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I am also working class

marybellefrey's picture

I am also working class: my father was a welder, my grandfather worked on the railroad, and my uncle drove a truck.  I am the first person in my family to attend college.  There was no one in 1953 to help me adjust to Bryn Mawr.  Bryn Mawr is proud of being no. 1 in social mobility.  There have been plenty of studies of the values of the various classes.  Consider only one: the working classes value independence from others' opinions.  If any of you are working class, think very hard before you give that up for the very puny values of the middle class.  I was fortunate to come from a family that loved labor --- and Labor.  My father happily watched the men he had trained and mentored rise above him.  Foreman was the highest level of Labor; supervisor was part of management and no longer in the union.  My father was a foreman all his life:  he would never leave the union.  My uncle with friend formed a trucking company.  After a successful first year he sold his half to his frien.  He hated business; he loved to drive a truck.  So my decision to be socially IMmobile was an easy one.  I am working class today.  And annoying to the middle-class, as all those class studies confirm.

So I am neither white nor brown, working class by choice and heritage, but with that Bryn Mawr façade (as a recent acquaintance expressed it, "Where did you get that executive handshake?")  I have NO community.  Where I am accepted for my surface I am not at home.