Thursday, January 28, 2010

Advice for College Presidents

Often I wonder how I got this job, that of full-time mommy, gentle and capable manager of home and hearth. A job for which I had zero preparation.

Most days I feel like an Army general who never went to basic training. Leading small, lower-ranking people who wholeheartedly put their trust in me, who believe I know exactly what I'm doing. I masquerade as one who is competent and ready, but worry that at any moment someone will properly examine my credentials and discover I'm a fraud.

As the Fake-General-Mommy, I frequently wonder how I got here.

How is it that none of my education covered anything I actually do in real life? How is it that I spent precious time and energy reading books and writing papers on things like European and American consumer culture and examining Western hegemony...yet most days I simply do not have a clue?

Perhaps colleges and universities need to revise their course offerings and graduation requirements.

Women's Studies should spend more time on how you feel like you're going to die when giving birth and less time on gender as a social construct. And speaking of construct, I will tell you something that can never be reconstructed: stretch marks. Where is the course on that?

General Education requirements should include topics like:
  • The Big Bang Theory: What Happens When Two First-Born's Marry
  • How Not to Panic When Your Child Asks You What Sex is in the Middle of Church
  • How to Maintain June Cleaver-esque Composure During Hormonal Shifts
  • How to Administer First-Aid Even if Blood and Vomit Make You Pass Out
I could have used those courses.

Instead of internships at law firms, students should have to live with real families {the ones with real children} and try to do it on their own for a week. Instead of Student-Teachers, "Student-Mommies."

Unless you can simultaneously drill multiplication facts while preparing a healthy dinner and answering questions like "Mommy, have you ever caught on fire?" while keeping your newly-potty-trained toddler from peeing on the couch {again,} you should not be able to graduate.

So for all of you college presidents who read my blog, one bit of advice: Humanities and Biology have their place. But your coffers will be full and overflowing if you can equip future alumni for the hardest job they will ever face: parenthood.


The third and final post in the Making Do series coming soon...


  1. Oh, how funny! I couldn't agree more! :)

  2. Oh, MY HEART!!! This is brilliant and funny and needs to be published somewhere! I was laughing out loud throughout. The photo is GORGEOUS, too! Love it! Blessings!!!

  3. Scooper,
    You said it!! If only.... oh well.
    I've had one or two jobs that have required On The Job training and homemaking has been no different. Especially being a homeschooling mom.
    Where's the college course for THAT one???
    Thanks for another great post.

  4. Well, dear, if you'd been paying attention all those years ago instead of being so busy being you, you'd have had some preparation. You weren't watching!!! Of course, it's what I had(for the most part) always wanted to do . . . but I still brought you home from the hospital and emerged from the car in something approximating a full-blown panic attack realizing I had not a clue. And it was downhill from there. Glad you survived.

    Hilarious post and so awesomely constructed!

    Love you forever,

  5. Love this post. I totally agree. I remember having a more then a few snide remarks when I found out that the little liberal arts school in SC I was attending required a class titled "Marriage and Family" :)It was a one credit course - and probably the most practical wisdom I've used from all of my college years came from those few hours.

    Congrats on the potty training - I haven't started yet. I'm waiting for warm weather so he can run around naket and mark his territory. (at least thats what I expect will take place for to begin with)

  6. I love this post. Absolutely love it. Yes, I think those GE courses I needed.. especially the one about vomit. What a fun read.Have a fabulous weekend.

  7. Glad to "meet" you! Love this post! So true! :)

  8. This is the first time I've happened upon your blog, but I can tell I love you already :)Oh, how true this all is!

  9. Hilarious and so true!!

  10. you should start your own college. I could teach the course called "Watch Friends and Eat Oreos: A Mother's Guide to Avoiding Panic Attacks" mkay?

  11. So funny. But so true.

    I have a friend who is a few years older than I who actually majored in Home Ec in college. She's a very bright, well-read woman. She didn't go to college to get her "MRS" degree--she didn't get married until a number of years after college. She just knew that she wanted to have some real knowledge of how to run a home.

    How do I know that she was a Home Ec major? One day I was marveling at how well her home is run and I asked her what she studied (thinking the answer might be engineering or mathematics or something--she's so organized, and I thought perhaps she just had THAT kind of brain). Her answer? Home Economics.

    It's a sad commentary on our society that we all assumed that homemaking would be a piece of cake, that it must be easy because "uneducated" women had done it for centuries, that a woman should "use her mind" to study something something IMPORTANT.

    I'm so glad that you, with your well-trained mind, are doing what you're doing. And writing about it. I appreciate you.


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