Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I was considered PWT

I saw this over at Brimstone & Treacle and thought I would participate since this meme seems a little more interesting than most. Also, I am short on topic ideas at the moment.

The items that apply to me are bold.

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

7. Had more than 50 books in your childhood home

8. Had more than 500 books in your childhood home

9. Were read childrens' books by a parent

10. Had lessons of any kind before you turned 18 (this refers to out-of-school lessons, like music or sports.)

11. Had more than two kinds of lessons before you turned 18 see above.
As a child I did get to take a few dance classes, but usually the cost was too high for me to participate long term. When I turned 9, I started swimming competitively since I could join a neighborhood team which was almost free.

12. The people in the media who dress and talk like me are portrayed positively

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

15. Your parents (or a trust) paid for all of your college costs
My parents paid for my college education by taking out loans.

16. Went to a private high school

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
As a child I wore plenty of hand-me-down clothing, but I also received new clothes.

21. Your parents bought you a car that was not a hand-me-down from them
My parents bought me my first car. A 10 yr. old Camaro that required me to install a new gas tank before I could drive it anywhere. On the plus side, I found out that putting in a gas tank is not that hard.

22. There was original art in your house when you were a child

23. You and your family lived in a single family house
Mostly rentals.

24. Your parents owned their own house or apartment before you left home
Exactly one year before I went away to college.

25. You had your own room as a child
I don't have any siblings...that I know of.

26. You had a phone in your room before you turned 18

27. Participated in a college entrance exam (eg. SAT/ACT) prep course

28. Had your own TV in your room
I kept this TV through college. It finally died a few years after that. Considering it was my parents TV for several years before I got it, I would say that we totally got our money's worth.

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.

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.


EthidiumBromide said...

I find it interesting that if I were to do this, I could bold off all of these... except probably the most expected ones, when you consider that the rest would be bolded -- no phone in my room, no TV in my room, etc. Considering that my parents were not strapped for cash, I was raised in a strict household.

And then they made me pay for college myself, because they decided I would appreciate it more. We had original art in our household, over 500 books, went on multiple cruises, and then I had to turn down every ivy league school that accepted me because my parents made too much money for me to qualify for any financial aid, but they opted to not contribute.

microbiologist xx said...

EtBr - That is surprising! I had a lot of friends who paid for their own tuition and I always respected them for it. Education is not cheap and paying for it for years after you graduate is a daunting task, but they finished and graduating anyway.
Anyway...Do you think you appreciated your education more? (And I am not asking that in a snarky way...just curious.)

PhizzleDizzle said...

MXX - interesting...the more I think about it the more this "test" is really kind of skewed, particularly given EB's comment above.

I had to look up PWT, and I don't think you're that at all. Does that color your view or yourself today, or drive you in terms of what you want to be or not to be? I'm just curious, I hope these questions don't bother you. I didn't know anyone who would be considered PWT growing up - just lots of immigrants or children of immigrants.

And EB - I, too, would be curious to know if you appreciate your education more because you paid for it.

EthidiumBromide said...

No, I didn't appreciate my college experience more.

That's not to say that I'm not delighted with how it turned out. If I HAD gone to one of those ivy league schools because my parents paid for it, then I wouldn't have met my husband, or the great friends I have now, and I probably wouldn't be at the graduate program I am in today (which um, might not be such a bad thing...) because I wouldn't have fallen in love with DC, so I am certainly not unhappy with where I ended up.

But I didn't appreciate my education more because of it. I understand why they did it, but I feel like sometimes, there are extenuating circumstances. I picked the school I did because I was offered a hefty academic scholarship which required that I maintain a very high GPA. I also simultaneously relapsed with cancer while in college, so I spent most of my time in college on high doses of chemotherapy, dragging myself back and forth to the doctor, stressing about my GPA, and begging to not get kicked out of college when I only had a 3.7 as a science major and that wasn't good enough for my scholarship. I literally cried my way back into my scholarship with the dean of the college of arts and sciences, with the whole sob story of trying to manage school and cancer and so many hours of rehearsal for the music department (I was also on a fairly substantial music scholarship to pick up where the academic scholarship left off). I think there's a fine line between appreciating your education, and being forced to beg for it while battling for your own life.

Given my circumstances, I wasn't going to be one of those "entitled" kids who partied there way through college. And it also wasn't like my parents were wealthy -- they just managed their money well. We were very fair and square middle class; it's just that my parents valued things like books and art and traveling and culture more than say, new cars, McMansions, and cable TV packages.

microbiologist xx said...

EtBr – Wow…I’m speechless. First of all, I am glad to see that you are happy where you ended up. I went to the lamest undergraduate institution of all time, but I can’t regret it too much since I would not have met my husband had I gone elsewhere.
Second, I am surprised that you had to cry your way back in to the scholarship. If there were ever a good reason to make an exception to a rule, I would think cancer would be it. I am glad you pulled through and I am impressed you were able to juggle all of that with your health. Just the academic and music load would have been too much for some people.

P. Dizzle – Feel free to ask questions. I think it makes blogging more fun.
I definitely qualified as PWT growing up. I was living in a single parent home, when that was rare, and my Mom was an administrative assistant or a secretary as it was called back then. We did not get financial assistance from anyone, including my biological father and as a result we lived in a shit hole and I went to a shitty school. However, I did have a roof over my head, food to eat, clothes to wear and a mother who loved me. Lot’s of kids where I lived didn’t even have all of that. My Mom had a way of making things seem fine and it wasn’t until I was much older that I realized just how poor we were when I was little. Not to mention, being “poor” was the least of my problems.
I don’t think it colors my view of myself, but I do think growing up the way I did certainly colored my view of other people. For example, I have a very low tolerance for people who have had every opportunity in life but still bitch and moan about how hard their life is when any and every little thing goes slightly wrong. I am very driven, but I think that has more to do with my Mom and how she raised me as apposed to feeling the need to overcome my early life. I hope that answered your questions.

PhizzleDizzle said...

EB - holy cow. talk about trials and tribulations. I am amazed by your strength and fortitude. I have nothing else to say but that you have my admiration.

MXX - For example, I have a very low tolerance for people who have had every opportunity in life but still bitch and moan about how hard their life is when any and every little thing goes slightly wrong. you mean like me? :/.

I get really conflicted sometimes about my life. Not that we were *rich* or that I don't work hard, but I know I don't deserve anything I have and that it's just an accident of birth. My parents worked their asses off for the American Dream, a better life for their children, and I just get the benefits for free, and that makes me damned lucky.

On a related note, you might like this video. It's how I feel sometimes.


microbiologist xx said...

PD - Thanks for the link, I will check it out.
No, I don't mean you. :)
Complaining is normal and fine (especially when you are under pressure to find a job). What I am referring to are people that act like every tiny little thing is the end of the world, become overly dramatic and blow things way out of proportion. This leaves me wondering how these people would handle something that was actually traumatic.
I understand what you are saying regarding your parents working their ass off and you reaping the benefits for free. I kinda feel like that about my Mom. But like my Mom, I bet your parents feel like everything they did was worth it and are glad that you have so many opportunities and such potential. Maybe if we ever procreate, we will understand. ;)