Higher Education Webinars

Mama PhD

Mothers attempting to balance parenthood and academics.

March 6, 2011 - 5:19pm
I was intrigued by Lisa Belkin's article on "mommy bloggers" -- particularly Heather Armstrong of Dooce -- in last week's New York Times Magazine. I found the question of how much it is wise, or fair, to reveal about one's family particularly compelling.Belkin writes:
March 3, 2011 - 9:49pm
Last week, I was thrilled to find a book in my campus mailbox that had been left there by our college president. It was a book that she had run across dealing with the “golden ratio”, and she thought I might enjoy it. By Mario Livo, it is called “The Golden Ratio: The Story of Phi, the World’s Most Amazing Number.” I am currently reading it, with plans of donating it to our library when I finish.
March 3, 2011 - 1:17pm
Two weeks ago, I was at a Chicago dinner party with Lynn Sweet, Washington bureau chief for the Chicago Sun-Times, columnist for Politics Dailey and author of the FLOTUS blog on Michelle Obama. Sweet was in town covering Rahm Emanuel’s successful race to replace mayor Richard M. Daley. After dinner Sweet remarked on the surprising media response to her Daily Flotus piece about the first lady’s support of breastfeeding legislation.
February 28, 2011 - 9:33pm
My friend and colleague in Children’s Literature, Phil Nel, spent last week in the panopticon. In a series of posts titled “What Do Professors Do All Day?” Phil chronicled his time: in class, preparing for class, working on articles, shoveling snow, talking to colleagues — all of it. Then he summarized the experience at the end of the week.
February 27, 2011 - 4:21pm
Our family recently returned from a trip to Paris and London. At home, we have our share of stresses and strains, many of which I've documented here, but on vacation we mesh extraordinarily well. This is partly, of course, because we are removed from many potential sources of conflict, as we are all together 24/7, and so Bill and I don't have to worry about Ben's whereabouts, and we're not angsting over professional deadlines, overdue schoolwork, messy rooms and the like.
February 24, 2011 - 8:36pm
I have never been a huge fan of “time series regression”, as I usually use what is known as “cross sectional analysis” in my own work. The statistical technique of time series analysis allows one to calculate a trend line that professes to explain how something changes over time. As part of the process of calculating this, it is common to remove seasonal influences in the data, to better explain what is occuring. For example, wrapping paper may sell better around December than in June, while bathing suits sell better in July than in November.
February 24, 2011 - 8:19am
Everything you’re hearing about us is true. Our state workers’ rights to collectively bargain are being threatened, our governor was easily punked by a left-wing journalist, and our mass protests have been genuinely civil. In short, Wisconsin is an interesting place to be right now.
February 23, 2011 - 8:41am
Ok, maybe mad is a little strong to describe how I feel about the Hogwarts hero and J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books. But they’ve thrown a wrench into our bedtime reading routine. What can we possibly read now to replace the excitement of the Harry Potter saga? Is there life after Hogwarts?
February 20, 2011 - 5:07pm
I am writing from Paris, where we are spending the first part of Ben's winter break ( We'll go on to London in a few days). Today we looked at Greek and Egyptian antiquities at the Louvre and had lunch in the Tuileries. Then we met Frederic, a friend from voice class who moved home to Paris in September, at the Musee d'Orsay. Afterward, his friend Colette joined us for drinks, then we went to a baroque music concert at Eglise Saint-Germain.
February 17, 2011 - 8:49pm
When I am asked what Economics is, I sometimes answer that it is the study of how we make decisions under constraints. How much to buy with a limited budget and how to use our limited time are two examples of such decisions that come to mind immediately. Calculus and Statistics are central to how such decisions are studied, and so have become the second language through which I communicate.

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