The Norman Transcript

N-town Q/A

January 10, 2014

Q&A: Emily Ballew Neff comes to OU inspired

(Continued)

NORMAN —

Q: What has been the most difficult part in your career thus far?

A: I don’t think any of it has been difficult. Obviously the long hours are a challenge. I thought I had put all-nighters behind me in college, but that doesn’t necessarily happen if you are meeting deadlines for writing a catalogue. I thrive on challenges so I honestly don’t think that any of this has been difficult perhaps in the way you maybe intend it.

The thing is that my avocation is my vocation and my vocation is my avocation so I don’t see it as difficulty. Probably people from the outside say, “Wow, you travel a lot,” or , “That must get old,” or , “Gosh, you work so hard.” But in the museum field, we don’t look at it that way.

I will say, as a mother who works full time, I am very interested in issues that have to do with working women and women in the work place. I’ve been very fortunate to have been able to bring my kids along on business trips when it’s appropriate. I’m very interested in that so called balance between work and family life, though I would say a better model for that is the blending. It’s easy for me to do that to some degree in that it’s a weekend and we go to the museum and there’s great things for them to do if I need to run upstairs and take care of something. If I was a doctor, you don’t invite your children into the operating room. They’ve had more opportunities to be a little bit more involved in what I do. I think that makes them happy and it makes me happy.

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