Wednesday, May 2, 2012

My Life Story: Textbooks and Tubs

College was fantastic.

The minute I walked onto campus my world shifted entirely. Here was the freedom and liberation, excitement and stimulation, responsibility of self I had craved for so much of my early life. My professors were like guides into this new world of ideas, influencing me to challenge everything I had previously known. They were the first people in my life to introduce sparks of liberal-leaning suggestions and I trusted their intelligence.

Some of my favorite professors were women. Strong women, smart women, women who would fix their children breakfast and head out the door with them, everyone to their proper campus. I took a History of Civ class from a woman who laughed at some of the culturally-bound stereotypes I had never even questioned before. I fell in love with  my biology teacher, her white lab coat always draped over her broad shoulders, teaching me about the basics of my natural world. And my Brit Lit professor couldn't have been more different from the women I knew, she talked about the complicated aspects to human nature--jealously, seduction, joy, pain--as if there was no one looking over her shoulder, judging her actions.

I was so hungry for all of it, I ingested like I'd been starving my entire life.

During my first winter semester Page's husband Vance got a job in San Fransisco. They had just built a home at the mouth of Slate Canyon, a few miles south of our house. Page had also just given birth to their third child, Olivia who looked just like a little bird with bright orange fluff on her head. Vance had to move immediately, leaving them with not a lot of time to sell the house or find a new one in the Bay Area. The decision was made that Vance would move to San Fransisco and find a suitable house for his family while Page stayed in Utah trying to sell. It worried me to think of my sister, alone in her big copper-trimmed house with three little children for an undetermined amount of time, so I offered to move in with her.

Page had graduated from BYU with a degree in nursing. She married young, nineteen years old, went to college and worked. In my extended family I didn't have a lot of examples of women who sought out education. There was a definite path: meet a boy in high school, wait for him while he finished his church mission, marry him, have babies right away. There was nothing wrong, certainly, with this lifestyle choice. I loved watching my aunts and uncles with their families, bright offspring running all over their happy homes, I just didn't have the foresight to see all the available options until my sister showed me.

My own mother had started college--BYU and then the University of Utah--but put it on hold to have a family, she returned to it some time during my elementary school years and suspended it again when her life couldn't afford her the time. And something about that made me sad for her, I could see how much she loved being mentally challenged and I remember it made me feel safe--like my presence in her life wasn't holding her back from her pursuits. My mother showed me, that even for a brief moment motherhood and education could be a tandem experiment.

Why not?

Why not? Because I had somehow bought into the idea that college was just a vehicle for marriage. Every class at the start of every semester I'd look around the room and speculate which boy I could see myself marrying. And if I were to find this husband of mine, and he wanted to start a family right away, I had no problem dropping all of it for this domestic life. As much as I loved learning, I couldn't shake that deeply held belief about myself: the younger I got married, the more valid I was as a woman.

But Page, with her unapologetic style of living, her audacity to trailblaze wouldn't allow me to think so little. She encouraged me to be serious about my education. We'd stay up late at night in her room studying and writing. Sometimes I'd get so stressed about a test I couldn't sleep and I'd vomit all night long. But even in those horrible nights I embraced the excitement that finally, after feeling so angry all the time, I was doing something that really mattered to me. Everything I read, wrote and felt from Humanities to World Religion made me feel passionate and important.

And so, for the first part of my college experience, I'd go to school in the morning, hauling books in my arms, a pen stuck in the nest of my hair, eager to absorb. Then in the afternoons I'd head back to Page's house, help her feed the nephews I thought of as my own children, put them in the tub, washing away the accumulated dirt from time in their unlandscaped backyard, hold the baby while Page read them books and left them in bed to dream about snakes and swords. Then we would eat bowls of ice cream and laugh a lot because everything was funny to us somehow. I'd fall asleep listening to Page talk to Vance over the phone and I'd think about how much I loved this domestic life as much as I loved the one I explored on campus. I was relieved to know that one world didn't have to cancel out the other.

At some point college graduation became as natural a goal as anything else. It was something I hoped for as much as falling in love with a good man and having his children. In fact, it became imperative to those experiences, and sometimes it felt so wonderfully indulgent I wondered if it was the only investment I would ever make just for myself. I could also see why my church was so pro-education, teaching me and my fellow young women of its importance--economically and spiritually.

