Higher Education Webinars
Mothers attempting to balance parenthood and academics.
June 7, 2010 - 8:57pm
I’ve been consumed by news stories lately, one local—within the community of “mother bloggers” — and one national. The local, a story of a child’s death; the national, the Gulf Coast oil spill. They have little in common except the way they make me feel: impotent, enraged, worried. Impotent, because it seems there’s so little I can do to change the way things are. Enraged, because the stories both suggest miscarriages of justice.
June 6, 2010 - 6:15pm
Ann Larson’s recent IHE column, in which she dissects the popular idea that that a college education is the key to upward mobility for lower-income Americans, resonated for me in a personal way, because I have two nephews who joined the military after they ran out of money for college tuition. One, in the National Guard, spent a year in Iraq and could be called up again. The other will have shipped out to Afghanistan when this column is posted.
June 3, 2010 - 9:16pm
I have written in this column before about the concept of "opportunity cost." This topic from economics says that every choice involves a cost, that when we choose to do one thing, we automatically choose not to do something else. When I think of the sacrifices my parents made so that my sister and I could obtain college educations, I realize that there were many opportunity costs to the decisions they made.
June 3, 2010 - 8:06am
The media and the sciences… They mix like oil and water. Commercial media seeks narrative personas, two-sided conflicts and attention-grabbing images of disaster. The sciences demand careful process, time to uncover truths and talented storytellers to achieve a big audience.
June 2, 2010 - 6:30am
It’s damp. It’s dreary. As I write this, I look out my window and fog obscures the mid-morning light. After a teasing May taste of summer, the sun seems to have disappeared and with it my get-up-and-go. Why should I be in such a slump when I’m thankful for so much in my life? It’s after days like these that my brain thinks the middle of the night is the best time to stir the stew of worries in my head. No concern is too trivial—“The basil plants I paid $1.25 for are shrivelling up! What’s happened to my career? Those wrong notes I sang in choir last night were so embarrassing!
May 27, 2010 - 9:16pm
In economics, we talk about education as a way to build “human capital”, which will later be put to productive use in the labor market. It is one way that people can improve their chances of earning income, and the level of income earned. This is something that my parents, children of my immigrant grandparents whose education stopped at “continuation school”, knew instinctively as they navigated the world of education for me and my sister. This led them down paths that included religiously-focused education, at a Catholic grammar school and a Catholic high school.
May 26, 2010 - 9:30pm
This week, immediately after turning in my final grades, I flew east to visit old friends in New England and to attend a writing workshop. While I sometimes worry that writing personal essays will take time away from my scholarship, I’ve discovered that they renew my connection to literature and narrative, as well as provide a welcome respite for the demands of academia and motherhood. Over time, I’ve found that my more “creative” efforts influence my academic voice — giving me a greater sense of audience and a closer attention to language.
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.”