Link love

Fantastic post from mama phd on insidehighered, Dear God what about the men. 

The always fraught issue of housework, with comments showing various deals people have worked out.  From Offbeat Home.  Related:  wandering scientist discusses the concept of buying time.  We are huge fans of the concept.

There were some serious fights this week among academics about adjuncting and what that all means.  Despite our post On Definitions coming out the same day as the original from Tenured Radical (which conflated part-time adjuncting with visiting professor positions), we opted to stay out of that fray (we like to keep our drama levels at a certain height and had already met our allotment for the week).  We did enjoy reassigned time’s contemplation about why all the discussion on her blog is polite.  I think we will fail to link to all the related posts whether vitriolic or not.  Well, except this one from Spanish prof trying to get some blog comments.  Head over there and say hi.

Historiann had a series on the US education system that are well worth reading.  Here’s one of the posts.

Grace is writing a new budget.  Give her some encouragement!

The Simple Dog “is definitely not the type of animal that would thrive in the wild.”  I still don’t understand why people have dogs, but this is, as always, hilarious.  New from hyperbole and a half!

Should have linked to this one last week from First Gen American.  On obesity among other things.  Also think happy thoughts for Babci’s upcoming surgery.

Wow… nightmare students and their moms from fumbling through chaos.  I can’t wait for part II!

Floss update:


This thread depresses me

Gifted-as-children stay-at-home-mothers discuss their brains atrophying and their careers dying while they nurture their gifted daughters through homeschooling.

Another reason I am not and could never be a SAHP.  (Though I’m fairly sure I could handle independently wealthy… I’m willing to experiment on that if anyone wants to fund me!)

SAH to optimize your child… for what?  So she can stay at home, miserable, with her child 10 or 20 years from now, just like you are?

Yes, I know that it is VERY difficult to find a good schooling match for a bright and gifted child.  Homeschooling might be the best solution for the kid.  But… school is not even 8 hours per day.  Sometimes you just gotta compromise a little bit.  Sometimes the kid is going to have to make sacrifices so that the mom (and it is nearly ALWAYS the mom) doesn’t lose her career ambitions and sanity as well.  That’s ok.  Life doesn’t have to be always perfect for just one member of the family.  The family is a unit that moves forward together.

And maybe, just maybe, seeing mom fulfilled and career-driven and independent (while still being a loving mom) will work as a great role-model for the grown daughter, who realizes that life does get better after you graduate K-12, and she can balance a fulfilling career and family, and it is important for all family members to pull their own weight in order for this to happen.

Thanks, mom, for never quitting your job and brilliantly raising two strong, independent, hardworking, and intelligent daughters.  I know we always came first, but it was good for us to know that we were never the only thing.  Just like our children are/will be most important but never the the sole driving force behind our existence.

Disclaimer:  We are not against SAHP.  We just think it isn’t suited for some people, and don’t think these folks should be forcing themselves into SAHParenthood because of some notion that parents (mothers) must sacrifice everything for their children.  If you enjoy it and it’s working for you and you can afford it, then go for it!

#2 continues to wonder why #1 reads depressing fora.  Come to the fora on LibraryThing!  We talk about books!

Beautiful Pictures

These pictures are here because I want to look at something pretty.  Perhaps you would, too!

I want to cozy up here

Click this link for a gorgeous drawing from an artist with an awesome moniker.

I think this video is peaceful and sweet:

Aren’t these colors lovely?

gareth1953 under Creative Commons

Celeste33 under Creative Commons

UGArdener under Creative Commons

coco+kelley under Creative Commons

I can dig this

I'm imagining this room with some changes to make an awesome, over-the-top bedroom.


Other beautiful book pictures at Breathing Books. Many other pretties at Teaching Literacy.

Ok, now show us extremely beautiful things in the comments!

Helpful Hints from Hellapissed

Hey kids.  Your friend Hellapissed here with handy-dandy life advice!

