Monday, October 10, 2011


There has been a bit of a turn around since my last posting. I am no longer studying! I did exactly one week of my PhD, and am withdrawing from my enrolment this week. Let's just say that there was a misunderstanding with the PhD supervisor, and I'm very disappointed about the whole thing.

My assumption was that as a full-time student, I would be in charge of my own schedule and workload, would be able to work flexible hours, some from home etc. The whole purpose of becoming a full-time student was to be able to continue my career around the needs of my children, my children being my first and foremost priority. So, in my first week of study I went into the University a grand total of two times, I must also add that I didn't actually have a logon sent to me until Thursday, so couldn't do much before then anyway.

At home, in my downtimes, I was reading, preparing, downloading software, filling out enrolment and account forms, and beginning the collection of data for my research. I felt as though I was definitely on track for Week 1 of study. However, my supervisor called me on Friday to yell at me about not being in the office 5 days per week, at least 9am-5pm. She said that it wasn't acceptable to work flexibly and that I had to figure out what my priorities were. Enough said... I know what my priorities are, and I'm withdrawing my enrolment this week!

When did the world of academia become so hostile to supporting working mothers??? Universities like to tout the idea that they are parent-friendly and supportive of family obligations, allowing flexibility and quality of lifestyle to compensate for the less attractive financial incentives. Not so it seems. I've since heard other stories of young mothers studying post-grad education being hounded by unsympathetic supervisors. If we're getting the work done, what does it matter where (home or office) or when (business hours or the wee hours) we do it? I was under the mistaken assumption that as a full-time student I would be left to self-motivation and self-management to get the work done. My supervisor evidently believes that micro-management and high-pressure tactics are the way to go - well that is not for me!

I will be returning to work (I have been on maternity leave) in November now, and all of a sudden have to try to rearrange all of my childcare to suit long work days in the city! Oh well, the joys and stresses of motherhood!

God has continued to remind me that He has a plan for my life, and that He loves me and will take care of all my needs. It is this that sustains me.


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