Tuesday, December 2, 2008

the 5pm seminars

I'm tired of getting some attitude and feeling mildly guilty for missing a lot of talks and meetings at work. The problem: people in my department have a knack of scheduling these things late in the afternoon, at 5 or 5:30pm. This just doesn't work when you have kids that need to be picked up from school/daycare! Of course, I can always arrange for Boyfriend to pick up Chatton on these days, but with our crazy lives as postdocs, that's really not always possible.

The other problem here is that I'm the only female in my department with a kid. And the few guys who have children all have stay-at-home wives as well. So really there's nobody else to fight this battle with me. It's probably the wrong attitude, but I almost make a point now of not going to any talk scheduled after 5pm, a kind of "hunger for knowledge" strike if you want.

At my previous institution, the weekly physics seminars had been pushed back from 4:30pm to 4pm for this very reason, to allow people with families to attend without having to leave half way through. I thought this was a great sign of respect, and a little gesture that made me feel not so much out of place as a grad student-mother. So I know that it can happen, which is probably why I'm especially annoyed at the situation here.

Anybody in the same situation with solutions to propose?

No comments: