Monday, January 07, 2008

Grading the Folks

Since I can't help myself when it comes to stealing quiz-things, here's a quiz-thing from Messrs. Tosy and Cosh. Apparently this is supposed to gauge how advantaged you are when you enter adult life, or something like that. I'm not sure I buy the methodology, but hey, I'm always one for bolding stuff that applies to me!

So, the items, with occasional comment:

Father went to college
Father finished college
Mother went to college
Mother finished college
Have any relative who is an attorney, physician, or professor

Were the same or higher socio-economic class than your high school teachers (Geez, I have no idea. Some of 'em, probably. Others, probably not. I didn't hang out with my teachers or go to their houses to see what kind of china they used or what cars they drove.)

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 more than two kinds of lessons before you turned 18 (Trumpet, piano, swimming)

The people in the media who dress and talk like me are portrayed positively (Well, you don't see too many long-haired hippie types in overalls on the teevee these days, so....)

Had a credit card with your name on it before you turned 18 (Yeah, what a good idea that was.)

Your parents (or a trust) paid for the majority of your college costs
Your parents (or a trust) paid for all of your college costs
(I wish I'd have gotten off my ass in college and found a part-time job to help out. This is one of few things I'd do differently if I got to re-live my life.)

Went to a private high school

Went to summer camp (Ahhh, the Bristol Hills Music Camp! One of the greatest experiences of my life.)

Family vacations involved staying at hotels (Sometimes yes, sometimes it was the camper. Never really cared, as long as there was a pool and, when I got older, an arcade.)

Your clothing was all bought new before you turned 18 (I honestly don't know. I never lacked for clothing, although I was never the one demanding the latest styles and whatnot. To this day, I have never owned a single pair of Levi's.)

There was original art in your house when you were a child

You and your family lived in a single family house

Your parent(s) owned their own house(s) or apartment before you left home (I'm leaving this one unbolded because I genuinely don't know when the mortgage got paid off, and I'm pretty sure that it was none of my business, anyway.)

You had your own room as a child (I don't remember ever not having my own room.)

You had a phone in your room before you turned 18
Participated in an SAT/ACT prep course

Had your own TV in your room in High School (No cable, though, ran to my room, so I either used the aerial antenna on the house or just used the teevee as the "monitor" for my VIC-20.)

Owned a mutual fund or IRA in High School or College
Flew anywhere on a commercial airline before you turned 16 (I never flew until college)

Went on a cruise with your family
Went on more than one cruise with your family
(OK, I'm cheating here, counting canoeing and kayaking trips as cruising. Hey, it's what we did. A part of heaven had better be just like the Clarion and Youghiogheny Rivers, or I'm going to be mad when I get there!)

Your parents took you to museums and art galleries as you grew up (Not terribly often, but we did go. I still have a few very vivid memories of the year I was in kindergarten, and we went to Chicago to see the Treasures of King Tutankhamun. As I grew up, school took this function over more and more.)

You were unaware of how much heating bills were for your family. (Well, my parents generally didn't tell me how much bills were, although I did hear the occasional kvetching over high bills or the like. Also, once we settled in Western New York in 1981, we used wood for our heating exclusively until the gas lines finally got laid up to my parents' house, sometime while I was in college, I think. And even then they continued using wood for some years, until the wood stove itself gave up the ghost. I have fond memories of getting up on icy winter mornings and stoking the great iron beast with wood, of huddling around the stove as it heated up, of the terribly uneven heat of the thing as sometimes we'd overstoke the thing and end up with a ninety-degree house, of the cat who'd lick the stove when it wasn't containing a fire [with no apparent ill effect, as that cat lived to be twenty] and the occasional hilarity when Dad would mislay his checkbook and invariably become convinced that he'd thrown it into the stove. [He never actually did turn out to have thrown it in there, so far as I can recall.])

Received a beating from my mother when she discovered a wire hanger in my closet. (I sure learned my lesson that day: plastic hangers, or nothing!)

(OK, that last one didn't happen.)

So yeah: the Rockefellers we weren't, but neither were we the Ingallses.

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