The truth I discovered was that nothing--no cultivated wardrobe, no weight loss success, no amount of tanned skin--could make me feel as beautiful or attractive as education be it formal or informal. Nothing arouses me, I observed, quite like learning.

And with its social and intellectual opportunities college gave me three invaluable skills I don't think I would've attained anywhere else: I read with a greater sense of comprehension, I can think critically and clearly, and I enjoy a view of the world never offered to me before, a view filled with beauty, belief and compassion.


Laurenkri said...

Amen to an education. Amen to life-long learning. Amen to motherhood. And amen to a Heavenly Father and Savior who help us fit it all together like some divine Tetris game.

Fresh Hell, Texas said...

Yes, yes, yes!

I am struggling with a standardized test I must pass before begining my Masters program in Education and this was just the boost I needed. Thank you!

Lyndsay said...

My brother once asked my why I even bothered to get a Master's degree when I woud just end up being a stay-at-home-mom. As if the education was wasted (or possibly that I was wasted staying at home as a mom?). I told him I needed every bit of that education. I needed it for me. I needed it for my husband. And I needed it for my children—especially my daughters, so that she would know how important it will one day be for her to pursue her own intellectual dreams.

Lindsey said...

Though I always wanted to graduate from college, I didn't expect to love it as much as i did. I feel the same way as you did- college made me alive, it opened my eyes and there is nothing I love so much as a really well-taught class, a well-spoken lecture. It took me 5 years to graduate from BYU- not because I was slow or didn't pass classes, but because I kept finding more classes I wanted to take, I kept making excuses to stay another semester! I never wanted to leave! Now, 3 years later, I miss it and am always scheming up ways to somehow go back to school :)

Lidia Lavonna said...

I graduate over the next two nights. Tonight is my honors convocation and tomorrow is undergraduate commencement. I was married last December. And I love this post. I've been struggling with my future. With the idea of further education versus family... Somehow I've always imagined it would have to be one or the other, and I so want to have children sooner rather than later... but It doesn't have to be that way, does it? I can learn and mother at the same time. In fact, I think 9though i don't know for sure) that learning is ESSENTIAL to motherhood. And no undergraduate or graduate degree is wasted if it helps us to grow as women, in happiness.

Karen said...

I always read and never comment but today's and Monday's posts were just so awesome I couldn't help myself. Keep it up sister!

Vanessa said...

It sounds like you had WONDERFUL teachers. I am going to send this to my little sister who is feeling very burnt out at college right now. This will be good for her.

Andrea said...

I love, love, love this! I did not have this perspective starting out school but I do want to give this way of thinking to my girls. Now my mind is swirling with thoughts of how to be better at this. Thank you.

Becca's Dirt said...

Well said. Education is everything. Good for you. I attended college as an adult and wouldn't trade it for anything.

Just Jaime said...

LOVED this!!

I always felt sad for people who didn't get to finish college for whatever reason.

Jennifer Bowman said...

Two thumbs up! I have yet to finish - about one year left. I had kids, worked from home to put my husband through school and just have not had the time or energy to finish.... yet!

Didn't get married young (well for Utah standards anyway) I was 25. I played around too much then got married, had kids and haven't finished.
It is my goal to finish and I know it can be done. I want to do it for myself and also I think it will be good for my daughter to see it can be done. Also, I want to SHOW her that education is I so often TELL her!

Thanks for the reminder :)

tharker said...

I loved this. I loved it because I didn't go to college, but hope to someday. I worked for the full year after high school graduation, with the plan in mind to save money for school. Then I met the boy of my dreams, married him, had 4 (almost 5!!) of his children, 15 years later yada, yada, yada...(but you yada, yada'd over the best part!).

One day when my kids are older I absolutely want to go back to school. I want them to know that my education is important, just as it is for each of them. I love that my 12 year old daughter is already thinking about the kinds of grades she's getting so that she can get into a good college. I love that she has goals of education and motherhood and I love that we belong to a church that encourages both.

So well written, thank you!

turleybenson said...

Nothing makes me feel as beautiful as my education. I've never put it to words, but that is an absolute truth for me. I wouldn't trade any beauty secret for intelligence and learning.

The Lady of the House said...

I did both together; I had a baby and finished my undergrad. I worked in my respective career path and even out of it.

The best part if it is that I will never regret it. I want my daughters and sons to know you can have it/do it all. Just because you are married young (me at 19) and have babies young (at 21) doesn't mean what you wanted out of life stops and your passions end.

