The blog I wrote on the problem with the phrase "work-life balance" really struck a chord. It was picked up by the Boulder Daily Camera, and the following week I was stopped on campus and elsewhere around Boulder by people who said they really agreed with me.
I attended the NCWIT meetings at Georgia Tech in Atlanta just before Thanksgiving, and came home with a bounty of new thoughts, ideas, and information. I heard about programs that people are trying in different places, how they are trying them, and what early results they are seeing. I heard a wonderful talk on influence. I heard about possible opportunities for my students, including things we or they might try and resources available to them.
Americans are in danger of losing their competitive edge in the world economic system. This idea seems to have widespread, bipartisan support, which is rarely heard of in Washington these days. Despite the recent focus on this burgeoning issue, there seems to be little agreement about the solution. Lately, one of the most frequent responses is to look to U.S. K-12 school systems as a target of reform, but even ways of doing that are controversial.
The phrase "work-life balance" has become a ubiquitous term in most lexicons and it yields about 2 million hits on Google. For many, and I used to be one of them, the phrase connotes fair work environments in which employees enjoy happy, stress-free lives with their friends and family outside of work; and career paths in which the realities of work don't infringe on the enjoyment of life.
The outcome of last week's election is now clear with the Democrats taking over the legislative branch. The dust, however, is far from settled. Democrats have the opportunity to make a profound and lasting impact on technology policy. What shape this will take is unclear, because much of it will be dictated by the new House and Senate Chairpersons who have not organized or set any agendas yet.
ChicTech, an outreach program of the University of Illinois' Department of Computer Science, extends an open invitation for college women to participate in the third annual Games for Girls Programming Competition (G4G). Applications must be submitted by December 22, 2006 and completed projects are due by March 16, 2007.
One of the common explanations for the falling enrollment in CS, among women in particular, is "programming." The frequently repeated story is that students think that computer science is only about programming, and they don't like programming, so they don't enroll in computer science. I've had a couple of experiences over the last few months that demonstrated to me just how much students dislike programming, at a deeper level than I had expected.
A couple weeks ago, I saw Paris Hilton on the "Today" show saying that she thought she was a good role model for girls: "I think I am a good role model, and a lot of mothers come up to me and they're really happy ..."
I'm sure most mothers want their daughters to idolize Paris Hilton, someone whose sole occupation is to draw attention to herself. Someone who signifies nothing but her own fame.