Wednesday, November 21, 2007

What Privilege Have You?

I found this on Cathy's blog and thought I would participate:

(Quoting): I saw a blog game on a couple of Quaker blogs (this one and this one), so I thought I'd offer a similar game with a spin on class based. It's based on an exercise developed by Will Barratt, Meagan Cahill, Angie Carlen, Minnette Huck, Drew Lurker, Stacy Ploskonka at Illinois State University that I found on this Yahoo group around class on college campuses. The exercise developers hold the copyright but have given me permission to post it here and ask that if you participate in this blog game, you acknowledge their copyright. (End Quote)

So, I've bolded the ones that apply, and added some comments in italics.

* Father went to college -- after dropping out of high school and joining the National Guard, he eventually got his GED and took college courses while in the Army.
* Father finished college
* Mother went to college -- no, but grandmother had a year or two at the U. of Maine.
* Mother finished college
* Have any relative who is an attorney, physician, or professor. -- a couple of professors, if first cousins once removed count!
* Were the same or higher class than your high school teachers -- probably, for the most part, though they were a diverse bunch.
* Had more than 50 books in your childhood home -- oh yeah. I'd say at least 50 that belonged to me and my siblings.
* Had more than 500 books in your childhood home -- very likely at certain times, but we moved a lot and had to deaccession each time.
* Were read children's books by a parent
* Had lessons of any kind before you turned 18 -- well, swimming lessons at the public beach and ballroom dancing sponsored by the PTA.
* Had more than two kinds of lessons before you turned 18
* The people in the media who dress and talk like me are portrayed positively -- I guess. I can't call any to mind just now.
* Had a credit card with your name on it before you turned 18 -- this was, obviously, designed for today's college students, not my generation!
* Your parents (or a trust) paid for the majority of your college costs* -- a generous scholarship from A Host at Last University, a 3% student loan, some help from my parents, and a work-study job, and not spending much money!
* Your parents (or a trust) paid for all of your college costs*
* Went to a private high school
* Went to summer camp
* Had a private tutor before you turned 18
* Family vacations involved staying at hotels -- just once, when we first arrived in Germany, we stayed at an inn in Bad Schwalbach for a few days.
* Your clothing was all bought new before you turned 18 -- a total mixture, new, home-made, hand-me-downs and thrift store.
* Your parents bought you a car that was not a hand-me-down from them -- I still don't drive, but this would not have happened, believe me.
* There was original art in your house when you were a child - if you count original paintings my great-aunt and my father did. We have lots now since two of my brothers are artists.
* Had a phone in your room before you turned 18 -- the Princess phone was just coming in, but I don't think any of my "richer" friends had one, either.
* You and your family lived in a single family house -- again, sometimes yes and sometimes no, depending on the Army.
* Your parent(s) owned their own house or apartment before you left home (see above) -- my parents built a little house in Maine before my father went back into the Army, and we always owned it and returned there before I finished high school.
* You had your own room as a child -- once, for a while, but I got too lonesome on the third floor of the old German townhouse and moved in with my little sister, who was my roommate till I went to college.
* Participated in an SAT/ACT prep course - Um, yeah. It was called reading.
* Had your own TV in your room in High School -- Even in college, with a rather affluent population, there were very few students who had a TV. Another generational thing.
* Owned a mutual fund or IRA in High School or College -- IRAs didn't exist. Not sure about mutual funds, but not for me anyway.
* Flew anywhere on a commercial airline before you turned 16 -- yes, courtesy of the New Haven Register, which paid for my trip to Washington to be in the National Spelling Bee. Of course we flew Military Air Transport Service to Germany and back twice.
* Went on a cruise with your family -- I suppose a Rhine River cruise doesn't count, as one didn't sleep on board. It was fun though.
* Went on more than one cruise with your family
* Your parents took you to museums and art galleries as you grew up -- I recall some sight-seeing on our first tour in Germany, but mostly, it was school field trips that provided this experience.
* You were unaware of how much heating bills were for your family -- I don't recall it ever being an issue.

*These two are edited because Christine pointed out that the previous wording didn't clearly delineate between people who had their tuition paid for them and people who worked for their college expenses.

If you post this in your blog, please leave a comment on this post.

Note to relatives, and you know who you are: please leave comments on the blog instead of emailing me directly, because it's more fun for me to get comments! You can be "anonymous".


Cathy said...

Your post was very interesting. I should have elaborated on a few more as you did.

I LOVE your answer to the ACT/SAT prep.

SonShineIn said...

Well, I guess you did okay, since I can answer several more of the questions in the affirmative. Of course, the more-than-500-books-in-the-house could be seen as kind of a mixed blessing, given my allergies.

But seriously folx, here's some other things I would add to the list of privileges, all of which I enjoyed:

*Parents had a diverse social circle, including members of social classes above and below their own
*Parents had a newspaper subscription, and encouraged children to read the newspaper
*Family made regular trips to the library
*Interesting dinner-table discussion of current events
*Etymologies of words were a frequent subject of discussion
*Family vacations were a la carte, rather than all-inclusive
*Lived in close proximity to a college or university, and was familiar with the campus & culture
*Early discussion of class, race and gender as political constructs