How Carolyn Goffman Works

HIW_Carolyn Goffman

Name: Carolyn Goffman
Location: DePaul
Current Gig:  Instructor, English Lit
One word that best describes how you work:  Absorbed
Current mobile device:  cheap Motorola smart phone
Current computer:  2012 MacPro
 What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?  OED
What’s your workspace setup like: clear desk, window, good lamp; computer, ipad (read texts on ipad, write notes on computer)

I write at my desk at home, in front of a window that looks out on my tiny backyard and over the alleyway. Its bleak in the winter, with bare branches and ugly backs of buildings (and, usually, snow), but in the summer the leaves from the big tree in my yard fill up my view.  I need to be alone when I write (except for my dog, who is always present). Although I deeply admire people who complete novels and dissertations while sitting in a coffee shop, I hate writing in public.  I have pictures on the wall that connect me to my work–one a 1877 print of people walking in Istanbul through rain to hear the reading of the Ottoman Constitution; the other a poster that captures the fleeting optimism of the Young Turk Revolution in 1908. I stick postcards up around the windowsill that remind me of my travels. No pictures of family or friends on my desk — I need to NOT think about the people I love and take care of when I am writing.

What’s your best time-saving shortcut/life hack? Do you automate something that used to be a time sink? Do you relegate email to an hour a day? 

I have a number of roles in my life and they all seem to require different speeds. For my caregiver role, I slow way, way down and I have to be careful not to get lost in that slow-lane vortex. For teaching, I go at medium to top speed, and generally feel energized. Writing is peculiar because it requires complete focus and creates its own pace, which is sometimes much, much too slow. My trick to speed up is to pretend that I have to turn the article in, or give the talk, in two hours. What’s the quick and dirty to put something in presentable shape really fast? Then I do that, and it jump starts me.

What’s your favorite to-do list manager?

I use a classic engagement calendar (paper); supplemented by my Google calendar on my phone, and a notepad app on my phone, where I make plans before I go to sleep at night.

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without and why? 

The refrigerator.

What everyday thing are you better at than everyone else? What’s your secret?

I’m good at making lists and getting things done. I’m also good at listening. 

 What do you listen to while you work?  

Depends on time of day and how hard the writing is.  My most used Pandora stations are Latin Jazz and Classical Guitar.

What do you do to stay inspired? Who are some of your favorite artists?

I listen to books while I walk the dog and do dishes — mysteries, recent fiction. Nothing too complex. I like a narrative that propels itself forward. I like reading and listening to books that are well written, no matter what genre.

What sort of work are you up to now? 

I am working on the story of Mary Mills Patrick, a fearsome woman who ran the Constantinople Woman’s College for 34 years, through wars, revolutions, massacres, and end-of-empire chaos. She went to Turkey in 1871 as a young idealistic missionary and stayed on, replacing her religious fervor with a determination to help women and promote education.

What are you currently reading? 

Different books in different rooms and on i-pad and in audiobooks:  Emma Ponafidine’s memoir of escape from the Bolshevik Revolution; Ambassador Morgenthau’s memoir about Constantinople during World War One and the Armenian massacres; Ian Fleming’s From Russia with Love; Theatre Shoes, by Noel Streatfield, New Yorkers. Currently listening to Sara Paretsky’s Brush Back.

Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert? Maybe both?

Used to be introvert, now I’m both. I like meeting new people, but I need more me/alone-time than most people.

What’s your sleep routine like?

I am perfectly happy if I get 6.5 or 7 hours a night, and perfectly miserable if not. Sometimes I don’t seem to need as much sleep and enjoy the alone-time of the early morning hours.  

Fill in the blank: I’d love to see _________ answer these same questions.  Why?

George Eliot. She is my god.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Write what you want to write.

Is there anything else you’d like to add that might be interesting to readers and fans?

It really helps to know that all writers work really hard. It doesn’t come easily to anyone. I admire people who write every day no matter what AND get work finished AND have a life and take care of people.


