Higher Education Webinars

Mama PhD

Mothers attempting to balance parenthood and academics.

August 13, 2009 - 9:51pm
In economics, we draw a graph matching the various prices that a good could be sold at with the quantity of that good that people would be willing to buy at each price and call it a “demand curve.” Sloping down, this demand curve can shift for many different reasons. Some of these reasons include changes in the income of the consumers involved, changes in the prices of substitutes or complementary goods, or changes in popularity of the goods themselves. For example, I suspect that the demand curve for horse-drawn carriages has shifted greatly since the advent of the automobile.
August 12, 2009 - 8:23pm
Middle-aged readers will remember the popular Saturday Night Live sketch of the 1970s and early 80s-- Mr. Bill. Mr. Bill is an animated puppet with a big white head and simply sketched face that changes expression as Mr. Bill encounters disasters, usually embodied by “Mr. Hands” or “Sluggo.” “Oh Nooooo!” Mr. Bill cries in Hurricane Sluggo (2003) as an alligator opens its big jaws and swallows Mr. Bill while he is waiting on a rooftop in a flooded New Orleans.
August 12, 2009 - 7:09am
Last week I went to a lecture by David Montgomery, author of “Dirt: the Erosion of Civilizations”. I didn’t expect the lecture to effect me quite as much as it did (I mean, what do you expect from a talk about dirt?). But I have now added a new problem to my list of serious (and interrelated) environmental worries: -- Climate disruption --Fisheries collapse/ocean destruction --Habitat and species loss --Environmental toxins
August 10, 2009 - 10:08pm
My piece last week struck a nerve, it seems, among some childless academics and with at least one person who didn’t comment as a teacher, but as someone working a more nine to five position. The big divide, as this commenter noted, is not really between the parents and those without children, but between folks with flexible work schedules and those without.
August 9, 2009 - 9:57pm
Since the incident I wrote about last week, in which I failed to stand up for my fellow women, I have tried to become more sensitive to the fact that no matter how victimized I feel I am, I, in turn, am usually standing on the backs of other women who have an even harder time.
August 6, 2009 - 9:13pm
I guess we made the “big time” when this blog was criticized by the Wall Street Journal a few weeks ago. It said that the topic of “work-life” balance was silly, and that the conversations taking place here are better suited to women sharing coffee over a kitchen table. Now that we have gained the attention of the “Diary of the American Dream”, I want to make a small suggestion. I propose that we, collectively, arrive at a better word to describe ourselves besides “blog”.
August 5, 2009 - 3:49pm
With summer vacation comes a flurry of activities to keep children occupied. We’re blessed in our community with all kinds of day camps, sports venues, and art classes through the city’s parks and recreation department. The problem: few of them are in walking distance. A few things appropriate for my son’s age are close by, but activities for my four-year-old daughter require a drive. And aside from our little patio wading pool and hose, there are no swimming pools or spray parks we can walk to when it gets hot.
August 3, 2009 - 9:09pm
Traveling and teaching in England this summer I've had a remarkable release from childcare responsibilities. Part of it is that my kids are older now — my 19-year-old daughter requires almost no additional care (though she's happy to have someone else buy her lunch!), while my son, who just turned 12, can certainly stay home alone for an hour or two without anxiety. Part of it is that my husband is along with me, and has no other formal responsibilities of his own, so he is picking up all the slack.
August 2, 2009 - 8:21pm
I interned at a VA medical center in the early 1990s. In some ways, the experience was a glimpse into the future: funds recently allocated to assist veterans of the first Gulf war had allowed the VA system access to state-of-the-art equipment and training opportunities and the ability to hire first-rate clinicians. In other ways, though, the place was a throwback to the 1950s, when all of the patients and doctors were male, and sexist jokes and attitudes were de rigueur.
July 30, 2009 - 8:41pm
There is a concept in economics called “indifference curves”. These are a graphical picture of combinations of goods that would leave the consumer indifferent between the different combinations. Are two apples and one orange just as good to you as two oranges and one apple? If so, these points can be combined on a graph to form an indifference curve, along with other combinations that also leave the consumer just as happy, or indifferent, among the various outcomes. The result is a graph of lines, similar to those found on a map depicting altitude or weather patterns.

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