  • Don’t antagonize, bait, irk, and otherwise fash the person responsible for your final grade.  Why would you do that?  Yes, I am a professional and probably it won’t affect the grade you earn.  Probably.
  • Don’t be a dick.
  • As my dad told me, “If you want to drink soda, go to the grocery store and buy a case.  It’s way cheaper than getting it from the vending machine.”
  • More great advice from dad: “Never close the car door unless you are holding the keys in your hand.”  Wish I’d taken that one to heart a little sooner and better than I did at first.
  • If you have an electric toothbrush that vibrates all around, and you just put some toothpaste on it, make sure the toothbrush is all the way in your mouth before hitting the ON button.
  • You can’t solve major life problems at 2am.  Just go to bed.  You can think about it more later when you wake up.
  • Apparently diatomaceous earth is great for keeping the creepy-crawlies out of your house while not poisoning your beloved housemates.  Who knew?  Diatoms are cool.
  • Clothes don’t fit.  They just don’t.  Yes, I know: take them to the tailor.  Then they will fit.  Two months later, you’re a different size and they don’t fit again.  Give up.  There is no hope.

#2, would you like to add any advice?

  • If you have the same problem every single fricking month… well, maybe it is time to try something different because whatever it is you’re doing, you don’t seem to be happy with the results.  Just sayin’.  Either try to fix the problem or stop complaining.

On definitions

What do we really mean?  Why do we have heah a failure to communicate?

Many recent set-tos and arguments on the internet we’ve seen seem to hinge on differences of definition and related communication difficulties.

Micro Dr. O was recently “raked over the coals” for a post she made saying that women who say that people who say that becoming the trailing spouse is failing the sisterhood are not feminist.  (She has promised to refrain from using the offensive term “feminazi” in the future.)

I’m hip with the idea… it’s like those crazy guilt-mongering “AP” folks with the lists of you must cosleep/sling/breastfeed etc. that totally don’t understand that the definition of Attachment Parenting is simply, “Do what works for your family” (and what works can include the list, but should not force the list because not all things work for all baby/parent dyads).  But the difference between “attachment parenting” and “feminism” is that there’s one definition for attachment parenting because it was coined by one person (Dr. Sears).

My definition of feminism does not include putting women above men, it focuses on equal treatment and equality more generally.  But apparently that is not the definition of Dr. O’s detractors, as they specifically state that the fringe elements are still part of the greater feminism set.  Huh… so what is feminism then?  Who is right?

Maybe there are multiple definitions of feminism.

In fact, there are.

From colleagues on the intarwebs, a non-comprehensive list of feminism types, as listed in Half the Human Experience: The Psychology of Women, by Janet Shibley Hyde, 7th edition, 2007.  New York: Houghton Mifflin.

•Liberal feminism: This is what I mean when I use the term “feminism,” and probably what Dr. O means as well.  Specifically, that women should have opportunities and rights equal to those of men.  Not more, just equal.  We favor working to reform the current system as it just needs some tweaking and will progress if we keep pushing (though probably too slowly).
•Cultural feminism: In this version, women have special, unique qualities that patriarchal society devalues.  These feminists might argue that a woman’s place is in the home, but we should value home production more than we do as a society.
•Marxist feminism: Standard Marxism.  Women are oppressed based on class because of problems with capitalism, just like everybody else except our capitalist overlords.
•Radical feminism: Radical changes are needed, such as female-only space safe from oppression.
•Postmodern feminism:  This places a strong attention to the language we use and the structure we are in.   We do not experience reality directly but construct it actively, assigning meaning based on our past experiences, expectations, etc.  Gender can’t be understood in isolation, but only in relation to things like class, race, etc.  Gender is a stimulus variable that affects other people as well as yourself.  This I think probably best describes #2’s version of feminism, to which I have some sympathies, but as a pragmatist, liberal feminism is mostly where I’m at.  I imagine #2 also sympathizes with liberal feminism.

(#2 says, I’m kind of a mixture.  I have some sympathies with all the approaches, depending on situation.   My male feminist friends also run the gamut, which is interesting to me.)

