Higher Education Webinars

Mama PhD

Mothers attempting to balance parenthood and academics.

June 24, 2010 - 9:06am
Last Sunday, on father’s day, The New York Times reported that fathers are becoming more stressed trying to balance jobs and family.
June 23, 2010 - 7:41am
When my son was in kindergarten his teacher gave the class an exercise designed to help the children define what was important in their lives. They were asked to draw a series of concentric circles, with room within each circle to add drawings. In the center circle, the children drew the people or things that were most important to them, while the outer circles contained things of decreasing importance. When my son showed me his drawing, I saw that he’d made several perfect circles, but his only drawings, at the very center, were of our two cats.
June 21, 2010 - 9:16pm
I’m delighted to report that my daughter has indeed found gainful summer employment. It’s not full time, but it will do — she’s got a series of childcare gigs lined up that should keep her busy and reasonably well remunerated through the summer.
June 20, 2010 - 6:47pm
Hello, Mama Ph.D.,
June 17, 2010 - 9:19pm
I was probably teaching statistics the second or third time around when I finally stumbled upon a good understanding the idea of "random." I had once thought that randomness meant a complete lack of predictability, that there was actually no pattern underlying outcomes. However, I eventually realized that predictability is exactly what randomness is about. If I flip a coin, I can expect it to come up "heads" half of the time, thus giving me a "random variable" that is actually quite predictable. For example, out of ten flips of a coin, one might expect five of them to come up heads.
June 17, 2010 - 8:02am
For the next few weeks my two teenagers are with their dad and my contact with them is primarily digital. Unfortunately, I can't get Nick or Katie interested in ‘Skype-ing’ with me except when we 'chat’ virtually with their cousins who live in England. We take turns walking laptops around our houses, pointing them at children lounging in bed, or aiming it at the new pet — delighted with our free international communication. I love seeing that my sister’s house is messier than mine…
June 16, 2010 - 8:14am
I didn’t write last week because I was overwhelmed in getting ready for our annual migration west. We spend the summer months doing research, writing, traveling and visiting our west coast-located parents and extended family. Especially because we live so far from family, this summer flexibility is one of the greatest perks of an academic career, as far as I’m concerned (I’ve blogged about this before).
June 14, 2010 - 9:28pm
The summer after my junior year of high school I got a summer job in a resort town in Maine. It wasn’t my first summer job — I’d worked previously as a day camp counselor and a babysitter — but it was my first summer job away from home. The job wasn’t glamorous: I worked four hours a day cleaning a restaurant. My brother got me the job; he was doing outside work at the same resort, and when their regular cleaner hurt her ankle he mentioned that he had a sister sitting at home with no job. A few days later I was on my way.
June 13, 2010 - 3:40pm
The New York City public schools are officially open until June 28, but my son is off as of last week. The next two weeks are dedicated to preparing for and taking New York State Regents’ Exams, and he has taken and passed all of his state exams already. He’s going to baseball camp for a week in July, he plays first base for a competitive team with an intensive summer schedule, and he plans to take weekly sitar lessons, but otherwise he’s a free agent until Labor Day.
June 10, 2010 - 9:23pm
In the center of Boston is the Boston Common, where there are several small statues of the ducklings made famous by the book “Make Way for Ducklings”. Long before I became a parent, I bought a painting from a local Boston artist that depicted the statues of the ducklings from that children's book. In a decision of radical faith in the future, and one that involved finding a few extra dollars that I, as a graduate student, didn’t really have at the time, I bought it and decided that if I was ever to have a child, I would hang it in their room.

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