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Students tackle the ‘cult of busy’

New website explores society’s obsession with busyness.

BY CASSANDRA HENDRY | MAR 26 2014

A new website focusing on society’s obsession with busyness has been launched by a group of Canadian students. The site attempts to answer the question, what are you busy for?

The website, Cult of Busy, was created by the 2013 cohort of 3M National Student Fellows. An offshoot of the prestigious 3M National Teaching Fellowships awarded annually by the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, this program names up to 10 university or college students as fellows for their leadership and involvement in campus life each academic year.

The website features essays from students, professors and industry professionals, with titles such as “When busy bites back,” “Don’t tell me to relax” and “Busy has a way of taking over.”

“We wanted to create a national discussion about what it means to be busy,” says Emerson Csorba, a fourth-year political science student at the University of Alberta and the project’s co-leader. “We basically want people to reflect on busyness and not see it as something that’s necessarily negative or positive … there are multiple facets to it,” he says.

The students came up with the idea prior to the STLHE conference last June, hosted by Cape Breton University. Mr. Csorba says the student fellows had to put together a one-hour presentation and “the idea of busyness resonated with all of us.”

From there, the fellows agreed to create the online project. The website, launched in February with 20 essays, continues to solicit pieces from anyone who wants to contribute. Mr. Csorba says he hopes to get more submissions, particularly from the business sector.

For someone who has launched himself into the study of what it means to be busy, Mr. Csorba says he doesn’t even like the term. “I don’t like it when people say, ‘I’m so busy. I’m so tired.’ I find it unattractive. Honestly, everybody’s busy and has a lot on the go, a lot of concerns, and their own questions and goals,” he says. “But I think there’s tremendous value in working on things that you care about and putting everything you can into them.”

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  1. Will C. van den Hoonaard / March 26, 2014 at 14:36

    This is an excellent initiative and I hope we can all take lessons from this.

    I have a FB group devoted to a related topic, Slow Scholarship;

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/188202231458/