 The How I Work series featured on the re/search blog is shamelessly stolen from Life Hacker’s How I Work series.   The SSRC’s version asks DePaul’s heroes, experts, and individuals of note to share their shortcuts, workspaces, routines, and more. Have someone you want to see featured, or questions you think we should ask? 

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How Sarah Read Works

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Location:  DePaul University (or Starbucks, where I am right now?)
Current Gig:  Assistant Professor, Writing, Rhetoric & Discourse
One word that best describes how you work:  Interval training
Current mobile device: Iphone 4S
Current computer: MacBook Air

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without? My At-A-Glance paper planner (without it I am a useless woman) and Dropbox, which means I can move seamlessly between work and home and the coffeeshop.

What’s your workspace setup like: Minimalist and open. I use a fully adjustable computer desk. I’m a short, small person, so conventional desks are just too big.

What’s your best time-saving shortcut/life hack? Do you automate something that used to be a time sink? Do you relegate email to an hour a day? Back when I ran track and cross-country in high school and college my greatest strength was pacing. I wasn’t the fasted member of the team, but I always ran my intervals during practice at a consistent rate; i.e., I didn’t tire myself out on the first few and then die through the last ones. This is my approach to research projects and writing. Small chunks. Over time at the same rate. The down side of this strategy, however, is that I don’t accelerate very well. In a nutshell, I don’t do all-nighters.

What’s your favorite to-do list manager? Good ol’ fashioned At-A-Glance monthly paper planner. I am very visual person and I like to see my whole month at once. I also find it that takes less time/thought/energy to enter a few cryptic notes with a few scribbles of my pen.

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without and why? Do I need to mention the almighty At-A-Glance planner again? Seriously, without it I am a woman without a plan or a life.

What everyday thing are you better at than everyone else? What’s your secret?Tracking the family to-do list and the contents of the fridge (which I can recite from memory at any given time). It drives my husband crazy. My secret? Well, my theory is that girls are trained to pay attention to things like the contents of the fridge (to plan the shopping list), the location of items (clutter clean-up) in the house, and the chores that need to be done (no one else will do them) by just observing what their mothers’ paid attention to as they grew up. My parents had a traditional division of labor at home, and this is how it imprinted on me, whether I like it or not.

What do you listen to while you work? Mostly the chatter of my own mind. However, if I am grading or doing administrative tasks I listen to WFUV FM (public radio from Fordham University in New York City—new alternative/folk/rock music) via the web.

What do you do to stay inspired? Who are some of your favorite artists?  Right now I am educating myself about contemporary dance choreography by attending all of the amazing contemporary dance company performances in Chicago. I am a particular fan of Hubbard Street Dance Company, a truly world-class dance company born right here in Chicago—their creative and interesting choreography and world class technique blow me away. As a language person, I am enjoying learning about the language of dance and how to join the conversation about it.

What sort of work are you up to now? Right now I am finishing up ethnographic field work about technical documentation and reporting processes at a supercomputing research facility int the Chicago area. I am starting to work on my book project, Writing Infrastructure.

What are you currently reading? Pride and Prejudice (By Jane Austen), the graphic novel (not by Jane Austen)

Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert? Maybe both?  Total introvert, although I have to come out of my cave sometimes in order to maintain my sanity. Teaching is good for that.

What’s your sleep routine like? Totally regular. Sleep by 11pm. Up at 6:45.

Fill in the blank: I’d love to see__________ answer these same questions. Woodstock.  

Why? Sorry, I only have goofy answers to this question.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? Wow—this is the toughest question. I couldn’t tell you the source of this advice, but for me an essential insight has been to have the courage to believe that my ideas, my writing, my work has value and to put it out there in the conversation. It is an act of courage to declare oneself a writer (an academic writer, creative writer, etc.) and to just start doing it. I feel like I have to be courageous in this way almost every day. Writers, of all kinds, are incredibly courageous people.

Is there anything else you’d like to add that might be interesting to readers and fans? Thanks for asking these questions. And thanks for reading.


