Higher Education Webinars

Mama PhD

Mothers attempting to balance parenthood and academics.

March 12, 2009 - 11:04pm
I learned this week that I am being promoted to “full professor”. This is exciting, but also a little scary, as, for the first time in my academic career, I don’t have a new, established, goal to work towards. I am going to spend the next few weeks trying to decide what my “next step” is; should I write a book, finish a few articles, or finally bring an economic major onto campus? These will be weeks of discernment.
March 11, 2009 - 11:34pm
Last week I dropped by the departmental office to pick up my mail, take care of a few errands, and attend an (optional) all-day conference on teaching and assessing critical thinking. Our office’s administrative assistant, seeing me professionally dressed at 8am on my sabbatical, commented, “Watch out, people will think you’re actually working this semester.”
March 11, 2009 - 9:11am
Here’s my weekday morning start: I wake up in time for about 10 minutes of quiet before the 45 minutes of frenetic activity of everyone getting ready for the day – breakfasted, dressed, brushed, packed, (sometimes a last minute homework assignment), shod, appropriately suited up for the weather – crescendos into a burst out the door and then, they are gone – my husband walks the kids into school on his way to work.
March 5, 2009 - 9:15pm
 We live in a great neighborhood where many people decorate their homes for Christmas with fancy lights that draw people from other neighborhoods to admire them. When my daughter was a very little girl, she used to look with awe at the lights as we drove around the neighborhood, pointing to particularly beautiful displays and saying, in her eighteen-month-old voice, “more.” She wanted to see more.
March 4, 2009 - 10:06pm
 I have vague memories of reading Seventeen magazine upstairs in my attic bedroom, alone and sequestered from my parents. Even though I was already enthralled with more ‘serious’ literature, I was never able to completely shun the cultural images that play on a young girl’s darker desires to be thin, mysterious and desirable. Brains are better than beauty, right?
March 2, 2009 - 10:18pm
 I read a piece in the Chronicle recently about learning to use unstructured time productively. Or, that’s what I thought it was about. As I read further, however, it seemed more to be about convincing people (and yourself) that you’re working when it doesn’t look like you are. That’s, of course, a very different animal, and one that academic mothers in particular may have trouble with.
February 26, 2009 - 9:14pm
Today I taught about Bay’s Theorem and Bayesian Statistics in my Advanced Statistics class. As I was lecturing, I talked a little about the game shows “Deal or No Deal” and “Let’s Make a Deal”, both very similar games but separated by about 30 years and some minor details. As I talked about the game shows, I found myself in a tangent discussing risk aversion, risk neutrality and risk loving behavior. It is then that I realized that these topics actually had something to say about parenting.

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