Higher Education Webcasts

Mama PhD

Mothers attempting to balance parenthood and academics.

May 16, 2008 - 5:42am
Recently I have been having many issues with getting all my day to day goals met. Between moving, summer research, grading finals and buying a house (not to mention finally getting on Facebook to keep in touch with students – HUGE TIME SUCKER): life has gotten far more complicated. So I started this new regime where I write my to do list to myself in “letter form” as an email. I write it the night before or first thing in the morning in chunks of four. I feel like three chunks of four seem more accomplishable then a list of 12.
May 14, 2008 - 9:56pm
Although I am not a preacher, for the past dozen years or so I've spent my Mother's Day in a black robe. A mortarboard with a tassel hangs awkwardly on my head and about 700 other people around me have the same attire. We file in to music we all know by heart and we sit through speeches and names, endless names, until, at the end, the very end, a large portion of the group throw their mortarboards in the air. At that precise moment, the promise of a new beginning swells up in every person in attendance.
May 13, 2008 - 9:54pm
Last month my son’s first grade class did a unit on plants, seeds, and fruits. When his teacher sent home an assignment to collect a dozen different kinds of seeds, I was more excited than my son was. Since I was a little girl, I’ve collected seeds and seedpods from all over the world, and I offered to lend my collection to the classroom.
May 13, 2008 - 5:35am
Sunday's New York Times Magazine cover story by Michael Sokolove about girls with ACL injuries has me thinking. The article claimed that girls are more prone to ACL injuries than boys who do the same sports because of their anatomy -- their wider hips, their stretchier ligaments -- but that they could perhaps prevent injury if they learned to "move ... more like a boy."
May 11, 2008 - 10:06pm
This week’s letter addresses a common question of PhD students considering leaving academia – where does one even start exploring non-academic career options? The letter reads:
May 9, 2008 - 11:31am
As a theatre professor and director, I often tell my student actors to never ever read reviews while they are performing in a show. It is a point of contention with the head of my department, who believes that students should learn what it means to have their art critiqued publicly. Yet in my experience, the fragility of undergrad emotions keeps them from handling any commentary from a professional with a sense of maturity or grace.
May 7, 2008 - 9:15pm
Last Monday night, my eight-year-old son and I took a night off from chapter books and indulged in a big stack of picture books. There, with the right side of my body pressed against the left side of his, with baseball sheets stretched over our legs and Jean Van Leeuwen's Papa and the Pioneer Quilt opened in front of us, I "found" the title of a chapter for a biography of a mathematician I am writing.
May 6, 2008 - 9:04pm
This is the first posting from Susan Bassow, Dana Campbell, and Liz Stockwell. We are three biology PhDs who deviated from an academic track to care for our children full-time. We’ll take turns posting or sometimes write together. Liz starts us off…
May 6, 2008 - 8:15am
A month or two ago I received an email asking me to fill out a survey. I usually delete these, but this one was from a colleague, noting that the university had contracted with a consultant to administer the survey, which was on balancing work and family life. I clicked right over to it; this is one of my hot-button issues, after all, as I figure it is for most working parents.
May 5, 2008 - 1:36pm
Editor’s Note: Megan Pincus Kajitani will be answering your career transition questions here each Monday. Read on, and send your questions to mamaphd@insidehighered.com

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