So if your definition of feminism is liberal feminism, then women who advocate for women’s preferences over men’s are not feminist.  In fact, they may be doing harm as they are placing the blame for a trailing spouse on the woman herself (rather than on, say, the patriarchy as a post-modernist would), thus further distancing us from the ideal of equality.  However, in the context of radical feminism, such a stance seems appropriate.

Are radical feminists true feminists?  Well… that all depends on your definition and how expansive it is.

As academics especially, before we start raking people over the coals, let’s stop and remember that our disciplines have different jargon and different definitions and maybe if we’re polite to each other we can learn new viewpoints and come around to other ways of thinking.  After all, we’re not stupid, we just have different training.  (And bullying is so anti-feminist… or is it?)

How do your values guide your financial goals?

Totally stolen from David Bach.

GRS was talking about what our financial priorities are.  The idea is you list your priorities then you break them down into tasks that you can use to complete them.  So a priority might be to buy a house and to do that you need to get rid of your consumer debt, increase your credit score, save a down-payment etc.

This reminded me of one of the first sections in a David Bach book (probably Smart Couples Finish Rich) where he asks that you and your partner write down 5 basic core values that are important to you.  Then check your goals and see if they really fit with your core values.

Maybe you only *think* you want a house but when you look at your list of values, having a house doesn’t really fit.  For example, if your values are flexibility, new experiences, fame etc. then maybe renting and being able to move and travel is really what you want.

We did this exercise last year and I still have the envelope we used.  Mine are:


Though thinking about it, responsibility is probably another really big driving value for both of us.

Partner’s were:

enjoy life/time
be content/assured/centered

Our goals fit well with these priorities because they emphasize financial security and the ability to spend time not just making money.  We spend less so we can save more and not kill ourselves working.  We’ve chosen jobs that don’t pay as well as other jobs we could have but allow us freedom and growth.

It would be neat to see #2’s answer to this one.  Here’s a list to pick from if a list is needed.

#2 will pick (as you can see, I am somewhat indecisive, and am only picking off that list, for simplicity’s sake) :

Fulfillment — counting relationships and career
Fun — counting reading, sex, sleeping, enjoying food
Growth — intellectually and in our relationship
Humor — I love this about my partner, and his humor keeps me sane
Independence — financial, intellectual (but while having interdependent relationships)
Security — emotional, financial, career, relationship — including having enough money to take care of health

Note:  these are in alphabetical order, not priority order.  That seems harder.

#2’s partner hasn’t weighed in… yet!

What are your core values?  How do they relate to your financial goals?

Student dumbhattery

CPP has indicated that “Delusional student antics never fail to cracke me the f*cke uppe.”

And now, an IM with #2.

#2: I was stern with a couple of students today.  They discovered that horror of horrors, I get some of my lecture examples from the gasp textbook.  And they figured they could just read the textbook during class rather than paying attention to lecture.  And you know, snicker about it.  Obnoxiously.  So then I asked them how to do a problem.  He was like, “the answer is 2.09.”  And I asked how he got that.  He didn’t know.  So I asked someone who had been paying attention in class.  She knew.  Then I told him maybe if he’d been paying attention during lecture… I teach a 3 hour class

#1: me too. It makes me want to DIE.

#2: I got an email at the break from a student saying “I overslept, here’s my homework.”  I replied, “Class is still going on.”  There was a good hour more he could have been learning.

#1: just sack up and be like “I’m not coming to class today.” Make your choice, and take the consequences. Geez.

#2: sucks for him because this chapter is really tough, and it will be on the midterm and final

#1: ha!

#2: I’m full of so much hate today.  That’s what happens when I lecture for 3 hours when I’m sick and two of my students are disrespectful.  My students have taken to wandering in 5 min late.  Today I said screw it

#1: I would do a pop quiz in the first 2 minutes of class.

#2: ha.  but then I would have to grade them, and that would suck

#1: nah, just collect the pop quizzes, put the fear of time into their hearts, then categorize as done/not-done.

#2: I just didn’t give the homework solutions to the late students.


Ok readers, who will be the first to amuse us with a witty comment?