Higher Education Webinars

Mama PhD

Mothers attempting to balance parenthood and academics.

February 21, 2010 - 6:23pm
Thanks to everyone who commented on last week’s post. As always, every comment made me think. I’m especially grateful to those who pointed out the fallacy of my assertion that the world is more dangerous (for middle-class children) than previously, because it made me think a lot. Obviously, I should have done some research before I mindlessly repeated that myth.
February 17, 2010 - 9:24pm
I called in sick today for the first time in 18 years of teaching (not counting when I had emergency surgery). If I had an exam scheduled, or student reports, I would have crawled in to work, no matter how crappy I was feeling. As an academic with a relatively flexible schedule, I’ve always tried to get sick on my non-teaching days, or on holidays. But as I sat at my desk grading papers at a snail’s pace, getting increasingly bad-tempered, it hit me that I was feeling, well, sick. Yet the idea of cancelling classes horrifies me.
February 17, 2010 - 8:33am
At the beginning of November I blogged about our first meeting of the SS-MD-BC (second Sunday mother-daughter book club) my daughter and her friends started. I very much appreciated your comments (my new year’s resolution is to be better about responding to blog comments). Since there was interest in hearing more about our selections, I thought I’d catch you up on the books the girls have chosen since then.
February 15, 2010 - 9:01pm
February, not April, is the cruelest month. Ask anyone in the mid-Atlantic states who's been pummelled by snow for the last couple of weeks. Here in central Virginia it's only raining today, but in some ways, that's worse: it's grey and cloudy and cold and there's not even a chance that anything will be cancelled for it. In the meantime mounds of snow are still piled up in the parking lots and along the sides of streets, and the potholes have appeared from under the now-melted ice and snow, making the simplest drive an obstacle course.
February 14, 2010 - 5:10pm
Thanks to everyone who drew my attention Kerry Ann Rockquemore’s very interesting post on the myth of balance. As noted last week, I’ve been too overwhelmed to do a lot of reading lately, and this post is definitely worthwhile.In the comments to last week’s post, "Doug" pointed out that the issues I described "aren't restricted to women, alas. I've been where you're at, and so have plenty of other men I know. I've never regretted any choice that made my family's situation priority."
February 11, 2010 - 7:46am
The reviews of Avatar are in — the CGI effects are incredible, the motion captured acting is solid, but the story is mediocre and tends to repeat the Hollywood myth of the ‘white man as savior of indigenous people’ (a la Dances with Wolves).
February 8, 2010 - 9:07pm
When I first started taking yoga classes, some years ago, I used to joke that of the three things yoga requires (and cultivates) — balance, strength, and flexibility — I was only good at balance. This was ironic, since in my personal and professional life I felt reasonably strong and probably way too flexible — and thus, unbalanced. But there it was: I could stay standing throughout a Tree pose, hold Chair for a while, shift my weight properly for Triangle. In yoga if not in my life, I was balanced.
February 7, 2010 - 6:09pm
For a few months there, I thought I was finally getting a handle on this “balancing work and life” thing.
February 4, 2010 - 12:44pm
We received our fall semester course evaluations on the first day of the spring semester. The timing seems akin to going to therapy with your ex-boyfriend immediately before setting out on a blind date with a potential new one. A strange analogy, but you get my point.
February 3, 2010 - 8:54am
When I was pregnant with my daughter and unsure what was going to happen to my academic career, a woman I admire, a full-time mom/scientist, told me that she thought of her life in terms of five-year blocks. These blocks corresponded loosely with her children’s developmental stages, and with each subsequent phase she was able to take on different projects or increase the amount of time she devoted to her own interests.

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