Higher Education Webinars
Mothers attempting to balance parenthood and academics.
July 16, 2009 - 8:09am
My daughter is at the age where she likes to hear stories about my childhood. “Tell me a story about little Aeron and little Deirdre,” she begs. They all begin in the same way: “Once upon a time, in a town called Buffalo, New York, there were two sisters…” I tell her about the Christmas when my father surprised me with grown-up platform shoes, when I barfed all over my sister after Thanksgiving, and of the mean tricks I played on friends. Anecdotes turn into fairy tales. I shorten and modify them to be entertaining but not frightening.
July 15, 2009 - 3:24pm
My husband and I got a babysitter a couple nights ago and we went for a walk around a popular Washington stated vacation destination for wealthy boaters: Roche Harbor. This resort is on the other side of San Juan Island from the Friday Harbor Marine Biology Labs, where we’re spending our summer. Walking around, we appreciated a new addition this year to the resort grounds: a series of signs indicating and annotating landmarks with historical value: “The Lime Kiln”, “The Chapel”, “The Workers’ cottages”.
July 13, 2009 - 9:07pm
It's a commonplace to joke about the linguistic divisions between the English and Americans. We may share a language, American TV and movies may own the globe, and computers may make instantaneous communication throughout the English-speaking world possible, but we still have trouble, sometimes, making ourselves understood to each other. I find myself saying “pardon?” just as often as I hear it from shopkeepers and telephone service folks myself—it's particularly hard to make yourself understood over the phone, I find, absent body language and gesture.
July 12, 2009 - 8:27pm
“Suzanne” posted a thoughtful response to last week’s column, objecting to my use of the term “victim bashing” to describe ridicule of women whose traditional career-related choices have backfired. I don’t want to put words into Suzanne’s mouth, but the argument, as I understand it, is that referring to such women as victims of their upbringing and our shared culture denies them agency and competence to make their own choices, and thus status as full human beings.
July 9, 2009 - 9:25pm
While on vacation a few weeks ago, we had lunch at a unique restaurant just off the beach in Newport, Rhode Island. It is called “Flo’s Clam Shack”. Founded in the 1930s, the building looks as weathered and wind-beaten as the name implies. While there was no sand on the floor that day, there often is, as people saunter in off the beach to enjoy the seafood. Flo had been one of the first to try frying the tasty clams found off New England, and had thus brought a delicious treat to everyone who lived there.
July 8, 2009 - 9:57pm
On June 28th I found myself picking up my two teenagers in New York City to spend the rest of the summer with me in Chicago. It happened to be the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots and a big Gay Pride weekend. My friend, community activist Isabel Grayson, and I decided to take our kids up to Greenwich Village to see the parade.
July 7, 2009 - 9:37pm
We celebrated the last day of school and report card day at our house not too long ago. I know that one day I’ll get over this living vicariously through my son’s school experiences, but I still relive the trepidation I felt at opening up my end of year grades. There was one I always feared: my gym class grade. I was the quintessential anti-athlete and the slowest runner in my classes. Most of my grades would be S’s or S+’s (Satisfactory or Very Satisfactory)…and then the glaring S- (Less than Satisfactory) in gym.
July 6, 2009 - 9:11pm
Dean Dad’s recent blog post about lunch on the lam struck a chord for me. I may not the need to get away for lunch every day, as he does, but I do recognize the need for a mid-day break. There was a time when I used to lunch with colleagues most days I was on campus. We went off campus, shared stories about our teaching or our families, then headed back in for a productive afternoon of work.
July 5, 2009 - 7:19pm
In her June 30 column, Maureen Dowd offers a series of sardonic “pointers” for women whose politician husbands have been caught in a sex scandal. As often happens when I read Dowd, I argued with her in my head, but was forced to acknowledge a kernel of wisdom in her polemic.
July 1, 2009 - 8:46pm
I’ve just realized that when I’m exercising I take responsibility for the whole room. Let me clarify: I’m not teaching this class, just working out. But I feel compelled to smile encouragingly to the newbie, notice when the person behind me seems exhausted, and worry about the folks who are off-rhythm. I watch the clock, check out the muscle tone on the (much) younger woman in front of me, and wonder how much work I’ll get done when I get home.
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