Author Archive for Christopher MAYO

Dissertation Advice: Write Something

It’s easier than you think to get started writing, though it isn’t always easy to see how you will finish. In the summer of 2007 I began setting up my dissertation based on Princeton University’s formatting guidelines, and I had…

Dissertation Advice: Writing Starts with Reading

About three months have passed since I completed my dissertation at Princeton University in August 2013, and with some of my current and former students applying to graduate schools, I thought this would be a good time to put down…

Privacy on the Internet

I’m a historian, not a whistleblower (Edward Snowden), activist (Julian Assange), or novelist (George Orwell) with expertise on privacy. Although I have no specialized knowledge to offer that you couldn’t find anywhere else on the Internet, the information I have…

Your Backups and the Zombie Apocalypse

Are you worried about losing your data? You should be, because if your data is anything like mine, it has a nasty habit of disappearing or getting corrupted. Here are five solutions you might want to consider, beginning with a…

Evernote: Getting the Most Out of Handwriting Recognition

Evernote has collaborated with Moleskine to offer “smart” notebooks that are designed to provide the best character recognition (see this blog post for details). How do the Evernote branded Moleskines work in the real world? How can you get the…

Plain Text Notes with Images

What’s Azog from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug doing here? Besides reminding us that another Tolkien movie is coming out soon, he is here to demonstrate that writing in plain text doesn’t mean you have to give up images.…

Teaching: A Collaborative Classroom

I design my courses at Grinnell with the aim of creating a collaborative classroom. In this post I talk about some of the activities I incorporate into the lectures and discussions in order to encourage student participation (in another post,…

Don’t Forget About Flashcards

There are a lot of books available that describe systems for developing a phenomenal memory — Joshua Foer’s Moonwalking with Einstein is one of my favorites from the bunch. What they mostly forget about, though, is the plain old flashcard…

Dissertation Done!

What more is there to say? Actually, quite a bit, but I’ll save that for future blog posts. Finishing my dissertation defense is enough for one day. The Abstract This dissertation examines religion and warrior culture during Japan’s sixteenth century.…

Calligraphy 書道 (Shodō)

I started practicing calligraphy when I first went to Japan in 1996. I can’t say that I ever developed much skill in the art, but I sure do enjoy it. This page has a few samples of things I’ve done…