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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June 27, 2012
Last weekend I watched our eight-year old daughter board a plane alone, her ticket in a plastic sheath around her neck, her pink and white Pottery Barn backpack filled with enough books and snacks to last far longer than the ninety-minute flight to Kansas City. I had spent the past month convincing her that spending two weeks with her grandparents and cousin and attending Shakespeare Camp would be an adventure, and almost as much time reassuring my nervous husband of the safety of her flying as an “unaccompanied minor.”
May 31, 2012
I am writing this week from Faculty College – a week-long teaching retreat where faculty from each of the University of Wisconsin colleges and universities gather to discuss teaching challenges, innovative techniques, and the latest research on how students learn. It is hosted by a small college in the heart of central Wisconsin, a place of quiet beauty. I first attended as a brand-new assistant professor eleven years ago and found it an incredibly valuable, affirming, even transformative experience. However, I missed a few years after my daughter was born.
May 16, 2012
Last week, in a formidable and sometimes brilliant treatise, literary critic Terry Castle bemoaned the current state of dependent students at her elite university, suggesting that contemporary college students are missing an important stage of development by not separating (or ‘hating’) their parents. This weekend, in addition to three book reviews on the subject of motherhood, the New York Times Magazine featured an article about a mother whose nine-year old son may be a psychopath. Happy Mother’s Day.
May 3, 2012
One of the most pleasurable parts of my new administrative position is ordering new books on teaching and faculty development for our center’s library. I’ve given up my earlier naïve attempt to read each one before shelving it. However, Rachel Connelly and Kristen Ghodsee’s Professor Mommy was a book I couldn’t put down: a smart, readable description of the hurdles facing women who have children while in graduate school or on the tenure track.
April 12, 2012
Two weeks after the publication of an attack on professors for not working enough to justify our salaries, the AAUP Faculty Salary Survey proves that there is no such thing as “a faculty salary.”
March 29, 2012
I planned to respond to David Levy’s egregious attack on higher ed but Kaustuv Basu and Dean Dad have already penned very smart, satisfying responses. I particularly like Jill Kronstadt’s offer to Levy that he shadow her on a typical day teaching at Montgomery community college. And I urge everyone to follow Lee Bessette’s suggestion to make Monday, April 2 a “Day of Higher Ed” by recording your day’s work in detail.
March 14, 2012
Yesterday, after spending 10 hours in the Magic Kingdom, I became convinced Disney World is the biggest marketing scam in the industrialized world. I’ve been to Disney twice in years before, and I’ve read many insightful (and hilarious) critiques. But I’m no longer too hip for Disney and I’ve come to terms with post-colonial and tourism studies critiques. Disney is the post-modern simulacra extraordinaire, I get it.
February 29, 2012
All my life, I've been an extreme introvert. A thoughtful, quiet child, I was continually told by strangers to “Smile!” At the beginning of graduate school I scored 98% introversion on the Meyers-Briggs test. A vocational test in high school suggested that I was temperamentally suited to be a sculptor.
February 16, 2012
I recently commented on the poor attendance at a black history month event on our campus. Last night, however, I had the great honor of introducing one of the original Freedom Riders, Hank Thomas, to a room filled beyond capacity with students, staff/faculty, high school students, and community members.
February 2, 2012
Yesterday was the kick-off for our campus celebration of Black History Month. After a wonderful introduction by the Provost, a colleague in the History department gave an impassioned, scholarly, engaging presentation that asked the question: what should Black History Month mean to us?