Friday, February 01, 2008

Meme Break - Privilege and Me.

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We all just got back from our four day sprint through Dresden and Berlin, and have a quick day off here in rainy Heidelberg before heading off to Paris tomorrow! I will have lots of photos later - plus a guest blog from my sister, which I promise will be extremely cool, because she is. In the meantime, here's a quickie meme regarding privilege, and how much of it I might have. I have been thinking about this because I have been getting bummed when visiting bigger cities, that I'm deprived in Heidelberg. Haha, deprived, by living in Heidelberg! Pretty shitty of me to even have it cross my mind. So here's a reality check.

I got this meme from Christina G over at Ami Expat. It was developed for a research project (and copyrighted) by Will Barratt, Meagan Cahill, Angie Carlen, Minnette Huck, Drew Lurker, Stacy Ploskonka at Illinois State University (see their project’s website here). They ask that you PLEASE acknowledge their copyright if you use this meme.

Bold the true statements.

1. Father went to college.

2. Father finished college.

3. Mother went to college.

4. Mother finished college.

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

6. Were the same or higher class than your high school teachers. (Does this mean economic class? I would probably say same, then.)

7. Had more than 50 books in your childhood home. (I don't think we started with that many, but we ended up with far more!)

8. Had more than 500 books in your childhood home. (Again, I think we did, once the three of us went through - but definitely not before.)

9. Were read children’s books by a parent.

10. Had lessons of any kind before you turned 18. (Art.)

11. Had more than two kinds of lessons before you turned 18.

12. The people in the media who dress and talk like me are portrayed positively. (I'm not sure how to interpret this one. I was female and white, so yes. I was a hick and a nerd, so no.)

13. Had a credit card with your name on it before you turned 18. (Sisters did, though.)

14. Your parents (or a trust) paid for the majority of your college costs. (The vast majority - over $80,000 - was covered by need-based grant aid.)

15. Your parents (or a trust) paid for all of your college costs.

16. Went to a private high school.

17. Went to summer camp. (It wasn't camp - it was in college dorms and had classes - but it was time away from home, and it was paid for, so I'm counting it.)

18. Had a private tutor before you turned 18.

19. Family vacations involved staying at hotels.

20. Your clothing was all bought new before you turned 18. (I got hand-me-downs from the neighbor girls.)

21. Your parents bought you a car that was not a hand-me-down from them. (I have never owned a car by any means.)

22. There was original art in your house when you were a child. (Do the ones I made count? :) )

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. (And my own line, because Dad worked for the local phone company!)

27. Participated in a SAT/ACT prep course.

28. Had your own TV in your room in high school. (I couldn't believe it when I saw in college that some people brought them for their dorm rooms!)

29. Owned a mutual fund or IRA in high school or college.

30. Flew anywhere on a commercial airline before you turned 16.

31. Went on a cruise with your family.

32. Went on more than one cruise with your family.

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

34. You were unaware of how much heating bills were for your family. (Most of the time I was, but at the end of high school Dad had me balance the checkbook for a while.)

So, 11/34. I would still say I was pretty privileged, although thanks to the answers on this quiz being far more bolded for most of my social circle, sometimes I feel a little out of it. I also think there were some benefits to being kind of sheltered as a kid - by the time I saw a big city or endless water, or flew on a plane, I was old enough to really understand the value of it and not be jaded. I'm also great at managing money. At the same time, I started out college far behind my peers, who had better high schools, zillions of lessons, and so on. It was a problem at the time, but probably hasn't made a difference in the long run.

I want to tag my husband to respond in the comments since he doesn't have a blog, and Michelle.

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