Higher Education Webinars

Mama PhD

Mothers attempting to balance parenthood and academics.

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.”
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.

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