Tuesday, January 22, 2008
My privileges Meme
Esther, over at Hawai'i Catholic mom, saw this meme. It was new to her and I hadn't seen it either. It's sort of interesting the things we take for granted as perhaps being a privilege for someone else. I consider myself blessed! Meme statements are in green, my comments on some of them will be white. True statements are bold.
From What Privileges Do You Have?, based on an exercise about class and privilege developed by Will Barratt, Meagan Cahill, Angie Carlen, Minnette Huck, Drew Lurker, Stacy Ploskonka at Illinois State University. If you participate in this blog game, they ask that you PLEASE acknowledge their copyright.
True statements are in "Bold."
1. Father went to college
2. Father finished college
3. Mother went to college
4. Mother finished college
This would not have been unusual for parents who grew up in working class or poor families in the 30s or 40s. My dad could have graduated high school, but hated his home life and joined the Air Force 3 days after his 17th birthday. He idolized his uncles who'd all served in WWII, a conflict he missed by 5 or so years for being too young. Mom was a good student, but it was expected the girls would quit school at 16 and go to work because the family was poor. Dad did a couple of hitches and proceeded to work his way up the ladder in corporate America as a soft drink salesman, from the ground up to eventually be a plant manager. He worked his behind off. A fact which I didn't fully appreciate when I was little. Thank God for the opportunities in the USA, because there aren't a lot of societies where without a formal education that one can improve from the social/monetary class you were born in.
5. Have any relative who is an attorney, physician, or professor
Yes. Hush now. One of my cousins is an attorney, but try not to hold that against him.
6. Were the same or higher class than your high school teachers.
7. Had more than 50 books in your childhood home.
8. Had more than 500 books in your childhood home.
9. Were read children's books by a parent
Big time on the books. I had close to 1500 before I went to college. Most of the books in the house were mine, and every nickel I had went into buying books. Mom and dad indulged me to the hilt on this one. The best gift I had was a surprise gift at age 9 of a 24 volume encyclopedia set + a 10 volume science set and a 10 volume set about art, music, literature, stories, crafts etc. Some time back when I were going through my parents effects, I found payment book for same. Those books are dog earred now, but the best presents ever.
10. Had lessons of any kind before you turned 18
11. Had more than two kinds of lessons before you turned 18
Caught a break here. Lessons in things weren't nearly so expensive as they are now. I had piano and dance lessons growing up and professional driving lessons the Christmas after my 17th birthday. [They made me wait an extra year!] Oh, and swimming, Stephen reminded me ....
12. The people in the media who dress and talk like me are portrayed positively
No funny accent, I don't wear flipflops with tube tops and Daisy Dukes, so I'm okay.
13. Had a credit card with your name on it before you turned 18
My parents were generous, but not insane.
14. Your parents (or a trust) paid for the majority of your college costs
I'm going to go about halfies on this one. I lived at home. Mom and Dad paid for Frosh year. Then I got a job and paid tuition/bills/books and my own pin money and car insurance. Dad took a job in Sacramento towards the end of my junior year and they paid almost all the freight my last four academic quarters. On my 2nd degree, I paid the whole whack. I caught a break because there are a lot of good colleges in San Diego, and I didn't want added expense of going out of state or living away from home for the bulk of the time. It was about a $1200 a year for tuition/registration, books back in the 70s for the University of California. I don't know how families do it today with college as expensive as it is. "Son, how about going to West Point? That will save us a quarter million and Uncle Sam pays you! Deal?"
15. Your parents (or a trust) paid for all of your college costs
16. Went to a private high school
And thank you mom and dad! I adored it.
17. Went to summer camp
I don't know if Girl Scout Daycamp at age 7 for two weeks counts.
18. Had a private tutor before you turned 18
Too smart for my own good as it was. Okay, I could have used help in Algebra, but there was as much likelihood of being a civil engineer as Bill Clinton had of remaining faithful to the Hildabeast. No point in being insufferable by getting straight As. Keeps you from being neurotic.
