Higher Education Webinars

Mama PhD

Mothers attempting to balance parenthood and academics.

November 11, 2010 - 6:04am
It's time to order the books for my spring courses. Because I teach Victorian novels, I'm continually trying to negotiate length; how many pages can I coax my students to read a week (or rather from Thursday to Tuesday, and then from Tuesday to Thursday). This causes me to engage in one of my disingenuous teaching practices: searching for the shortest edition of David Copperfield, or Middlemarch. Yes, I realize that all unabridged versions are really the same number of total words. But tell that to students asked to read 250 pages instead of 150.
November 10, 2010 - 8:41am
A recent Saturday morning with my son was a treasure: he invited me to play Lego with him. I made a pot of tea and brought it over to the living room rug to join him in the middle of the Lego piles. He was nice enough not to say anything about my violation of our house rule forbidding food or drink in the living room. I dug through the plastic tote full of parts to pick out the pieces that looked interesting to me. Instead of picking out his own blocks, my son watched me intently. As I started to put the plastic bricks and tubes together I felt nervous under his scrutiny.
November 9, 2010 - 5:51am
I’ve got a few weeks left in my CSA share. We’re in the leafy-greens stage of the fall, it seems: last week’s share included kale, collards, and mustard greens as well as arugula; there were also carrots, peppers, and turnips. We’re a long way from the weeks of tomato bounty and huge bunches of basil, but I’m still enjoying it. This past weekend I had some time to talk to Ali, the farmer, when I picked up the share.
November 7, 2010 - 5:21pm
A recent New York Times article describes an incident in which two young people on bicycles ran down an 87-year-old woman on a Manhattan sidewalk, knocking her to the ground. The woman suffered a hip fracture that required surgery. A judge has ruled that they can be sued for negligence.You might think a lawsuit is a light punishment for that degree of reckless behavior—unless you consider that the perps were 4 and 5 years old, and their bikes had training wheels.
November 4, 2010 - 9:10pm
I remember a cartoon from my graduate school days that showed a cockroach-looking creature looking over the shoulder of what looked like a scientist working busily at a desk. The caption of the cartoon said “an Exogenous variable watches an economist at work.” I was shown that cartoon about the same time I came to the conclusion that there was really nothing in the world that is exogenous, or determined by predetermined forces.
November 4, 2010 - 8:47am
My two teenagers have developed musical skills that neither their father nor myself ever possessed. They both participate in marching band, and have since middle school. I did not quite understand what this meant when my kids first got involved. Most of their friends played in the band and -- like the best student organizations — the after school commitment provided my kids with both a social life and valuable musical instruction.
November 1, 2010 - 9:03pm
 This weekend I paid for last weekend’s pleasures by working more than I usually do. I had papers to grade, deadlines to meet, and some fairly routine catching-up to do. So I parked my computer on a corner of my dining room table and hunkered down. 
October 31, 2010 - 6:05pm
A reader alerted me to this article in the New Haven Register because of its pertinence to the continuing discussion on this forum about holding teens accountable for irresponsible or bullying behavior.
October 28, 2010 - 7:37pm
I ran into a former student a few days ago who said that, since she took the required college math course, she is now better able to help her son with his homework. I had to laugh, because I often get into struggles with my own daughter about whether to help her with her homework, which she would rather not do in the first place.
October 27, 2010 - 10:10pm
This year our college selected a common theme, "Leadership,” and as part of that theme we assigned all our freshmen seminar students to read Soul of a Citizen by Paul Loeb. Since my freshman seminar is “The Culture of Food,” we discussed parent groups advocating school lunch reform, the early food coops, food pantries, and animal rights groups. Many of my students are horrified by the treatment of animals in slaughterhouses that Schlosser documents in Fast Food Nation.

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