Balancing Jane

I am a part-time PhD student studying the rhetorical construction of identity and difference, a full-time English instructor at an urban community college, a wife, and the mother of a toddler. My blog, Balancing Jane, serves as a space to analyze the intersections of these roles. As a result, I often analyze things like equally shared parenting, feminism and pop culture, education, the perceptions of women in the workforce, and the media portrayal of gender and racial identities.

Free Speech Confusion: Of Coddled College Students and Profane Professors

The future of free speech is making headlines as we try to parse out what this "new generation" of coddled college students who just can't stand to be offended means for our cultural value of being able to say whatever the hell you want to whoever the hell you want without consequence. Earlier this week, the Pew Research Center released poll data showing that 40% of Millennials think that the government should be able to prevent offensive speech against minorities (as opposed to 27% of Gen Xers, 24% of Boomers, and just a measly 12% of those epithet-loving Silents). Since then, I have seen a whole lot of people (in social media, news outlets, and in real life) wringing their hands about what this means for the future of America ....more

The Good, the Bad, and the Curious (Links for the Week)

Here are the things that made me smile (The Good), cry (The Bad), and think (The Curious) this week. What have you been reading (or writing)?The GoodThe Bustle has a list of feminist songs.I'm really enjoying Master of None, and I enjoyed this reflection from Kelvin Yu on how this show finally allowed him to play someone he recognized in himself: So for years I played nerds, and then for a long time I played jilted Asian men who were angry because they'd been dishonored. I would like murder my sister or my wife on CSI: New York or Without a Trace or NCIS ....more

Christmas Birthday Shopping Extravaganza!

My daughter's birthday is December 1, so Christmas and birthday shopping all blur together into one big whirlwind. And since I really don't like shopping (especially in a physical store), that can have some drawbacks.She's turning five this year, and I think this is the first year where I've felt like I was buying her things genuinely attuned to her personality rather than just generally applicable to pretty much any kid (I mean, who doesn't like blocks?)I can remember being a kid surrounded by buckets and buckets of plastic toys. We had popcorn tins full of Polly Pocket, The Littlest Pet Shop, Barbies, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ....more

Recycled: Who Profits From The Mom Wars

The following post originally appeared on this blog on April 18, 2012. I wrote it when my daughter was two years old after spending an evening conversing with two other women I'd just met, both of whom had two-year-olds of their own. Between the three of us, we'd managed to represent all three primary methods of managing childcare in a two-parent household: stay-at-home mom, stay-at-home dad, and two working parents who rely on childcare (that last one was me and my husband) ....more

Metablogging: Why Am I Doing NaBloPoMo (No, Really. Why Am I Doing This?)

This is my 19th post this month. If you count back 19 posts before November, it takes you all the way back to the end of March. So, I've blogged as much in the past three weeks as I did the previous six months.At the core, that's why I'm doing National Blog Post Month, but I'm also starting to see blogging as a chore rather than the escape that it typically is for me, and that's why this NaBloPoMo post is going to be an examination of why I'm doing NaBloPoMo in the first place and whether or not (slightly over halfway in) I think it's worthwhile.Let's start with the positive ....more

I Guess the Babymoon is Over

I’m just barely out of my first trimester, but I guess the idealistic dreamland of early pregnancy (what pieces of it weren’t clouded with dry heaving and exhaustion) are over. Today I tried calling HR to figure out my options for maternity leave, and (without going into too many details) they’re not good. Basically, because I am due at the end of May and outside of my 9-month academic contract, by the time I return to work in late August, I will have exhausted my entire eligibility for sick leave ....more

The Best Laid Plans: What I'm Doing NEXT Semester

It's the time of year for reflections, both personal and professional. I reflect gratefully on all I have to be thankful for, which is an abundance. It's interesting that this time of reflection coincides with the point in the semester when all of the things that could have been done better seem to be staring me in the face.Final papers are being written, final projects are underway, and final grades are being tallied ....more

The Good, the Bad, and the Curious (Links for the Week)

Here's what I've been reading that made me smile (the Good), cry (the Bad), and think (the Curious).The GoodCheck out this cool brain hack (h/t IFLS). Life lessons from Kurt Vonnegut!...more

Debate Night!

I'm totally cheating for this NaBloPoMo post, but I'm still posting, so it counts!I'll be watching the Democratic debates in about an hour, and I've been thinking about how social media changes the way we participate in democracy.I'll be watching the debate with my Twitter feed open, and I'll probably also follow this Slate mash-up of left-leaning tweets laid side-by-side with right-leaning tweets displayed live. What about you? Are you watching the debates tonight? ...more