kiwisue (kiwisue) wrote,

Privilege Meme

So I've been contemplating my navel (or what I can see of it anyhoo). but this meme from llywela13 interested me:

The privilege meme; being poor in the US is different to being poor in the UKNZ

Father went to college - No. He left school when he was young, after his father died.

Father finished college - N/A

Mother went to college - She went to teacher's college (diploma, so not the same thing)

Mother finished college - N/A (I guess)

Have any relative who is an attorney, physician, or professor - No.

Were the same or higher socio-economic class than your high school teachers - Mixed, but most were close to – it was the difference between town & country in those days.

Had more than 50 books in your childhood home - Yes – I still have a few of my mother's books.

Had more than 500 books in your childhood home - No – we didn't buy books very often at all, but we used to visit the public library at least once or twice a month and bring home a swag of them. We (mum, me, sister & brother) devoured Asimov, Andre Norton and Heinlein together.

Were read children's books by a parent - Definitely.

Had more than two kinds of lessons before you turned 18 - Yes. Ballet, although that had to stop because Mum found it too hard to deal with carting me 10 miles into town to lessons and managing my stroppy younger sister; highland dancing; piano and (just before I finished high school) singing. I think they were affordable by the community standards at the time.

The people in the media who dress and talk like me are portrayed positively - I'm fifty-one, dress totally casually unless there's a reason not to (ie work)… who are these "people in the media" you refer to? If I went by that I would hardly be able to see myself in the mirror some days.

Had a credit card with your name on it before you turned 18 - No. I was given a small savings account by a family friend at birth, and had my own (also small at the time) post office account. I didn't have (or want) a credit card until I was almost thirty.

Your parents (or a trust) paid for the majority of your college costs - No. Enrollment/Tuition was effectively free, what I had to pay for was books and living costs. My parents supplemented the general government grant for University Entrance passees and the university bursary I was awarded after my last year in high school, plus I took holiday jobs after my first year. I earned an actual student wage during my final year. I did OK.

Your parents (or a trust) paid for all of your college costs - see above

Went to a private high school - No. Very few of these existed in NZ. I went to a government co-ed High School with a good reputation.

Went to summer camp -No. Went to the occasional Easter camp with church youth groups or with girl guides, never more than a few days worth.

Family vacations involved staying at hotels - No. Motels (which in NZ are more like self-contained units than they are anywhere else) for a night or two at most. Otherwise, we rented a caravan at a good caravan park or we bunked with relatives (spare beds, top and tail or lilos).

Your clothing was all bought new before you turned 18 - No. Some was (e.g. because I was tall and lanky for my age in high school mum used to buy me "small men's" flannelette shirts for farm wear); some was cousin's hand-me-downs; some mum made herself.

There was original art in your house when you were a child - No. I was given a nice oil painting by someone from the local church when I was about 17. That was the first piece in our house. We did have prints of old photographs – there was one of my father's grandfather showing a team of Clydesdale horses that he'd bred, that we all loved.

You and your family lived in a single family house - Yes. I don't remember the first, the second was on the first piece of land my father bought: outside toilet#, big high barn that he never really used (I have romantic dreams about that barn), a little stained glass in the bathroom windows (someone who built it had pretensions – it was never more than a cottage), coal range for heating and cooking. My last childhood home was only a half-mile up the road, because we bought the neighbour's property – the woodwork was full of borer beetle and we had to bomb it regularly, but it had similar loving features, plus an electric stove, more room for a growing family and, eventually, an indoor toilet.

#and unless you've also had to deal with this, in a cold climate, you have no idea. We had chamber-pots for overnight use – I remember the time one of them broke under me!

Your parent(s) owned their own house(s) or apartment before you left home - No (at least I don't think so – they rarely discussed finances with us). They had enough to move mortgage clear (again I think) to a nice property a quarter of the size several years later, then later to sell up to my sister and move "into town".

You had your own room as a child - Not since I was about 5 or 6. When my brother came along my sister and I shared until I left home.

You had a phone in your room before you turned 18 - No - just the one for the household; *chuckle* we were on a party line and we had to hand-crank the code (short-long) for local calls. Anything else was operator connected. I still remember mum pre-booking a Christmas call to the North Island because the lines were too busy to just call up on the day.

Participated in an SAT/ACT prep course- OK, Huh? There was term and there was holiday and the twain didn't meet – I think some kids may have had extra coaching if they were having problems but it wasn't usual.

Had your own TV in your room in High School - We used to cycle up to the neighbour's house to watch "The Lone Ranger". I can't remember when we got a TV, but it was before I was in high school – I remember I was addicted to Westerns, and 'Man from Wells Fargo' was an early favourite. We were 2-3 years behind America in getting shows. The first set was B&W, of course, and my parents kept it for many years.

Owned a mutual fund or IRA in High School or College - No. See above.

Flew anywhere on a commercial airline before you turned 16 - Yes. My mother's family were all on the North Island. There were two main ways of travelling from the South to the North. We could drive to Christchurch and catch the overnight car ferry (done once, and a rocky ride it was), or fly. Air New Zealand flew Fokker Friendships – we'd walk out onto the tarmac to board as there was no land-bridge. They were very noisy aircraft to fly in, and I remember smelling the fumes and my ears popping like crazy. I still have a Friendship Club badge from back then.

Went on a cruise with your family - No.

Went on more than one cruise with your family - No.

Your parents took you to museums and art galleries as you grew up - Yes. There was a small local museum and art gallery in Invercargill and various 'places of interest' all around Southland and we went to most of them. We also attended and participated in local amateur theatricals. I know that's probably not what the question's about, but I'm annoyed at the assumption about where and when people imbibe/participate in "culture".

You were unaware of how much heating bills were for your family - Like most of the household financials, we weren't made aware of the specifics. We'd have coal delivered, also lignite because it was cheaper (the coal-to-lignite ratio may have been an indicator of how things were going financially) but it was also smokier in the range. We'd burn wood from trees Dad cleared and we had a big two-burner kerosene heater for the living-room in winter.

ETA Apparently this first appeared as a bold-it-or-not meme allegedly authored and copyrighted (!) by a bunch of (no contact address supplied) students at Illinois State University. Believe it or not, my dears. I like this modified version anyhow. We are alike but we are not the same.

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