Higher Education Webinars

Mama PhD

Mothers attempting to balance parenthood and academics.

October 25, 2009 - 5:46pm
In this week’s Chronicle, Mary Ann Mason discusses reasons why relatively few students, especially women, opt to have children during the graduate school years. The entire essay is worth reading, but I was struck by one of the comments: “There's also the problem of isolation. Having a baby can be (not always -- but can be) very isolating, and so can graduate school.”
October 22, 2009 - 7:15pm
When my daughter was barely five years old, I told her the phone number of someone we knew, a number that went something like “8448”. I then told her that the number was special, since it was a “palindrome”, and was the same forward and backwards. She looked up at me, and, without missing a second, said “Like Hannah Montana?” It took me a few seconds to realize that the word “Hannah” in Hannah Montana is, indeed, a palindrome, as it is spelled the same forward and backward.
October 22, 2009 - 8:20am
A lot can be said about the ‘challenges’ of Facebook, but one of the great things about social media is that it puts you back in touch with old, college friends. (By ‘old’ I mean friends who attended college more than 20 years ago.) In a weird coincidence, I had two of my former undergraduate roommates come through Chicago during the past week.
October 21, 2009 - 8:24am
We celebrated Thanksgiving here in Canada not long ago, and I spent the holiday weekend in deep contemplation and reflection about all I have and where my life has brought me. Aside from the obvious things for which I feel thankful — health (a big one this year), family, home, and food on the table — I feel particularly grateful for the invaluable time I can spend with my children in their young years.
October 19, 2009 - 8:20pm
When we dropped Mariah off at college this fall we didn't really think we'd see her before Thanksgiving. The drive, for one thing, is punishing: 550 miles, most of it on I-95, and however much googlemaps says you can make it in 8.5 hours, we've never done it in less than ten. Ten and a half, really. My schedule's unusually busy this semester and a weekend away seemed an impossiblity. And, with Parents' Weekend only six weeks after the beginning of school, we wondered how much there would be to talk about anyway. With e-mail, facebook, and cellphones, wouldn't we feel up to date?
October 18, 2009 - 6:20pm
One of my clients has written a book that is about to be published. It is an excellent book -- beautifully written, with interwtined themes that reverberate long after the narrative ends. The book was recently reviewed in a distinguished publication with an online presence, and my client sent me a link to the review. It was outstandingly positive, the sort of review that makes you want to run out and buy the book, and I congratulated her heartily.
October 15, 2009 - 8:34pm
A long time ago, in a college that now seems to be a galaxy far, far away, I started my college career thinking that I was going to major in physics. While I did go on to earn a minor in the subject, it wasn’t long before I realized that I could apply the same math used in physics to study the economy, and I changed my major to economics, going on to earn a Ph.D. in the field. Besides, when I was in high school, I had gone so far as to take out a classic economics textbook from the library and read it, for fun. I guess I should have known that economics would grab me in the end.
October 15, 2009 - 8:10am
In the last couple of months, my husband and I were both “furloughed”: we were each informed by our respective employers that we had to take 5 (in his case) and 8 (in my case) unpaid days off. Of course, like many Americans, we smarted at this financial blow. But we also thought heck, it’s better than being laid off entirely, or watching our co-workers get laid off. However, there was one crucial difference in our respective furloughs: my husband (who works in the private sector) was told to take those days off.
October 12, 2009 - 9:15pm
Dana Campbell came at the new census data on "opting out" last week from a rather different perspective than mine: the perspective of the opter-out, if you will, rather than the opter-in. And I agree with my fellow Mama, PhD that we need more subtle distinctions and more, not less, discussion of the work-family issues that make career "choice" increasingly a chimera.
October 11, 2009 - 9:50pm
Reader Tekbek sent this article from ASEE Prism describing a study that examined students’ reactions to stereotypically “male” and “female” self-presentations. The authors found that male engineering students were less tolerant than other students of what are described as “female-typical speech styles,” in which the speaker admitted to difficulties or mistakes:

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