Higher Education Webinars

Mama PhD

Mothers attempting to balance parenthood and academics.

June 14, 2009 - 8:50pm
When I was growing up, practically everyone I knew watched a TV show called “Bewitched,” about a beautiful young witch, Samantha, who marries a mortal and has to hide her powers to fit into the role of suburban housewife her husband requires her to fill. The show’s message, that it’s necessary for a woman to make herself smaller and more ordinary so as not to threaten her husband, was discomfiting.
June 11, 2009 - 9:35pm
When I was in college, a fellow student once told several of us about a boy she used to know. Apparently this boy experienced some difficulties in learning to write, and was also quite smitten with her. He once wrote her a love note in very broken English, the best he could do. The boy realized that he was not writing correctly, and at the end of the note, closed it by saying “all these mistakes are just trying to say ‘I love you.’” I have thought of that often, as I go through life and make mistake after mistake, trying to get it right but not managing to quite do things correctly.
June 10, 2009 - 9:19pm
3 disasters connected to Kansas I’ve watched happen recently: 1. What’s the Matter with Kansas?
June 8, 2009 - 9:49pm
Did you hear the news? Over-parenting is over. So decree the arbiters of lifestyle trends — or, at least, Lisa Belkin, who has been writing about parenting in the New York Times for the better part of this decade.
June 8, 2009 - 8:25am
Dear Susan, Seven years ago I started graduate school, a year after I had gotten married and moved to a brand new city. I commuted 85 miles each way daily (for most semesters) for three years. I loved my program and poured myself into it. My last year of PhD course work, I got pregnant, due the following July. But that summer also ended up including a 1200-mile move to another part of the country and our baby coming a month early and being born profoundly deaf.
June 4, 2009 - 9:54pm
When I entered graduate school, I once proudly proclaimed to someone I had just met that “I don’t want to be normal”. I have no idea what they must have thought of that statement, or of me, but it was basically true. I saw myself as changing the world, as saving the world from its economic messes with my little equations. Who wanted to settle for “normal” when they could go down in the history books?
June 3, 2009 - 9:40pm
They’re killing doctors. That’s what I thought in October, 1998 when I heard that Dr. Barnett Slepian had been gunned down in his home (in front of his family, no less) in a suburb of Buffalo, NY by an anti-abortion activist.This week, when I heard the news of Dr. George Tiller’s murder, I felt a similar sense of sick disbelief.
June 3, 2009 - 5:49am
A lot of my memory of college is a blur now, but a few things I stand out in my mind with great clarity. One such clear memory is a moment in a first-year orientation meeting, probably held one of the first days I arrived at the school. From among the descriptions of programs, facilities, people, opportunities came one message loud and clear from a faculty member: “You are all meant to be here,” she told us. “We are completely sure.
June 1, 2009 - 9:19pm
Last week Inside Higher Ed reported on an intriguing paper by Dahlia K. Remler and Elda Pema, a professor of public affairs and economics, respectively, that began to try to analyze the reasons professors engage in research “at the expense of teaching time.” In the report, titled “The Mystery of Faculty Priorities,” Scott Jaschik listed some of Remler and Pema’s preliminary conclusions, while also noting that the paper’s main contribution is to point out how understudied the issue is.
May 31, 2009 - 6:53pm
Hello, It’s still early for me, as I have no baby prospects and I'm nowhere close to finishing my PhD. But I'm a 28-year old female, halfway through my PhD, who feels a little bit isolated in an academic department that seems full of men who 'have it all' and a) very, very few women who have succeeded in landing a tenure-track position, and b) even less who have succeeded in doing so with children.

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