Higher Education Webinars

Mama PhD

Mothers attempting to balance parenthood and academics.

November 20, 2008 - 10:01pm
This is a sad week in the life of Ursuline College, as one of our own has died. Jackie, a member of our nursing faculty since 1973, was called home Friday of last week, and our campus mourns her loss.
November 19, 2008 - 9:26pm
One of my best friends has been struggling for the last ten years to finish her dissertation. She’s brilliant, has an impeccable academic pedigree, and her graduate papers are charmingly readable. Many times I have urged her to just quit; she has an independent income, and besides, she’s so smart, she doesn’t need a PhD to prove it. Yet a combination of family pressure, guilt, and habit have propelled her onward.As Matt Groening’s early cartoon illustrates, graduate school asks you to put off your life.
November 19, 2008 - 4:59am
My daughter came home from school with a slick science fair booklet last Friday along with a homework assignment to begin initial explorations into the topic she had chosen in class: “Do different colors of light change how plants grow?” She is excited. This is her first year doing a science fair project. I’ve never done one either, and I’m impressed at how much parents are encouraged to assist with carrying it out.
November 17, 2008 - 9:10pm
A colleague, rushing out the door, popped her head into my office briefly. "You don't happen to have any secret tips on parenting 7th graders, do you?"
November 13, 2008 - 9:18pm
This is the time of the school year when many of us are running around looking for people to teach classes for us as adjunct professors. This brings back memories of the times I worked as an adjunct professor when I was in graduate school, acquiring experience as I was paid minimally for my time. Today, as chair, I see the market for adjuncts from another perspective. I want to take a minute today to discuss the economics behind the market for adjunct professors, and how this might help potential adjunct professors find the best possible position.
November 13, 2008 - 4:57am
Last night I attended a parents’-night talk on healthy eating at my daughter’s preschool. I had no intention of going; as an avid reader of books on nutrition and someone who cooks absurdly healthy meals, I knew they would be preaching to the choir. But my daughter was in a frenzy of excitement and begged that we attend the “party at school,” so I forced my husband to sit for an hour in an uncomfortable chair while two nursing students nervously lectured to 15 parents about the food pyramid.
November 12, 2008 - 5:01am
I know that my mother and mother-in-law laugh at me behind my back. After all, I’ve taken some pretty ridiculous stands in the name of feminism since my daughter was born. To my mother-in-law I implored: “Please. No pink or frills or lace. I know she’s your first granddaughter, but I want to go easy on the girly-girl stuff.” Ha! Somewhere around age two my daughter mysteriously gravitated toward ruffles, lace, and sparkles, despite my best efforts to steer her toward practical, sporty, gender-neutral clothing.
November 10, 2008 - 9:49pm
One of the things I do when I'm not teaching or preparing for class, not grading or cooking or working on my research -- one of the things I do relatively rarely, in other words -- is knit. I like to knit. It satisfies on many levels. For one, it allows me to create something without requiring great effort -- I just follow the directions. I don't need to think very hard about it. It can be done while I am watching TV, or listening to the radio, or even (once) listening to a conference paper. Sometimes I get a Christmas gift out of it, or a warm scarf for myself.
November 6, 2008 - 9:11pm
The American Mathematical Society recently published a study (Cross-Cultural Analysis of Students with Exceptional Talent in Mathematical Problem Solving) that finds evidence to disprove the widely held idea that girls are not as good at math as boys are. Instead, the relative small percent of girls excelling in math is traced to cultural forces found in the U.S., forces that can be changed so girls can approach the study of math with an open mind.
November 6, 2008 - 6:18am
Of all the possible reactions to Barack Obama’s historical victory this week, I wasn’t prepared for a lead story about the black and red dress Michelle Obama wore to her husband’s acceptance in Chicago. If you read the comments (and I’m not suggesting you do; the punctuation alone will drive you mad) you’ll find a pathological animosity toward the next first lady’s appearance: her teeth, her size, how she walks, how she stands.

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