Organizing all of my paper work for finals and whatnot, I found the worksheet we did at the end of the class on priviledge titled "Location Exercise" I filled out most of it and intended to post my paragraph on here earlier and then realized I never did. Going back to it a few weeks later it is quite interesting to read what I wrote and to now reflect on it.
The part that surprized me reading back over it was question 8 asking when I first became aware of race, class, gender, sexuality, nationality, religion and spirituality? Race I recognized at a young age, I grew up in the St.Paul student housing and played with kids older, younger, both sexes and of all different races. White, black, hispanic or "tan" as I called them. I remember asking my mom about why they looked different and she gave me a vague answer of their ancestors came from a different culture but they were no different becuase of it. I played with all of them everyday and feel my open mindedness towards all people was shaped at that young age by my mother's comment.
Secondly class I noticed when it came to birthdays. I am not sure of what age this was at but for my birthdays my parents and grandparents totally spoiled me and my siblings. When we lived in Iowa City most of my close friends had huge birthday parties and got great presents, but I realized sometime in those few years that I received many more cards and gifts from family and friends. For the first time I realized that this special treatment by my family, although the tradition it was amongst my cousins and siblings, was definitely not the norm with some of my friends. My parents were by no means rich as we still lived in student housing, but our birthdays were always very special days. So maybe class wasn't completely known but I realized I was more spoiled than those around me.
Lastly I wrote a quite note about gender. In all of the student housing places we lived, many of them had a play ground or enclosed area where all of the kids played together. Most of the kids my age were boys and so I played with them and didn't think much of it. I grew up a tom boy with all of the influence from my guy cousins, but also found "boy" activities (sports, fishing, playing with cars and tools) more enjoyable than playing with dolls and dress up outfits like my sister did with her friends. My parents always thought this was cute, I had started my collection of boyfriends, but once I hit 5-6th grade they started to question me about all of my guy friends. Until just a few years ago, I have been told that I "like" all of my guy friends and I should just date them already. Now they just say, yeah she is just one of the guys and have reaccepted the idea that its okay for girls to play/hangout with guys just as friends.
In most other reflection exercises about such topics I generally write about the present ideas that come to mind or less detailed responses. I was surprized when reading my quick notes that I had such memories from my childhood that were first instincts related to these questions. As others have mentioned in other posts you don't really recognize your own priviledge until you really think hard about it. With these brief examples I realized the priviledges I have held my entire life being from a European American descent with well educated parents. I learned how they taught me to be open minded and accepting of all people despite their similarities and differences (since both of them worked in diverse work environments.)
It was fun to run across this sheet now at the end of the semester and I thought since I did I would post my few thoughts on here. :)