My undergrad may never be used again for it's original purpose, but it stands for so much more. To me, my husband, and one day my children.

Thanks for the awesome post!

Heather Johnson-Family Volley said...

Amen to laurenkri!

calitransplant said...

I am getting my second bachelor's as a nurse right now and my husband and I are struggling to decide if we should wait till I get a job or just have children now. I want to wait and he is ok with whatever I decide. This post validated that I need this for myself AND for my family as much as anything else. Thanks, Courtney for the great post. I still love the post you did about your body, thinking about it now makes me tear up. I am so happy that I chose this path after much reflection and prayer. I know that Heavenly Father has a plan and I have to hear him most over anyone else.

Rhonda said...

That was great. I'm on my second Bachelors. I got the first in a "practical" area because I was a single mother. Now I get to do something because I love it!

La Yen said...

I am SO offended. You must be SO entitled to think that you can just GO to college when there are starving children in far-off countries who don't even get to watch college football games. Also, you must not be a good Mormon because you got a degree NOT at the Lord's School (which is our campus, which is our world.) It's like you don't even WANT to "Enter to Learn and GO Forth to Serve." Finally, I am most hurt by the fact that your bosoms are not even really VISIBLE in this post. THINK OF THE CLEAVAGE FOR ONCE IN YOUR LIFE!

(Go Cougars.)

Mary P said...

Brava CJane

A said...

As Judy says in Jean Webster's "Daddy-Long-Legs" (1912!):

"I suppose I could keep on being a writer even if I did marry. The two professions are not necessarily exclusive."

Discovering Rebel said...

Great post. Funny how questioning status-quo and gaining education often go hand-in-hand.

tharker said...

Sometimes I come to the comments section of your blog just to see what La Yen, Carrot Jello and Azucar have to say. They never disappoint! Thanks for keeping it funny, ladies!!

Camille Farias said...

Amen! I went to college as a time filler while my missionary took care of his business. I graduated 5 years after that, married to a completely different person, with dreams of becoming a SAHM as quickly as possible. 9 years later, I'm a full time teacher (ESL and English), childless, and so happy that I got an education, even if it was for all the wrong reasons. I couldn't be farther away from the life I dreamed of living when I graduated high school. Incidentally, I couldn't be more grateful that life has led me in such a wildly different direction, thanks to my education.

Ashley said...

I along with you am in love with education. We all should be enamored with something that is so uplifting.

Thank you for the inspiring post.

karen gerstenberger said...

This is one of my favorite pieces you've ever posted. It stirred a lot of memories in me, and it makes me very happy for you. What a wonderful family you have, and a blessing to have an older sister like Page to shine light on a new path for you.

Zanabelle said...

This has got to be one of my favourites so far. The line - "the younger I got married, the more valid I was as a woman." really hit home for me. I married at 19 and I believe it was for that exact reason, although I didn't know that until now. So what do I do with this information? LOL You have an incredible way with words! Thank you.

Amy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amy said...

An education for my daughters and son is MANDATORY!

I would not be the person I am today without the years I spent at college and university. What I learned, the people I met completely opened up the world to me. Knowledge is a wonderful thing.

Great post.

Amy in BC

Sierra said...

When I moved to Utah I was consistently blown away by all the young, immature girls getting married. My family stressed education. They want marriage, but education is just as important. Thank you for this.
Oh, Just Living the Dream

kellymccaleb said...

Courtney, this fascinated me. We have more in common than most people I know, while you also might be the most different person from me in all the world.

I couldn't read this without seeing the difference between being raised in a huge strong LDS family in UT (what I always assumed would've been easier for me than my crackpot childhood) and being raised in a liberal area by a convert parent as I was. My high school offered me one class in seven periods a day: AP liberal thought on [fill in subject]. In English we read like ten books by an angry raped woman to every one book on the AP classics list (I was grateful when we got some light reading, like Hamlet). I was so sick of their constant slams on religion, and this even with me being a teenage rebel first class.

I found my faith and started college in CA but finally just needed to be around someone that believed in God and didn't spew anti Mormon crap. Despite my opposition to leaving the beach, BYU sucked me in.

