Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

"I can say I hope it will be worth what I give up" -Santogold

CCM's picture


“What I'm searching for
to tell it straight, I'm tryin to build a wall
Walking by myself
down avenues that reek of time to kill
If you see me keep going
be a pass by waver
Build me up, bring me down
just leave me out you name dropper
Stop tryin to catch my eye
I see you good you forced faker
Just make it easy
You're my enemy you fast talker
I can say I hope it will be worth what I give up
If I could stand up mean for all the things that I believe
What am I here for
I left my home to disappear is all
I'm here for myself
Not to know you
I don't need no one else
Fit in so good the hope is that you cannot see me later
You don't know me
I am an introvert an excavator
I'm duckin' out for now
a face in dodgy elevators
Creep up and suddenly
I found myself
an innovator
Change, change, change,
I want to get up out of my skin
tell you what
if I can shake it
I'm 'a make this
something worth dreaming of
(Santogold, L.E.S. Artistes Lyrics on”
            Written by Santogold, these lyrics best represent how I view my life. I wake up every day with a goal in mind and a plan to carry it out. My life is and always will be planned. I hope to achieve success in everything that I do and I will do everything that I can to make sure that I succeed. I cannot deny my competitive nature but I can use it as a tool to succeed in school. Since coming to Haverford I have learned to compete with myself. Growing up in a predominately white, upper-middle class town in suburban NJ I was taught to compete with others. From extracurricular activities to academics I felt pressured to prove myself to those around me. At the age of ten I already played two instruments, was trained in three styles of dance, participated in a variety of sports, and spoke three languages. Despite my efforts to be the best I was never alone in my race to reach the top. However, in the end I wasn’t the only child with determined parents. Since moving to my suburban bubble in second grade I was introduced to other competitive children who had parents with similar educational expectations for their children as mine had for me. 
            Having immigrated from Brazil to the States my parents were and still are hardworking individuals who only want the best for their children. Besides giving me the gift of life they have given me my education. Over the years my parents have been selfless and made sacrifices to give me the best education possible. Their investment in my education has been the greatest gift that I have and will ever receive from them. If it were not for my parents’ determination to see me succeed I would not be at the place that I am today.
            As a result of my parents commitment to my schooling I have never taken my education for granted. How could I after all that they have done to see me achieve my dreams? Like my parents I have also made sacrifices with the hope that my hard work will pay off in the end. My efforts to succeed can best be viewed through McIntosh’s portrayal of Amy, the student whose sole objective is to make it in life. Many of my values are similar to Amy’s in the way that we both “identify upward” and see ourselves making it in a “man’s world” (McIntosh, 27-28). I see my education as a catalyst for achieving my goals of financial and social prosperity. 
            Ultimately I see myself fitting into the roles of wife, mother, activist, and most importantly a career woman. I plan to do what many traditional women frown up and be a working mother. Never will I be financially dependent on my husband. The only way that I will ever check off “homemaker” on a Census report is if this country recognizes housework as paid work. Till then I will continue to make sacrifices and hope that my personal and professional lives will find a happy balance. 
            Someone once told me that sacrifices don’t need to be made in order to fulfill your dreams. As wonderful as this theory sounds I have yet to find a path that will lead me to success without having to give something up along the way. Over the years I have devoted countless hours to bettering myself as a student and as a community activist. I try my best to make the most of my education by using all the resources I have been given as tools to not only help myself but others as well. 
            Since I was little I have been told that I am privileged. I may not have a crown on my head or an American Express Black card in my pocket but I have a loving and dedicated family and an education that many people would die for. As corny as this may sound I strongly believe in giving back to my community and helping those less privileged live a better life. 
            It is clear that my education is everything to me. My life revolves around my role as a student. As for the question of my gender I am constantly aware of my status as a woman. Though I am more aware of my gendered identity outside of the classroom than I am inside the classroom.   Outside of the classroom environment I have often been met with sexist attitudes. From the streets to the work environment I have been viewed differently because of my gender. Nevertheless, I have done and will continue to do all that I can to fight off sexist remarks and show that I do not tolerate this kind of behavior. It is unfair that in this country and in many other countries women are still viewed as inferior beings. I must say that I look forward to the occasions in which I have the opportunity to challenge these sexist perspectives. All things considered, my gender is an important part of who I am and for this I am thankful. 
            Overall I believe that I am in a very good place in my life. I predict that I will encounter many obstacles on the road ahead and I hope that my agenda to achieve success will only help me in confronting these negative forces.   I just hope that in the end I will come out on top and will have achieved my goals because of the sacrifices that I have made.  



Anne Dalke's picture

"I don't need no one else..."


"Walking by myself...
I'm here for myself...
I don't need no one else..."

Strong, independent language. How does it hold up in the face of Peggy McIntosh's claim that "putting women's bodies into high places does little for people, and nothing for women in the aggregate"? In the face of her questioning the validity--and the usefulness--of a belief in independent achievement, which is not cognizant of and canny about systems? How does your "race to reach the top"--your confronting obstacles to "come out on top," your viewing your education as a "catalyst for your own prosperity," your refusal to ever "be dependent"--look in the context of of her critique, and her counter story about networks and interdependence (a counter story to which you contribute, btw, in your testimony to your parents' support and encouragement)? What's the theoretical position, in short, from which you are pushing back @ hers?

Only @ the very end of the paper, in your mention of the need to challenge sexism, do you gesture toward an education which doesn't aim only to participate in the system, to get a piece of the pie, but actually to change it (to enlarge the pie?). Is there more where that came from?