Higher Education Webinars

Mama PhD

Mothers attempting to balance parenthood and academics.

May 26, 2010 - 5:17am
Yesterday my 5th grader came home from school and did a happy “no homework” dance. Her afterschool class that day has finished for the semester, and she had the afternoon free! She wanted to celebrate with a playdate (everyone uses this word, but it makes me cringe) and busily started calling friends to invite them over.
May 24, 2010 - 10:10pm
This morning I woke up with a cold. Stuffy nose, scratchy throat, hoarse voice. The end of the school year often brings some kind of illness — I think that somehow my immune system, overworked during the school year, lets its guard down when the students depart, and the next new bug that I encounter grabs me. In this case I know where it came from: Nick spent most of last week home with a cough. He wasn't all the way better this morning, either.
May 23, 2010 - 7:50pm
A few weeks ago I met with my son’s advisor to discuss his academic progress as he nears the end of the tenth grade. She was generally positive about his college prospects: “His grades aren’t perfect, but his standardized tests are stellar, and he’ll get great recommendations,” she said. “Besides, he’s a boy.”I knew what that meant, thanks to discussions on this blog. “I have mixed feelings about that,” I told her. “I’m happy for anything that will help Ben, but…”“I know. I have a daughter.”
May 20, 2010 - 8:45pm
Once, years ago, I found myself at a party talking about what it would mean to divide by zero. (No wonder I was terminally single at the time!) I explained that, while we can’t divide by zero, we can think of approaching a divisor of zero, and see what happens. Think first of dividing 1 by 1, to get 1/1, or 1. Now divide 1 by 0.1, to get 10. Continue on to divide 1 by 0.01 to get 100, and 1 by 0.001 to get 1000. You can see that if you continue on like this, the smaller the divisor gets, the larger the ratio gets.
May 20, 2010 - 7:42am
I’ve been focused on the tragic, on-going oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico: first, because my current documentary is about the erosion of Louisiana’s coastline and the disappearance of bayou cultures. And second, the spill reminds me of my own dependence on oil for long distance commuting to see my kids in Florida.
May 19, 2010 - 8:29am
Until a few weeks ago, I’d never made more than a weekend trip away from my children. In my mind I added up the times my husband had been away for meetings, conferences, and teaching field trips. Some day, I thought, I’ll cash in the time owed me and take my dream vacation -- bird-watching in Arizona. Then early this year I got an interesting email.
May 17, 2010 - 9:02pm
When I first wrote about teaching and tae kwon do, over two years ago, I was just about to head back to the classroom after a sabbatical, and open to rethinking my teaching in a number of ways. So when I distilled five teaching principles out of my tae kwon do classes, I focused especially on my role as teacher, as someone — like my tae kwon do instructor — who was up front in the classroom, leading the way.
May 16, 2010 - 7:06pm
The responses to last week’s column have resonated with me in an especially intense way this week.
May 13, 2010 - 8:22pm
Imagine a number line, extending in both directions infinitely. Above this line we might graph bars that represent the proportion of observations of something that fall within any given interval on the number line. We can do this for much of the data sets that show up in nature, such as the length of a leaf on a tree, the height of a grown woman, the average body temperature or even the length of a human life. When we start graphing these data that show up in nature, we notice that they tend to all look slightly similar.
May 13, 2010 - 8:30am
Like fellow blogger, Libby Gruner, I too spent the end of the semester in a lively discussion about teaching.


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