Please see the attachment!
Want to share books with me?
My name is Michaela, and I’m an upper-middle class white girl. (Hi, Michaela).
Well then. Now that we’re all a little more acquainted (or at least you know something a little personal about me), let’s talk.
I’ve been at Bryn Mawr as a student now for approximately 3 ½ months, but I spent many of my formative (read: awkward teenage) years here as the kid sister to a BMC student. My sister graduated class of 2010—another fact about me, another thing that I don’t necessarily like to bring up for fear that it reveals my unfair privilege.
In high school, I tried to empathize with the less well-off kids at my fairly diverse, but still very wealthy, public school. I’m from around DC, so I wanted to identify with the “real people” of DC, not the ones like me who were truly from the affluent Maryland suburbs but told people that they were from the city (the count is up to three on things that I’ve now told you about myself that are a little tough/embarrassing/shameful (?) to share. If you comment, will you tell me at least one?)
Masquerade Ball: A Message to the Pretenders
pretending [pri-tend-ing] (v.) – the act of being something you are not
upper class [up∙per-class] (n.) – a class of people above the middle class, having the highest social rank or standing based on wealth, family connections, and the like
middle class [mid∙dle-class] (n.) – a class of people intermediate between the classes of higher and lower social rank or standing; the social, economic, cultural class, having approximately average status, income, education, tastes, and the like.
lower class [low∙er-class] (n.) – a class of people below the middle class, having the lowest social rank or standing due to low income, lack of skills or education, and the like.
mask [mask] (v.) – to disguise or conceal; hide; dissemble
Why is it that we pretend to be something we are not? “Poor people want to be rich. Rich people want to, well, blend in”
TOP TEN WAYS TO HIDE BEING RICH
This collage is titled “New Points of View,” and it aims to represent the various experiences and cultural capital we bring with us here to Bryn Mawr. Ultimately, social class is another form of diversity such as gender, race, or ethnicity. It shapes who we are and how we experience the world around us. However, social class is different from all of these things in the fact that the topic is alarmingly taboo. Although, like race and gender, it is something we are usually born into, we feel uncomfortable embracing it or even acknowledging its existance. This collage aims to ask the viewer whose culture has capital. Do we all have cultural capital? Whose is most important? Is anyone's cultural capital more valuable than others? Is there a way that we can acknowledge these differences rather than ignore them? And finally, how do we “bridge the gap” and learn from one another?
What differences do you see between the left side and the right side? Are these differences important? Which one more closely mirrors your experience?
What are your feelings about the American Dream? Is it attainable for everyone?
A speech to the privileged
Dear my friends from upper class,
Many of you here have the privilege to be the sons and daughters of wealthy businessmen, well-known politicians and respectable scholars. I also have the privilege to come from a powerful family in my city. I believe we all recognize how fortunate we are to be descended from middle and upper class, at least in terms of economic advantages and public recognition. Among you guys, some may go beyond your class-bounded community to get in touch with working class. Some may still be restricted by the circle of similar friends and relatives. Some of you may have the ambition to create a more equal society while others may not notice or desire to disrupt the class orders. It doesn’t matter which side you are in at the moment. This speech is open to everyone who categorizes themselves as middle/upper class. All the ideas I share with you tonight is not the same as a lecture that a professor gives to his students. I know I am a little bit young to be a lecturer. Everything I say tonight is totally based on my meandering experience and knowledge.