REED HOME Gryphon icon
Feature Story
reed magazine logoJune 2010

Sharpening Skills at the DoJo continued

Head Tutor Helps Students Stop Procrastinating

A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the College of William & Mary, in patent leather boots, Julie Maxfield has got both the chops and the credibility with Reedies to do the job as the DoJo’s academic support coordinator.

Julie Maxfield

Academic support coordinator Julie Maxfield chats with writing center tutor Daniel Carranza ’12.


She can also relate to what students are going through, admitting that she procrastinated planning the “Preventing Procrastination” workshop at the DoJo.

Seriously, though, the DoJo does put on some informative workshops for students. The sessions this past spring included:

Reading Effectively: “Develop strategies for reading more quickly and getting more of what you read, even when you’re pressed for time.”

Stress Management: “Finding balance between school, work, and play is essential. Learn strategies to help you achieve stability and success.”

Time Management: “Learn how knowing your style and playing to your strengths can lead to a better personal form of time management.”

Preventing Procrastination: “Explore the pros (yes, pros!) and cons of procrastinating, consider why so many students do it, and develop strategies to help you overcome destructive procrastination.”

Five Weapons to Fight Procrastination (now!)

Here are some of Maxfield’s maxims on procrastination:

  • Break down papers, assignments, exams, etc. into small pieces.
  • Give yourself 10 minutes of break time for every hour you spend on task.
  • When you’re in the flow, keep going as long as you can.
  • When you’re genuinely stuck, give yourself permission to step away.
  • Plan a big reward for when you finish.

Remembering Dorothy Johansen

Dorothy Johansen

Dorothy Johansen 1963

The DoJo’s namesake, Dorothy Olga Johansen ’33, was a fixture at Reed for more than half a century.

A native of Seaside, Oregon, Johansen majored in history-literature at Reed and returned to teach history in 1935. She gained renown as the coauthor of the landmark book, Empire of the Columbia, A History of the Pacific Northwest, published in 1957. For many years she worked on a history of Reed, which remains unpublished. When she retired, she became professor emerita and the college’s official archivist (1969–84).

A.A. Knowlton Professor Nicholas Wheeler ’55, who has taught physics at the college since the early 1960s, recalls dropping in to chat with “Dorothy Jo” from time to time on his way home from campus.

“She would always offer me whisky and we would have a nice little chat,” he says. The topic was nearly always Reed, whether she was reminiscing about her student days or commenting on college matters. “Her whole life was here.”

“She was a thinking person, often dubious about developments at the college,” Nick recalls, but “sufficiently wise to understand that things happened, that that was life.”

Johansen’s work as a historian earned her numerous honors over her long career. She also served on the boards of the Oregon Historical Society and the Portland Public Schools.

Johansen built her midcentury modern home on the southeastern edge of the campus in 1951, on the far side of what was once a grove of holly trees and is now a parking lot. The structure is architecturally interesting, as befits its original owner, with its distinctive butterfly roof and tall windows. The custom-designed speaker system “must have been the height of audiophilia in 1950,” says Towny Angell, director of facilities.

Since Johansen donated the house to Reed in 1991, the DoJo has served various functions, including, most recently, housing the college career center, before becoming the academic resource center in 2007.

She died in 1999 at the age of 95. Her papers, including typescripts of chapters 1 through 9 of her Reed history, are housed at the college library.

reed magazine logoJune 2010