The race to find a silver bullet to solve the “Where are all the girls in science and engineering?” puzzle is fast and furious. And as someone who works to encourage and support women studying in science and engineering fields, I worry our efforts often end up pitting the “pink sparkly girls” against the “digging for worms on a rainy day” ones.
I was one of the girls digging for worms. Rainy days were awesome when I was a kid: I would throw a swimsuit under my play clothes and hit the street. My mom use to talk about her horror of finding me building a mud dam in the street, trying to keep the river of storm water from getting to the sewer system. (Of course, that is also one of my favorite memories from childhood.) For me, science has always had a hold on my brain and heart. From archeology to the space program, I loved it all. Okay, maybe not genetics. Fruit flies were sooooo boring. And with my gift to kill plants, botany was a huge failure for me. But as a biology major, I had to take it all. Keep reading »
A study by Leeds Metropolitan University tested 1,500 students on their academic abilities and how they performed during their first year of university. What they found was that female students were more resilient than their male counterparts, and that students who were more resilient in their freshman year would go on to do better overall. For years now, women have outperformed men in university settings, this study helps to cement that. Read more about the study on College Candy…
All right parents, who thinks they need to take parenting classes? Wait, scratch that. Better question: who has free time to go take parenting classes? Four parenting classes to be exact? Parents in one part of the US might be forced to find the time … or their kids will fail the sixth grade! Read more on TheStir…
Forget about marrying rich if you’re not rich already: a new study as found that the tendency to choose a spouse with the same income or education level has increased greatly in the past 50 years and it has actually affected the state of income equality in the U.S. Keep reading »
South Carolina legislators are trying to “punish” two colleges in the state for assigning books they don’t approve of. The College of Charleston and the University of South Carolina Upstate incorporated “books on homosexuality” as required reading as part of their new student orientation. The books in question are Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel memoir Fun Home, about the lesbian author’s father and his struggle with homosexuality, and Out Loud: The Best of Rainbow Radio, which tells the story of South Carolina’s first LGBT radio show.
To exact revenge on the institutions, state House legislators have “tentatively approved” a bill to cut $52,000 from the College of Charleston and $17,142 from USC Upstate. The amount of funds being cut are meant to be similar to the amount spent on implementing the reading campaigns. Republican Representative Garry Smith of Simpsonville says he set the cuts into motion after the schools refused to offer alternative reading for students. Keep reading »
The last time we checked in with “Tiger Mom” Amy Chua, she had just published a book, Battle Hymn Of The Tiger Mother, which argued that strict Chinese-style “tiger mother” parenting is superior to permissive, indulgent Western parenting. The Yale professor explained how her two daughters were never allowed playdates or sleepovers and were punished for not practicing music and studying constantly. She was successful, sort of: one daughter, Sophia, performed in Carnegie Hall at age 14 and is now a junior at Harvard.
Anyway, Amy Chua made a big kerfluffle in the media and sold lots of books. Now she and her husband, Jed Rubenfeld, who is also a media professor, are back with a new book. In The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain The Rise And Fall Of Cultural Groups In America, they argue that there are eight ethnic/cultural/religious groups who are the most successful in American society.
They are, in no particular order, Chinese, Jewish, Mormon, Indian, Iranian, Lebanese-American, Cuban exiles and Nigerian. Keep reading »
What would you do if your employer told you that you had to go back to school for more training in your profession — even after years, maybe decades, working in a field you’ve already excelled in? Ask a nurse.
New recommendations from the Institute of Medicine, a non-profit group that advises the government and industry on health issues, are pushing for 80 percent of all nurses to obtain Bachelor’s degrees in Nursing by 2020 in an effort to improve patient care. Their belief is that patients receive better care in hospitals where nurses have higher-level academic degrees.
But while exhausted RNs are neck deep in their Nutrition textbooks after working 12-hour shifts, I’d like to take this opportunity to say that I think this is complete bullshit. Keep reading »
This week, many kids, including my own, are headed back to school. And, like anything parenting-related, school brings along with it its own heaping pile of judgement. What school do you send your child to? Public? Private? Charter? Or do you homeschool or unschool? Regardless of what might work best for your own child and family, there is plenty of public opinion that will tell you that whatever you’ve decided is inherently wrong.
Slate.com decided to take the helm with a piece by Allison Benedikt called “If You Send Your Kid to Private School, You Are a Bad Person.” We’re not even into the article and the judgements are flying. Clearly we’re off to a great start. But at least Benedikt acknowledges it:
“I’m just judgmental. But it seems to me that if every single parent sent every single child to public school, public schools would improve.”
I am a former public high school social studies teacher. I am a product and proponent of the public school system, and do my best to support to support local public schools (especially when it comes to music and arts programs) whenever possible. I also send my son to a local private elementary school. And I totally understand Benedikt’s line of thinking.
Keep reading »
I can’t say that it was ever my concrete intent to eschew college altogether, but by the time I graduated high school by the skin of my teeth (yet with inexplicable honors in Astronomy), disillusioned and perpetually anxiety-ridden, I knew with all certainty that I didn’t want to see the inside of a classroom again for as long as I could possibly manage. A gap year would suffice, I concluded, and my parents agreed. I would get an internship, do something productive with my time off, but I’d be able to clear my head, recalibrate, take better care of myself (something I’d long neglected), put some effort into figuring out what I really wanted to do with my life and career path before I invested tens of thousands of dollars of my parents’ money in something I was not certain about and would likely dislike with vehemence and not wish to participate in within a matter of weeks or months, as I had in the past with: karate, horseback riding, the violin, classes in art and screenwriting, and a handful of other hobbies and activities that I have either forgotten or conveniently blocked out. This was the logical reasoning behind my decision. Keep reading »
Plenty of women decide early on that having children is not for them, while others realize later on that their lifestyle will not allow for the time, money, and commitment that raising a child demands. A new study, however, shows that the decision to not have children may have a lot to do with something else — a woman’s IQ. Keep reading »