My English Lit Survey class was reviewing for the midterm today. We were talking aboutMary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, and how, in the excerpt we had read, the main point was Educate Us! We can’t keep up with the conversations with men, not because we aren’t smart enough, but simply because we aren’t educated in those topics. I mentioned that this concern/issue/trend had continued, that it took a long time for women to really be educated equally with men. And I mentioned, kind of off-handedly, that in living memory, my mom had been in the first class at Cal Poly Pomona that accepted women. They could go to a lot of schools, liberal arts universities, teachers’ colleges, but engineering schools–that was different.
At the end of class, as they were packing up to leave, one of my students said, “Tell your mom congratulations for me. That’s really cool.” A couple of the other students who were still there nodded in agreement. This has always been a part of the story for me, so while it is one of my favorite parts of the story, I don’t think that much about it. My students were really impressed. So. Congratulations, Mom. You were a pioneer. Thanks for being a role model for me in so many ways, and for your continued support of women being educated through your AAUW support. You don’t just say it; you live it.