Tonight I get to speak in my favorite Centre convocation of the year: "Life Stories." The student leadership group ODK asks three professors each year to tell their life stories, in about 20 minutes apiece.
My daughters helped me put together the slides for my portion of the convocation. As I looked at the good pictures I have, I realized that they are more about family than work. The more I thought about it, the more this seemed an important clue and opportunity.
I am going to tell my life story to students as a back-and-forth balancing of career and family. I have been teaching this subject in the "Family Life" class this week. This is a topic of intense interest to students, especially to women. Much of the scholarship about family life is driven by women trying to balance their careers and their own families. I have heard many women speak on this topic, and the women who study work/life balance almost always use examples from their own lives.
I realized today, though, that I have never heard a public lecture on work/life balance, with research and personal examples, from a man.
So that will be my theme tonight. Having it all. Seeking the happy balance of career and family. Which matters to me as a man just as much as it does to most women. Sociology gives me a vocabulary to talk about it that most men don't have. And ODK has given me a platform.