Higher Education Webinars

Mama PhD

Mothers attempting to balance parenthood and academics.

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.
February 16, 2011 - 10:01pm
When I first heard the word, I thought, ‘Edupunk sounds like the kind of educational strategy that my son Nick may appreciate.’ My seventeen year-old's declining grades and motivation in his AP and Honors courses have been a source of mystery for his father and myself. When he’s not watching Youtube, Nick strives to be a rock-n-roll star, so connecting education to the D.I.Y. strategies of punk rockers may just be his ticket.
February 16, 2011 - 10:46am
All good grants come to an end… and the one that has supported me half-time at the university for the last almost-three years is just petering out… Sigh. Unfortunately, I also just found out that NSF turned down another grant with which I am involved that would have funded me half-time on a related project for the next three years. This leaves my work options slate wide-open (although we will resubmit the grant in July for a third round, which that may provide options for next fall).
February 13, 2011 - 5:44pm
As I described here a few weeks ago, I am recovering from a cracked rib thanks to an overenthusiastic hug from my suddenly gigantic son. Generally, I'm a pretty enthusiastic hugger myself, so I've found I now have to warn friends not to embrace me when I meet them on the street.
February 10, 2011 - 9:00pm
In the book "Mama, Ph.D.," my essay that tells of the very nonlinear path I took into academia and parenthood, begins with the phrase “I woke up on the first day of classes, at my first tenure track job, and I didn’t know where I was.” I recall vividly the thought process I then went through, and can even picture the poster I looked at on the wall as I did so.
February 10, 2011 - 8:17am
I was struck by Neil Genzlinger's purposely-provocative dismissal of recent memoirs in the NYT book review: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/30/books/review/Genzlinger-t.html?pagewanted=all In it, he savages three out of four recent memoirs, claiming that "this flood just has to be stopped."
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.”


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