Mama PhD

Mothers attempting to balance parenthood and academics.

Mothers attempting to balance parenthood and academics.

February 18, 2009 - 9:14pm
Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin were both born on Feb. 12th, 1809. Why is celebrating their birthdays important? Why should we take this opportunity to talk about them with our students or our children?
February 18, 2009 - 8:08am
In my last semester as a graduate student, I TA’ed a human behavioral biology course. As it turned out, I was newly pregnant with my first baby, and the course wowed me, especially as the professor reviewed the cognitive development literature, describing a series of amazing experiments carried out in the last 30 years on infants and children. It was an eye opening tour of the evidence that argues against babies being born blank slates, of development of concepts of self and others, of development of understanding of the physical world (e.g. gravity), and other fascinating topics.
February 16, 2009 - 9:53pm
February was somehow a month of deadlines for me. There was a short commissioned piece to write, a column, an abstract, and… I’m forgetting what else, but it seemed like there was more. So far I’ve met the deadlines (though I often get to this blog at the last minute), but with every one met, another one seems to come up.
February 12, 2009 - 9:32pm
By now we have all heard the numbers telling us how large the stimulus package will be that we hope will help turn around the economy. As an economist, I am interested in this attempt to help the economy recover more quickly. However, I am struck by the size of the numbers being thrown around, as we will most likely spend $800 billion dollars for the stimulus package that will help begin this economic recovery. These numbers are so large, they are hard to picture. What do these numbers mean?
February 11, 2009 - 9:43pm
Peggy Orenstein’s recent column in the New York Times about parental fears in response to a USA Today report on poor air quality around schools struck a chord with me.
February 11, 2009 - 6:56am
I’ve been planning a birthday party this week with my daughter. Her birthday is Feb. 13, sandwiched right in between Charles Darwin’s birthday on the 12th, and Valentine’s Day. With Darwin and my daughter both celebrating big decades this year (my daughter her 10th, Darwin his 200th), love, family and Darwin’s legacy have been on my mind.
February 9, 2009 - 10:28pm
I’m wondering if I should make Jill Biden my role model. It’s too late, of course, but I’m impressed by what I’ve seen of her so far. Raising three kids, teaching, going back to school for the doctorate later in life — she was impressive as a senator’s wife and, to me, even more so as the “Second Lady.” News reports snark at her for going by “Dr. Biden” when she’s not an M.D., but where I live that’s the norm: I never went by Dr.
February 5, 2009 - 9:34pm
I attended a Montessori kindergarten, and so it was with great interest that I picked up a book recently outlining Montessori Today (1996, by Paula Lillard Polk). As I read it, I was swept back to the days when I was six years old and just learning to read and write. I remembered writing words, reading simple books, and bringing “show and tell” items to share with my classmates. But most of all, I remembered learning things that led to an understanding of mathematics.
February 5, 2009 - 6:33am
For many of us, the political, social or cultural gaps we experience with our students may feel at times like the gaps we sense with our children.
February 4, 2009 - 7:22pm
It’s something every parent has experienced … the mournful cries of a sick child in the middle of the night. In our family aching knees — my daughter’s growing pains — are the usual culprits, and my husband and I take turns sitting up with her and rubbing her sore legs until she slips back into sleep. In January, and now into February, it’s been nighttime coughing that keeps us up. This winter our kids seem to have caught one illness after the other in which the primary symptom is a nasty cough.

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