Libby Gruner

Libby Gruner is an English professor at mid-career who started her family in graduate school. She lives in Richmond with her husband and two children, whose 7-year age gap means that she will be the parent of a teenager for quite a while yet.

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Most Recent Articles

August 18, 2008
So the bathroom floor doesn't need replacing after all; instead, we need a termite guy. It may be more expensive than replacing the floor, but it will be less disruptive, so all in all I'm not too disappointed.
August 11, 2008
I had half a blog post written on how I used to find time to exercise, but don't anymore, and how I plan to get started again. It was a pretty good post, expressing both my frustration at how time has shrunk over the last several years and my gratitude that I have a good -- and free -- gym to go to on campus. Maybe I'll write it someday.
August 5, 2008
I like to eat a peach every day when they're in season. It's not a resolution or a wacky diet or anything; I just like peaches, and when there are ripe ones around I try to eat them. Peach season is brief and the fruits don't last more than a day or two once they ripen; they remind me that summer is winding down and I need to enjoy it while I can.
July 28, 2008
It took the better part of a week, but I think I'm over the jet lag now. The laundry is done, the passports put away, the souvenirs displayed. My vacation is, clearly, over.
July 21, 2008
My "real life" is slowly coming back into focus after a week-long vacation in France. I've been back home for just over 24 hours and jet-lag has not yet subsided, though the laundry is done and the e-mail (mostly) answered. But I'm trying not to let the vacation vibe dissipate too quickly. In a week of slow-moving travel, breath-taking landscapes, good food, and abundant wine, I didn't even read a newspaper, let alone open a laptop or answer a phone call.
July 7, 2008
One of the nice things about blogging is the sense it can provide of participating in an ongoing conversation. After blogging about parenting in the news, for example, I read this interesting post by an academic who has a very different kind of position than mine.
July 1, 2008
Like most of my colleagues -- and many of you, no doubt -- I've just finished writing my annual report. While it's an exercise that used to frustrate and annoy me -- collating all those evaluations, printing out yet another copy of each syllabus, remembering which recommendations I wrote, and what the outcome was -- I've come to embrace the annual event as an opportunity to reflect and refocus. This year I thought it would be a relatively easy task -- after all, I've been on sabbatical all year and released from both teaching and service.
June 23, 2008
When my daughter was about to turn three, I asked her which friends she wanted to invite to her party. Without hesitating, she began listing them: "Kristy, Roxanne, Jason, Geoff…" Mark and I laughed out loud, then asked, "Do you want to invite any kids?" Her entire list was made up of our grad school friends. At the time I thought her impulse was cute and funny, but now I think better of it.
June 16, 2008
This past week there've been several articles about balancing work and family that interested me. Scott Jaschik reported on the Irvine study that analyzed academic women's "quiet desperation" in Inside Higher Ed last Thursday. The same day, a pseudonymous writer in the Chronicle of Higher Ed wrote about being unable to talk about her children in a job interview.
June 10, 2008
No matter how long I live on the academic schedule, I still have some trouble adjusting to what summer is for. Is it for work? For vacation? For recharging, retooling, and gearing up for something new? The truth is, it's probably all of the above -- but in moderation, something I'm still having trouble learning.

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