The True Confessions of a Professor’s Kid
“Hey Amanda, I just registered for classes next semester, and one of my professors is a Mrs. Kloth. Is she…”
“Yeah, she’s my mom.”
For me, growing up as an only child meant that in many ways, my mom was my best friend. In elementary school, a day off from school gave me the opportunity to trek to Cairn with my mom. In middle school, when the roads were bad on a snow day and I began to feel claustrophobic inside, walking to the mall in the blustery weather became an adventure with my mom. In high school, when I just wanted to relax at home on a Friday night after a long week of early morning alarms and AP homework, I watched a movie with my mom. We talked about school, boys, the latest deals at Kohl’s, and everything in between. Yet when it came time for me to pick a college, I found myself hoping the place I would land would not be Cairn. My mom was always involved in my schoolwork and activities – sometimes to the point of being a “helicopter mom” – and I worried that I would be robbed of the full college experience with my mom as a professor at my school. I didn’t begrudge the amount of time I spent with her throughout the first eighteen years of my life, but since I was embracing my adulthood as I neared graduation, I figured it was probably due time for a break.
But God had other plans. Not only did I wind up attending Cairn University, but I also chose a major in the School of Education, where my mom teaches. Despite my college-induced inflated sense of independence, I found myself frequently stopping by her office to give her the latest update on my classes, the cafeteria food, and the freshmen frenzy in the Great Room of Heritage. For the more personal things, when I learned the hard way that I was wrong to think I had it all figured out at the beginning of freshman year, my mom was there for me. When even I couldn’t recognize myself, she still could; in those first months of new friends, new classes, and new experiences, having someone nearby who already knew me deeply was invaluable.
I have always appreciated my mom in the role of mother, but Cairn has given me the opportunity to truly appreciate her in the role of teacher. In raising me, my mom was never fully able to separate the two – family vacations often experienced detours to Civil War battlefields, and long waits in airports proved to be the ideal time for her to quiz me on the American states and capitals – yet I primarily saw her in the mom role. Being at Cairn with her has shown me her expertise in the field of education, and I am so grateful to be able to ask her for advice on lesson planning, classroom management strategies, and various teaching methods. Although I am not a student in any of my mom’s classes, my roommate and many of my other friends have her as a professor, and I get the privilege of hearing how she impacts them. Sure, some days I have friends run up to me laughing about some embarrassing childhood story my mom told them in class, some days they reveal that they now know all about my high school battle with Calculus, and some days they jokingly yell at me about how she is making them write an entire unit (as if I can do anything to change their homework load). But any day I hear someone excitedly call “Mrs. Kloth!” down
the hall, I’m so proud to be her daughter. Because I go to Cairn, I get a behind-the-scenes tour of her teaching – I see the heart she has for every one of her students, and I see the hard work she puts in every day to ensure they receive the best education possible.
If I could go back to senior year and change my college decision, would I? Absolutely not. In my two years here at Cairn, I have found that rather than growing into an adult in my mom’s absence, I have been able to grow with her by my side.