The Books of My Numberless Dreams

How Privileged Are You?

Posted on: April 18, 2008

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. (via Charlotte’s Web)

Bold the true statements. You can explain further if you wish.

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 children’s books by a parent
10. Had lessons of any kind before you turned 18
11. Had more than two kinds of lessons before you turned 18

Swimming, ballet, music (piano, violin, voice), a brief spurt with Judo.
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
16. Went to a private high school
Private high schools in Jamaica are typically the worst things you could saddle your child with, although they are known to scoop a good public high school teacher or two when they get fed up with low government pay.
17. Went to summer camp
Yeah, loved that stuff.
18. Had a private tutor before you turned 18
For a very brief period in preparation for Common Entrance (10+) exams when I was in prep school (private elementary).
19. Family vacations involved staying at hotels
A few times but 90% of them it involved staying with family.
20. Your clothing was all bought new before you turned 18
Either bought new or sewn by my aunt or a close family friend.
21. Your parents bought you a car that was not a hand-me-down from them
Yeah, but it was used. My Mum worked with hotels and typically drove company cars so there was nothing to hand down.
22. There was original art in your house when you were a child
Not many and I have no idea where it came from because none of it was my type.
23. You and your family lived in a single-family house
My extended family (aunts and cousins). I guess it was a “single-family” house that my Mum extended it. This only happened after she decided to get my younger brother and I out of hotel living. I got shipped to boarding school. On breaks I’d as often stay with my Mum (at hotels) than in Kingston (at the house). So I only felt as if I properly lived in such a home for sixth form.
24. Your parent(s) owned their own house or apartment before you left home
Don’t have a clue.
25. You had your own room as a child
26. You had a phone in your room before you turned 18
27. Participated in a SAT/ACT prep course
Yes, but that was only after I took SAT I on my own. The tutor heard of my score and “recruited” me for his college prep programme but I never paid anything since he doesn’t prep for SAT IIs as they are subject specific. I was doing my A-levels. (SAT IIs were much easier.)
28. Had your own TV in your room in high school
Never and still don’t. The idea makes me uncomfortable — seems excessive and guaranteed to suck away precious hours. I’m in a situation now, though, when the available tv is so small and pathetic (and often co-opted by the landlady’s boyfriend-now-husband to watch Westerns) that I may invest in one.
29. Owned a mutual fund or IRA in high school or college
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
30. Flew anywhere on a commercial airline before you turned 16
Well, you know, us Caribbean folk like to go abroad.
31. Went on a cruise with your family
Don’t think I’ll ever do this. Stuck on a ship with fake golf courses and retirees chilling by the pool and godawful night entertainment? Do not want. (Maybe those Antarctic/Arctic cruises? Maybe. There seems to be something to those.)
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
N/A

Yikes. Lots more bolding than I expected. Feel free to do this one if you care to.

11 Responses to "How Privileged Are You?"

I love the n/a on #34.😀 I guess my family was a little unusual–lower middle-class but valued culture and education. We had a house…with not much in it. Went to Europe…in the off-season (brrrr). We were always the last on the block to get a microwave/VCR/cable/etc., but watched operas and ballets on TV (in the good old days when PBS was PBS). I guess I don’t fit the demographic model.

Well, my circumstances have always been a little blurred and unusual because my mother’s job allowed her to live on resort property (in the apartments section) — this provided access to a lot of things I wouldn’t have had otherwise, like the satellite dish, for example. (We never got a microwave until after 2000. lol. And it’s pretty much only used for reheating.) I never had my room at the apartment (I shared with my aunt) nor at the house in Kingston until lately (with most of the family in Florida now). As I’ve said before the Jamaican public boarding schools (again the best compared to private — not even sure if there’s any of those left after Bel Air closed) were a huge step down in terms of living comfort. (Bread and oatmeal for breakfast. White rice and some horrid meat substance for lunch. Bread and sardines/sausage/cold corned beef for supper.)

My mother certainly valued culture and education but the first in a more abstract way compared to my active interest, so it seems to me. (The only other relative into it, and who actually wishes to pursue a career in the performing arts, is an adopted cousin and, basically, almost everyone is against it.) Family bought me books but they didn’t do that much reading themselves outside of the Bible & Daily Bread. My Mom would send me to classical music performances — with family friends or something. Art galleries? Pshaw. *I* watched operas and ballets on TV (on the phenomenal Classical Showcase — do you know about it?) until my aunt ran me off complaining about all that “ooOoOO” racket coming from the speakers 24/7.

