I saw this meme/questionnaire at A Chair, A Fireplace & a Tea Cozy and liked how she tied it into issues of class is YA lit, so, here goes.  I also liked the comments that Liz added in italics, so I’ll do the same.

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.

Bold the true statements.

1. Father went to college (and got his only A in handball)

2.  Father finished college

3.   Mother went to college (let’s not get ahead of ourselves – she got her GED.  Interesting that the questionnaire assumes parents got high school diplomas)

4.  Mother finished college.

5. Have any relative who is an attorney, physician, or professor.
Not that I know of.

6. Were the same or higher class than your high school teachers.
Probably “same”. Definitely not higher.

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.
I had ballet lessons for ten years, which my parents paid for, although I know it was hard.  When I was old enough to need pointe shoes, I paid for them myself.

11.  Had more than two kinds of lessons before you turned 18.
Like Liz mentioned, the question isn’t nuanced enough – all three of us had swim lessons for a few years, one week during the summer.  I distinctly remember that my mom registered using the address of friends in the right county, so that we would get a lower rate.

12. The people in the media who dress and talk like me are portrayed positively.
Me now – sure.  Me as a kid?  More of a dork factor than a class issue.

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.
Hell no.  My dad worked for the facilities services (ie, handyman) so that I would have my tuition covered.  I took loans for room and board, travel abroad, books, etc.

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

16. Went to a private high school.
I went to Catholic high school – excuse me, college preparatory school.  With a scholarship, and a low-income discount.

17. Went to summer camp.
Once, I went to a week-long 4-H camp.

18. Had a private tutor before you turned 18.

19. Family vacations involved staying at hotels.
Kind of.   When we went to my dad’s high school reunion, we stayed in a motel on the road, but with friends and family whenever possible.  We also stayed in cheap motels, or places with kitchenettes, when we made our annual trip to the coast.

20. Your clothing was all bought new before you turned 18.
Some new, as I was the oldest, but a lot of hand-me-downs from family friends. 

21. Your parents bought you a car that was not a hand-me-down from them.
Technically, yes.  But it cost them $200.

22. There was original art in your house when you were a child.  Only handmade things, like my mom’s cross-stitch.

23. You and your family lived in a single-family house.
From the time I was 6, but I was born in an apartment.  Literally.

24. Your parent(s) owned their own house or apartment before you left home.
Yes, but they’re still paying for it, I believe.

25. You had your own room as a child.
For 4 years, until my sister was born.  And not again until I was 20.

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

27. Participated in a SAT/ACT prep course
Because that’s what everyone else in my class was doing.

28. Had your own TV in your room in high school.

29. Owned a mutual fund or IRA in high school or college 
My grandmother set up a mutual fund for each of us when she remarried.

30. Flew anywhere on a commercial airline before you turned 16  When my family moved to Oregon, and again when my uncle paid for me to visit him in New Jersey.

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.
Museums, yes.  Art galleries, no. 

34.  You were unaware of how much heating bills were for your family.
As Liz said, not nuanced enough.  I don’t remember being aware of heating bills, but I was definitely aware of other costs – lessons, car, travel, eating out, school tuition, clothes, food, etc.  So I’m not bolding this one.

Grand total: 17 out of 34.  Interestingly, I don’t think I was ever aware of how much money we had, versus how much other families had, until I went to a Catholic middle school, and they had name brand clothes and fancy houses with swimming pools and new cars.  But that was the least of the differences between me and them, so it wasn’t a huge issue.

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