• Mama PhD

    Mothers attempting to balance parenthood and academics.


Math Geek Mom: A Career Path Not Followed

Report from a swing state.

September 22, 2016

As I teach Macroeconomics this semester, the subject ventures into topics relating to the role of the government in our economy. Such topics are central to the study of Keynesian Economics, an approach to Economics that used government policy to help draw the United States out of the Great Depression. I thought about this recently as I found myself watching (and recording when I can’t watch)  news broadcasts about the upcoming elections, and as I prepare to watch the Presidential Debate this coming week.

One cannot live in Ohio, often defined as a “swing state,” without being aware of the national and state elections swarming around us. As we head towards October, with only weeks to go until we vote, I want to take a moment to remind my readers (and their friends) to make sure to be registered to vote. Without buying into the hyperbole of some politicians who claim that this is the “last election,” I want to remind everyone that it is very important that everyone register to be able to vote in the elections that will be held in a few weeks.

I must admit that I became obsessed with this election over one year ago, when the contest began. As someone who has always been interested in politics and government, I feel that it is important for voters to be aware of the national elections, and perhaps, most importantly, the local elections. There was a time when I could see myself running for an office, and was even listed in the class prophecy in my high school year book as returning to a class reunion as a Senator. Of course, I would never have made it to the senate in the fifteen years that was supposed to have passed in the years before that reunion, and I have since realized that I am not someone who would be good at campaigning, anyhow. I do, however, enjoy studying the different policy options available to address issues in our society, and know that, much more than campaigning, it is the study of these options that interested me very long ago. Indeed, it was such an interest that brought me to Washington, D.C. in the 1980s to study, and, on several occasions, to work as an intern in various offices on “the hill.” That, however, is now far in the past, and very far from the little family I now have and the classes I teach in Ohio.

That does not mean that political ambition is not present in our family. My husband once ran for public office, and may do so again. Until then, he continues to work on local campaigns, often spending weekends knocking on doors or “tubing” packages of information about candidates onto doorknobs, sometimes at horrendously early hours of the morning. Indeed, when my daughter was very young, he once took her to a political gathering, where she drew more attention than the candidate throwing it. He saved the information from that gathering for her scrapbook, writing a note on it that it was her first political gathering. Not long ago, she mentioned that maybe she would want to run for public office someday, a thought perhaps inspired by her involvement in Student Council.  At that time, when she was so young, my husband wondered if, someday, she would be the guest of honor for such an event. If so, I am sure that we will be there. Indeed, I might even get up in the dark hours of the morning to distribute information about her.

But for now, the most I am doing is reminding my readers to make sure to be registered to vote. And, once registgered, please use that sacred privilege on November 8th. My husband will be there, at the polls, with signs in hand, ready to greet you.



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