• Mama PhD

    Mothers attempting to balance parenthood and academics.


Cutting Corners

Crisis Mode 2014

April 30, 2014

Every year, around the end of the semester/ school year, my husband and I enter what we call “crisis-mode.” This is the time of the year when we have to read semester-long papers, wind down our grading, finish up advising the stragglers, and hurriedly write those administrative reports coming due. Like a perfect storm, it’s also the time when weekends are taken up by activities such as weddings, showers, school shows, and outdoor events.

During this special time, we give each other permission to sacrifice our normal duties that define us as responsible parents. For our annual crisis mode, here are the accommodations we have allowed ourselves to have for this year. We offer it to you in the hope that one more mind will be saved from insanity:

During crisis mode 2014:

1) You no longer need to brush your teeth at night
2) You can skip composting (but not on Earth Day- that’s just wrong)
3) In class, you can show a video clip longer than 4 minutes. One time, you may even show a full 1 hour clip (speaking of which, have you seen Douglas Rushkoff’s new Frontline documentary Generation Like?)
4) For children’s daily reading logs, you have great latitude in counting books as “read.”
5) You can now have breakfast for dinner more than once a week (and one lunch for dinner as well)
6) You no longer need to fold and put away laundry; instead, simply instruct family members to take what they need from baskets
7) If you must attend college-wide meetings, you do not need to read reports in advance but can skim during the meeting
8) All end-of-year reports can be created from a template from last year’s end-of-year report
9) Children can watch Frozen over and over while grading is getting done (just don’t accidently write “Let It Go” on a student’s paper).
10)  Blogs can be written as listicles.

Happy semester wrap-up, everyone!


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