Thursday, May 14, 2015

Babies in the (College) Classroom


Raja's Youtube
Bored Panda

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I came across this article, "When a Student's Baby Started to Cry in Class, This Professor has the Best Response Ever" by Dovas on BoredPanda

I hugely applaud this professor. 

What an amazing guy to not even skip a heartbeat, just picking up the child and soothing it while teaching a room full of students.

That is how it is done my friends!

I love that by the virtue of his actions, he is saying this:
A woman should not have to choose between being a mother and getting an education.

Many women, me being one of them, have had kids while in college.

Like this woman, the thought of taking a baby to class with you marks you with nerves of worry, always wanting to dote the baby so they are quiet and take away from the learning you are experiencing.

So you think the mum should get child care?
Well, having been through it myself, it is not that simple.
Either child care centers are full, your baby may have special needs, you can't afford baby care, the list could could on.

Imagine, you are a new mum and college student.
Walking around with a big belly was hard, right? All the stares you get.

Carrying a new born around to class is a new beast.
You worry you are an automatic outcast. You don't fit in.

You still need and want that education.
You walk into the classroom worried that you are getting looked at.
Maybe you have stroller with you. Maybe your baby is in a carrier.

You take a seat and all is well, to begin.
Eventually the baby will cry while you are taking notes or watching a slide show with a lecture attached.

How will the professor respond?
Of course, you also have more than one professor in college, so responses vary.

Some are mean and cruel about it.

Some are not happy about it, but don't scold you.

Some are impressed and encourage you by not making you feel like a bad mum or person.

Some are like this professor= amazing! 
It takes a village to raise a child is the saying, right?
It takes a village to support and educate women to be able to better these kids just the same.

I would like to share my experience at UCSC
I had an amazing professor for Astrophysics.

His name is Raja.

Not only did he not shame me for having a child (and needing to have my newborn with me) but he was understanding.

I had emergency c section with my first child. He had to have special formula. While I was going around to classes, I had to be driven to class for a few weeks because I could not drive myself nor could I walk up and down the steep hills at UCSC right after the emergency surgery for my son.
He was not the easiest baby, but is a great child.

Raja was amazing and insistent that my son, this little two week old, was going to change this world. How amazing of a thing, right?!
 Just amazing!

He told me that he fully expected my son to be able to take us, as a human race, to a new planet. To find and explore the universe.

Raja, to you I say this:
You changed my life.
You changed my son's life. 
A little infant.
He is OBSESSED with astronomy and the universe.
If he could take a class, only one subject, in the world, my bets are on Astrophysics.
I can't thank you enough. You gave opportunity, to me as a mother, and to my son- where many would not. You saw the possibility! 
I now, soley blame you for his love of science (and mine)-- in the best way possible!!

While other professors scolded me, made me work harder, judged me, assumed things about me as a student parent, you did not. You saw me as a beautiful person who loved astrophysics-- 
a lover of learning. 

You have changed our lives, and I am sure many more. 
THANK YOU!!

I encourage professors across the board, to jump on this band wagon.
If you do what these two professors have done, you won't just change the life of the mother!
You change the life of that baby tremendously!
You change the lives of everyone in that classroom-- tolerance, capability, world thinking, inspiration. The list can go on and on.

Bravo to the amazing teachers and professors out there.
(Another shout out, Paul Ortiz, who was amazing as well.)

You are making a difference!

More on Raja:

UCSC Astro Dept Bio
UCO Link
Vimeo video

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