The How I Work series featured on the re/search blog is shamelessly stolen from Life Hacker’s How I Work series.  The SSRC’s version asks DePaul’s heroes, experts, and individuals of note to share their shortcuts, workspaces, routines, and more. Have someone you want to see featured, or questions you think we should ask? Email Jessi Bishop-Royse at jbishopr AT depaul.edu.

How Ben Epstein Works

Name: Ben Epstein
Location: DePaul University
Current Gig: Assistant Professor of Political Science
One word that best describes how you work: Musically
Current mobile device: iPhone 5
Current computer:  Macbook pro

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What apps/software/tools can’t you live without? Twitter, Word, Workflowy, Google Calendar, Google Scholar, Probably whatever Google comes out with next.

What’s your workspace setup like: Office at work is embarrassingly messy but has what I need. I also do a lot of work at my local Starbucks, the clean space helps me be much more efficient.

What’s your best time-saving shortcut/life hack? Do you automate something that used to be a time sink? Do you relegate email to an hour a day?  I use workflowy and set up hashtags for specific days to give myself deadlines. I assign myself a certain amount of time to actually do my own work each week but I allow that time to be flexible in terms of how much is used each day because life (read: my kids) happen. Also Google calendar reminds me of things all the time.

What’s your favorite to-do list manager? Workflowy

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without and why? My big headphones. I’ve been using some iteration of these for over 20 years.

What everyday thing are you better at than everyone else? What’s your secret? There are a ton of talented people around. I work very hard, stay humble, and try to ask good questions and listen. There are no secrets.

What do you listen to while you work? Spotify (and sometimes Pandora) and I have a ton of music but I need it to be without lyrics. I listen to a lot of vitamin string quartet and other groups that do contemporary music with strings or pianos. When I can do something like emails etc. I will listen to more Soul and Hip Hop. If you pass the office playing Vitamic String Quartet, followed by Sam Cooke, and the Kendrick Lamar, it might be my office.

What do you do to stay inspired? Who are some of your favorite artists? See above. Plus if I need to get particularly pumped up, there is no better song than I Go To Work by Kool Moe Dee. 

What sort of work are you up to now? I am finishing a book manuscript this month (fingers crossed). It presents a theory about repeating patters of political communication change throughout American political history and explores the theory through a historical narrative comparing major changes from the newspaper to the internet. I also have projects involving e-government services, political internet literacy and online political influence in the works.

What are you currently reading? Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. It is extraordinary and a must read.

Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert? Maybe both? I took the Myers Briggs test but always forget what I am. I think I am honestly more of an introvert but I think that I can generally be around other people without needing a paper bag to breathe into.

What’s your sleep routine like? I try to go to be around 10:30, I go to bed around midnight, my daughter wakes me up around 3:30 3-4 days a week and I get up around 6:45 to help get the family moving for the day.

Fill in the blank: I’d love to see _________ answer these same questions. Why?

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? Nobody knows you as well as you do.

Is there anything else you’d like to add that might be interesting to readers and fans? I am a gigantic Minnesota fan and sports fan. I am therefore a huge fan of Minnesota sports.


The How I Work series featured on the re/search blog is shamelessly stolen from Life Hacker’s How I Work series.  The SSRC’s version asks DePaul’s heroes, experts, and individuals of note to share their shortcuts, workspaces, routines, and more. Have someone you want to see featured, or questions you think we should ask? Email Jessi Bishop-Royse at jbishopr AT depaul.edu.

How Zach Freeman Works

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Location: 990 W Fullerton
Current Gig: Director of the LAS Technology Center
One word that best describes how you work: efficient
Current mobile device: iPhone 5 (getting an iPhone 6 this week)
Current computer: Dell Optiplex 7010 (like everyone else at DePaul)

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without? Visual Studio, TFS, SQL Server, Buster (for public transit), Nike Running, Google Drive

What’s your workspace setup like. Dual monitors with an adjustable standing/sitting desk.

What’s your best time-saving shortcut/life hack? Do you automate something that used to be a time sink? Do you relegate email to an hour a day? I check email constantly all day long. The entire purpose of my office is to automate things that used to be time sinks – Independent Study applications, Grant applications, Late Withdrawal requests, Course proposals… anything that is done using a paper process is fair game for us to automate.