My parents didn't go to college because they came from poverty, married to escape their families and had kids and got stuck in blue collar jobs. My sibs and I went to college- i think to not be stuck like my parents, but also because that's just what you did where we came from. None of us gave it a second thought, even though we all had to foot our own bill. And all of the girls wanted to be stay at home moms anyway, but that wasn't part of the decision.

Also, I never gave a thought to marrying quick- or feeling less than a man. Or that I couldn't chew out a man that was doing something I thought was sexist because he was an idiot. Ever. Ever. In my life. Or doing anything other than exactly what i wanted/ felt to do. Is that why I'm not a feminist? Because I never doubted my equality? Is that why I'm not a liberal? Because it never came on like a light bulb, it was the norm, and I could see the flaws in that philosophy, not the reverse as you experienced?

Do you think this is the product of cultural differences between UT and other more diverse places? Or just your own big family influences on you?

I'm genuinely intrigued.

Katie said...

First off, I just want to say that I hugely admire your mom and her choices. But now that all nine of her rug rats are grown and on their own, she may want to think about going back and graduating. I went back to school in middle age, and so did many of the women I teach now. Quite a few are in their 50s and beyond, and they're terrific students. It's never too late! Education opens new worlds.

Patrina said...

I love this post cjane! I love what you say about how education (in any form- formal or informal learning) is both spiritually, intellectually self-fulfilling. I too was raised with the somewhat erroneous belief that education was something to be put on hold by mothers- that the two could not coexist in a woman's life. Thank you for sharing your insights on learning and how it is something that should be pursued as an individual and woman, with the underlying belief that you help others better (whether your own family, community, neighbors or other people's children) when you help yourself first- and learning and education does just that for women, no matter what stage of life they find themselves in.

-Patrina (I'm LDS, single and 25...and currently attending grad school for library science. :) )

Anna said...

Thank you so much for writing this. I am currently finishing up my sophmore year of college and I really relate to the part where you said "I couldn't shake that deeply held belief about myself: the younger I got married, the more valid I was as a woman." I am working towards graduating college because it is a serious goal of mine, but at the same time I also have the goal of getting married. I don't see marriage anywhere in my near future but thanks for helping me to gain a deeper understanding.

AzĂșcar said...

Here I was, raised three miles away in the same religious environment, and it was made perfectly clear to me by my family that I was to get at least a Bachelor's degree, preferably a Master's, PhD, J.D. before I even thought about getting married.

And if I even thought about getting married, it had better not be until I was at least 26. Which was awkward, since my dad said I wasn't allowed to date until I was 35. I made fun of girls who got married before 20.


There is no question that an education is one of the most important things you can do for yourself in this life. Developing critical thinking, reasoning, writing, and practical skills is imperative to your future. You have a brain, a spirit that demands to be fed. Econ 110 taught me that the single biggest predictor of successful children is the education level of the mother.

Education shouldn't be a "just in case", it should be a "because I am valuable and my growth is important."


Jeannie Shmina Greenwald said...

I could not wait to finally get to college. To live my own life. I was a good girl, it wasn't that. There was something exhilarating about the idea of the freedom of it all.

To be able to drink all the Tab I wanted, every day of the week. (And not have to wait for the weekend for soda.)

On the flip side, despite my 12 years at Catholic school, and an extraordinarily excellent all-girls high school which I loved, I was woefully unprepared for the academic life of college. I was intellectually immature. I wasn't ready to absorb college level work, so I muddled through. I don't have memories of such educational exhilaration that you do, but oh how I wish that I did.

It wasn't until things jelled for me, an idea of what I'd like to do with my life, and went to grad school to pursue it that everything finally fell into place. I worked like a fiend to 'catch up' to my graduate student peers, where the level of competition was palpable and I was aware of how much I *didn't know* and needed to bring my self up to speed and right away.

I pulled it off. I graduated successfully at the top of my class. I have never worked so hard.

Reading your post makes me want to go back and do it again. I have an idea. Let's go together and get a master of arts in creative non-fiction. What do you say?!

Hannah Mudge said...

I love this post but at the same time it makes me sad about my own university experience because before I dropped out, I don't think it involved any personal development or self-realisation. It just felt like going through the motions without any particular direction or passion/ I know it would be different now and that at the time I had a lot of personal problems as well, but still. Lots of regrets! I'm pleased college broadened your mind and helped you to see all the options available.

I am LoW said...

