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As an academic I've heard today's (idiotic) joke so many times from pompous Ph.D.s. How marvelous to hear it from the other side. When you need a real doctor you know what a real doctor is. This Doonesbury is going onto the office wall!
Art imitates life. In 1972 my nine-months-pregnant friend was in the lineup to receive her Ph.D. (as was her husband) when her water broke. She waddled across the stage, got her diploma, and didn't return to her seat. Instead she went outside and got the University President's chauffeur to drive her home.
I just wanted to say thanks for all the great work you've done and continue to do. I love realizing that I haven't read the strip in a week or so (gasp) and then getting to binge away. Much love from Madison, Wisconsin.
With the beginning of the arrival of the twins, I am delighted to see that there is no such thing as a simple baby delivery in Doonesbury. Joannie, J.J., and Boopsie all had highly memorable labors, but these were all following in the footsteps of the infamous Thudpucker delivery. Congratulations to our new parents, and may no stork ever make a standard landing in this wonderful world!
Okay, today's strip got me! I was eight weeks pregnant with twins when I defended my (Ph.D.) dissertation and I could not go to my "hooding" because I was too far along to get on a plane! Go Alex!!!!
I've been reading Doonesbury 'live' for about 35 years, and all the strips that came before that. As soon as Alex's pregnancy was announced I had a flash fear that the birth of the twins would be a closing point to end the strip. I so much hope I am wrong. I want to see how fantastic these kids will be.
FYI, Mr. and Mrs. Trudeau (the lovely Jane Pauley) are the parents of grown-up twins, so I am sure Mr. T. knows the drill.
With our triplet boys (now 16...or a combined 48) my wife would breastfeed one and I would bottle feed the other two. We would rotate with each feeding (keeping a clipboard nearby to keep track because...well...we soon became a bit loopy from the lack of sleep). She would try to pump when she could to augment the bottles, but there was only so much that she could produce. Even with that, there were the occasional indignant breastfeeding warriors who would admonish my wife for not breastfeeding all three exclusively. So I don't judge what any family chooses with feeding their newborns.
Re DECORUM: I matriculated in 1986, and we tried to call our professors "Doctor," but the (mostly baby-boomer, by that point) Ph.D.s would have none of it. It was they who first demanded that we "slackers" call them by their first names.
I'm glad to see MIT still has a sense of decorum. At my engineering school (1977-82) no one dreamed of addressing professors by their first names. Flash forward ten years to our local "university." The slackers there (a majority) insisted on calling my Ph.D. wife by her first name. (I would have stuck to my guns -- and addressed them with Mr. or Ms.)
I actually nursed twins for over one year. It could be hard, and painful at times. After my first week, I vowed never to judge another woman's decision about breastfeeding ever again. (It was also indescribably lovely at times, too.) I think we have done a good job educating mothers -- it is up to them to make this very personal decision.
As the mother of 21-year-old twins who are both currently matriculating at New Ivy schools, I'm qualified to speak re Alex bottle-feeding. I used an electric double breast pump and stored the milk in bottles ready to go so their father could feed them while I pumped out the next batch. By the time you feed and diaper one, then feed and diaper the other, the first one is ready to eat again. If I had breast-fed them the traditional way, I wouldn't have had time to do anything else, including sleep -- which is important if you're raising twins. I'd like to assume Alex the Ph.D. figured out this nifty little lifehack.
I think that trying to separate the Doonsbury story lines into separate skeins would be like trying to impose a neat filing system on a trunkful of family photos with ancestors branching out and back to the dawn of photography. I tried it several times and have less hair as a result. On another angle, our dear author can think himself as Ben Hur trying to race a chariot, except that each of his three horses has its own idea about which direction to run.
Oh wow. Hooding. Terms of address. As one of the company of men and women advancing knowledge, I try to remember the example of the British and French university traditions which do not follow the German, authoritarian tradition as many scholars in the United States do. I am also mindful of the failure of the doctorates in China, Korea and Viet Nam to defend their people against foreign empires in the 19th and 20th Centuries. Finally, I ask myself, "Would would Dick do?" That is, Richard Feynman, who did not wear funny hats.
I was out of the loop for last 10 days and am just catching up. Three comments: 1) I l loved the May 28th strip outlining the time Congress spends "governing." I live in the greater D.C. area, and all they do is look for ways not to work for the people! 2) I equally enjoyed the Benghazi strip. While some farmers do care about that, more worry about farming and eking out a living! 3) I cannot believe the outcry over the fantasy bottle-feeding strip. Sheesh. Have one be allergic to breast milk and the other not -- or, as they say, "split the baby" and all can quiet down! That is all -- carry on! Thanks.
While it may be better to breast feed, it's not a crisis if someone doesn't. I adopted twice. Both of my children were older infants when I adopted them, and I had to bottle feed. (Yes, I know adoptive moms can do things to breast feed, but not only do the babies get minimal nutrition from it, but bottle feeding is what my daughters had been used to. They had a big enough transition when I adopted them, and it was important that some things stay the same.)
I had to endure on a constant basis nosy people coming up to me in the drugstore to lecture me for buying formula. Breastfeeding may be "better" but it's not essential. I was bottle fed as an infant, as was a whole generation of baby boomers. I survived it! Today, both my daughters are teenagers. They are healthy, intelligent young women. It didn't seem to have hurt them that I bottle fed them.
I'm surprised everybody is getting so excited over Alex bottlefeeding. For one thing, it could be breast milk in those bottles. Plus it was a fantasy frame; the twins haven't been born yet.
The Ph.D. doesn't necessarily guarantee one a job, which I know from personal experience. It may make you "over-qualified" -- which should not be a real word in America.
Breastfeeding is great, lots of benefits, blah blah blah. Did it myself, even. That said, the second I saw Alex with bottles in the strip, I thought to myself, "Here come the outraged comments about breastfeeding or the lack thereof." Each mom has her own circumstances and her own rationalte for how she raises her children. I'm pretty sure Alex's spawn will be just fine.