It is just past midnight and I have submitted one of my last assignments for the year (well, it is technically my last, though I have two exams to follow…) and even though I really really really should go to sleep now, I just wanted to let you know that it’s finished. Oh, and later, when we wake up and actually start the day (which has technically already begun), do read this quote which I came across while researching about the effect of class identity on academic achievement. When I typed it out earlier, it arose in all sorts of internal “hurrah!”‘s.
(but for now, look at the pretty picture which is actually shakespeare’s face composed from the titles from his works.)
“Since I was the first woman in my family to earn a college degree, I was driven to take in knowledge as hard and fast as I could, but not to think very critically about it. Along the way, I sensed a distance, sometimes even a rupture, between the lived experience of my working-class family and what I learned in school. In myriad subtle and not so subtle ways, I was taught in school not to value nor to see the dignity and worth of my own heritage. The message that I received as a young woman wanting to be an educated person was my working class identity had to be discarded – like a dark and heavy coat – at the university door. Getting clear about that identity was a long and complicated process. Claiming that identity as crucial to who I am and the work that I want to do in the world as at once liberating and reconciling. My work is sustained because of a sense of kinship and responsibility to my beginnings – not dispite them. This is not about survivor’s guilt, nor is it about romanticising economic hardship; there’s nothing romantic about not having enough money. Rather, it is trusting what you know even if it is not part of officially sanctioned knowledge. I realised that I could write, research, and act out of my own sense of class difference. And that what I needed to do was to use my resources and priveleges to provide a space for some of this history and culture that was so frequently ignored or even dispised. And the work had to be collective, not just my own story” (Zandy, 1996:17 – 18).
Zandy, J. 1996. “Decloaking Class: Why Class Identity and Consciousness Count” In Race
Gender and Class, Vol. 4, No. 1, 1996, pp. 7-20