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On Friday's Workshop

Serena's picture

While I thought that the workshop was great, I am worried that it will be easily forgotten. During my time at Bryn Mawr, I've heard repeated that people just don't want to talk about class on campus because it makes them feel uncomfortable, and I recognise that this is a good reason why the activities this year will fade into nothingness following their original run. I would like to know why talking about class makes people feel uncomfortable. Obviously it is because we are all raised not to speak about something so personal as finances, but why shouldn't we? Do we fear that letting someone know how much we have or don't have will make them think of us differently, ask us for money, pity us?

I come from interesting opposites: at home we never spoke about what we had, only about what we lacked. However, at my high school, students always talked about what they had and never what they lacked, perhaps because they weren't aware of it. In this way, the poor students were all but silenced and made to feel inadequate. In reality, you could never know who had money and who didn't because the poor kids weren't allowed to express themselves or they would be all but shunned. I don't know if that is the way it is in most schools.

One thing that struck me during the workshop was the amount of people who claimed that they never feel uncomfortable at Bryn Mawr. This is crazy to me because I never feel completely comfortable anywhere that I am in the presence of others - I am always wondering what the people around me are thinking of me, my hair, my clothes, my skin colour, my accent, my mannerisms. While I don't worry about these things enough to change them, they are always on my mind.

Overall I would love to see this workshop grow and become an annual event, as I think Bryn Mawr needs it. Perhaps it could be akin to the Q Forum or B Forum but inclusive of all people on campus; students, faculty, and staff.


S. Yaeger's picture

You asked why people are

You asked why people are afraid to talk about class.  I think that one small part of it is that no one likes to acknowledge their own privelege.