Saturday, January 12, 2008

Point of Privilege

I am not a Meme type for the most part, but Alison had one today that is interesting. My husband is in an Urban Studies course that is challenging all of our perceptions about privilege and our internal biases, so it's particularly timely for us this week.

The premise is that I bold all the statements that are true. I've added a bit of personal commentary in a few places where it makes sense.

Da Fine Print (because there's always fine print): The list is based on an exercise developed by Will Barratt, Meagan Cahill, Angie Carlen, Minnette Huck, Drew Lurker, Stacy Ploskonka at Illinois State University. The exercise developers ask that if you participate in this blog game, you acknowledge their copyright.

If you want to participate, please do the same. It'd be interesting to see the results

Father went to college

Father finished college

Mother went to college

Mother finished college

Have any relative who is an attorney, physician, or professor

Were the same or higher class than your high school teachers

Had more than 50 books in your childhood home

Had more than 500 books in your childhood home Books were the one luxury in the house. My mother would buy used books at garage sales and library sales. We even had encyclopedias in the house.

Were read children’s books by a parent

Had lessons of any kind before you turned 18 -- I studied voice and piano

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

Had a credit card with your name on it before you turned 18

Your parents (or a trust) paid for the majority of your college costs Haha! I had three scholarships and held down full-time work the whole time!

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

Your clothing was all bought new before you turned 18

Your parents bought you a car that was not a hand-me-down from them

There was original art in your house when you were a child My dad bought a few pieces from a local artist when I was a teenager

Had a phone in your room before you turned 18

You and your family lived in a single family house

Your parent(s) owned their own house or apartment before you left home Not outright, of course -- we were always mortgaged

You had your own room as a child After I was about 10 or so.

Participated in an SAT/ACT prep course

Had your own TV in your room in High School

Owned a mutual fund or IRA in High School or College *snort*

Flew anywhere on a commercial airline before you turned 16 We took a trip to California when I was in seventh grade

Went on a cruise with your family

Went on more than one cruise with your family
Your parents took you to museums and art galleries as you grew up Always. As in, just about every weekend, when the weather was bad. It was cheap entertainment and we had abundant museums in the city

You were unaware of how much heating bills were for your family. Man, I think I knew every bill in the house growing up. My parents were all about accountability.

----
Things were, in retrospect, pretty meager growing up. We weren't suffering, for certain -- we always had a place to live, and there was always food in the table. We lived at the poor end of town, but I never felt poor. My parents always valued education but couldn't afford higher education for themselves. Really, though, if you look at where our money WAS spent, it was always on books, museums, and other items that were focused on enrichment. We always lived near a library and we always took advantage of it. Getting through college was rough -- I always had a job, or a collection of part-time jobs. But I think it taught me how to multi-task at a young age!

I live much better than my parents did. And I really, genuinely believe that it was because of their very strong focus on education. My folks are very smart people, but they never rose above their class because they both had to go directly into the work force after high school.

As my husband and I discussed this, he pointed out that most of the folks I pass on the way to work each morning couldn't say yes to a SINGLE one of these questions. That even though most of them live within 10 minutes of one of the richest collections of museums in the nation, most of them don't go, because they either cannot afford the bus fare or the relatively nominal admission price. That there are no libraries in those neighborhoods. I wonder how people raise themselves up without those resources.

Interesting exercise.

3 comments:

Alison said...

Interesting, indeed. Glad you participated!

Mississippi Songbird said...

Father went to college

Father finished college

Mother went to college

Mother finished college

Have any relative who is an attorney, physician

Had more than 50 books in your childhood home

Were read children’s books by a parent

Had lessons of any kind before you turned 18 -- voice, flute,guitar banjo,and baton

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

Went to a public high school

Went to choir/church camp

Never went on a family Vacation

There was original art in your house when you were a child .My sister was an artist.

You and your family lived in a single family house

Your parent(s) owned their own house or apartment before you left home.
You had your own room as a child .yes

Participated in an SAT/ACT prep course

Had your own TV in your room in High School.Yes


Flew anywhere on a commercial airline before you turned 16 . I flew to see my dad during the summers. sometimes, all by myself, with the a stewardess that supervised me.

Your parents took you to museums and art galleries as you grew up Yes. My Mom and Step dad did.. We lived in Houston,Texas/

You were unaware of how much heating bills were for your family. Yes
----

Thanks. This was a fun exercise..
bunches of hugs..

puggimer said...

Father went to college

Father finished college - his parents were illiterate - but he got his PhD.

Mother went to college

Mother finished college

Have any relative who is an attorney, physician, or professor - father

Had more than 50 books in your childhood home

Had more than 500 books in your childhood home

Had lessons of any kind before you turned 18 -- chess, judo

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

Your parents (or a trust) paid for the majority of your college costs Haha! Yes, but it was ridiculously cheap as I lived at home, and went to the school across the street where my Dad taught - the tuition was less than $600 a semester.

Went to summer camp

Your clothing was all bought new before you turned 18

There was original art in your house when you were a child My parents loved supporting local artists.

Had a phone in your room before you turned 18

You and your family lived in a single family house

Your parent(s) owned their own house or apartment before you left home Not outright, of course -- we were always mortgaged

You had your own room as a child Only boy with 2 sisters, so I always had my own room.

Had your own TV in your room in High School - got a cheap b&w tv when I had mono as a freshman

Your parents took you to museums and art galleries as you grew up

You were unaware of how much heating bills were for your family. One the the failings of my parents was to teach me about money and bills - never knew what any of them were.