Mama PhD

Mama PhD

Mothers attempting to balance parenthood and academics.

January 3, 2010 - 4:49pm
Last week I described some of the advantages of attending a mostly women’s college. Here are some ways in which I feel that my peers who attended more mixed institutions were better off:
December 27, 2009 - 5:25pm
As described last week, I entered college in the fall of 1970 with some trepidation. Recent exposure to a group of extremely ladylike women’s college alumnae had left me concerned that I would feel out of place and intimidated. A spread in Mademoiselle’s fall college issue, shot on my college’s campus and featuring students as models, didn’t ease my anxiety any.
December 22, 2009 - 8:27am
A week from now, the presents will all be unwrapped, the Christmas cookies mostly eaten—and I'll be sitting in a hotel room with three of my colleagues, interviewing some fabulous job candidates. Between now and then, I'll have refamiliarized myself with my potential new colleagues' work, hosted a holiday party, given and received various gifts, read two or three books for a book award committee I'm on—
December 20, 2009 - 4:22pm
Recent discussions on this blog about gender balance in colleges and universities have sparked a number of memories of my own college experiences. I thought it would be interesting to share them here and to invite you to share yours, as well. As noted previously, in 1970 I entered a small college that had, until that year, been the “sister school” of a nearby men’s university. There were only a handful of men in my class, and of course none in the more advanced classes.
December 17, 2009 - 9:47pm
Our jobs as professors are built around truth and integrity. We spend our research time searching for the truth, and, once we find a piece of it, we teach and profess that truth in journals and classrooms, hence earning us the name of "professor." Indeed, if someone was to claim our idea as their own, we would be outraged, as we rightly are if our students claim work to be their own when it is not.
December 16, 2009 - 9:21pm
What does ‘home for the holidays’ mean when you aren’t really sure where your home is located? Marc Auge’s book, Non-Places: Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity, begins with a description of a man driving to an airport, parking in “row J of underground level 2,” getting his boarding pass, leafing through magazines, and pleasantly boarding his flight. On the plane he leafs through more magazines, puts on earphones and enjoys the fact that he is “alone at last.”
December 16, 2009 - 9:43am
Two weeks ago I reported on a proposal about to come up for vote in the University of Maryland senate to relax family leave policy. So here’s the update: it passed in the senate. Before it becomes university policy it will need to be approved by President Dan Mote, which looks promising; he has been cited as supportive of this measure. This proposal will allow faculty to reduce their loads (and the salary, commensurately) down to 50% while they are raising children under five.
December 14, 2009 - 9:23pm
Last month Aeron Haynie's piece on "taking students personally" hit home for me. One of the great pleasures of teaching in a liberal arts setting is getting to know my students individually, often teaching them in more than one class and developing a relationship that goes beyond the classroom.
December 13, 2009 - 4:35pm
Last week, Public Agenda released a report exploring the reasons why only 20 percent of young adults at two-year institutions finish within three years, and only 40 percent at four-year colleges finish within six years. The study compares backgrounds and experiences of students who dropped out of school with those who have finished. The entire report is worth reading, but here are two excerpts that seemed particularly relevant for readers of this blog:
December 10, 2009 - 9:11pm
Several weeks ago, I went to my first academic conference since taking my daughter home. It was also my first occasion in eleven years to attend my favorite conference, for the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action, called “ARNOVA.” Between presentations, my co-author and I found ourselves with a small amount of time that we used to attend a roundtable discussion about basing one’s academic career on studying the nonprofit sector.

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