Mother and daughter… in it together

Many of you have probably heard of a mother going to the same school as her daughter, but you might not have heard a mother attends the same class with her daughter. Well, I’m currently registered for a class with my mom. She’s returning to college after 25 years.

One of the reasons my mom wanted to come to America was to continue her education and earn a bachelor’s degree. When I came to the United States and started taking developmental courses, I encouraged my mother to continue with the education since she had been working at a part-time job and didn’t have a lot of responsibilities at home.

 I thought while I am taking this developmental course, she should take it with me. She’s weak in English, I can help her along with the course. My mother was so pleased and excited when I told her that I’d be taking the course with her.

As the semester started, my mom was excited, yet terrified. One obstacle was that she was afraid to embarrass me in front of my friends. Instead, I made sure to let her know that it is OK, and a good way to show her children (and everyone) that there’s no stopping point to education. When our class started, I was the first to stand up and speak about myself. The first thing I said about the course is that I didn’t want my mom to face these challenges by herself. I wanted to help her as much as I could. After that I was really shocked at how my mom introduced herself in front of the young students in our class. I was proud of her when I saw her start to communicate with other students and the professor.

Some of my friends thought it was perculiar to take a class with my mother, but I really didn’t care because I couldn’t have been prouder to be a part of the achievements my mom has made.

I actually became closer to her. We started to do our homework together and went to the Learning Center together. We also discussed the course subject matter and read each other’s work. We not only go to school with each other at Richland, but go to other places together outside Richland.

I never imagined I would discuss these things with my mom. It’s entertaining to our family when the two of us discuss the course and the homework at the family table.

Another obstacle that my mom encounters is the prevalence of new technology. Since her computer skills are weak, I had to make sure she completed all the steps in doing the homework online. Since I’m a staff writer at the Chronicle, I had to manage my time with her. I didn’t have enough patience because she would rely on me when it came to using the computer. I tried to help her. So did my siblings and it was hard for her, too, because she was accustomed on using paper and pen.

The instructor has been very patient and helpful. With the uncertainty and nervousness she felt, the instructors and faculty members, including advisers and tutors, made her experience a little easier. With the diversity of the students and their ages, she felt she was experiencing a greater aspect of what the world will be like. Learning new skills in her field and building her knowledge has given her more confidence.  

Helping my mom throughout this semester taught me how passionate she is about continuing her education and that she’s capable of learning and overcoming any challenges that she will face in school. My mom read the Chronicle and she  even prouder as she saw me working hard to achieve my goal. Having her around me and supporting me in every way encourages me to work harder.

Although most of my friends ask me how it feels to be in class with my mother, I describe how grateful I am to be a part of making her dream come true, earning her bachelor’s degree.

 I’m still helping my mom through this semester. The experience has taught me how patient and loving my mom has been to me for my 18-plus years. Now it’s time to pay her back.

The two of us are planning to take a couple of courses together next semester.

She is the mother of four children. She started Richland in 1991 when she was pregnant with my oldest brother. After 25 years she’s back, now with her young daughter. My mom may be a student but she is also agood teacher.