Kelly McCaleb- You just spoke my language!!! Everything you said made SO MUCH sense to me. As a South Carolinian, one of 11 kids, blue collar home, who never, ever EVER questioned my equality to men.

I am LoW said...

As a mother of a daughter who is graduating HS in 3 weeks, this has been on my mind and in my ears A LOT lately. I have been shocked at how much unsolicited advise my daughter is getting. And how many people keep talking to me as though she will be getting married any day now.

This life is HERS and the Lord has a plan FOR HER. And it may be to get her degree first and it may be to marry sooner than most of C Jane's readers. What Courtney did after high school is different than her own sister, but one isn't more right or any better than the other, only right for themselves.

I don't want my daughter to do what I did. Or what Courtney did. I want my daughter to do what she feels she should.

Creole Wisdom said...

This: "the younger I got married, the more valid I was as a woman." I can relate to this thought so much. It's so helpful to see others put it into words when I am too fearful to.

I also am so grateful for my education. I am so, so grateful. I wouldn't have my incredible job, a career I didn't know I wanted until it landed on my lap, without it. I loved my experience at the U of MN, those were my happiest days so far and someday I'll get back to that joy.

What a beautiful post!

C. Jane said...


Two things:

1. Yes. I was raised in such a conservative environment(most conservative county in the most conservative state in America) I craved a balance, new ideas.

2. I was also raised in an environment that supported the idea that girls were better than boys. So, that sucked.

ash said...

"As much as I loved learning, I couldn't shake that deeply held belief about myself: the younger I got married, the more valid I was as a woman."

Why do we think that? Nobody ever said it, but I always felt it. That, along with life, have made learning to love my single, 27-year-old, educated self a constant challenge. I will never regret my education. I do regret believing my value was tied to the age I got married.

Honey said...

"I was relieved to know that one world didn't have to cancel out the other."

I love this. I got married at 19 starting my junior year at BYU. I knew I wanted to graduate, but I knew I didn't want to put off having a family then. I was able to graduate (on-time even though I took a semester off) with a 10 mos old and 13 weeks along with our second. I am so grateful it worked out. It's not impossible to have both, just some good hard work. :)

Thanks for a great post, Courtney!

Just Jaime said...

Education shouldn't be a "just in case", it should be a "because I am valuable and my growth is important."


Lori Cartwright said...

This is exactly my story! I LOVED college and the way it challenged me to actually think. It was definitely the best thing I've ever done for myself...and my 4 daughters all know that mom got her BA and then had her babies. I hope they will all do the same.

Amy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Beth Benson said...

Thx again for a beautiful insight

dmarie said...

i am with wasn't even a consideration in our house that i wouldn't go to college and get at least one advanced degree. i was raised catholic, so the nagging thought that i should married and a mom already were always there in the back of my mind. thank goodness i graduated and got a career as a special education teacher has sustained me through many difficult years. i am no married with a daughter, and my expectations are the same for her as my parents' were for me. be happy...and be EDUCATED!!
ps...i giggled cuz you called your mom "mentally challenged". :)

kellymccaleb said...

So that makes me wonder how much of who we are is determined by our place of residence/ experiences because of the culture there- I wonder how I would view the world as a graduate of Provo High...or are we who we are? Interesting nature vs. nurture stuff we'll never understand in this life, I think.

But ultimately, Heavenly Father sent us to the place and family he wanted us in, knowing perfectly who we were and what we would do with that. So I guess we're all alright, right?

Rach said...

This made me miss formal education. And writing essays. And Oxford. Ohhhh. :-(

I am elbow-deep in nappies right now and, if all goes to plan, will be for some time yet. But I spent my degree reading and writing and learning about things that I loved, and if nothing else, I still have all that in my head.

But I hope to get back to it someday, all the same.

Chera said...

The last part is verbatim how I feel about education and its importance. Wanting a family doesn't have to take away from learning but can truly enrich and focus learning.

Shansham said...

I am a liberal Unitarian Universalist from Portland, OR and I love your blog! Most of the time I find we have more in common that anyone could imagine coming from such different places.

However, I find the cultural differences in this post fascinating. I have a close group of friends from college and not one of us got married before 30. I had my son at 33 and my friends had their first babies at 32, 35, 36 and 39.

Women generally put their education and career before marriage and children.

Honestly, I loved waiting so long to settle down. I traveled the world, got a masters degree in teaching, went on countless adventures and met amazing people along the way.

