In class, we were asked what social class did you put yourself in and to state our reasons why.
This is not the first time I've been in a group and asked this, I answered the same answer as before. I am lower working class. My tutor smiled slightly at me, as if he knew something I didn't know. I stated my reasons; I was born and raised in the Blackcountry, In a poor family, in a poor house, in a poor area. I was brought up very ridgidly to know that nothing comes without a price in this world, whether thats physical, emotional or material. I learnt at a very early age that money was hard to come by and easily lost, I learnt to stand on my own feet, I was brutally given the reality of what holding your head up at school without a penny in your hand was like, I learnt that if I wanted something I wouldnt get it, I was to survive by my own sheer energy and no one would share their light with me, I had to create my own. I learnt to live off my own back and if I fell I fell alone, I could only rise up on my own. I also learnt the day I went to highschool that there was one thing I could do, one thing that would make the difference between the weak and the survivors, the change I would work for. I learnt that intelligence, knowledge, learning was everything and all I needed. I absorbed everything, my teachers said I 'shined', that I was bright and would one day rise to great heights. I thrived on this.
My tutor, who smiled, met my statement with approval, not only did no one else share my statement, middleclass was the general murmer, but he also suspected my answer. I spoke with him at the end of class, he said my accent gave it away a lot. Accents are a choice, I choose to speak the way I do, yes I could speak slowly, carefully and teach myself like My Fair Lady, but honestly why should I? I write well, I think well, just because I talk quickly, shorten my words and miss off sounds doesn't mean I'm thick. One too many ignorant people especially at university have belittled my people by our tongue, I don't take kindly to this. I embraced the accent more, serves them bloody right if they can't follow my speech, your mind is too slow for my pace, well tough!
He then went on to say I had a very typical manner and opinion generally belonging to old fashioned black country people..."we work, we work hard, live off our own backs! and we're proud of it!"
Well yes I guess I am proud of myself, I have been handed nothing on a plate, I appreciate everything because of this, and although I don't depise better off people, I am glad I am someone who forges her own road, her own fuel and doesn't forget it.