What’s your favorite to-do list manager? Oddly enough, a piece of paper and a pen.

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without and why? My Nike Fuelband. Because I’m obsessive and it’s been tracking my activity for three years so I don’t want to stop the streak… but I will have to at some point since Nike discontinued the product last year.

What everyday thing are you better at than everyone else? What’s your secret? Understanding the difference between subjectivity and objectivity. I think being embedded in both the arts and technology help me see into both. Too much technology and everything seems objective (it works or it doesn’t). Too much arts and everything seems subjective (but, like, that’s just your opinion, man). I also write theater reviews for Newcity and any kind of critique requires mixing both.

What do you listen to while you work? If I’m coding I listen to stuff that doesn’t require me to think: Marina and the Diamonds, Katy Perry, Robyn, Lily Allen. Otherwise nothing.

What do you do to stay inspired? Who are some of your favorite artists? I go running. If you run far enough it’s like meditating because your mind gets cleared. Comedians are my favorite artists: Ricky Gervais, David Cross, Louis CK.

What sort of work are you up to now? The Tech Center is working on an online form for a new grant for undergraduate LAS students, converting the Faculty Workload Worksheet to an online form, automating the process for readmitting graduate students who have been inactive for a short timeframe, putting the undergraduate enrollment override process online and getting the LAS website updated in various ways to better promote our programs, faculty and students.

What are you currently reading? Faith vs. Fact: Why Science and Religion are Incompatible, by Jerry Coyne.

Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert? Maybe both?  The MBTI said that I am an introvert but I think I was right on the line. I have a theater degree and a computer science degree so I guess I’m both.

What’s your sleep routine like? Not very consistent. Whenever I finish all the things I need to do for the day I go to sleep. But I usually wake up around 6.

Fill in the blank: I’d love to see _________ answer these same questions.  Why? John Shanahan. Because he’s always busy and always getting stuff done and still maintaining a positive attitude. He seems like he’s got some good secrets on how to work.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? I don’t think anyone ever told me this but: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.” is pretty solid advice. And someone told me that code doesn’t lie. That’s excellent advice to programmers because when you’re debugging a program it’s a lot easier to blame the computer or the code than to admit that if it doesn’t work it has to be something you did wrong.

Is there anything else you’d like to add that might be interesting to readers and fans? For all people who don’t work in “IT” I’d like to add: think of a technologist like an artist. Just because someone can make a great sculpture doesn’t mean they know anything about oil painting or mixed media. Being able to write code doesn’t mean that I can help you update your Android OS or transfer all your email from one account to another… I mean, yeah, I probably can, but still.


The How I Work series featured on the re/search blog is shamelessly stolen from Life Hacker’s How I Work series.  The SSRC’s version asks DePaul’s heroes, experts, and individuals of note to share their shortcuts, workspaces, routines, and more.  Have someone you want to see featured, or questions you think we should ask?  Email Jessi Bishop-Royse at jbishopr[at]depaul.edu. 

How Jessi Bishop-Royse Works

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Location: My office in The Center for Centers (located in Lincoln Park).
Current Gig: Senior Research Methodologist
One word that best describes how you work: Anywhere and Everywhere.
Current mobile device: iPhone 5c (yellow)
Current computer: I have recently joined the Mac bandwagon- so my personal machine is a MacBook Pro. My office machine is a non-descript Dell “Optiplex” tower.

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without? Stata is the one statistical package to rule them all. If I can’t do it in Stata, it doesn’t need to be done. I discovered Boxer for email last year. I tried going back to regular email- turns out, it’s really overwhelming with how much junk mail I receive- and I always feel like I am missing an important email because I scrolled past it amidst the 204994095843 emails I get a day. Boxer automates a lot of the email- Amazon confirmations, social media notifications, etc. Its worth every penny.

