I saw this at Charlotte’s Web today. She got it from the Noble Savage, who got it from What If No One’s Watching. The original authors of this exercise are Will Barratt, Meagan Cahill, Angie Carlen, Minnette Huck, Drew Lurker, and Stacy Ploskonka at Illinois State University. If you participate, they ask that you PLEASE acknowledge their copyright.
Bold the true statements. You can explain further if you wish. (I added italics for ones that were almost true, or where I’m not entirely sure.)
1. Father went to college
2. Father finished college
3. Mother went to college
She probably should have, but she was busy working and being a mom.
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
Um, I assume so.
7. Had more than 50 books in your childhood home
I probably had more than 50 books in my room alone. I was even a member of a book of the month club for kids.
8. Had more than 500 books in your childhood home
Considering that we even had books stuffed on the high shelves in our closets, I’d say yes.
9. Were read children’s books by a parent
I have to assume so, since I have been told I started reading on my own at age 4, and I don’t remember much before that. No wonder I’ve had glasses since I was seven!
10. Had lessons of any kind before you turned 18
11. Had more than two kinds of lessons before you turned 18
Swimming (briefly, hated it), one summer of tap/ballet/baton twirling (it was like the girly trifecta), and several years of piano.
12. The people in the media who dress and talk like me are portrayed positively
Uh, I have no idea. Tell me how self-employed, college-educated, geeky, overweight, semi-esoteric, married mothers of two are portrayed, and I’ll get back to you.
13. Had a credit card with your name on it before you turned 18
14. Your parents (or a trust) paid for the majority of your college costs
I had an academic scholarship that paid for my tuition for a few years, then some of the tuition for the rest of the years, but my parents paid for everything else.
15. Your parents (or a trust) paid for all of your college costs
16. Went to a private high school
I went to a private elementary school from kindergarten to third grade.
17. Went to summer camp
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
No one I knew shopped at thrift stores (to my knowledge). It was a very upper-middle-class to upper class area. I’m not even sure there are thrift stores there.
21. Your parents bought you a car that was not a hand-me-down from them
God bless them, they bought me a car while I was in college.
22. There was original art in your house when you were a child
We had a giant Peter Max serigraph of Ringo Starr, a giant Toulouse Lautrec-style vintage poster, and various watercolors and lithographs, some done by family members.
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
I’m assuming this means that we weren’t renting, not that they had paid off the mortgage!
25. You had your own room as a child
I was an only child.
26. You had a phone in your room before you turned 18
I think so, the memories are dim.
27. Participated in a SAT/ACT prep course
I’m saying yes on this one as a technicality. I didn’t actually take a course, but I did take the pre-SAT, from which I became a National Merit Scholar and got the scholarship. The SAT was huge at my high school, with some kids taking it multiple times to increase their already high scores.
28. Had your own TV in your room in high school
But it was black and white and approximately 7 inches across, and still had dials for UHF and VHF. That hardly counts, right?
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
Up until I was 8 years old, my parents both worked on “Museum Row” on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles, so we went to the LA County Museum of Art many times. I remember the 1978 King Tut exhibit quite clearly. We also went to the J. Paul Getty Museum in Malibu, and the Norton Simon in Pasadena.
34. You were unaware of how much heating bills were for your family
So, this was an interesting meme. I would say that in my childhood I perceived a degree of family struggle to maintain the level of luxury enjoyed by our neighbors. My schools were mostly white, mostly college-bound. There was an assumption in my family that culture, reading, learning, going to school, etc. were all highly valued. We certainly had a comfortable life in pleasant surroundings, compared to many people in this world. I’m not sure how that falls out as far as privilege.
This brings up again some of the thoughts and concerns Anthropapa and I have had about sending our kids to Waldorf school, because for the most part these schools are white and upper middle class. They are expensive private schools. Do we want our kids to grow up thinking that is the norm? Do we want our kids to grow up feeling they are less privileged than their peers, because frankly, we’re not upper middle class?