Keep your mind engaged over summer

Keep your mind engaged over summer

Post festive season is a time of year when it’s really easy to let things slide. We’re more likely to want to consume fluffy TV that veers towards the unchallenging.

But as the end of December becomes mid-January, it’s time to kick start our brains again. This is particularly true if you’re looking at starting or completing postgraduate study in 2016, because a post-holiday slump can make it difficult to get a positive start on a productive year.

To help cure encroaching summer malaise, we’ve gathered some listening and reading materials to keep your brain stimulated.

Watch: a sporting chance

Dr Gillian Fletcher researches sexuality, culture and society. In this video for Big Fat Ideas, Dr Fletcher discusses our idealisation of sport in Australia. Sharing illuminating anecdotes from her research subjects, she asks us to consider how we could build a more broadly inclusive sporting culture in Australia, and how that could improve the lives of diverse communities.

Why it will get you thinking

Sporting culture is central to Australian summers, and thinking closely about who is included and excluded in this national past time could help us find a way to encourage more people to include healthy activity in their day to day lives.

How long will it take?

This video lasts less than 15 minutes, so you can watch this one while you drink your morning coffee.

Listen: the human right to water

Dr Francine Rochford is from La Trobe’s Law School. Her research and teaching focuses on contract and constitutional law, and water law and policy.

Australia has a complex relationship to water. Drought is a constant threat in long hot summers, but we grow up swimming in pools and watering our gardens, so we can take access to water for granted. This podcast is about the legal ownership of water all over the world.

Why it will get you thinking

Humans need water – we need to drink it, use it to grow food and to stay clean. So who owns it, legally speaking? Does anyone have the right to control the flow of water?

How long will it take?

This podcast will take less than 15 minutes out of your day.

Study: Introduction to Business Law

Dr Lola Akin Ojelabi researches conflict and dispute resolution, often focusing on access to justice for disadvantaged groups and individuals. She is the instructor for this iTunesU course which covers everything a beginner might need to know about business law, from the creation and interpretation of laws and the nitty gritty of contract law.

Why it will get you thinking

This course will provide essential information for anyone hoping to practice law – but also for anyone hoping to start their own business or understand how contracts work in Australia.

How long will it take?

This is a course, rather than a short lecture or talk, so there are 43 lectures to listen to each lasting less than 20 minutes. You can listen to one or two you feel are the most relevant to you, or you can listen to them all and build your knowledge at your own pace.

 

None of these work for you? La Trobe’s iTunesU is a rich resource and you can learn about everything from diet and nutrition to witch hunts in history. You’re bound to find something to get your brain back into study and learning mode.

 

Image: (Maldives by Romaneau CC0.1.0)