Elephants

Editor’s note: this was a pre-post, because I am traveling today. But I just found out that we named the Commencement and Baccalaureate speakers. Our 2019 commencement speaker will be Fred Ryan, publisher and chief executive officer of The Washington Post. Our Baccalaureate speaker will be Gary Haugen, CEO and founder of International Justice Mission. Read more at: https://commencement.wfu.edu/

The finish line for the semester is now on the horizon. Your Deacs just have to get through April. And as the end of the semester is in sight, sometimes that big research paper or final project seems like an insurmountable obstacle.

There are all sorts of platitudes about how to tackle a giant job. I am particularly fond of these two:

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single stepIf you start to hear that “this is so hard” or “this is impossible,” you can pull these out of your back pocket and remind your Deacs that all they have to do is keep making steady progress. Do an hour’s worth of research. Write a draft. Meet with the project team to come up with a timeline. Take 30 minutes to brainstorm. Set up an appointment with a research librarian. Just make some effort towards the goal.

Incremental progress is what gets you there – in academic projects as in life.

 

— by Betsy Chapman ’92, MA ’94

Categories: the daily deac

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