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  • Mama PhD

    Mothers attempting to balance parenthood and academics.

End-of-the-School-Year Crunch
May 15, 2011 - 4:12pm

I enjoyed both Dana's and Elizabeth's posts on their typical daily activities. I particularly appreciated Elizabeth's enumeration of the ways both she and her students postpone unpleasant tasks throughout the semester and must now work on overdrive to keep from drowning. It brought back fond(ish) memories of my own student years, and also made me feel a bit better about what is going on in our household now.

Ben, like his mom, is a pleasure-seeker and tedium-avoider. It's not that we aren't industrious -- I do have a PhD, a job, a private practice, two weekly columns, and singing gigs; Ben is in two bands that plan on a professional level; he also serves as captain of his school's varsity baseball team, and he pet-sits responsibly for our neighbors. We like to work--just not necessarily at tasks other people think we should tackle. I am an indifferent housekeeper, for example, while Ben is an outright slob. We would both rather be singing. I tend to put off figuring out my finances until April 14. Ben delays starting that science project until I get a warning email. As Charlie Brown sings, we work best under pressure, and eventually there tends to be a lot of pressure.

But both of us do, eventually, pull it off. I don't hesitate to invite friends over, because I know that at 5:00, with guests arriving at 6:30, we will whip into gear and throw out those piled-up magazines. The taxes get done. And so does the science project, though each spring I am convinced that he's gone too far and is really going to flunk this time.

This is a common topic at this time of year among several friends who have kids in high school. We lament their horrendous study habits, and wonder despairingly how they will ever make it in college.

It's comforting, in a way, to be reminded that they will probably fit in perfectly well.


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