Higher Education Webinars

Mama PhD

Mothers attempting to balance parenthood and academics.

February 9, 2011 - 6:16am
Our stubborn refusal to go with the flow may have put our son in an awkward position. This month kids in grades 4 and 7 in British Columbia schools, both public and private, began taking the Foundation Skills Assessment (FSA) tests mandated by the provincial government, ostensibly as a tool for parents, teachers, and administrators to see whether children can do the basics such as reading and arithmetic.
February 7, 2011 - 9:28pm
My daughter Mariah used to have a Spanish teacher who would quell a restive class by commanding them to “press the pause button!” They all knew what he meant, and it (sometimes) worked. I’ve often wanted to try something like that myself — not with noisy teenagers, but with my life. With committee work, administrative duties, teaching, grading, reading, and writing, sometimes I lose track of myself for a while and simply move on automatic pilot. When that happens it’s time to “press the pause button.”
February 6, 2011 - 4:53pm
Frank Plantan objected to last week’s post, stating,
February 3, 2011 - 8:47pm
When I think back to the one day that almost everyone in my generation recalls vividly, I remember that the one thing that gave me perspective on September 11, 2001 was the fact that I taught my class in College Algebra. When my students were having trouble making it to class, because of closed bridges and highways, I stood in front of a (small) class and explained the rules by which the mathematical world, if not the real world, functioned.
February 2, 2011 - 8:11pm
If you’ve been snowed in and have a little time on your hands -- as I do in Chicago — then I bet you’ve either read or heard about Stephanie Coontz’s new book, A Strange Stirring: The Feminine Mystique and American Women at the Dawn of the 1960s.
January 31, 2011 - 10:00pm
I have a big birthday coming up this year. Never mind which one — ok, I’ll be fifty — but somehow this one feels bigger than any previous big birthdays. When I turned thirty, my first child was still small and I was not yet finished with my degree. At forty, I had a second child and tenure. Those other milestones — the children, the degree, the job — all felt bigger than a birthday.
January 30, 2011 - 5:16pm
On Wednesday, my sixteen-year-old son went to his girlfriend’s house after school. Usually we expect him home for dinner on school nights, but it was clear that Thursday was going to be a snow day, so we allowed him to stay and watch a movie after dinner at her house, with the proviso that he stay in touch and let us know when he was leaving.He did. The last several entries in our text message trail were as follows:Sue, 8:56 PM: When will u b home?Ben, 9:14 PM: Not sure im leaving before too longSue, 9:15 PM: Soon pls & let me know.Ben, 9:16 PM: OK
January 27, 2011 - 8:24pm
When graphing points on a number line, one can graph all points up to and including a point by using a line that ends with a closed circle, but can indicate all points up to, but not including that point by instead ending with an open circle. In the later case, one can get as close to the end point as possible without hitting that point, making the difference between the point and any chosen point infinitesimally small. I thought of this concept this past week when I heard of a proposal about grading parents of students that was proposed by a legislator from Florida.
January 26, 2011 - 10:46pm
We've all heard the saying, "If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it." Well, last fall was the most overwhelming semester I’ve experienced in many years. I took on a new administrative position, and while the previous director had done an admirable job preparing me, I still experienced a steep learning curve as I negotiated the tasks of running our campus’s teaching center.
January 26, 2011 - 2:18pm
Some advice I remember from when I was little was “the earlier you can decide what you want to do, the better off you’ll be.” Despite this, I certainly didn’t know what I was going to do in high school. I was slow in declaring my major in college. I dabbled in philosophy, and took a survey of world religions, took a poetry class, economics, psychology, art, music – I squeezed in as many different intro courses as I could in my four years of while fulfilling my biology major.

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