On Becoming a Parent


Helmut Kae

Document Type


Journal/Book Title/Conference

Science Careers


American Association for the Advancement of Science

Publication Date



Speaking as a graduate student, I sometimes feel that there should be a support group for the likes of us, if only because we as a group live life slightly differently from everyone else. For example, after the gruelling and financially challenging years of working on a bachelor's degree, some of us choose not to enter the workforce but continue on toward a goal of academic enlightenment in graduate school. After completion of the second degree, we go on to work long hours for relatively paltry wages in the hopes that our scientific brilliance will be noticed and we can score ourselves a tenure-track position, after which we must work even harder to ensure that we remain in said tenure-track position. In the meantime, the prime years of our lives are passing right by us, and by prime years I refer to our baby-making years. This brings me to my story. I'm pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of British Columbia in picturesque Vancouver, B.C., Canada. When I first started here, I had visions of performing breakthrough science, going on to become a world-renowned professor of some sort, and, who knows, maybe even a visit from Nobel? And then ... I got married.


Originally published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). HTML fulltext available through remote link.