PhD Candidate, Motherhood


When did you start the program, fellow mother? My first day of class was October 19, 1987. It was really easy to get in! The application didn’t take long, and I got my acceptance in less than 4 weeks. I knew I’d signed up for an extended curriculum, but I thought it’d be max 18 years. I decided to double major in June of 1991. It’s been 32 years now, and I’m still in school.

As in all educational programs, the classes got increasingly more subtle and in-depth as the years progressed. It seemed so hard in the early years, but when I hit the 600-level teenage years, I laughed at myself for how tough I thought those 200-level toddler classes were.

So many bad grades! Thank goodness for curving and grade forgiveness because without them I would have failed out long ago. I studied hard, but I never felt prepared. If I had a nickel for every test I took when I was over-tired, poorly hydrated, and stressed out, I’d be able to leave the kids a million-dollar legacy.

Some of the classes were a breeze. Two decades of babysitting prior to becoming a mom gave me an edge in “Theory of Imaginative Play”; a natural love of cooking made “Quantity Food Production” – a required course for every semester, including Maymester, Summer I, and Summer II – easy. I’ve enjoyed straight A’s in “Microeconomic Theory and Practice” (nickname “Shopping”) through 800-level classes. I’m even doing well in “Departure and Change in Conventional Social Settings,” but that’s only because the kids and I "cheat" by texting daily and visiting often.

Selected entries from my unofficial transcript:

  • Photovisual Communications. Grade: F. Three over-sized plastic bins of photos, negatives, floppy disks, and CDs that are un-sorted, not scrapbooked, and totally neglected sit in a forgotten closet.

  • Televised Entertainment of the 80’s