Higher Education Webinars

Mama PhD

Mothers attempting to balance parenthood and academics.

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.
July 29, 2009 - 11:15pm
As I plan the upcoming semester’s courses, I contemplate the oft-emailed articles about the “millennial generation” students. I’m skeptical of these generational generalizations, particularly since they seem to elide the great differences between students (such as economics). Nonetheless, I find intriguing the claim that the new generation of students like to work in teams. I regularly assign group projects, with mixed success.
July 29, 2009 - 7:35am
Weekend evenings in July a professional team of actors perform a Shakespeare play on a stage plunked in the middle of a beautiful field on San Juan Island. Sunday night my husband and I planned to go with a couple we know from graduate school, but our friends were a little wary – this was only the second night ever that they had left their two-year-old daughter with a sitter. The plan was for us to go ahead and stake out a good spot with a blanket; they would get their daughter to sleep (early) and a graduate student settled in to watch her, and meet us there.
July 27, 2009 - 9:37pm
Somewhere in my blog reading over the last few weeks I ran across a link to a brief piece in Double XX, the Slate.com “women's blog” that reported on a study of the effect of professors' politics on their students. Perhaps unsurprisingly to anyone who has taught college in the last twenty years, the researchers discovered little if any effect.
July 26, 2009 - 7:29pm
I came late to this party — I was away when Naomi Schaeffer Riley’s article came out, and when I caught up I felt that Scott and Caroline (in the comments on the WSJ site) and Libby, Liz, and Rosemarie (here on the blog) had nailed it; I had nothing to add.But I find I do want to add a few thoughts.
July 23, 2009 - 9:07pm
A friend from college is spending the year in Rome, on sabbatical with his family, writing two books. Despite the desire to visit them there, to see Rome as no tourist can ever see it, and to introduce my daughter to world travel and the larger world, we did not visit them during the year. This is because the year they chose to spend in Rome was the year that the economy showed difficult times, and we could not, practically speaking, manage to make the trip.
July 23, 2009 - 5:22am
Summer is when we expose our kids (particularly our city kids) to nature, gardening and camping gear. My teenagers already get “environmental” assignments during the school year, but when summer comes, they get to live them out. Those “green” talks from Mom or those tests at school are set aside for combating slugs on our backyard lettuce or tasting the differences between faucet water in Chicago and northern Wisconsin.
July 22, 2009 - 8:21am
I found the recent Wall Street Journal article about family-work balance blogs surprising. After all, in my own family my husband and I frequently check in with one another and analyze how we’re both feeling about the family-work juggle. We’re both guilty of being pretty intent on our navels much of the time. But we find that we haven’t just made static choices about how to divide our work and family lives.


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