Higher Education Webinars

Mama PhD

Mothers attempting to balance parenthood and academics.

June 18, 2009 - 8:39am
Although I became a mother late in life, two girls have been teaching me about parenting for the past several years: the 15 year old girl I mentor and my 16 year old step-daughter. Of course, mentoring and (non-custodial) step-mothering is not the same as parenting. It is much less intense and you do not make important decisions in that girl’s life. However, I know from my own experience as a step-daughter that step-mothers and mentors can have profound, lasting effects.
June 17, 2009 - 12:08pm
With the end of the semester, we packed up our household and headed out to the other side of the country to visit my parents in southern California. We’re staying for two and a half weeks. My whole family always looks forward to these visits tremendously, since, being so far away we see each other rarely. But the first couple days I never enjoy.
June 15, 2009 - 9:27pm
It’s that time of year—lots of things winding down, a few more starting. It’s been a month since my school year ended, but Nick’s last day of school is tomorrow. He’s ready — and so are we all. The end of the school year has been taken up with tests, projects, and the occasional field trip, and it’s starting to feel as if they’re just marking time. So tomorrow is the last day, and then he has the rest of the week free before a one-week summer camp that provides his transition to our summer in England.
June 14, 2009 - 8:50pm
When I was growing up, practically everyone I knew watched a TV show called “Bewitched,” about a beautiful young witch, Samantha, who marries a mortal and has to hide her powers to fit into the role of suburban housewife her husband requires her to fill. The show’s message, that it’s necessary for a woman to make herself smaller and more ordinary so as not to threaten her husband, was discomfiting.
June 11, 2009 - 9:35pm
When I was in college, a fellow student once told several of us about a boy she used to know. Apparently this boy experienced some difficulties in learning to write, and was also quite smitten with her. He once wrote her a love note in very broken English, the best he could do. The boy realized that he was not writing correctly, and at the end of the note, closed it by saying “all these mistakes are just trying to say ‘I love you.’” I have thought of that often, as I go through life and make mistake after mistake, trying to get it right but not managing to quite do things correctly.
June 10, 2009 - 9:19pm
3 disasters connected to Kansas I’ve watched happen recently: 1. What’s the Matter with Kansas?
June 8, 2009 - 9:49pm
Did you hear the news? Over-parenting is over. So decree the arbiters of lifestyle trends — or, at least, Lisa Belkin, who has been writing about parenting in the New York Times for the better part of this decade.
June 8, 2009 - 8:25am
Dear Susan, Seven years ago I started graduate school, a year after I had gotten married and moved to a brand new city. I commuted 85 miles each way daily (for most semesters) for three years. I loved my program and poured myself into it. My last year of PhD course work, I got pregnant, due the following July. But that summer also ended up including a 1200-mile move to another part of the country and our baby coming a month early and being born profoundly deaf.
June 4, 2009 - 9:54pm
When I entered graduate school, I once proudly proclaimed to someone I had just met that “I don’t want to be normal”. I have no idea what they must have thought of that statement, or of me, but it was basically true. I saw myself as changing the world, as saving the world from its economic messes with my little equations. Who wanted to settle for “normal” when they could go down in the history books?
June 3, 2009 - 9:40pm
They’re killing doctors. That’s what I thought in October, 1998 when I heard that Dr. Barnett Slepian had been gunned down in his home (in front of his family, no less) in a suburb of Buffalo, NY by an anti-abortion activist.This week, when I heard the news of Dr. George Tiller’s murder, I felt a similar sense of sick disbelief.

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