Category Archives: Stories

On love and learning

Warning: This post is much longer than usual. It’s the synthesis of current events and some things I’ve been working on internally for years.

Since my early days at Grinnell College, Sam Rebelsky has addressed me as “beloved colleague.” No, strike that: at first he called me “beloved junior colleague.” It was only after earning tenure that I became just “beloved colleague.”  Continue reading

Reflections on five weeks of staying home

Yesterday was a good day. The weather was perfect: not too warm, cool, cloudy, or windy. My daughter and I took a walk in the park and splashed in our backyard pool (5’5″, inflatable). We talked with her babysitter on Google Meet. I spent a couple of hours clearing my email inbox and taking care of some paperwork, while my daughter played by herself in the morning and watched extra episodes of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood in the afternoon. I sat on the back patio during a long conversation with my closest colleague, and I took a walk during a shorter call with my longtime peer mentor. I wore a new pair of sandals, ordered online from the manufacturer at 50% off after a large retail order was cancelled. My Apple Watch says I got a full hour of exercise (though it also says I climbed 44 flights of stairs, which I know is not true). My husband picked up lunch from a taco truck and cooked Ottolenghi’s shakshuka for our dinner outside by the creek with a bottle of wine. My daughter’s bedtime was easy, and I had a little time to relax before bed.

This morning I woke early, took a shower, and started writing this before I heard the calls of “Mommy!” I’m about to publish as lunchtime approaches. Continue reading

Responses to “5 ways to welcome women to computer science”

This Monday, my first essay appeared in the Chronicle of Higher Education: 5 Ways to Welcome Women to Computer Science. Today, Friday, seems like a good day to reflect on responses. In particular, I want to talk about social media responses from institutions and individuals, and an in-person conversation with Whitman CS students and faculty.

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Pre-registration for Spring 2019

Pre-registration for spring 2019 courses concluded earlier this week. This time around, we faced a real crisis: CS 210, Computer Systems Fundamentals, closed with the end of pre-registration for the junior class, leaving a waitlist of 23 second-years and 2 first-year students. CS 210 is supposed to be a second-year class, open also to first-year students with advanced placement. Continue reading

Maternity leave

I write as my maternity leave is drawing to a close. My child will start with a full-time nanny during the first full week of August, so that I have time to prepare for the start of classes in the last week of August. I am writing this while traveling to and from my first professional meeting since the birth of my child – and also the first time I’ve been apart from my child for more than a few hours. Continue reading