underway so they can make progress on it during the four-day workshop.

Again, to participate, just send your email address to me at

Happy writing!