Higher Education Webinars

Mama PhD

Mothers attempting to balance parenthood and academics.

August 1, 2010 - 3:10pm
My 40th (yikes!) high school reunion is coming up, and my inbox has been clogged with correspondence about it — the official invitation, and group emails asking help in tracking down elusive classmates or compiling a representative slide show. Then there are the messages from friends, discussing whether or not to go, and why.
July 29, 2010 - 8:50pm
Patterns are central to math and statistics. If we add two of something to two more of that something, we get four of it. We say that something is “statistically significant” if we see patterns in the data that would not be expected to show up randomly. And we can write patterns, such as the famed “Fibonacci Sequence” by looking at the previous values and defining the newest value in terms of the previous ones.
July 28, 2010 - 8:19pm
Now that my children are almost college-age, I have to face some cold, hard facts of personal accounting. I have not been saving for my teens’ college tuition plan. On my college professor’s salary I cannot afford to send my kids to the same kind of private institution that I attended as an undergrad. Nor do I want them to wind up with $80,000 in student loan debt by the age of 21. (I can’t even do the math for the additional costs of a graduate education for them.)
July 26, 2010 - 8:11pm
Recently I’ve been remembering a conversation I had with my dad many years ago — when my husband and I were still in grad school and my daughter was about three years old. As I recall it, I said that I was turning out not to be one of those moms who laments when the children get “too big to cuddle”; rather, I was really enjoying being the mother of a preschooler. My dad — who by this time had helped raise four children — didn’t miss a beat. “I really like being the parent of graduate students, myself,” he said.
July 25, 2010 - 3:56pm
As noted here, I had an idyllic vacation last week. I felt nourished and even transformed by it—as sometimes happens with distance and a change of scene, I thought I had found the key to some difficult professional and personal issues that had been plaguing me. Perspective is all, I decided. I’d allowed myself to become stressed out and overwhelmed by things that, in the long run, were unimportant.
July 22, 2010 - 7:14pm
Even people who have never taken a class in Economics have probably heard phrases from the subject from time to time. “The Invisible Hand” is often used to explain the fact, noticed by Adam Smith, that self-interest on the part of participants in an economy still leads the economy to a point where everyone’s needs are met. “But in the Long Run, We are All Dead” was a phrase spoken by John Maynard Keynes when many people assured each other that the economy of the Great Depression would turn around on its own, in the long run.
July 21, 2010 - 8:28pm
Today I’m working in my home office instead of lugging my materials to the neighborhood coffee shop (let’s just say that I my body does not respond well to more than one latte). Ignoring my own resolutions, I went online immediately to check my work email (even though I’m not teaching summer classes and am officially “off contract” until August), then I make a quick perusal of facebook, then glanced at the offerings of Inside Higher Ed and The Chronicle of Higher Education.
July 21, 2010 - 8:14am
About a month ago the choir I sing with had the chance to be accompanied by a jazz quartet. We sang one of the choir’s standards, William Byrd’s Mass for Four Voices, but instead of our usual a cappella version, the quartet improvised beneath us as we sang our usual parts. It was late Renaissance/early Baroque meets 20th Century jazz. Although it seems strange, it sounded absolutely glorious!
July 19, 2010 - 7:57pm
About once a week I take down the biggest mixing bowl I have and start pouring, dropping, and even occasionally measuring things into it. A carton of oatmeal; a bag of whole raw almonds; a couple of handfuls each of pumpkin and sunflower seeds; wheat germ, flaxseed meal, and/or sesame seeds, if I have them. I stir them around, then add spices (cinnamon and ginger, a little salt), oil, and sweeteners — lately, equal parts honey and agave syrup. Stir it up, spread it in two rimmed baking sheets, and put it in the oven.
July 18, 2010 - 7:29pm
Last week I wrote about the insanity of life as a freelancer. This week I’m writing from a cabin in Maine, with no cell signal and sporadic Internet access. The cabin overlooks a quiet bay, where I swim in the mornings. You can’t see other houses in any direction, and when we turn the lights out at night, the only illumination is from the moon and the stars. In the city, I am wired and at the computer by 5AM; this morning, I slept until 9 for the first time in at least ten years.

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