Mothers attempting to balance parenthood and academics.
June 8, 2008 - 8:37pm
This week, I’m going to include the full letter from a reader, because I think it’s a great illustration of what many of us go through in our twenties (inside academia or out), searching for the right career fit, for validation, and for our own definition of success. This is what she wrote:
June 6, 2008 - 8:11am
Kids are mean in elementary school. They are mean in college. When I first began teaching I befriended many students the way many theatre faculty do. Between rehearsals and classes and so much down-time in the green room, we can spend upwards of twenty-plus hours a week with any given student. I spent a lot of time engaging in ‘drama’. I heard them tell tales, tales about each other. I thought this pretty harmless until a few years later when I came to a period in my life where the student tales included commentary on my private life, particularly as my marriage was falling apart.
June 5, 2008 - 5:18am
June. Not the month bookended by May and July but a small, strong woman who runs marathons to raise money for the disease that took her brother from this planet while his hair was still blonde and his body still muscular. She doesn't run just any marathon either. She runs the New York or London Marathon and finishes in the top 20. She lives in the bustling center of London where she trains along the Thames and feasts on vegetarian fare, particularly good bread and cheese.
June 3, 2008 - 10:19pm
Before our first child was born we prepared to be parents in ways that academics always prepare for big projects: extensive reading and research, lists of necessary equipment, plan for implementation (i.e., the birth plan), the “lab” organized (i.e., change table at proper height, clean diapers and wipes within optimum reach).
June 2, 2008 - 10:23pm
In my bio for this blog, I mention "two children, one of whom should be heading off to college in the fall." The verb is deliberately ambiguous: when I wrote the bio, we were not yet sure if her plans for the fall would be approved by the college of her choice. As of this writing, however, I can be more certain: my daughter will not, in fact, be heading off for college in the fall.
June 1, 2008 - 10:16pm
A professional mom named “Abigail” wrote me in the throes of deciding whether to leave her corporate career for an academic one. Here’s a piece of her letter:
May 29, 2008 - 9:42pm
Wikipedia states: In general usage, complexity often tends to be used to characterize something with many parts in intricate arrangement. Random House, Webster’s and Dictionary.com all state similar definitions of complexity and intricacy as “maze-like”, “akin to a labyrinth” and “having many interrelated parts or facets; entangled or involved.” An article in the 2008 Encyclopedia Britannica calls the study of complexity “exciting and evolving.” If that doesn’t describe the giddy world of teaching and mothering – I don’t know what else would.
May 29, 2008 - 5:51am
Let me clear up any misconception. I am a tenured faculty member at a celebrated liberal arts institution who will soon come up for promotion to full professor.
May 28, 2008 - 5:20am
I have a friend who’s coming up for tenure at a major research university this summer. He calls it his dream job. The good news is, it doesn’t look like he will have any trouble getting tenure. Just a few months ago, his wife received tenure at a small liberal arts school. Her dream job. The only trouble is, the two schools are separated by, oh, 500 miles or so. Most weeks during the academic year my friend flies up for a three-day weekend to be with them (yes, them – oh, did I forget to mention they have a 2 year old daughter?)
May 27, 2008 - 5:33am
I've probably spent more time than I should over this Memorial Day weekend at the IHE site, reading and re-reading Scott Jaschik's piece, "Does Academe Hinder Parenthood?" and, especially, the comments on the piece. (Almost 30 of them, at last count.) Jaschik's piece confirmed my sense, derived purely from "anecdata," that academics--and academic women, especially--tend to have smaller families than other professionals.