Higher Education Webinars

Mama PhD

Mothers attempting to balance parenthood and academics.

May 3, 2010 - 10:39pm
It feels like it's been a while since I wrote anything about being a parent in this space. It's been a busy semester at work, and I've had a lot on my mind related to teaching and advising, I suppose. It's also the case that I'm in that delightful stage of parenting that doesn't require hands-on attention every second to keep the kids alive. My daughter sends me a facebook message periodically — or, more often, just plays another round in one of our ongoing word games online — so I know she's all right.
May 2, 2010 - 9:10pm
“Henry Adams’s” most recent “Academic Bait-and-Switch” column in The Chronicle, in which he discusses all of his misguided reasons for going to graduate school in English, prodded me to reflect on my own experience as an undergraduate drama and English major who aspired to become a college professor.
April 29, 2010 - 7:38pm
I remember my comprehensive exams in graduate school as the low point of that experience. Classes were fun, and I did relatively well, and writing my dissertation was actually a joy most of the time. But in the one week dedicated to my comprehensive exams that turned into months as I ended up re-taking some of them, I was expected to know everything from my years there and to prove it on paper to what seemed like merciless graders. I don’t know if I had felt so vulnerable at any point in my life up until then, and have only felt so vulnerable a few times since then.
April 29, 2010 - 8:24am
As I have mentioned before, my husband quit his job in January, making me the official “breadwinner” and reversing the traditional gender roles in our household. Although I welcomed the challenge of living on less and providing our daughter with a less conventional model of marriage, the transition has been more frustrating and, well … humbling than I had imagined.
April 27, 2010 - 10:03pm
How many five minute intervals have passed me by completely unproductively in my life… I hate to think. (Heck, I’ve had half-hour and hour and day-long intervals be unproductive, too, but that’s another story.) In some ways, five minutes is like a penny – you don’t notice it’s gone, you don’t stop to pick it up, you don’t worry about it. But someone recently suggested to me a five-minute activity that has been completely rewarding every single time I’ve done it. We call it “Special 5”. This is time that I give to my 11-year-old daughter, for just the two of us.
April 26, 2010 - 9:28pm
Friday I held the last meeting of my seminar. I often find the last day of classes difficult; I always want to sum everything up nicely, but I'm usually running a bit behind and am lucky if I manage to remember to wish them well on their finals. This year, though, was different. I had only one course this semester (I've got some reassigned time for administrative work) and it was a junior/senior seminar. Most of my students will graduate in two weeks. They were acutely aware that this was their last class — for most of them, the last college class they will ever take.
April 25, 2010 - 6:39pm
“Indicators” are released to provide data on students, faculty and American life.
April 22, 2010 - 8:51pm
A colleague in the Biology department recently told me about a book that applies game theory to altruism in the animal world. Since I study altruism, and game theory is central to modern economics, I was particularly interested. Of course, I had to read about it myself, and found it fascinating.
April 21, 2010 - 10:56pm
April 22, 1970 was the first Earth Day. Millions of people hit the streets. Rachel Carson’s book “Silent Spring” had started a movement that left a big impact (convincing Richard Nixon to respond with the EPA) but the movement lost steam and shriveled under Reagan.
April 21, 2010 - 9:53am
Story time is a treasured ritual at our house. Not only is it a chance for me to find out what my kids are interested in, but it’s also a time when I share my old favorites. Even though my son is a proficient reader, we still enjoy family reading at bedtime. I’m eager to re-read the books I read at his age and to experience my children’s reactions to the stories and characters.

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