I like Evernote for note taking, project planning, drafting emails, and such because I can access it with all of my devices- so I am never slowed down by the fact that I don’t I have X notebook with me, or having to switch between personal and work accounts (*glares at Microsoft One Note for being unreasonable). I am starting to play with the Evernote Smart Notebook (which allows for digital integration of handwritten notes), but the jury is still out on that.

What’s your workspace setup like? I have an office with a window in 990 W. Fullerton, which is quite lovely this time of year, when the sun is setting.  During the winter, it’s nice to sit in a sun beam around 4pm, as my day is winding down. Aside from that, I have a two monitor setup on top of a Varidesk, which allows me to either stand (for unimportant tasks like email) or sit (for tasks requiring concentration). It is criminal that there are offices in 2015 that aren’t equipped with desks that allow workers to stand. In fact, I think we are going to look back offices without standing desk options in 2015 the way we look at all the office drinking and smoking that happens in Mad Men.

What’s your best time-saving shortcut/life hack? Do you automate something that used to be a time sink? Do you relegate email to an hour a day? I use a planner to plan out my weeks. I try to coral meetings on the same days of the week, just because when I lose focus on a task, it usually ends with me on Buzzfeed or Gawker reading an article about the 10 worst characters on Game of Thrones or The Craziest Moments from Last Night’s Walking Dead.

I try to do “batch work” as much as possible- to minimize switching from task to task, where frankly, I have the greatest likelihood of getting distracted. This started with weekly meal preps on the weekends, where I cook a bunch of food and pack for lunch. I also use it for digitizing hard copies of things, setting to-dos and reminders, etc.  My week goes a lot better if I sit down on Monday and review my calendar.  I try to take 10-15 minutes to review my email and get requests for meetings into the appropriate time slots, so I know what is happening when.

Also, I have taken a cold hard look at some of my activities and ruthlessly cut to the quick any that require more time than they are worth.  Since I am a grownup with a real job and a kid, I don’t have that kind of time anymore, so back in 2013 I started CrossFitting (at Bucktown CrossFit).  It’s super convenient, less than a mile from the Lincoln Park campus.   I can jog, or bike there, do my workout and can be back at the office in 1.5 hours. Sometimes it’s an ass-kicking, but most days it is the exact thing I need to break up the day.

Also, I multi-task as much as possible.  I know that all the efficiency experts say that no one multitasks well, but I think that is b.s.  I will call my mom or listen to an audiobook while I am in the car on the way home.  Or I will “watch” an episode of a tv show I am following on an ipad while I do dishes or fold laundry.

What’s your favorite to-do list manager? My planner. See below.

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without and why? I have tried almost every digital/app-based planner there is. After graduating, I spent a long time trying to figure out my planner system (it was a running joke in the SSRC), because in addition to hard and fast dates and times when things need to happen (like appointments), I need a place to do project planning. So, I spent a long time experimenting with Moleskine planners, disc planners, digital planners, Day/Time Runners, monthly, weekly, biweekly, daily planners, systems like GTD and bullet journals. Last year, I finally developed a system.

It requires a little time to set up, but it allows me to have all the things that I am dealing with in a week- from meetings, appointments, when I need to send bills, etc. Since I use a softcover moleskin book, I can tuck stamps, envelopes, parking tickets or bills into the extra pocket- and because I never lose my planner, I always have these things on me, if I need them. Anyone could take this system and modify for their own situation- because if we are all honest here, we often have things that come up in different realms of our lives.

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What everyday thing are you better at than everyone else? What’s your secret? I am not a smart woman, but I know what hard work is (say this in your best Forrest Gump accent).  I am good at out working problems.   I think that getting a PhD is a practice in this… figuring out how to tackle a problem and having a contingency list. If solution A isn’t working, I am not afraid to move onto solution B, C or X, if I have to. And worst case scenario, if I have to, I will resort to doing things “the hard way”. True story: I spent the summer of 2005 manually matching death certificate records for infants born in Florida in 1980 to their birth records, because it was the only way it could be done.

