Saturday, October 24, 2009

Shiny, Happy Reading

While perusing the Chronicle's job list, I came across some relevant featured articles. The following piece discusses the unique position of parenting while still in pursuit of one's degree: "Why So Few Doctoral Students are Parents." The statistics here state that the average woman will complete her Ph.D. at age 33 and "cannot expect to achieve tenure before they are 39." I'd like to hear some discussion about this one.

For a bit of comic relief, read this article about one man's experiences teaching English as a TA at a large university. From parents that wish to be involved with their
adult son or daughter's grades to students that believe they don't need to learn how to construct a proper sentence, the writer's observations are pretty spot on.

Now, get back to work!


  1. Interesting articles, but really dispiriting. First of all, I personally renounced the prospect of having a baby in the next 7 years. I will graduate (hopefully!) when I'm 29 (in 2 years!), but I need 5 years to gain financial and geographical stability. I know a PhD student who had a baby three years ago (when she started her doctoral studies). Given that her husband is also a graduate student and that they both earn under 2000 dollars / month (yes, the infamous TA salary), their baby has been raised by their relatives from Romania so far. The pros: they didn't spend money on Pampers, milk, clothes or health insurance. The CONS: they haven't seen their baby for 2 years. The little boy can barely remember their faces, but he knows he has a mommy and daddy in the US. Obviously, I do not want to end up in this catastrophic situation. Thus, instead of focusing on her PhD, the mother wastes time in idleness, crying her eyes out because her maternal heart is broken.

    I guess my eggs will rot (to put it in Liz's terms), but I feel that I would jeopardize both the welfare of my baby and my career prospects, if I decide to have a child now. I almost wish I had had a baby when I was in college, but alas! the same aggravating circumstances were relevant back then.

    In the meantime, I will love my brother's babies and pamper them. His wife had to be artificially inseminated at 33 because her eggs decayed, probably because of too much PhD work.

  2. I have two fictitious children: Alex is a philosophy major at Rhodes, and Natasha is working on her master's in library sciences at Chapel Hill. Alas, they are overachievers and have little time to come home for a visit to mom and dad. They never call me for money, never ignore my birthday, and don't hassle us when we decide to spend the holidays in Mexico. It works out well, I suppose, as my eggs are rotten to the core!

  3. Speaking of imaginary children, I have two myself. I just got off the phone with my daughter, Ada, who happens to know Natasha pretty well.


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