Mama PhD

Mama PhD

Mothers attempting to balance parenthood and academics.

April 4, 2010 - 5:08pm
I have been reading Libby Gruner’s recent “advising” columns with interest, both because I wish I’d had someone like her to advise me when I was a floundering undergraduate, and because my son is (knock wood) about to finish the tenth grade, and we’re starting to talk about future plans in ways that are more focu
April 1, 2010 - 7:55am
I’ve never considered myself an administrator. I’m a teacher first, a scholar second, and committee member/service provider third. I doubt that very many professors begin their careers intending to become chairs, deans or college presidents. After all, the duties of an administrator — dealing with paperwork, making pragmatic decisions, being politic and worrying about the fiscal well-being of the institution — is quite different from the isolated pursuit of truth that most of us sign up for.
March 29, 2010 - 11:42pm
A few months ago I offered some advice to my daughter in this space, about keeping her options open and getting a good summer job. I stand by that advice, and now, in the pre-registration advising season, I find I have a little more.
March 28, 2010 - 7:33pm
I take a singing class on Monday nights. This is joyful recreation for me, as well as a nostalgic experience -- I studied acting, singing, and movement at this theater school in my youth, before I was seduced into graduate school by the prospect of regular meals and the possibility of aging gracefully.
March 25, 2010 - 7:50pm
A central tenet of economics is the assumption of non-satiation. This concept says that people will always want more of a good, that there is no such thing as “enough” fancy cars or chocolate cake. Of course, there can be more than enough of a bad thing, such as garbage. This assumption might be summarized by the phrase “more (or a good thing) is better.” Anyone who has been a parent to a young child knows this almost reflexive reaction to something they want. I recall times when my then two year old daughter was delighted with something and simply proclaimed “more.”
March 25, 2010 - 7:48am
Enough work has been done in the field of “happiness” to award it with an academic designation as an enigmatic new field of study.
March 24, 2010 - 8:15am
A recent piece in The New York Times discusses a trend in parenting that they call the “Mommy Wars”: competitive, judgmental child rearing. Several contributors to this discussion suggest that the web is responsible for this trend - the anonymous and ever-present, often first source of information from parenting sites, comments, and blogs.
March 22, 2010 - 9:11pm
When I saw the piece on "the other 'F' word" in this week's Chronicle, I have to admit it took me a while before I felt like reading it. Really? I thought, are we still talking about families and the academy? Aren't we done yet?
March 21, 2010 - 8:26pm
TWO STUDIES OF POSSIBLE INTEREST
March 18, 2010 - 9:53pm
If you took Geometry in High School, you almost definitely learned it as a subject based on rules and axioms discovered by the ancient Greeks. The details of this subject, which I must admit was probably my favorite class in High School (what a geek!), reflected the world view of the ancient Greeks, including the perception of the world as a flat surface. On this flat surface, triangles have exactly 180 degrees, and parallel lines go on forever and never intersect. This is called “Euclidean Geometry.”

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