What do you listen to while you work? Depends on the kind of work I am doing. I recently discovered Pandora’s 1990s and 2000s Rap and Hip Hop stations, which are are are on point.  They are perfect when I am doing tasks that don’t require a lot of concentration, like answering email or tasking out events. Silence is deafening to me- so I always have some noise in the background.  So, on tasks the require concentration, I will turn to a solid list of classical musical pieces such as Goldberg’s variations, Barber’s Adagio for Strings, and Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1.

What do you do to stay inspired? Who are some of your favorite artists? Last year, I joined an accountability group that meets every other week. In those meetings, we set goals for the next two weeks and update the group on progress from the last week. Every other week, it’s a shot in the arm- motivating me to get to work and encouraging me to be like the cool kids who are kicking ass on the regular. Also, if I am not up against a deadline, I find that TedTalks are fantastic during lunch in my office or riding the train. The breadth of topics on which there are talks is astounding- and I can always find something that is applicable to my research.

What sort of work are you up to now? We have a couple of research projects that I am trying to breathe life into. We are wrapping up data collection for our “Seasons of Violence” project with MSW faculty member Noam Ostrander.  In it, we are analyzing weather patterns and violent crime in 100 US cities.  Two other graduate students have begun preliminary analysis using longitudinal educational data.  We’re looking for patterns in socioeconomic and educational outcomes among various groups of African-American high school students.

What are you currently reading? Like most people, I usually have several books I am reading at once. I am about half-way through J. Scott Long’s “The Workflow of Data Analysis Using Stata”, which is cool, because 10 years on, I am still learning new tricks with Stata.  Since Qualitative guru Jessica Speer left the SSRC for greener passages, I have been forced to pick up some of the slack on requests for qualitative consults.  So, I started “Qualitative Data Analysis: Practical Strategies” by Pat Bazeley.  It’s not reading, but I am 29 hours into the audio book version of George RR Martin’s “Song of Fire and Ice” by George RR Martin.

Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert? Maybe both? Definitely an introvert.

What’s your sleep routine like? Not great… I am tired all the time. It’s rare if I can get in bed before 11. Because I have a kid that starts school at 730, I am usually up at 515-530, in order to get my act together before trying to get him out the door. I try to catch up on the weekends, but it’s hard when you are trying to surf to the end of the internet. I have gotten close a couple of times… but no dice.

Fill in the blank: I’d love to see _________ answer these same questions. Why? Fernando DeMaio- because he’s super productive. He published a book last year and is starting the Center for Community Health Equity this year.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? Time is the most valuable commodity we have. Every person on this planet only has 24 hours in a day. When it’s all said and done, we should all try to do more of the things we like doing and fewer of the things we dislike doing. As such, I can be ruthless when it comes to my time being wasted: I suffer no fools in this regard.

Is there anything else you’d like to add that might be interesting to readers and fans? Growing up, we had a phrase in my family, “Do it or don’t bother me with it”, which I think adequately sums up my approach to life. “Gonna do _______” doesn’t mean anything to me. Therefore, I try not to commit to things I have no intention to follow through on.


The How I Work series featured on the re/search blog is shamelessly stolen from Life Hacker’s How I Work series.  The SSRC’s version asks DePaul’s heroes, experts, and individuals of note to share their shortcuts, workspaces, routines, and more. Have someone you want to see featured, or questions you think we should ask? Email your suggestion to Jessi Bishop-Royse at jbishopr [at] depaul dot edu.

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How Brad Hoot Works

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Name: Brad Hoot
Location: At the moment? In my campus office.
Current Gig:  Assistant professor, Department of Modern Languages
One word that best describes how you work: Systematically. I try to plan out what I will be doing and approach it mindfully, although I don’t always succeed.
Current mobile device:  Droid Maxx
Current computer: Dell Laptop, not sure what model

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without? Google Drive, Google Calendar, Zotero

What’s your workspace setup like? Fairly bare. I have a computer and often a few books on my desk, plus a notepad in case I need scratch paper, but that’s about it.

