Listeners Relate To Discussion On Moms In College

Host Michel Martin and producer Lee Hill, the program's "digital media guy," comb through listener feedback and offer important news updates to recent conversations heard on the program. Hear listeners relate their own personal stories to a recent conversation on the challenges faced by parents who juggle pursuing their delayed college dreams with raising a family. Also, a New Orleans police officer is headed to prison for his role in covering up a 2005 shooting that left two people dead in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

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MICHEL MARTIN, host:

And now it's back for BackTalk, where we lift the curtain on what's happening in the TELL ME MORE blogosphere and get to hear from you, our listeners.

Lee Hill, our digital media guy, is here with me, as usual.

Hey, Lee. What's up?

LEE HILL: Hey, Michel. As you know, we've aired several reports on education, and it's all been a part of our September Back to School series. Our Tuesday Moms conversation was about mothers who returned to the classroom to pursue their college dreams, all while raising a family.

Here's a clip from that conversation with Robin Robinson.

Ms. ROBIN ROBINSON: What made me stay at it is that I needed to reach my goals, as far as getting a degree, because I was told so many times that being that I have a child, I will not make it, and it'll be too much responsibility. It was so negative, that I wanted to prove them wrong. And that's what kept me going, that's what kept me going to class, doing my work, because I said, I have to prove them wrong.

HILL: Well, several people wrote in to thank us for acknowledging the sacrifice of parents who go back to school. And I'll read a note here from listener Stephanie. She writes: I, too, went back to school with three kids at home -junior high and high school age - and I suffered all the things they mentioned: guilt, fear, discouragement from family and friends. I wondered if I made the right decision. Well, long story short, in the summer of 2009, I earned my PhD. Was it hard? Harder than I ever imagined. Was it worth it? Definitely.

MARTIN: Can I say: You go, girl, Stephanie.

HILL: You go.

MARTIN: Thank you for that. That's it. And Lee, I was also excited to hear from men who were feeling this story. We received this note from listener Christopher. He writes: My parents encouraged me to complete my degree while I was single and childless. I did not listen. I completed my bachelors 20 years after I started. Five years later, I completed my masters. Along the way, I got married and became a father. Now, I encourage my children in their educational pursuits. I let them know that they can achieve their dreams on their timetable, as long as they never give up.

And Christopher, thank you for writing. And yes, we are proud of you too.

Lee, any updates?

HILL: Well, listeners might remember our conversation with Internet sensation Antoine Dodson of Huntsville, Alabama. He became famous after being interviewed by a local TV news reporter. Dodson had fended off an intruder to his sister's home, and he famously warned viewers to hide their families and everything else. And that news report quickly went viral on the Web and he became a superstar. Dodson's fame even led to a hit song. And Michel, it's paid off, apparently. He recently told the magazine US Weekly that he and his family are moving into a new home in a better neighborhood, thanks to royalties from the song.

MARTIN: Wow. Thanks, Lee.

HILL: Thank you, Michel.

MARTIN: And, remember, with TELL ME MORE, the conversation never ends. To tell us more, you can call our comment line at 202-842-3522. Please remember to leave your name. You can also log onto our website. Just go to npr.org, click on Programs, then on TELL ME MORE and blog it out.

(Soundbite of song, "Bed Intruder")

Mr. ANTOINE DODSON: (Singing) ...and all you are so dumb. No, you are really dumb, for real. The man got away leaving behind evidence. I was attacked...

MARTIN: Coming up, the guys head back to school for a special session of the Barbershop. They'll talk about that dad who went mono-e-mono with kids who were bullying his daughter. It's all part of our month-long education series.

That's just ahead, on TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin.

(Soundbite of song, "Bed Intruder")

Mr. DODSON: (Singing) Hide your kids, hide your wife. Hide your kids, hide your wife and hide your husband. 'Cause they're raping everybody out here. You don't have to come and confess. We're looking for you. We going to find you. We going to find you. So you can run and tell that, run and tell that, run and tell that, homeboy. Home, home, homeboy.

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