“Section 8 to Ivy League”
I saw her hands rise, just a touch. The tone in her voice becoming more urgent, less anxious. Sure of herself and her intentions, she spoke passionately against the field she taught in. Her words attacked the elitism and inaccessibility of education, her desire for inclusive research became her. I listened. I agreed. Yet, I couldn’t forget the initials by her name. The number of publications she’s authored. The number of times she’s been cited.
I couldn’t forget where we were. A bougie high end coffee shop in downtown Boston charging $4.75 for a pack of 3 gluten free cookies. Here, we critiqued the “elite.”
In a month I will begin my Masters degree at an Ivy League institution where you can feel the air of prestige even in the restrooms. This anger, this passion, this frustrated quiver in tone… it’s inside of me too. But I wonder, where do I stand in this fight for accessibility? How angry can I be at the “other side” while I plant my foot in the door? Is my desire to fight against the system contradictory to my walking into it?
In this blogging series, I am going to document my year at Columbia. My transition from one school to the next is more than a change of scenery. It’s letting go of a Section 8 voucher for more student loan debt. It’s a disguise of elitism, a false air of comfort… a childhood dream come true. Tackling with the complication of my position, I hope to make this experience tangible and in some strange way find strength in this vulnerability of sharing my journey with you.
I’ll be posting at least every other week.
(EDIT: I can’t even say I tried to keep up with this post’s promise. I apologize & moving on)
One thought on “In the Door, a series (edit: short lived)”
Looking forward to the upcoming posts. I read thru a few of your older posts and have to say, you have a gift for writing. Wonder if that “not your word” class professor ever came around to appreciate what you can do?
Also had to smile at your mention of critiquing the elite at an upscale coffee shot. That was good.
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