Is The Working Mother’s Juggle Really So Harried? Vanderkam ’01 Finds Out

Laura Vanderkam ’01

Laura Vanderkam ’01

The image of the harried mom struggling to juggle a career and children is ingrained in our notion of modern life. But is it accurate? Writer Laura Vanderkam ’01 decided to gather some hard data on the subject. She collected time logs for 1,001 days in the lives of women who make at least $100,000 a year and found that most were not as frenetic as pictured: the women averaged a little under eight hours of sleep a night, and about three-quarters of them had time to do something personal during the workday. The logs revealed very few women consistently worked more than 60 hours a week, even if they claimed to.

“It turns out having a demanding career and a family means you will not be a sleep-deprived mess,” says Vanderkam, who describes her findings — and offers examples of strategies her subjects use to get everything done — in I Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time.
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#ThrowbackThursday: Time for Tackling

PAW Archives

PAW Archives

“Hitting the hay” had a less-than-restful connotation for this unnamed Princeton tackler, shown with assistant coach Keene Fitzpatrick during preseason football practice in 1928. The Tigers, under the direction of head coach Bill Roper, went 5-1-2 that fall, including a 12-2 victory over rival Yale and a 6-6 tie at Ohio State in Princeton’s first and only trip to the famed “Horseshoe.”

This year’s Tigers kick off practice today (on artificial turf, not grass and straw) and begin the season Sept. 19 at Lafayette. Princeton was picked to finish fourth in the Ivy League’s preseason media poll, behind Harvard, Dartmouth, and Yale.

Tiger of the Week: Patrick Ryan ’68, Gallery Director

Patrick Ryan ’68 at his Princeton art gallery, Gallery 353. (Jeanette Beebe ’14)

Patrick Ryan ’68 at his Princeton art gallery, Gallery 353. (Jeanette Beebe ’14)

By Jeanette Beebe ’14

Patrick Ryan ’68 doesn’t do “art speak.” But he does know how to command the stage at an auction, rattling off antiques and art at break-neck speed to the highest bidder. Last Saturday, at the historic Benjamin Temple house and dairy farm in Ewing, N.J., where he was born and raised, Ryan auctioned off more than 80 items in 2 1/2 hours under a blazing hot sun — all for charity, to support the Ewing Township Historic Preservation Society.

Ryan has led a life of talking fast and moving faster. A long-time art collector and gallery owner, Ryan is just as comfortable in overalls and work boots as in seersucker shorts and a polo shirt.

He reckons he somehow “inherited the Irish gypsy gene,” a drive that rattled against the quiet rituals of his father’s 166-acre dairy farm: rising at 4:30 a.m. to milk 50 cows, twice per day. “The cows don’t care if it’s Christmas,” he remembers.

One item on the auction block was an original milk bottle from the Ryan family’s farm, which opened in 1903. “No one can believe that there was a dairy farm out in Jersey,” he says. “But that’s all there was: horses and cows and peaches.”

Ryan’s wanderlust took him far beyond his father’s dairy farm — to boarding school, to Princeton, and after graduation to law school in Washington, D.C., then homes in Chicago, Honolulu, Louisiana, La Jolla, San Francisco, Sante Fe, Oregon, Key Biscayne, Las Cruces — and home again, after five years as the director of an art gallery in Charleston, S.C., and nine years as a pecan farmer.

Last May, Ryan opened Gallery 353, a one-room art gallery in Princeton. Tucked within the basement of the McCarthy building on Nassau Street, the gallery’s current collection is as eclectic as Ryan’s background.

“It’s a great job to be able to sit and just enjoy beautiful things. Especially when you can’t lift — when you can’t do fence holes any more!” he laughs. Continue reading

Nye ’58 Says Reports of America’s Decline are Greatly Exaggerated

Joseph Nye ’58

Joseph Nye ’58

Some people think that the United States has already been — or soon will be — eclipsed as the world’s leading power. But Joseph Nye ’58, the former dean of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, argues in Is the American Century Over? that America’s preeminence will continue for decades to come.

If having the world’s largest economy makes a country the world’s most powerful nation, then “the American century” — roughly defined as the 20th century — may already be over, since some calculations indicate that China already has a GDP that has surpassed that of the United States, Nye writes. Though China’s huge market can overtake the United States in economic size, we will not automatically witness “the Chinese century” if we consider economic, military, and “soft power,” Nye points out in the slim book, which takes the form of an essay. (By “soft power,” a term he coined in the 1980s, Nye means the ability to affect others through attraction and persuasion.) China has the world’s largest army but spends far less on defense than the United States, its population is aging, and it lacks soft power. Continue reading

Tiger of the Week: Football Broadcaster Ross Tucker ’01

Ross Tucker ’01 (Courtesy RossTucker.com)

Ross Tucker ’01 (Courtesy RossTucker.com)

Fans often dismiss the NFL’s preseason games as meaningless exhibitions, but broadcaster and former pro lineman Ross Tucker ’01 sees something different. “I love preseason football,” he told PAW, “because I know how important it is to the people participating in it” — particularly the second-team players, who begin each game knowing they’ll play “15 to 20 snaps for all their dreams to come true.”

Not long ago, Tucker was one of those anxious dreamers. He played for five teams in a seven-year NFL career, primarily as an offensive guard. After retiring, he joked in guest column for Peter King’s Monday Morning Quarterback that he was “the only 28-year-old Princeton grad that has been fired five times already.”

Tucker prepared for life after football with offseason internships in several fields, including commercial real estate, finance, and sports marketing. But the experience that made the biggest impression was an NFL-sponsored broadcasting boot camp, where he learned the basics of TV and radio. The former politics major also was ready to give writing a try. “I figured if I can write 18 pages on Machiavelli, I probably could come up with 1,000 words on the Bengals’ offensive line,” he said. Continue reading

Bieber ’04 Depicts Life with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Matt Bieber ’04

Matt Bieber ’04

Getting an acceptance letter from Princeton is an occasion for celebration, but when Matt Bieber ’04 received his, he felt concerned. “My brain was wired to worry,” he writes in his new book, Life in the Loop: Essays on OCD, which chronicles how it feels to have obsessive-compulsive disorder.

People with OCD repeatedly perform certain routines and have certain thoughts, impinging on day-to-day life. In Bieber’s case, he felt a preoccupation with how his teeth looked and whether they were moving. He describes OCD as an “overly active alarm system [that] gets tripped,” the effects of which can be debilitating. He suffered “an often constant assault of painful, intrusive thoughts.” Continue reading