MARSHFIELD, Wis. (WSAW) -- If you've ever wondered what it's like going to college with not just your siblings, but your parent as well--this family attending UWSP at Marshfield can tell you all about it.
Alice Painted had been out of school for 29 years when she started a new chapter in her life a couple years ago.
"I'm hoping to teach in one of the local schools," she says--and to do that, she started her associates degree at the UWSP Marshfield campus. Close by and convenient, she says she wouldn't have chosen to go back to college at all if the option hadn't been so close to home.
Alice is now just five credits shy of her associates degree, at which point she can get certified as a substitute teacher. But she's not done--she plans on transferring to UW-Stout to get her bachelor's in special education. She has a passion for working with struggling students, and she sees this as the path to get there.
But the most difficult part of jumping back into school after 29 years was learning how to learn--again.
"Doing school work," she added. "I do homework from sunup to sundown, sometimes."
Alice isn't alone at the campus, however. One of her four daughters is a graduate from UWSP in Marshfield.
"I did bounce things off of her, when I decided to go back to school. And it felt a little awkward, or not awkward--but weird, that I'm the adult mom and I'm asking her advice," she said with a laugh.
Another daughter, Tia Ausbourne, attends the campus as well--and she says she's enjoyed the experience of attending with her mom.
"She's gone over my papers for me," she laughed. "And just helped me in little ways along the way."
And finally, last in line, is Charla Painter, Alice's youngest daughter. She plans to start in the fall--but she's a little more apprehensive about it.
"It's probably gonna be a little weird, to be honest," she said. "But being with my sister, I'll probably enjoy."
All three are there for different reasons. Alice wants to teach. "I struggled a little bit in school when I was a kid," she said. And Tia has her eye on fashion and body positivity.
"I'd like to design plus-sized clothing with different aesthetics than what's already available," she shared. It's been an issue she says she's struggled with throughout her life, and she wants to help fix that problem for others.
As for Charla--well, Broadway, here she comes.
"I've always loved to perform--I love acting and singing," she explained.
The experience has changed Alice's outlook on college itself, which she originally discouraged for her daughters.
"I wasn't very encouraging of it, because it wasn't something I had ever experienced."
"I think I'm only here because of her," Tia says of her mother.