Its true most of us lived with our partners for many years before marriage but that is the norm here. Marriage is more of a formality and not the basis of true commitment. This feeling may change when ALL people are allowed to marry the person they love despite sexual orientation.

Emily said...

Rhonda, Thank you for your brief comment. I got my degree in something that I loved, and after becoming a wife and mother, I regret not being more practical. (I can't tell you how much I LOVE the comment: "So is a degree in English really as useless as everybody says it is.") Today, you made me feel like maybe I did the right thing by studying what I truly enjoyed. Good for you for going back! I hope you enjoy every minute. And, as always, thank you for your insight CJane, and thank you for Page and the way in which she has lived her life as well!e

The LDSMommy said...

Amen and hallelujah! I love learning so much that even though I have a J.D., I am working on a degree beyond that (LL.M) in a still-new field of law where there aren't a lot of women (but the ones who are there write some pretty amazing stuff!). I loved being a stay at home mom, but circumstances forced me to do what I had always said I wanted to do (law school) but never had the guts to do. And now my eldest daughter is graduating from high school, and wants to pursue a field where she will need at least a Master's degree - preferably a Ph.D. - to do what she wants to do. And I hope I've set a good example for her...even as I broke down last summer a few weeks before I sat for the bar exam and sobbed that I couldn't do it, that I was going to fail so why should I bother trying anyway. But then my dear husband, who deals with very serious health issues, didn't offer sympathy, but said "Of COURSE you're going to pass. You just graduated WITH HONORS from law school - why WOULDN'T you pass?" And then he helped me see that my boo-hooing was wasting my valuable study time. So I dried my tears, poured a Diet Dr. Pepper on the rocks, and hit the books again. He has been my biggest support! And he (and I!) wants our girls to get all the education they can so they can be the best women possible, whatever they choose to do!

elka said...

Love learning. I just completed my degree (while raising a family)! And so your last description of melding a family and education is exactly how I feel. It was very much a person goal as well as a family necessity. Hubs is in the Air Force; I realize fully what may happen... and I can provide for my children if needed.

Roxane said...

Such a good post. It took me a long time to finally graduate from BYU but I achieved my life-long goal last year after raising three children. I think because of my example both my daughters also have their degrees. The youngest daughter just graduated this April from BYU in Engineering even though she has had huge difficulties in her life. Her counselor encouraged her to do this and I think that accomplishment just may be what will help her overcome her emotional trials.

Flo said...

Not that you shouldn't feel proud about your education (in fact I think it is absolutely great that you have one), but "sparks of liberal leaning suggestions" is just too little for someone who after all stayed in a very conservative environment anyway.
Plus, you repeat several times that an education and a domestic life full of kids could go together, when in fact your own mother proved to you that they don't.
I do agree with you though on that getting married young thing and how as time goes by women feel they are less than their peers who are already married, but in general I think this column is far from being your best and it tends to fall somewhat into proselitism.

jenifer said...

So, this is probably something I should just think and not comment on... But I've been mulling it over for some time now and I have decided to share my two cents.

I've read and enjoyed your life posts recently. They have caused me to think.

But, the more I think, the morei wonder if you are REALLY being true? Really who you are is a result of an induction, fat references, horny middle school boys, and an innappropriate YW leader?
Who am I to say anything? I don't know you. But, I just feel that you are more than a result of trials and hard things. You are a result of many, many combined good things.
Personally, I think younhave a unique perspective that makes you interesting... But it is your common, familiar, happy heart that makes you endearing. Honestly, I miss that in these life blurbs.
I suppose many people like you better burning bras and rejecting social norms. I think I liked you best letting anson color on the wall, wearing moo moos, and talking French with a lisp.
Perhaps I liked you because you were a cool girl who I could have been friends. Now I wonder if you are the rebel, cool girl who would feel too good for my table? Hah! It's late. This is definitely a comment I would be rolling my eyes at if I didn't write it. Just my (married at 19, with a BS in Family Science) opinion, take it for what it's worth.

SoulFull Mama said...

I love this post. It's a dichotomy I've struggled with too- as though you can't crave a family and academia at the same time. I LOVE what you said about the one not having to cancel out the other, an I hope THIS message is the one that teenaged girls are hearing- there is nothing wrong or underachieveing about wanting to be a Mama...there is also nothing wrong with wanting to be educated.

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