Sunday, November 4, 2007

What Privileges Did You Begin With? meme

Jeanne, who writes the blog Social Class & Quakers, posted this exercise and is asking others to participate, either on their own blog or on hers (if you do it on your own blog, leave a message on hers to let her know). Cut and paste the list, remove my answers and then write in your own and bold the ones that are true for you.

I think it's an interesting exercise. I sorta had fun going through the questions and thinking about my family. My family was working class but, because my parents are very proper people who came from very lower class backgrounds (my mom more than my dad by degrees). They worked hard to make sure we spoke properly and were secure in our needs. My parents were very good parents and I'm very grateful for the love they gave me and the standards they held.

  • Father went to college-After he got out of the Navy and just prior to my birth, my dad finished his associates degree in warehouse management.

Father finished college

Mother went to college-she didn't but she should have. She's a very intelligent and curious person. She worked as a teacher's aid for years before she retired and would have made a great early elementary teacher.

Mother finished college

  • Have any relative who is an attorney, physician, or professor-I have one cousin who is a professor at a Christian college out of a very, very large extended family (cousin also has a bunch of rental properties and painted houses on the side for years).

Were the same or higher class than your high school teachers

  • Had more than 50 books in your childhood home-My mom values reading and we had one full bookcase in our house (I owned several "Nancy Drew" books). Actually, all the women in both sides of my parents family love books; they may not have great taste, favoring mysteries and "Christian" themed novels, but they all read a lot. My dad only began reading for pleasure since he retired but now reads a lot.

Had more than 500 books in your childhood home-Nope. The library was my favorite place in town.

  • Were read children's books by a parent-Both my parents read to us. My dad read to my brother and me as part of our bedtime ritual (I have a very fond memory of dad reading "Old Yeller" to us when I was around 6 and crying when Old Yeller had to be killed).

  • Had lessons of any kind before you turned 18-I took cello lessons at public school from 3rd grade through 7th. Hated every minute of it. My teacher was an unpleasant person and a lousy teacher who went to my church, too, so I had to be in the church orchestra as well as the school one. I learned one song in 4 years. Before one performance at school, Mr. Bennett told me to move the bow back and forth but "don't let it touch the strings".

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-Ha! I don't have a credit card in my name now!

Your parents (or a trust) paid for the majority of your college costs

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

Went to a private high school

  • Went to summer camp-One year, when I was 8, I went to some Baptist Bible summer camp for a week with my best friend from church. I don't remember anything from that week except that my friend sleepwalked, pulled down her pants and almost sat on my head dreaming she was in the bathroom (the counselor stopped her) and I was utterly mortified.

Had a private tutor before you turned 18

  • Family vacations involved staying at hotels-My parents always took us on low budget, high stress vacations to amusement parks. We stayed in motels and often ate store donuts for breakfast to save money. My dad would get lost and my mom would yell at him and my brother, sister and I would sit in the back seat longing for the boredom of home. The year I was 12, we drove to Disneyworld from Northern Indiana and home again in a week's time in a Beetle with all our luggage and 3 kids. The kooky thing is that we owned a station wagon but my parents wanted to save on gas.

Your clothing was all bought new before you turned 18-I had a bunch of older girl cousins so I rarely had new clothes until I began to babysit and earned enough to buy my own.

Your parents bought you a car that was not a hand-me-down from them- I bought my first car, a 1973 Galaxy 500 for $300, when I was 18

There was original art in your house when you were a child-one wouldn't count any art held by magnets to the fridge would one?

  • Had a phone in your room before you turned 18-Yes, oddly. My bedroom was wired for it when we moved in. My mom had bought a "candlestick" phone at a garage sale that she hated so gave it to me for my room, which I thought was way cool. It wasn't my own private line, though.

  • You and your family lived in a single family house-yes, although when I was in junior high, my parents tried opening a business that failed and they lost everything and we moved in with an elderly former neighbor. After a year or so, my folks bought his house from him and he lived with us until he got cancer and died. We called him "Gramps" and I loved him (and was irritated by him) like he really was my grandfather.

  • Your parent(s) owned their own house or apartment before you left home-My parents are the most frugal people around-great with money management. They saved and scrimped to buy their first house when I was two and had it paid off in just over 10 years but then made an unwise decision to go into business with a family member and lost everything.

You had your own room as a child- Some of the time. When we moved in with Gramps Wegner, my sister and I had to, not only share a room, but share a bed! I was 14 and she was 8. One night I dreamed I was sitting on a porch swing kissing my boyfriend on the ear and woke up to find myself nibbling the lobe of my little sister! Ew, gross!

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

  • Flew anywhere on a commercial airline before you turned 16-When I was 6 we lived in Texas. My grandfather in Indiana died and we flew home for the funeral.

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-When I was in 6th grade, my class took a field trip to Chicago to see The Treasures of King Tut. My mom chaperoned so she could go. That same year she took me to see some of our community orchestra concerts including a ballet (Nutcracker, natch). My brother and I went to our local historical museum all the time because it had a really creepy display about this notorious murderess, Belle Gunness.

  • You were unaware of how much heating bills were for your family-My parents worried about money but they made it a point not to burden us with their worries.

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