What’s your best time-saving shortcut/life hack? Do you automate something that used to be a time sink? Do you relegate email to an hour a day? I often use rubrics for grading, which helps streamline the process while still giving students meaningful feedback. I try to control the amount of time spent on email by limiting email checking to certain times, but I don’t always succeed.

What’s your favorite to-do list manager? I don’t really use one. I primarily try to map to-do items directly to spaces in my calendar, so my calendar often becomes my to-do list. When I do make a to-do list, I just use a Word document, which is synced via Google Drive across all my devices.

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without and why? I don’t really have many gadgets beyond those two, and nothing I couldn’t live without.

What everyday thing are you better at than everyone else? What’s your secret? I think I’m better than average at seeing both sides of an issue. It’s easy for me to see how a situation might look from someone else’s perspective. I always say to myself “On the other hand…”

What do you listen to while you work? Usually nothing, but if it’s a task that doesn’t require much concentration, I listen to Spotify.

What do you do to stay inspired? Who are some of your favorite artists? When it comes to work, I mainly stay inspired by attending talks and conferences; if I find the right presentation, it can help remind me why I decided to pursue this field in the first place. I also read about professional development in books and on blogs for professional inspiration.

What sort of work are you up to now? I’m trying to write up the results of an experiment about how word order and intonation affect sentence meaning in the Hungarian of Hungarian/English bilinguals, and I’m collecting and processing data for a similar experiment with Spanish/English bilinguals.

What are you currently reading? For work, at the moment, a bunch of papers about statistics. For pleasure, Empires of the Word: A Language History of the World by Nicholas Ostler.

Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert? Maybe both. Definitely an introvert.

What’s your sleep routine like? I keep fairly regular hours. I sleep roughly 11:30 to 7:30, plus or minus half an hour or so.

Fill in the blank: I’d love to see _________ answer these same questions.  Why? Jessica Bishop-Royse. Because she seems like someone who has given serious thought to how to work.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? I think there are two pieces of advice that had the most direct impact on my career. The first was a friend in college who said I should major in Spanish, even though I wasn’t really considering it all that seriously, because my eyes lit up when I talked about the classes I would get to take if I did. The second was the advisor in graduate school who suggested changing the way I thought about my graduate school experience, shifting from thinking of myself as a student to thinking of myself as a novice professional in training. Though it may seem like a small distinction, that change in perception led to a change in how I approached the last few years of graduate school, which I think was very beneficial, and which has carried over into my career so far as a faculty member.


The How I Work series featured on the re/search blog is shamelessly stolen from Life Hacker’s How I Work series.   The SSRC’s version asks DePaul’s heroes, experts, and individuals of note to share their shortcuts, workspaces, routines, and more. Have someone you want to see featured, or questions you think we should ask? Email your suggestion to Jessi Bishop-Royse at jbishopr@depaul.edu

How Euan Hague Works

euan_hague

Name: Euan Hague
Location: 990 W. Fullerton, suite 4300
Current Gig:  Professor and Chair, Department of Geography
One word that best describes how you work:  conscientiously
Current mobile device:  It’s a Flip Phone!
Current computer: Whatever the university has given me. A Dell desktop Optiplex 7010 is what it says on the hard drive. Not sure what that even means or if it is any good.

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without? Most definitely http://guardian.co.uk and http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/.  I check for UK soccer news at almost every available opportunity! As I have a flip phone, I don’t have apps…. As for software, ESRI’s ArcGIS is essential to teaching in the Department of Geography.

What’s your workspace setup like? Messy. Very messy. There are piles of papers everywhere that I neither have time, nor inclination, to tidy up. I see post-it notes stuck around with student requests for DPR updates. On the top of the piles there is a copy of South Side Weekly with an article about the demolition of Englewood and its replacement by railyards and a book copy of the edited collection “Notes for a Peoples Atlas” which I helped to put together (www.peoplesatlas.com). There are lots of pens, to do lists, notebooks and, basically, piles of papers.

What’s your favorite to-do list manager? A notepad and pen.

What everyday thing are you better at than everyone else? What’s your secret? Getting through all those ‘to do’ lists. My secret – doing the things written on the ‘to do’ list! Also, working out what I can cross off that list in the time I have available. I get almost obsessed with finishing things up so I can cross them off the list or throw that last page away!

