Monday, February 28, 2005

Metaphor man...

My husband calls him "metaphor man." He read Gareth Morgan in grad school, too. As you might guess, Professor Morgan writes about the use of metaphor as "a way of thinking and a way of seeing that pervade how we understand our world generally." He goes on to explain that "We use metaphor whenever we attempt to understand one element of experience in terms of another."

I laughed when I read this because my blog title is a metaphor for my life as an older grad student. Morgan points out that "if taken literally, or to an extreme (a metaphor) becomes absurd." Which, in my case, is also true. I am not really an old dog. In fact, if someone called me a dog, I would probably be offended. In addition, if someone were to imply that I were in school learning tricks, I would also be equally offended, because the reading, writing and amount of work feel like a bit more than mere tricks. But, when I was trying to think about how I would describe how it feels to be back in school--working hard to learn new things and be open to new ideas--the only way I could describe it was to feel like an old dog who is able to learn new tricks, despite what others may predict, think or even imagine, just from looking at me.

I am metaphor wo-man.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Is it possible to be a mother and have a career?

I'm reading my history articles today about the pioneering women in journalism in the early 1900s and what they endured to become professional journalists. When you read history, there is a tendency to hope that life has progressed since then--hopefully for the better--but I find myself reading these articles and thinking that it could describe my life today.

Here are a couple of quotes to ponder:
"There was no clear ground on which to make it as a women and make it in a man's world."

"Women who wanted to succeed in the male professional world had to leave their feminine selves behind."

Funny, but I have felt like this all of my professional life. I have always felt like I had to peddle faster, work longer hours, and make sure to have that perfect Talbot's look.

Now, in this enlightened age where most of my entering class is women, there is a new distinction: motherhood. Instead of feeling like "one of the group", there are always comments about "the children", as if my abilities are tainted rather than enriched by two wonderful little beings.

What does this say about feminism? Maybe, as one final quote offered, "professional women's individualism extracted a price as they lost their sense of community."

Saturday, February 26, 2005

What I love about J-School...

Last night's book signing by Phil Meyer was great. Once again, it reminded me how privileged I am to be attending such a wonderful program and learning from such amazing professors like Professor Meyer.

So many of my soccer mom friends were surprised when I announced I was giving up the soccer mom gig to go back to school, thinking that it would be so much work. They were amazed that I would want to go to school. Times like last only highlight the many great things about being back in school--great professors, great colleagues, and interesting new people I meet along the way.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Meet Phil Meyer, my J-School professor, Friday at 7 p.m.

Phil Meyer has written the most fascinating book on the state of the newspaper industry, The Vanishing Newspaper: Saving Journalism in the Information Age . I have the privilege of taking his class this semester and reading his book. You can meet him, too, Friday night at Market Street Books and Maps, in Southern Village at 7 p.m. where he will be discussing his new book. Kathryn Henderson is the delightful owner of Market Street Books and Maps, and will make you feel right at home. Her bookstore is located in Southern Village, south of campus off 15-105, at 704 Market Street Southern Village Chapel Hill, N.C. 27516. Call 919/933-5111 for more information. See you there.

I am a Blogger...

Thanks to Justinsomnia and Corey for guiding me to the blogosphere. With their expert guidance last night at the Triangle Bloggers meeting, I feel ready to enter this brave new world of blogging. Thanks, also to Michael O'Connell, fellow J-School colleague, for the in-class lesson that was another motivation to do this.

My blog name reflects my stage in life--I'm 41--some might even say "middle-aged", yet finding myself learning and doing new things--going back to school to get a PhD, and learning to blog. I'm an old dog learning new tricks--despite the saying, it is possible. I'm grateful to the many people along the way who have been willing to take a chance on me to see that I'm still capable of learning at my advanced state, especially my husband, Aneil, who always knew I had it in me.

Today, I start a new chapter, as a blogger. I join a proud and noble crowd.