professornana (professornana) wrote,

random musings

I see a lot of folks talking about how hard it was to take their kids to campus for college. Mika from Morning Joe even had a videotape of getting her daughter settled in to the dorm. Two observations here: I rejoiced when the former residents settled into their dorm rooms. I was excited for what was ahead of them both. BH and I rejoiced when the youngest settled in. We were an empty nest and we were loving the extra freedom. Of course, that might be due to the fact that we had been rearing kids for a lot longer than most of our friends. You see, we got to do it twice: once for our daughter and then for her daughters. Basically, I spent my 30s, 40s, 50s, and part of my 60s with kids and teens in the house. Now, I am enjoying their absence. That does not mean I do not love when they visit or when College Girl calls to ask a question or Career Girl meets us for lunch.

The other observation, though, has to do with privilege. I never had the chance to live in a dorm. I worked my way through my first two years. Then, I married and continued to work and commute until graduation. I am not asking for sympathy. I just want to note that dorm life is not something all of us had the chance to experience. Ditto summer camp and lots of other "extras." Do not assume we have all had the same opportunities or privileges. BH and I have done all we can to ensure the former residents of the back bedroom DID have some privileges. We were happy to do so; we know their importance.

I guess this niggles at me because it is the beginning of the school year. Not all of our kids will have had the privileges some of us take for granted. I remember one student tell me she did not have a TV at home when I asked the class to examine some commercials for propaganda. And I recall how many times our own kids had to surf the net for an assignment or produce a project or use a computer program. Yes, BH and I made it happen. But I cannot help but think of those kids who do not have access. Access to infinite supplies, access to internet at home, access to books, access to the public library, access to the privileges.

How I wish all kids had all the privileges they need. How I struggle with the fact that ed deformers somehow manage to keep their blinders on so they never see that they have privileges that so many others do not. I am angered by the denial of the role poverty (lack of privilege) plays on the part of these reforministas. I am appalled that so many of the talking heads in education elect to place their own kids in more privileged settings, too.

As the new year begins, I hope we all take some time to think about the privileges we will extend to all our kids.
Tags: privilege
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