Higher Education Webinars

Mama PhD

Mothers attempting to balance parenthood and academics.

January 7, 2009 - 9:34pm
Well, it is interviewing time and, for many of us, it means that we have moved beyond the phone interview stage and are now facing an on-campus interview. Perhaps this interview will be in Hawaii? Perhaps in D.C. or some other place far away from your current home? Perhaps your partner has just started a local business and doesn’t feel like moving 5 hours away? Perhaps your son loves his baseball coach and his grades have finally improved?
January 7, 2009 - 4:37am
The first days of a new year always fill me with a numbing sense of dread that is deeply rooted and hard to shake. It has nothing to do with the farewell to an old year or to the holiday festivities; it has everything to do with farewell to family and loved ones. The days after New Year celebrations were for several years the time when my husband and I said good-bye to one another after spending Christmases with each other at our parents’ homes.
January 5, 2009 - 9:40pm
This week my family starts a new chapter, as our daughter moves to San Francisco for the second half of her gap year. The part of me that isn’t consumed with envy (spring in San Francisco!) or anxiety (my baby’s moving away!) is excited for her as she embarks on this new adventure. And for us, too, as we do. Our son will, at least for the next five months, learn what it’s like to be an only child.
January 1, 2009 - 6:31pm
Economists make many assumptions in our efforts to mathematically model the world. Some of these assumptions instantly make sense to everyone. The idea that family members work together so as to maximize the welfare of the family unit is one such example. Other assumptions, however, require more of a leap of faith. For example, we often assume that lending markets are such that people can borrow against future income increases to pay for education.
December 30, 2008 - 10:25pm
The MLA convention in San Francisco this year is spread out over two hotels, one on either side of Market Street, near Union Square and all the good downtown shopping. Conference attendees rushing from one hotel to the other for interviews or panels get quizzical looks from the crush of slow-moving post-holiday shoppers taking advantage of sales; why would you look so tense on a Sunday afternoon when there are such bargains to be found? They are tense because they are hunting for scarce jobs, presenting their research and, perhaps, having their children cared for by strangers.
December 30, 2008 - 2:41pm
The panel titled "Negotiating Family and Graduate Studies", sponsored by the Committee on the Status of Graduate Students in the Profession, ranged far beyond its named topic, as well it should. Graduate students aspire to become professors in higher education, after all, and so it only makes sense to consider how the family issues facing graduate students change -- or not -- when they become faculty. The three presenters offered personal, statistical, and theoretical talks which were by turns enraging, depressing, inspiring and moving.
December 30, 2008 - 6:42am
My first San Francisco MLA, I didn't get any closer to the convention than the lobby of the Fairmont Hotel. I was living in San Francisco and had just been accepted to UC Berkeley's PhD program in Comparative Literature. I wasn’t such an overachiever that I wanted to attend a professional conference before joining the profession, but my sister Libby, a grad student at UCLA (and now one of the Mama, PhD bloggers), was on the market, looking for a job teaching English literature. I offered to babysit for my two year-old niece so that Libby could get some sleep before her interviews.
December 18, 2008 - 8:45pm
We economists have great respect for “markets”, the interaction of buyers and sellers of some good or service. While sometimes, as with the mall, these markets are easy to locate, other times they do not reside in any particular time or place, as is the case of e-bay. For a few days in January each year, these economists who believe so strongly in markets meet in one city at one time to create a visible labor market. I understand from my colleagues in other fields that similar things happen for them, too.
December 17, 2008 - 9:59pm
Inside Higher Ed has done a good job with publicizing the humor and pain surrounding long distance couples and their families.
December 17, 2008 - 4:58am
When I started my new part-time research job at the university early this fall, they got me a new computer. It’s a laptop, and I love it. I have hobbled along on an old dinosaur for years, because as the miser I am, I could not justify buying a new one (especially with just one salary for the family). I now realize how wonderful it is to have access to fast internet and an updated computer – it makes everything so much easier! How quickly the computer world changes, and how easy it is to lose track of new technology.

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