funmi lyanda, thank you for this brilliantly written account/story.
I went to university, when I was almost 40 years old, after having raised 3 children. I worked very hard, excelled in my coursework, and earned scholarships and bursaries. I was partially motivated by fear of amassing a huge student loan debt.
One time, while I was studying for midterm exams, my Mother came to visit. She was “lukewarm about university” and very upset with me because I wouldn’t stay home from classes during the time that she was visiting. She told me that I should stop going to school and get a job. At the time, I was treating university as though it was a job.
I think poor people, of all races, and religions, who’s families have not attended higher education, feel threatened by those who wish to go to university.
In the years since I began going to university, I better understand why there is a threat. Whether or not we intend it to be so, we do forge a distance from the group we come from. In the quest to learn, we move outside the norms expected of other women in our immediate families, our tribes, or even our nations, where many women do not have the opportunity to gain a university education.
The last few decades have seen more North American women achieve professional educations but oftentimes those women are not able to find opportunities to utilize their full potential.
Given the disparity in opportunity, it appears that women, and many enlightened men, are beginning to join together to help advance the idea that women should have an equal opportunity to participate in every sphere of life.