Higher Education Webinars

Mama PhD

Mothers attempting to balance parenthood and academics.

October 18, 2010 - 9:39pm
I’ve been thinking about my wardrobe ever since I read Susan O’Doherty’s piece today in Mama, PhD.
October 17, 2010 - 5:34pm
Like most people I know, I was shocked and saddened by the recent suicide of Tyler Clementi.I have to admit, though, that I am also disturbed by the intensity of expressed rage at the two students who violated his privacy. What they did was wrong, even unconscionable — but they are eighteen years old, by definition works-in-progress.When I have expressed this concern to friends, it is most frequently countered with, “Can you imagine yourself ever doing something like this? Can you imagine Ben playing such a prank?”
October 14, 2010 - 7:56pm
Anyone who has taken geometry is probably familiar with the concept of “similarity”, in which two shapes share the same angles and proportions, although they may be of very different sizes. This is often seen in right triangles, which may share the same angles but can be seen as larger or smaller versions of each other. I thought of this concept recently when I re-connected with a cousin, not in the currently common “Facebook” way but in the old fashioned way, over the telephone, as he stopped in to visit my grandmother.
October 12, 2010 - 11:53pm
The other day a friend of mine asked if we had an extra TV kicking around that we could do without. Not for her household, it turned out, for a family she met who has recently moved to our neighborhood for a year on sabbatical from Norway. The house they are living in is huge but completely unfurnished and although their three young boys enjoy sliding around in empty rooms, they really needed some basic furniture other than the few essentials they bought at Ikea.
October 11, 2010 - 7:35pm
A commenter on my post from a few weeks ago asked for the recipe for the beet cake that actually worked, and I’m glad to provide it. For this one I used about half a cup of beet puree and half a cup of squash puree, more or less. I’m pretty sure any combination would work, but your mileage may vary. This is a relatively quick and easy cake, good for a crisp fall evening — make it now while the beets are plentiful!Ingredients:
October 10, 2010 - 6:00pm
Jerald Walker has a funny article in this week’s Chronicle about being the subject of a wardrobe intervention by a group of students. Deciding to research the correlation between professors’ dress and their perceived expertise, Walker reviews a number of entries on RateMyProfessors.com. He observes:
October 7, 2010 - 7:46pm
I once had someone tell me a story of being on an airplane seated next to someone who was writing a dissertation in either math or economics (I forgot which). They asked their companion what their dissertation was on, and the person responded “chaos.” This person quickly responded by laughing; surely this was a reference to the old “Get Smart” movies of years ago. When they told me this story, I let them know that “chaos” is indeed an area of math that can be studied, and can even be applied to economics.
October 7, 2010 - 7:33am
After flying in from Chicago to visit my children recently, I arrived in time to watch them perform in the marching band for their weekly football game. My daughter, Katie, who plays the trombone, spotted me in the audience and needed to leave the stands and come weep a bit on my shoulder. She couldn’t explain exactly what was wrong, but it seemed to be a combination of loneliness, not finding enough friends in the band, and missing me a bit.
October 3, 2010 - 5:05pm
In a recent New York Times Magazine article, Peggy Orenstein discusses advertisers’ discovery of “the sales potential in female pride.”She describes recent ads by Target and Verizon, among others, that seem to imply that buying certain merchandise will confer “empowerment” on girls. She points out what she refers to as “cause-related marketing without the cause. Merely buying its service is how you’re supposed to strike the blow against inequality.”
September 30, 2010 - 10:22pm
I recently taught a class in “linear programming”, in which a (linear) objective function is maximized subject to several constraints that are also lines themselves. As I worked several example problems with my students, I remembered the central fact of economics, that we all face constraints in our lives and must do the best we can within those constraints. This truth was brought home to me earlier this week when I received the phone call all working parents hope to avoid.


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