What do you listen to while you work? Nothing. Music distracts me when I am writing. I guess I mainly listen to the photocopier copying in the office opposite mine, conversations in the corridor and traffic humming through the window. The corner of Sheffield and Fullerton is never quiet, but I am very good at blocking out sound and staying focused.

What do you do to stay inspired? My family keeps me inspired. Also, learning about the efforts that people have gone through to effect political change. From the Chartists to the Black Panthers, the Suffragettes to community organizations today, the geographies of activism are always inspirational.  

Who are some of your favorite artists? Music-wise, Spiritualized, Spacemen 3, Six By Seven, Jesus and Mary Chain, Teenage Fanclub, Frightened Rabbit, The Stone Roses, The Happy Mondays, Primal Scream, Sloan, Crooked Fingers, the Pixies. I grew up in the post-punk UK of the 1980s, so that means The Clash, Joy Division, and numerous other bands that are seen here in the US as one hit wonders, then had cash to spend in the 1990s Brit Pop era – Radiohead, Pulp, Suede, Blur, Oasis, the Bluetones, Massive Attack, Portishead, Carter USM, Echobelly, and so on. In terms of art, I veer towards modern art I guess. I’m not too keen on 18th Century landscape paintings or Renaissance masterpieces! One of my first assessments of art was to study the Geography of 19th Century Paris through the art of Eduard Manet. I now teach about that in my GEO 172 – Cultural Geography, so I always have liked Manet. To that I’ve added teaching about early-20th Century New York urban planning and development through the Ashcan School and the contrasting representations of the American West in the art of Georgia O’Keeffe and Frederick Remington. Back in Edinburgh, I like the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and especially the work of Eduardo Paolozzi. Here in Chicago, the National Museum of Mexican Art and the MCA are very good.

What sort of work are you up to now? Making sure that students graduate on time by updating DPRs! I am also teaching my class on gentrification in Pilsen (GEO133) and have a range of Chicago-area guests coming to speak to my SUD 502 – Sustainable Urban Development Capstone class, so I am preparing for those classes. Writing wise, I recently published an invited article on the current Confederate movement for Politico.  Additionally, I am working on a manuscript for the journal “Scottish Affairs” about the 2014 referendum on Scottish independence. I am also helping to organize the Association of American Geographers conference, which will see 10,000 geography faculty and students in the city in late-April, so I have been writing for that event as well, most recently, “Pilsen – the gentrification frontier” (http://news.aag.org/2015/03/pilsen-the-gentrification-frontier/).

What are you currently reading? I’ve just finishing the Nelson Algren collection “Entrapment.” It’s OK, but not as good as “The Man With the Golden Arm.” I also just finished “The Three Degrees” by Paul Rees about the rise of Black footballers in England in the 1970s. I went to my first football game in 1978 when I was seven years old, Manchester United v. West Brom and the three players profiled in the book all played that day. In retrospect that game became one of the most important in the history of British sport and race relations. Cyrille Regis was always a great player. But really what I read most of the time are children’s books. “Even Monsters Need Haircuts” by Matthew McElligott and “The Gruffalo” are popular this week.

What’s your sleep routine like? I tend to work late and get up early. The former is an attempt to get all the work done that I don’t get done in the office each day; the latter is a necessity as I need to do school drop offs.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? Take a year off after high school before college. That was great. I worked, wandered around London and most of Europe, and even made it up to Svalbard, north of the Arctic Circle. I guess a more day to day thing is to treat others as you would like to be treated.

Is there anything else you’d like to add that might be interesting to readers and fans? I have fans?


The How I Work series featured on the re/search blog is shamelessly stolen from Life Hacker’s How I Work series.  The SSRC’s version asks DePaul’s heroes, experts, and individuals of note to share their shortcuts, workspaces, routines, and more. Have someone you want to see featured, or questions you think we should ask?  Email Jessi at jbishopr[at]depaul.edu.