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

June 2, 2008
In my bio for this blog, I mention "two children, one of whom should be heading off to college in the fall." The verb is deliberately ambiguous: when I wrote the bio, we were not yet sure if her plans for the fall would be approved by the college of her choice. As of this writing, however, I can be more certain: my daughter will not, in fact, be heading off for college in the fall.
May 27, 2008
I've probably spent more time than I should over this Memorial Day weekend at the IHE site, reading and re-reading Scott Jaschik's piece, "Does Academe Hinder Parenthood?" and, especially, the comments on the piece. (Almost 30 of them, at last count.) Jaschik's piece confirmed my sense, derived purely from "anecdata," that academics--and academic women, especially--tend to have smaller families than other professionals.
May 19, 2008
It happens every year around this time: I lose an entire month. I start looking forward to May in about February, which is at least two weeks longer than it should be. In the gray gloom of mid-semester, May seems an impossible promise, almost a full month of good weather and unscheduled days. Finals, honors theses, and graduation will fly by, leaving me with an empty desk and a computer file full of ideas. As an academic parent I especially to look forward to May, when I'm out of school but the kids aren't: I plan all kinds of unlikely projects for those open weeks.
May 13, 2008
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 6, 2008
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.

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