Wednesday, June 17, 2009


I am extremely short on time, and while I have several long-ish things that I want to say, I wouldn't do them service if I were to try now. My brother, sister-in-law, neices, and nephew are all coming to visit (and stay with us!) later this afternoon, through Sunday. Yes, for five days, we're going to have four adults and four children all living in our little three bedroom house. It's going to be hectic. But sometime next week, after they're gone, I should really write an update on the shitty state of my graduate career, and my advisor's helpful suggestion that even though my department guarantees funding for all PhD students, all the way until they graduate, she believes that having a child should negate that guarantee, thereby forcing all PhD students who become mothers to drop out of the program. Um, yeah. And people wonder why there aren't more women in academia.

Anyway, my real topic for today is not my frakking advisor who has been lying to me for the past year and is suddenly threatening to make it difficult for S and me to pay our mortgage, for no good reason other than the fact that she never had children and therefore believes that nobody else should, either. No, my real topic is a follow up on this topic from last July. I wrote about my friends, T and H, who I heard, through a long and convoluted grapevine, were having fertility problems. They had never said anything to us, but starting when we announced that we were expecting, they had been avoiding us. Well, avoiding us, along with all of our pregnant or child-enabled friends, which is almost everyone they're friends with. I was trying to decide whether I should say something to H about infertility, offer sympathy, etc., but ultimately decided that I didn't know enough about their situation to bring it up.

Anyway, I know more now, so here's the happy conclusion to that story. Yes, T and H were having fertility problems. They are the only people we know who faced this particular problem other than us. In July, as I was trying to figure out whether to offer support of some kind, they were actually going through their first round of IVF. Happily, it was successful, and they are now the proud parents of a 2-month-old baby girl. After they announced their pregnancy, I had a very brief conversation with H about how infertility really really sucks, but she was much more interested in interrogating me about cloth diapers and car seats, which makes for a much happier conversation.

Yay! Sometimes the world is wonderful, eh?

More later about how I might be forced to drop out of school because my advisor has decided that she shouldn't have to fund students who are going to use their stipend, in part, to pay for daycare.


  1. frakking is right! That's awful! I am sorry

  2. Yea for your friend, BOO ON THAT ADVISOR! grrrrrrrrrrrrrr

  3. WTF is up with your advisor? You are right about women and academia. It's crap.

  4. OMG. I hope you blog about it soon, because you were like the only person I had as a role model who said "My advisor has been really supportive."

    I can't believe she would say that to you, or think that women who have kids in grad school should be penalized. I am so mad on your behalf right now....

  5. Hooray for T&H. Boo for the advisor. Big, big boo. I don't get why the uses to which one puts one's stipend should matter to anyone else.

  6. Yeah for your friends. and boo on your advisor. Is there an omsbudsman or something that you can approach. Your situation sounds like discrimination, I would visit the student legal centre.

  7. Can you sue for discrimination? I mean it sounds really blatant and it would be an open & shut case! How terrible! Can you take it to the dean? Can you transfer? I am so sorry you have to deal with that during what should be an enjoyable summer.


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