Mama PhD

Mama PhD

Mothers attempting to balance parenthood and academics.

March 14, 2013 - 8:14pm
When I teach Principles of Macroeconomics (which I have not done for some time), I teach, among other things, the Keysian model that says that the total spending in the economy can be summarized as consisting of “C+I+G”. That is, it is made up of consumer spending (C), business investment (I) and government spending (G). I thought of this recently when I contemplated a gift that will allow Ursuline College to make a major investment in our facilities. Thanks to an anonymous donor, we are able to proceed with plans for a building which will be called the “Center for the Creative and Healing Arts.” We plan to break ground on this investment in the fall.
March 13, 2013 - 9:38pm
How often do offspring repeat their parent’s profession?
March 12, 2013 - 8:05pm
There are many occasions when we question our abilities and decisions as parents, even when we know we’re being silly.  Do I push too hard; am I not pushing enough? Do I let my children eat too little; do I let them eat too much? Am I giving them too much time on their own; am I suffocating them by not letting them have more time on their own? Would they be healthier if I’d done x; would they be healthier if I hadn’t done x?  And on and on.
March 11, 2013 - 8:55pm
Last month I made the last payment on my daughter’s college tuition. She’ll graduate, debt-free, in two months (knock wood). And last week, to make me feel even older, my son got his learner’s permit. When his sister got hers, he was still in elementary school and I had a lot less grey in my hair. (Not that I’m making any claims about cause and effect — she’s a terrific driver.)
March 10, 2013 - 4:15pm
Yesterday Ben told me a funny story about one of his professors. "He sounds like a lot of fun," I commented.
March 7, 2013 - 8:00pm
I recently found myself in a conversation with a fellow faculty member about the idea of “comparative advantage.” This is an economic idea that says that people, and countries, should do what they are best at doing. If a person is best at doing math, they should do that. And if a country is best at raising sheep, they should raise sheep. If everyone does what they are best at, the “Classical Economists” tell us, we can then trade with each other and everyone will be better off.
March 6, 2013 - 8:50pm
The other day, my kids were watching The Cat in the Hat Knows a lot about That, a television show on PBS loosely based on the adventures in the books written by Dr. Seuss.  At the beginning of most episodes, the children in the program ask their moms if they can go on an adventure and then head off after receiving consent. This morning my son remarked that he does not understand why the show wastes time with the children asking for permission since their parents always say yes anyway. Then, my daughter remarked that the mother is so busy trying to get her work done that this is why she sends her off.  I looked up from my laptop (where I, of course, was working  while they watched this show) and remarked, well your mommy is not too busy, right? And they both just said, sometimes.
March 4, 2013 - 8:56pm
Twice a week for the last month or so I have driven to an anonymous looking glass and brick building. Automatic doors slide open to admit me and I mount the stairs to a large open space filled with machines, tables, and various exercise implements. It’s not a regular gym; I’m here for physical therapy. After some months of mysterious, on-again, off-again (mostly on-again) pain in my left arm and shoulder, I received a diagnosis of “frozen shoulder” and a prescription for a course of physical therapy, so I now join athletes, post-operative patients, and a number of other folks who look a lot like me as we go through our various paces, trying to rehabilitate shoulders, knees, and ankles.
March 3, 2013 - 12:27pm
I have been following, with sometimes horrified fascination, the initial trial of Pfc. Bradley Manning. At the same time, I have been reading Pat Barker's Regeneration, which is, among other things, a meditation on the conflict between conscience and patriotic duty among officers serving in World War I.  
February 28, 2013 - 8:15pm
One of the cool aspects of teaching college is that I get to learn things from my students that I would not otherwise learn. My need to learn from them most often occurs because I live in a very different world than they do, especially in regards to my relationship to technology.




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