Higher Education Webinars

Mama PhD

Mothers attempting to balance parenthood and academics.

November 8, 2009 - 8:17pm
Scott has a fascinating article in this week’s Inside Higher Ed News, about a proposed inquiry by the US Commission on Civil Rights into the admissions policies of private liberal arts colleges. The concern is that, in an effort to correct gender imbalances, these colleges favor applications by men.Such an inquiry sounds reasonable, but the proposed solution seems insane:
November 5, 2009 - 9:39pm
Last week was a difficult one in my family, as all of us got hit with a bug that is going around. I suspect that my daughter brought it home from school, and she was the first to be hit, followed closely by me. My husband eventually got it, but only on the weekend, when it conveniently would not conflict with any “billable hours” in his practice. I managed to re-arrange my teaching so I could grab a few hours of rest, and was doubly lucky because I multitasked by taking care of my daughter at the same time.
November 5, 2009 - 8:44am
Maybe it’s because it was just Halloween, but, for some reason, zombies seem to have surrounded me recently. My fourteen year-old daughter Katie wanted to go see Zombieland weekend before last. I voted for Amelia, thinking that would provide her with a more positive role model — “She just got into a plane and decided to fly it!” But a need for good humor, Katie’s desire for sleep, and her brother’s educational crisis won out over both choices.
November 4, 2009 - 2:38pm
One recent morning while I was getting dressed, my four-year-old daughter had some advice for me: “Mama, I want you to eat and eat. I want you to always eat lots of healthy food because then you won’t get skinny”. Where was this conversation going? Was this about body image? I have a good appetite most of the time, I’m not particularly thin, and my weight hasn’t changed much recently, so I didn’t think I’d given her any cause for concern. (Of course I immediately thought her comment had to do with something about my body—talk about body image issues!).
November 2, 2009 - 8:14pm
I learned a few days ago that one of my high school teachers, Otis Benson Davis, died last week. O.B., as we all called him (only behind his back - -to his face he was, of course, Mr. Davis), graduated from Kent School in 1942 and returned to teach there full time in 1949. He retired from active teaching only a few years ago, in 2006.
November 1, 2009 - 6:06pm
I was moved by a number of the responses to last week’s column. I find it really helpful when people share their stories, humanizing what is otherwise cold (though interesting) data and speculation. I felt, though, that several writers fell into traps which, because they’re all too common, I’d like to address here.
October 29, 2009 - 8:47pm
If you try to divide 365 by 7, it does not come out evenly. 364, however, does divide evenly, meaning that if you divide 365 by 7, you get a remainder of one. This fact, when coupled with information on leap years (every 4 years), non-leap years (what should be leap years, but end in 10) and “re-instated” leap years (years that end in 10 that should be a leap year, but also are divisible by 200, such as 2000 was), one is able to use this information to fairly easily learn what day of the week any day in history falls on.
October 29, 2009 - 9:14am
Halloween has never been my favorite holiday, despite my love of chocolate. As a reserved introvert I’ve always dreaded costume parties. It’s taken me years to grow comfortable with my everyday costume, my carefully constructed persona. But now that I’m the mother of an exuberant extrovert, I’m learning to put my dignity aside and get into the spirit.
October 28, 2009 - 12:53pm
Last week, for Inside Higher Ed, Scott McLemee reviewed a three-day event held at the University of Iowa called “Platforms for Public Scholars." This symposium had as its goal the discussion of integrating humanities studies in academic institutions with civic work. It’s a difficult problem to connect the academy with the public.
October 26, 2009 - 10:19pm
--Joann Lipman notes in the New York Times that women's advances in the work force seem to have stalled since 9/11/2001, despite the fact that women make up half the work force, and "mothers are the major breadwinners in 40 percent of families." As one of those major breadwinners, I could wish that Lipman had followed through on her analysis of the reasons for women's lack of progress in the work force.

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