19. Family vacations involved staying at hotels
Big time. Dad's job involved some travel and when he traveled WE traveled - especially in the summer and on school breaks or even when I could manage to play hookey a bit. I got to see a lot of the country before I was 18, and a few foreign countries too.
20. Your clothing was all bought new before you turned 18
Nope. Most of it was bought, but my mom was an excellent seamstress, and had worked in a garment factory for about 10 years before she married my dad. She made a lot of skirts and dresses for me when I was little, -- other stuff that was more of a pain to make i.e. blouses, jeans and stuff were bought. My Barbie had "fashions by mom" and were way better than what Mattel sold separately. I wasn't really a "doll kid" by any stretch of the imagination, far preferring little green army men, and board games, but something about Barbie was just .... appealing.
21. Your parents bought you a car that was not a hand-me-down from them
Halfies. After Frosh year in college mom got tired of driving me and dropping me off or us alternating days where I'd have the car and she wouldn't (dad had his own company car) so they got me a '75 Volvo that was new. I had a trade in (which I had bought myself from savings) I paid gas and insurance and half the car payment. They didn't quite cost the earth then. I think it was about 5 grand, and I got 800 bucks on my trade in. (They thought it better if I got a safer car than the one I bought. I first bought a used Toyota Corolla that had a charming habit of stalling at red lights unless you kept your foot lightly on the gas. It also would let you start in reverse...which I found out by accident.)
22. There was original art in your house when you were a child [kid's work is original!]
Yeah. A few pieces, but more the kind you'd buy at an art show. Nothing you'd worry about having an armed guard for.
23. You and your family lived in a single-family house
24. Your parent(s) owned their own house or apartment before you left home
25. You had your own room as a child
26. You had a phone in your room before you turned 18
27. Participated in a SAT/ACT prep course
28. Had your own TV in your room in high school
Got a small black and white one for my birthday when I was nine. Later on I can remember bringing it to school once in a while so we could watch NASA launches and Martin Luther King Jr.'s funeral.
29. Owned a mutual fund or IRA in high school or college
30. Flew anywhere on a commercial airline before you turned 16
Yeah, first flight aged 6. My Pittsburgh Pirates plastic batting helmet became my "crash helmet" for the next few times. Well, I didn't crash, did I? SEE? I was an old hand by 16.
31. Went on a cruise with your family
Nope. Just as well. Mal du Mer. My mom and dad had a small fishing boat back in the mid 70s that they/we took out fishing on a lot of weekends. Mom was the best at fishing, which frustrated dad and me. We'd be lucky to get one or two between us, mom would have a string of 6 or 7. We were sure she was just "lucky." My answer to the question: "Karen, we're going out on the boat this Saturday, wanna come?" Was " ...are you guys going down to the Coronado Islands, because if you are No, NO, NO...a thousand times NO, I'll be throwing up about a half hour after you stop. But if you're staying inside the bay, yes, and can I bring a friend?"
32. Went on more than one cruise with your family
Nope. Mom and dad went but when I was old enough and could have gone it was "no way, Jose!"
33. Your parents took you to museums and art galleries as you grew up
Usually that sort of thing was a vacation time activity. Smithsonian? You betcha. Going somewhere noted for that sort of thing, yeah, in spades. Go to the museum close to home? Yeah, occasionally, but not often.
34. You were unaware of how much heating bills were for your family
Are you kidding me? Regards the gas and electric bill: Any time I left a room with the light still on it was "DAMMIT, KAREN, WE DO NOT OWN STOCK IN THE PENNSYLVANIA POWER AND LIGHT COMPANY, WE ARE NOT MADE OUT OF MONEY, TURN THAT LIGHT OFF!!!" It did not matter what state we had moved to - the rebuke was always the same. This did not apply to the night light I had when I was little, because as everyone knows, monsters live under little kid's beds, and they come out to eat children unless there is a light on.
Esther tagged anyone who wanted to do the meme, and I tag the same.