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The privilege game

January 1st, 2008 (11:30 am)

I found this one more interesting than I expected, so here are my answers:

Father went to college
Father finished college
PhD, actually.
Mother went to college
Mother finished college
Have any relative who is an attorney, physician, or professor
I can think of three professors (or former professors) offhand. No physicians. My brother is a year or two from becoming an attorney.
Were the same or higher class than your high school teachers
"Same or slightly higher", probably, by most definitions of class, since my parents were a teacher and a professor. I never felt outclassed by a teacher, anyway, which I suppose is the point of the question.
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
Violin, piano, flute, swimming, French.
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
Your parents (or a trust) paid for the majority of your college costs
Yes and no. The majority was paid for by grants from the college. However, another way to look at it is that the price of college was variable, and Northwestern set it lower for me than for some other people. In that case, my parents paid for nearly all of it; I didn't have to work to pay my tuition, and I came out with only about $10,000 in loans.
Your parents (or a trust) paid for all of your college costs
Went to a private high school
Two years at a Catholic school, two years at a magnet school
Went to summer camp
Some Boy Scout camping, but that was never more than, say, a long weekend.
Had a private tutor before you turned 18
Unless you count the piano lessons.
Family vacations involved staying at hotels
Sometimes, not often. There was usually a motel on the way to/from family reunions, but I remember only one time when we had a family reunion at a hotel. Oh, and there was the trip to Europe when I was 6; that necessarily involved hotels.
Your clothing was all bought new before you turned 18
Definitely not. Most of it, yes, but my parents had no problem with yard sales and what-not.
Your parents bought you a car that was not a hand-me-down from them
<snort>. I never learned to drive until after college.
There was original art in your house when you were a child
Not professional art, but some stuff from friends and family—which indicates a different dimension of privilege.
Had a phone in your room before you turned 18
Barely. I'm pretty sure there was a phone in my room when I came back from freshman year of college, about a month before my 18th birthday. (By that point, phones were cheap, and we had bought a house that happened to have lots of phone jacks.) I didn't have a phone in my room at college freshman year; neither my roommate nor I felt the need. (His parents lived in town, and mine gave me a Call Me card—a calling card that could only call them—so I could call them from campus phones.)
You and your family lived in a single family house
Usually. There was one year when we rented one floor of a house, and about a year and a half in an apartment.
Your parent(s) owned their own house or apartment before you left home
Not without mortgages, but yeah. In fact, somehow they had picked up the idea that renting was a sign of failure, so they bought a house as soon as my father got his PhD and his first full-time job. Granted, it was nearly 50 miles out of town, and had no plumbing until Dad put some in; but they owned it. On the plus side, it was on 40 acres of land, with woods and a creek to play in. We moved into town when I needed preschool.
You had your own room as a child
Not until two months before I went off to college.
Participated in an SAT/ACT prep course
Nope. Never needed it.
Had your own TV in your room in High School
Much too expensive. My parents had a little one in their room, something like 9", and black-and-white. After they bought their current house, though, nobody had a TV in their room until about 3 years ago, when Dad had a heart attack and needed to be in bed most of the time.
Owned a mutual fund or IRA in High School or College
Flew anywhere on a commercial airline before you turned 16
Once to Europe, and I think that was it until I started visiting colleges. We drove for family vacations, except one time when we took the train.
Went on a cruise with your family
Went on more than one cruise with your family
We were never interested in cruises—even after they started being marketed to the middle class in the 80s. The trip to Europe was an analogue, though.
Your parents took you to museums and art galleries as you grew up
Well, yeah. Lots, even though we rarely lived in a town that would have any of its own—to some extent, that made it more special. Let's see, in Toronto there was the Royal Ontario Museum and the Ontario Science Center. In Chicago there was the Museum of Science and Industry, the Field Museum of Natural History, and the Art Institute. There were a few in Nashville, but I don't remember details. A couple in Atlanta (one art museum, one historical), a very small county history museum in Augusta. Oh, and once there was the NASA facility in Huntsville—long enough ago that I don't remember where we were going that we wound up in Alabama. Oh, and plenty on our trip to Europe, although the only one I remember individually is the Louvre.
You were unaware of how much heating bills were for your family
I never knew the amount, but I was aware it was a significant cost.


Posted by: Pat Siobhan (patsmor)
Posted at: January 1st, 2008 07:54 pm (UTC)

So, how do you sum up the whole set of answers?

Posted by: Who, me? (metageek)
Posted at: January 1st, 2008 08:00 pm (UTC)

Hmm. Middle-class in money, privileged in education. And most of that privilege is because my parents put effort into education, and knew how to find educational bonuses they could afford.

Posted by: Pat Siobhan (patsmor)
Posted at: January 1st, 2008 09:12 pm (UTC)
Re: Summary

I suspect you're right -- I think a lot of people in "our" parents' generation (I realize my parents were a lot older than yours are -- my dad would be 91 this year and my mother 84) really valued education, and perhaps either scraped out enough or found publicly funded opportunities.

Posted by: Marisa (bi_ballerina)
Posted at: October 29th, 2008 10:42 pm (UTC)

do you have an original source for the game? I am looking to use it for a work activity.

email: mhackett@arcofkingcounty.org

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