Aeron Haynie became a mother the year after she received tenure at the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay (and exactly one day after she turned 40). Formerly chair of English, she is now on sabbatical and relishes each day.
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January 30, 2013
This is going to be my last post for Mama PhD. Contributing to the initial book and then to this blog has been an incredibly rich and rewarding experience. It has allowed me a public place to examine and articulate the intersections between my personal and professional lives, to push the boundaries between the private and the public, and to become part of a community. Writing this blog has also coincided with a decision on my part to be more authentic, less afraid of revealing myself, of speaking the truth. But it’s time to bow out and let other voices be heard -- in particular, I think we need to hear from adjunct Mama PhDs!
December 5, 2012
Tonight I watched the last installment of the Twilight films. Over the past four years this has become a tradition with the young woman I've been mentoring. She introduced me to the first Twilight film -- which I found surprisingly good -- and then I encouraged her to read the books. These were the first books she really enjoyed and I read them with her. She was a young teenager when we first began and now she's a lovely, mature young woman contemplating marriage.
November 7, 2012
I have lived in Wisconsin for the past 13 years, but I’ve never identified myself as a mid-westerner. Most of my extended family lived or are living in the northeast and many of my friends are on the west coast. I warmed to Wisconsin slowly.
October 18, 2012
I don’t do book clubs. The “why” seemed obvious to me: as a literature professor, I spend much of my day discussing literature. And, to be honest, I’ve always felt impatient with the ways I imagined book clubs would treat the texts: rarely pointing out specific quotes or doing close readings – instead venturing off into personal anecdotes. In addition, it’s frustrating to merely skim a really good book, in a group, and pretend to penetrate its depths in a couple of boozy hours.
October 4, 2012
Graduate programs rarely prepare you for the myriad skills required for being a successful (let alone happy) professor. Most of us pick up these up as we go along; a startling number of faculty never do. Here’s what I wish I had learned earlier:
September 19, 2012
This past Sunday we went out for breakfast and found our favorite local diner crowded with after-church families. In Green Bay, WI the number of patrons reflects the times of church services and football games. If you don’t attend either, you feel out of step with a powerful community rhythm.
September 5, 2012
This past Labor Day was one of the loveliest weekends I’ve spent, not because we went anywhere, but because I didn’t spend the time frantically finishing multiple syllabi and dreading the impending semester and the end of my ‘real’ work. As an administrator, I’ve been working all summer and my teaching duties are minimal, so the semester’s start does not radically alter my schedule or workload. But it was the end of the summer for our eight-year old daughter and she alternated between excitement and loss.
August 22, 2012
The two weeks before the semester begins is a busy time, a time of fresh starts, new pencils, and crisp back-to-school-outfits. Now that I’m a parent, the fall begins with a joyous parade to my daughter’s school, collecting other parents and their children as we walk the four blocks of our tree-lined street.
August 9, 2012
We recently discovered some old photos of our daughter's first Halloween. At 18 months, covered by a red hooded cape, she walked from house to house in the pitch black night, collecting candy in a wicker basket. She marched away from us as we stood on the sidewalk, confident on stout, stockinged legs. We later learned that on that same day a 25-year old graduate of our university, Teresa Halbach, drove alone to an Auto Salvage yard to photograph cars, where she was taken captive, horribly raped and murdered.
July 26, 2012
Summer is the time when many faculty members vacate our shared campus space and retreat to home offices (or travel) to work. Most of us are still connected to our campuses through email and some of us are teaching online. Recent debates about the value of online education and the difference between virtual and physical communities raise interesting and important questions about the importance of shared physical space.