- This exercise is based on one developed by Will Barratt, Meagan Cahill, Angie Carlen, Minnette Huck, Drew Lurker, Stacy Ploskonka at Indiana State University (see the "looking at privilege" post in the above paragraph, for additional links).
- The exercise's developers hold the copyright and have given permission for it to be posted, with links, on the Quakers and Social Class blog. They ask that those of us who participate in this blog exercise acknowledge their copyright, which I'm doing here.
- If you cut-and-paste this exercise on your own blog, please leave a comment on the relevant post, pointing readers to your own post.
- Copy and paste the list below into your blog (or as a comment in the relevant post), remove my own personal comments, and bold the items that are true for you.
Father finished college (with a break in the middle to join the army for 3 yrs)
Mother went to college
Mother finished college
Have any relative who is an attorney, physician, or professor
Were the same or higher [social?] class than your high school teachers (probably about the same since my father was a teacher and then principal and my mother taught part-time off and on)
Had more than 50 books in your childhood home
Had more than 500 books in your childhood home
Were read children's books by a parent
Had lessons of any kind before you turned 18
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 [I have no idea how to judge this one--back when I was living at home still? I'm not sure teenage girls are ever 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*
Your parents (or a trust) paid for all of your college costs* (except for some spending money)
Went to a private high school
Went to summer camp (just once, I think)
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
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 (well, the mortgage company did, so I'm not sure if this is the right answer)
You had your own room as a child
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
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
You were unaware of how much heating bills were for your family (not sure how this figures--my parents just didn't talk about money much)
*These two are edited because it was pointed out that the previous wording didn't clearly delineate between people who had their tuition paid for them and people who worked for their college expenses.
In the group exercise which was originally designed for college students, staff and faculty, everyone stands in a line and steps forward if any of these things are true for them.
If we were all in a big room, I would have taken 23 steps forward. How about you? How many would you have taken? How many steps will your kids have taken by the time they're 18 (or how many did they take before they turned 18)?
Notice that each of these are things that were given to you or provided for you rather than things you necessarily earned yourself. The exercise instructions note that just because you've taken a lot of steps doesn't mean that you haven't worked hard to get where you are. But perhaps consider the things you've had handed to you that others didn't have.
To participate in this blog game, copy and paste the above list into your blog, and bold the items that are true for you. If you don't have a blog, feel free to post your responses in the comments.