Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Class Moments from Readers' Email

1. I was in 8th grade Algebra. The teacher was using an example that involved allocating a fixed amount of money to buy several items. In the course of it, she says, “Now if you were buying good shoes, you would never go to Sid’s.” [Sid’s was the local discount shoe store.] I had never been to any shoe store other than Sid’s not, as far as I knew, had any member of my family.

2. I was in 12 grade and I needed a pair of shoes. I was feeling happy. My girlfriend had shoes called Wejun’s. I think they were the “in’ shoes at that time. We were going to shop for my shoes and drove by my house to get money. My mom was there. It was Friday early evening and shoe had just cashed her pay check. She reluctantly handed my $10 and I asked for more. She said “That’s enough for shoes. You should go to Penny’s.”

3. Age 19 in 1970, being transported for a draft physical. I am the only white person on the bus.

4. I am a law professor. A privileged colleague and I share a taxi from the airport to a conference site. On the way in she sees that the cabbie has a radar detector. The cab and the cabbie look beaten up. The radar detector is dented. My colleague tells the cabbie she just ordered on from a pricey catalogue. He looks at her not understanding. He has never heard of the catalogue.

5. A colleague and I are law professors. We invited our classes to meet after exams for a beer. Some white students and no Black students show up. She concludes that the black students must not be able to afford a beer. She has no view on why some white students are not there.

6. I am in law school. Because we are from the same small town I befriend another student. His face is pock-marked, his teeth chipped and some are brownish. He is a smoker. I notice people are friendly to me unless I am with him. They tend to avoid him.

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