Thursday, April 06, 2006
set in stone
The college acceptances and rejections are flooding in. Our students did quite well, as usual, quite a few of them headed to the ivy leagues and to other vastly prestigious colleges and universities. I know these students quite well. I have been teaching many of them for years. And I can't help but think back to my senior year. I had many friends who were quite bright. Many of them did not go to college. We didn't know about so many things. Most of my friends' parents did not go to college and so we did not have parents who groomed us for much beyond some kind of working existence; we didn't know the elite world at all. And I look at some students, and I think about what might have happened if they did not grow up in NYC, if they attended some vast mediocre Pennsylvania public school like mine, if they didn't have college counselors to guide them every step of the way, nurturing them, bargaining with colleges, having direct access to admissions officers... And these students, mine, will mostly do quite well; those that don't will likely still have the haven of their family's money and connections; they won't go on welfare, lose their home, live month to month.
I've been thinking alot about these issues lately, about how money sets people apart from one another, how our society has become more and more stratified, good opportunities less available to those without wealth and connections. And I think how sad this is.
And I don't know if I should consider myself lucky or not to have gotten away from the provinces. I will never quite belong here in the land of the wealthy and secure. But I never felt I belonged where I grew up either. I have always been an alien.