Everyone liked plays though. My younger brother is closer to the mold.

Wow, I had a surprising amount of bolding. I did a test like this once before, but it was much less focused on culture things. Yours makes me feel like way more of a child of privilege.

Aha! You should post it so that we can all make you feel guilty!

My working class background is reaffirmed by this meme. Heh.

With artists in the family, museums and art classes were like second homes. Skewed the results a bit. Had original works of art cause my mother and uncle and grandfather painted them.
A great aunt who was a Hollywood journalist… have a picture of her with John Wayne. My sister makes her living as a watercolorist. Have a niece in a four year art school in New Zealand now.

The straight folks in my family (non-artists): strong middle of the middle, kind of kept the rest of us together–the ones who slid off into what Paul Fussell calls the x class. I came along about 3o years too soon for a lot of those questions.

Can’t grade another paper… Ten hours till the poles open… why not?

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,</b<
physician, or professor.
My father… definitely one of the sraights.

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.
Probably not, but got close to that when I was in high school. Most of ’em mine.
9. Were read children’s books by a parent
Not often… but a read to a lot an assortment of aunts, great aunts and grandmother (lived with extended family)
10. Had lessons of any kind before you turned 18 I was taking classes at the Art Institute in Chicago in elementary school, and this just went on though high school, the Nelson-Atkins Gallery in Kansas City, the Kansas City Art Institute… with some clarinet lessons thrown in.
11. Had more than two kinds of lessons before you turned 18
If you include the clarinet lessons
Swimming, ballet, music (piano, violin, voice), a brief spurt with Judo.
12. The people in the media who dress and talk like me are portrayed positively
Only Tarantino would portray someone with a mouth like mine… as for dressing. Ha! … but I have great Obama T-shirt!
13. Had a credit card with your name on it before you turned 18
You’re f* out of your mind!
14.
Your parents (or a trust) paid for the majority of your college costs.
Yep. Tuition at Wichita State University was $12.50 a semester hour in 1961.
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
I would have run away from home first!
18. Had a private tutor before you turned 18
My grandmother coached me with flash cards for the times tables in second grade…
19. Family vacations involved staying at hotels
Never. Family had a cabin on a lake in Michigan–hand pump for water, outhouse, potbellied stove.
20. Your clothing was all bought new before you turned 18. Yeah, and my mother was a seamstress… actually, did tayloring. Made a lot of my shirts in HS. My tastes were pretty flamboyant back then…
21. Your parents bought you a car that was not a hand-me-down from them
You gotta be kidding.
22. There was original art in your house when you were a child
Yep. By real artists, too. All in my family.
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
27. Participated in a SAT/ACT prep course
I took it cold and got a small scholarship. Nobody had tutors for SAT’s in 1959.
28. Had your own TV in your room in high school
First TV in the house: 1948. A 10 inch Motorola.
Color TV in 1954. In its own room.
29. Owned a mutual fund or IRA in high school or college
May I quote Imani? “HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.”
30. Flew anywhere on a commercial airline before you turned 16
Actually I did… across Lake Michigan returning from Chicago after a funeral for the father of my best friend… a two engine prop job. 1956. Wasn’t on a plane again until 1964… another funeral. My mother’s sister. Stabbed to death by her husband.
31. Went on a cruise with your family
There seems to be something to those.)
32. Went on more than one cruise with your family
33. Your parents took you to museums and art galleries as you grew up My homes away from home
34. You were unaware of how much heating bills were for your family
Money was my father’s business, no one else’s.

My mother thinks this quiz is hilarious, btw. When we were little and we used to ask my parents if we were rich, they used to say, “Well….we’re rich in books!” Now she feels really justified.

Jacob R I’m glad you decided to do it! Really interesting getting some insight into your background. Classes $12.50 an hour? Those were the days!

Must have been interesting having so many artists in your family. My people are straight as straight, hence the panic when I took a year off before university and then another after undergrad.

jenny you need to do this quiz now.😛 I want to see!

I saw this new dating site for Thai holidays today

Thanks for your strategies. One thing I have noticed is the fact that banks as well as financial institutions know the dimensions and spending behaviors of consumers while also understand that most of the people max away their cards around the vacations. They smartly take advantage of this real fact and commence flooding your own inbox in addition to snail-mail box with hundreds of no-interest APR credit cards offers right after the holiday season finishes. Knowing that for anyone who is like 98% in the American public, you’ll hop at the possible opportunity to consolidate credit debt and shift balances towards 0 interest rate credit cards.

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