Higher Education Webinars

Mama PhD

Mothers attempting to balance parenthood and academics.

September 17, 2008 - 10:13pm
When I was a girl, I took a trip to visit my grandparents in Florida. Leaving Buffalo, NY in November and flying up past the gray clouds into an immediately bright sunny sky was a revelation. I had no idea the sky was still bright and sunny in November; I actually thought it turned gray all the way up to the heavens until April.
September 16, 2008 - 9:50pm
My kids have been playing soccer since they were 4 years old, and just this week, I found out that the mother of one of my youngest daughter’s teammates is an author of a novel. As we watched our 7-year-old daughters warm up before a game, I asked her what her novel was about. Being in the military. Turns out that she graduated from West Point, and had had a full military career before becoming an author and a full-time soccer mom of 5 soccer-star children, ranging in age from 18 to 7. Wow, I had no idea that she had gone to West Point.
September 15, 2008 - 10:10pm
I'm teaching Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein in one of my classes right now, and somehow it's striking a different chord this week than it usually does. Perhaps it's because one of the commenters last week used the term "career suicide," which is one of those phrases that come up when folks talk about balancing academic careers with parenting.
September 15, 2008 - 4:56am
Okay, first up, people, ASK ME QUESTIONS. I'm kind of bad about remembering to write this column on Friday, which no doubt tries my editor's patience, but it doesn't help when I have NO QUESTIONS to answer.
September 12, 2008 - 4:12pm
“Take a stand!” I urged a freshman in a conference during office hours just this morning. “Your paper is wishy-washy. You readers want you to have an opinion and support it with evidence from your research!” “But,” she pleaded, “What if I have mixed feelings?” I urged her to try to quantify her mixed feelings as a percentage and go with the side that’s higher. “But what if it’s fifty-fifty?” Well. Then you go with your gut and support the side that feels right this morning.
September 10, 2008 - 9:39pm
This is the second week of my sabbatical and already I have a sinking feeling that I’m not accomplishing enough.
September 10, 2008 - 5:42am
The patch of woods outside my front door is in trouble. After we moved into our neighborhood four years ago, my husband and I, along with several other community members lobbied hard for an elementary school to serve our growing population. Be careful what you wish for, I guess. Last spring the school district announced plans to build a new elementary school in our community, but we learned that the playing field for the school will cut right through our favorite patch of forest.
September 8, 2008 - 9:46pm
I've been saving links* to the Sarah Palin coverage for the last week and a half, but I'm still feeling a bit stymied as to how to link the coverage of the vice presidential nominee to Mama, PhD. Yet it's clear that this nomination -- far more than Hillary Clinton's run for the presidency, or Geraldine Ferraro's earlier nomination for Vice President--has put the so-called "mommy wars" front and center in the national debate.
September 7, 2008 - 8:33pm
I'm having a bit of a conflict with my supervisor, and I don't know who to ask about it because he's the department chair, and I figure that it's probably not really all that professional to discuss this with anyone I know on the faculty here.
September 5, 2008 - 5:06am
My son’s daycare teacher confided in me that she is also a single mom. It gives me great hope. Not just because she seems like an altogether wonderful person, but also because I have met her grown children – and they are great. In a country that makes you second guess every choice you make as a parent, being a hardworking single parent can be like holding a little folding umbrella in a torrential downpour of doubt. I am by no means suggesting that one parent could ever be superior to two parents; I am merely suggesting that perhaps one parent can be successful despite the odds.

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