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having a baby in grad. school

Michele Graham elutra at ix.netcom.com
Fri Oct 18 14:19:56 EST 1996

Hi - I just want to contribute my perceptions.  I didn't have babies
while in graduate school, but started GS with two small children, my son
age 3 mos and my daughter age 4.  In some ways being in GS was great
because at UC Berkeley we had good student housing, child care and local
public schools and after school programs.  We lived in a village where
the kids were safe and could play outside and that was really great as
they got older.  I did this as a single parent so I needed all the help
I could get.  What wasn't so great was that it took me longer because I
had to work more and was afraid to take out too many loans and because,
despite assurances from my maj. prof that she understood that sometimes
my kids would have to come before my research (like when their sick), in
reality she hated it and I always paid a price for being a mother
first.  If you aren't prepared to pay the price or to be a mother first
then you aren't ready to have children.  And some of the other
responders are quite correct when they note that there is no good time,
especially if you're looking at a post-doc for a few years.  The truth
is, despite words to the contrary, women are not welcome in the halls of
academe unless they're prepared to behave like men (read as men of past
generations).  BUT IT CAN BE DONE, even without the welcome or behaving
like the old farts!

Michele A. Graham, Ph.D.
UC Berkeley

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