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.

Hey, Guess What! We're Homeschooling!

So, we're homeschooling.I have tried to write this post five times. I have five separate versions of this post sitting in various states of completion in multiple mediums. That usually doesn't happen to me, so I know I'm sitting on some raw emotions ....more

This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things (Because We Got Rid of Them All): Is "Minspo" a Problem?

I've mentioned a few times in previous posts that I've been exploring and utilizing concepts from the increasingly popular "minimalist" movement. I started listening to podcasts from The Minimalists (who are now probably best known for their documentary Minimalism. After it appeared on Netflix, there was a fresh wave of people turning to these ideas) ....more

"Next Year": When I Decided "Being Present" Wasn't Just BS

In my many attempts to gain some order over my life and fight off the ever-present dragons of anxiety, I've often been given advice to be "present-centered" or "live in the moment."Most times, I smiled blankly and nodded, feeling as if this advice (whether coming from a friend, a motivational piece of writing, or a mental health professional) was akin to telling me my lungs would work better if they "just stopped needing oxygen."I'm a planner. It's central to my identity to have a sense of the future and what I'll be doing in it. I love designing curriculum for my classes down to the minute details ....more

Five Thoughts About this "Boot Camp" Ad

These began popping up all over the city just as the early-blooming daffodils started to die in the forty-degree temperature drop that happened to coincide with my "spring" break. As I'm driving past all of these other harbingers of warmer weather in the form of body shaming calls to get "summer ready," I've had some thoughts....more

The Bored and the Restless: Teaching Composition as a Cure for Mental Wanderlust

I have a bad habit of trying to do too much. I'm not just talking about doing too many individual things at one time (though I'm also sometimes guilty of that; I almost set my phone in a frying pan the other day). I'm talking about trying to master too many trades, explore too many hobbies, understand too many fields....more

How to Tell a Trump Voter "I Told You So"

How should you go about telling your friends and family who voted for Trump "I told you so!" now that Trump's worst campaign rhetoric is being enacted as policy?Don't.How should you mock your uncle who forwarded you all those chain letters and blog posts about Clinton's private email server now that Trump's administration is doing the exact same thing?Don't.How should you demonstrate your clear superiority, the fact that you saw this coming and yelled loudly that we had to stop it?Don't.How should you point out that all of the Trump supporters on your social media feeds who between November and January were constantly telling you to "let it go" and "wait and see" have fallen completely silent in the last week?Don't.I'm going to make an assumption that if you are as disgusted, angry, and fearful about what Trump has done with a mere week in office as I am that you--also like me--want to fight back with the greatest power possible. I am going to assume that seeing this man lie repeatedly (with "alternative facts") with a straight face about all of the voter fraud he "knows" happened has made you realize that we're dealing with something unprecedented. I am going to assume that watching legal US residents get barred from returning home this weekend sent chills down your spine, and your head echoed with the reminders of how other human atrocities have begun ....more

Mayoral Debate Summary

I realize that I have readers for whom this will be completely irrelevant, but I went to a St. Louis mayoral debate tonight and have been asked to share my thoughts, so this is the easiest platform for me to do that.This debate was put on by several non-profit (and progressive) organizations around the city, including the amazing folks at Arch City Defenders, Empower Missouri, Hands Up United, and the St. Louis Action Council ....more

Teaching Research and Writing in the Age of "Fake News"

It's almost hard for me to imagine it now, but growing up, I never watched the news. It was never on in my house. I remember taking "current event" quizzes in my history class and feeling completely disconnected from the world ....more

Researching as a Community College Professor

I've got a post up over at the University of Toronto Press blog about researching as a community college professor (it was written in conjunction with an article I published on how narratives of fitness and feminism conflict, which is available here from Project Muse).Here's an excerpt from the blog: See, I didn’t “need” to do research. As a full-time faculty member at a community college, my career trajectory is not welded to scholarship the way it would have been had I pursued a career teaching in a four-year institution. There is no “publish or perish” mandate hanging over my head ....more

Minimalism, Peace, and Time for Fighting

Anyone who has even a passing familiarity with my blog has probably seen me complaining about housekeeping. It's been a regular feature stretching back over the years here. I've mused about the gender divide in housekeeping and how it impacts negotiations in equally shared parenting ....more
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