Weekend reads: Ishiguro's writing tips, you are what you read, your keys are right in front of you!

Kristin Tyndall's read

"You are what you read," according to this recent op-ed. The author points out that many of us spend our days reading haphazardly: scrolling through a social media feed, skimming news articles, browsing with no goal in mind. But he urges us to reflect on how these accidental snatches of text unconsciously shape our thinking. If you are what you read, perhaps it pays to be a little more intentional about what you're reading.

Seren Snow's reads

Corporate recruiters are transforming their approach to enlisting new talent. Gone are the days when students' only pre-interview interaction with a recruiter involved a brief exchange and handshake at a job fair. Recruiters have realized that they need to start building relationships with students the moment they step on campus, in less formal, low-stakes ways. For example, executives from General Electric and Consumer Energy showed up at Michigan State University (MSU)'s move-in day to help freshman engineering students move into their new dorms. MSU also hosts a Freshman Extravaganza, where students can engage with employers over food without a résumé or cover letter in sight.  Farouk Dey, dean of experiential education at Stanford University, says these kinds of early recruiter-student interactions are important for recruiters because students have a lot more job options today and can easily forget about traditional employers.

Ever feel confused after finding your keys when they were right in front of you the entire time? A recent study published in Current Biology journal explains this phenomenon as inattentional blindness, which means that we tend to miss objects that are not at the scale we expect them to be. As an example, the New York Times asks readers to identify a toothbrush in a photograph of a messy bathroom. Even though there is a much larger toothbrush in the picture, most people only spot the regular-sized toothbrush. Psychologically, the giant toothbrush is basically invisible at first sight. Unless we expect something to be a particular size or type, we are unlikely to pay attention to it initially, says Miguel Eckstein, a psychologist at the Vision and Image Understanding Laboratory at the University of California, Santa Barbara and one of the authors of the study.

Kathleen Escarcha's reads

Any writer knows that getting started can be the hardest part—even newly-minted Nobel Prize winner, Kazuo Ishiguro. But if you give yourself the freedom to write terribly and flush out all of those awful sentences, you might just come across something worthwhile. As a writer and a reader, Ishiguro’s experience is a comforting reminder that everyone, even Nobel Prize winners, write terrible first drafts—and that’s okay.

Witty Wi-Fi names are the latest trend in self-expression. People are transforming the once boring digit chains into personal, tongue-in-cheek statements. For the digital natives who grew up with screen names, a home’s wireless connection is a similar opportunity to tell friends something authentic about yourself, say Natalie Zfat, a social media entrepreneur. Wi-Fi titles reflect the personality of a place, so it’s kind of like naming your home, she says.


Next in Today's Briefing

The universities with the most Nobel Prize winners

Next Briefing

  • Manage Your Events
  • Saved webpages and searches
  • Manage your subscriptions
  • Update personal information
  • Invite a colleague