LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:
College students, ever really wanted to have your parents in class with you? Yeah, I thought not. Hurricane Harvey canceled thousands of flights last week, including Enrock Anassi's. He was supposed to fly back to Houston after dropping off his daughter Kerubo Penny Anassi at New York City for her first year as a graduate student at The New School. But Enrock decided to make the most of it, getting to spend more time with his daughter, enjoying the city, hunting for apartments and going to class with her. The selfie Enrock took with his daughter in class received over 150,000 likes on Twitter. Enrock and Kerubo Anassi join us now from our studio in New York. Welcome to the program.
KERUBO ANASSI: Hello.
ENOCK ANASSI: Thank you.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Hello, both of you. I assume you're in New York. And your dad is still going to school with you?
K ANASSI: No, he hasn't because I haven't had another class. That's the only reason why.
K ANASSI: So yeah.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: So he's waiting. Kerubo, tell us how your dad ended up in class with you.
K ANASSI: I wanted to show them the campus because they'd never seen it before.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Your parents.
K ANASSI: Yes. So - yeah, both my mom and my dad. So I'm walking to the elevator to go to class. My mom sits down. She stays, minds her business. And my dad, like, follows me into the elevator. I'm like, where are you going? And he said, I'm going to class, too. And I was like, no, you're not. So I thought he would just come to class, sit for a second, maybe meet the professor and leave. But he stayed the entire time.
K ANASSI: Yeah. That's how it went down.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yeah. And actually wrote a message to your mom, being like...
K ANASSI: Yeah.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Mom, get my dad out of here.
K ANASSI: Like, as soon as everybody starts to like, roll in, I was like, he's still in here. Come get him. Room 806. Come right now. Hurry up. And yeah. But he just never left.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Dad - Enrock - your daughter wrote a tweet saying that you were distracting her. Is that true, sir?
E ANASSI: Actually, that is true. She was very distracted. But I told her for whatever she wants to do, she needs to be less distracted. So I'm kind of...
GARCIA-NAVARRO: You were helping her.
E ANASSI: ...You know, taking her to the first class, you know? So I went on and just ignored her and sat in the corner and greeted everybody.
K ANASSI: He got a syllabus. He greeted everybody. He was just in there, chilling. It was crazy. I was like, wow, OK.
K ANASSI: My first day at grad school.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: So who was the better student?
K ANASSI: Honestly, I think he was because he had, like, questions for me after class. And he knew more about the class and what we learned that day than I did. And he is a professor. And he's a doctor. So he's a great student. So I honestly would say him.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: What have you guys been doing together in New York City?
E ANASSI: Basically, we're looking for places for her to stay and then also looking for - she's going to be needing to work.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Are you hearing that, Kerubo?
K ANASSI: Yes, of course.
E ANASSI: So that she cannot be calling me for money.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: I have to ask you - obviously, this WAS precipitated by some pretty difficult events in Houston. How is your house? How's your family?
E ANASSI: That is true. That is true. My son - this is the son of mine who lives in Houston, the oldest son. Actually, I saw him, you know, being...
K ANASSI: On a boat.
E ANASSI: On a boat.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Saw him being evacuated.
K ANASSI: Yeah.
E ANASSI: Being evacuated. I saw the video. The family is OK. My family's OK. But there are so many others who have lost houses that I know of but not...
K ANASSI: Personally.
E ANASSI: ...Personal friends.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: I just want to end with you, Kerubo. What are your new classmates saying about your dad being around and your newfound celebrity?
K ANASSI: I haven't been back to school. But we did go to the block party. And as soon as he walked up, everybody recognized us. One girl was like, I think I saw a meme. Is that your dad? The president of the school wants to have coffee with my dad.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Oh (laughter).
K ANASSI: So they want to give him, like, a New School Dad shirt.
K ANASSI: And, like, the whole marketing team is, like, on it. So yeah. That's pretty cool.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: That is cool. Enrock and Kerubo Anassi, we wish you the best of luck. Enjoy the rest of your time in New York City together. And, of course, best wishes for a Houston recovery.
K ANASSI: Thank you.
E ANASSI: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.