Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Free Airport Blogging from Alma Mater City

We got to the airport too early- partly because a Circuit City we used to go to is no longer there (we planned to stop in and look around on our way to the airport). Luckily, Alma Mater City Airport has free wireless. I will likely pay at Chicago-Midway, because we'll be there for three hours, but I thought I would start writing a post now. We've had a great time. We didn't get to eat in all of our old favorite restaurants (or our first date restaurant, which completely by coincidence has D's name in its name!), but this morning we ate at the place that usually wins the local entertainment paper reader's choice for best breakfast in Alma Mater City. It was tasty and I bought a friend some earrings in their gift shop. 

My mom and grandma drove back to Adopted Home State yesterday and I spent some time with my sister-in-law (my brother's wife) and our daughters. My niece is three and absolutely adorable. She and D had lots of fun together. It's so cute how smaller kids are just mesmerized by "big kids". It was really fun to see them together, too since we don't see my brother very often. We're working on getting them to come all the way to Small College Town to visit. My SIL is up for it, but my brother is a harder sell. He is rather high strung and I think that being a father really stresses him out. He also doesn't have a whole lot of vacation time, so I can understand not wanting to use it up on coming to see us. I really hope they will do it, though. It would be a lot of fun to have them. My grandma sounds like she might be willing to make the trip, too. I've invited her lots of times, but I don't think she really seriously considered it until now. 

On Saturday and Sunday, we visited a couple of the tourist-type places (that are also popular among locals), but did the trips early enough to avoid the worst of the heat. We also had good Mexican food (with live music!) and saw H's PhD advisor (who was also on my diss committee, let's call him Dr. Nice) and their family. They are such great people. We hadn't seen their daughter since she was 12 (she's now finished her third year of college) and D was a little baby. They took us to dinner to celebrate us getting tenure. Dr. Nice was really helpful to H as a grad student and they were nice to us as a family when D showed up unexpectedly. We still have a lot of furniture that they gave us! It's always great to see them and share our good news.

I only got to see my good friend, S, very briefly. Between my family visiting and her work schedule, we didn't coordinate very well on this trip. She and her boyfriend just bought a house, so I got to see it, at least. I don't really have any other friends or family here, but H was here a lot longer and still has a couple of friends, who he saw yesterday.

We've had such a nice time that we're considering doing a road trip next month and coming back! We haven't done a cross-country trek since H moved to Bible Belt State and I was six months pregnant with D. We'll see if works out or not- we do have the conference trip in August, so we'll have to see if we can figure out a way to do it or not.

One issue I want to leave out for discussion is this: those of you in academia, or with advanced degrees- do you have any relatives that seem uncomfortable about it? I feel like there is a distance between me and a family member with whom I used to be very close and I suspect that is the reason- that this family member thinks I am more successful or something and is self-conscious about it. Has anyone else experienced this? If so, have you tried to address it? I wish s/he would see that I am same person I always was and don't really care who has what degree.


Ianqui said...

My brother in law is profoundly uncomfortable with both me and Super G having PhDs. What's especially absurd about this is that my sister, his wife, is an MD. While this mostly doesn't seem to be a problem, occasionally he'll talk about how he's just a "state-school boy" and we're all fancy multiple degree folks. This comes up from time to time, and we could care less, of course, but he seems to feel that we think less of him because of it. Really, we think less of him because he's a basket case with various other problems who likes to blow things out of proportion whenever he can. We don't care about his educational background.

Seeking Solace said...

Some of my family members on my father's side of the family seem to think I am stuck up because of my multiple degrees.

Also, I have dealt with the "acting White" claim because of my educational background.

The truth is, I am proud of what I have accomplished. i do not throw my degrees in any one's face either. I will not apologize for my success.

CAE said...

Not personally, but my mum has had some comments from her sister who deems her kids (i.e. my cousins) to be less successful and has a big chip on her shoulder about it. Us cousins don't give a flying toss either way of course...

Psych Post Doc said...

Sounds like a wonderful trip!

My PhD is only a year old but I've had some rather awkward and hurful comments made about it. There has been the "but you're not a real dr" comments.

A few family members seem to feel as though I think I'm better than them. Others just completely ignored my graduation even though I've always acknowledged any ele's successes whatever they may be.

Oh well, I don't think I'm better than any of them, I just liked school more.

hypoglycemiagirl said...

among my close non-academic friends - which addmittedly are not many - I clearly earn less than everyone else so they have kind of make up for any possible inferiority complex that way. Mycountry seem to be all about who's earning more and who's got the bigger house, car, boat...

Anonymous said...

to answer you, yes. my uncle discounts what i have to say (whatever, he's a freak anyway) b/c i am an elitist and he only went to a state school. and some other family members are scared of talking about stuff. like they assume that i will think what they say is dumb or whatever, b/c i do "research" on it, and so they don't share their opinions. and all i want is to hear other people's thoughts and engage in conversation, not hear myself talk!

Super Babe said...

I have heard the random "I don't care how many degrees you have, you can't do this or that". Kind of annoying... as if me being myself had anything to do with having a Ph.D. Sure, I do joke about it every now and then, but you see, my parents and siblings are MDs, so I do hear the whole "we're the real doctors"... so you can only joke about that.

Honestly, I think what has added to insult on me having a Ph.D. is the fact that I'm living abroad as well... But it's funny... I have some extended relatives that think it is cool (as in "now they can brag about me to their snotty friends") and others couldn't care less... My other sibling will be a Ph.D. as well... so at least I won't be alone :) With family it's all cool... with friends... hard to say.

Most of my female friends were of the "finish college, get married and have kids and you've succeeded" type of thinking, so the fact that I was still "in school" (in their heads if I don't have a non-academic job, I'm still in school) didn't help (not that they are working, actually, they're all SAHMs). I'm sure that being unemployed right now doesn't add for the respect, ha!... But oh well... I can go on about my feelings about this for hours :)