Our first-year seminar students wrote various types of expository essays: persuasive debates, theoretical comparisons, and thematic analyses of twenty sophomore interviews. But we ended the semester with a first-person reflective essay that asked students to dig deep into a more personal question:
Has our Color & Money seminar — and your experiences as a first-semester student at Trinity — changed how you think about race and/or social class? If so, how has it changed, and why? Can you trace these changes back to specific moments in our seminar, or during the past three months at Trinity or in the Hartford area?
Furthermore, these reflective essays were written for the public web. Although each student has the option to use only their first names or to remove their essay from this site, those who have made their reflections public are listed below.
Caroline McKennaWhen I arrived at Trinity College in August of 2015, I did so with the assumption that my experience here would be fairly similar to what I had experienced in high school in regard to the social climate on campus. Like many other Trinity students, I grew up in a small, almost entirely white, middle ... Read more
Joanne ChambersMy friend posted on my Facebook wall “Stop it >.<” and, of course, my grandma (Paulette) liked the post. I saw her over Thanksgiving break and asked her why she specifically liked that status. As it turns out, she thought he was telling me to stop posting about the Black Lives Matter events and discrimination ... Read more
Taylor1996-2011 I grew up in a small town in Western Massachusetts where the majority of the population was white. Throughout my childhood I had very few interactions with people of other races. From the time I was five years old until the time I was fourteen years old I played soccer, took dance classes, went to ... Read more
Alvaro RouxSince first coming to Trinity 3 months ago, I use to think race wasn’t such a big deal anymore and that it was more of a thing of the past. My awareness of racism and perception of its effects on everyday lives has significantly increased. Not only that, but I’ve also had to dealt with ... Read more
slibbyFor most of my life race and social class has never played played a significant role. Meaning I am not a racist and for the earlier parts of my life I was surrounded by people of the same social class, so it never seemed to come up in my life as an issue. During my ... Read more
Courtney EricksonWhat’s changed the most since coming to Trinity is my understanding of white privilege. I identify as being a white, Irish Catholic, working- class, straight, woman. When I introduce myself, though, I would never flat out say those things. Before, my socio-economic status became more and more of how I outwardly identified myself. In elementary ... Read more
Shannon KennedyMy high shool and Trinity College are polar opposites. My high school was primarily people of color, liberal, and non-affluent. Trinity College is a predominately white, conservative and wealthy institution. In several ways, coming to Trinity was a reverse culture shock. I was always aware of race; it was a topic of discussion amongst my ... Read more
soreillyHeading out to journey anywhere with my friends is always an adventure. That being said, I didn’t say the adventures are always positive. Due to the fact that there isn’t much to do in my small town, we usually just hang out at the mall. As boisterous and uncontrollable as my friends are, something bad ... Read more
Steven SchelziI never thought too much about race and social class as a young child. In fact, up until about four months ago, I still didn’t think about it in any sort of detailed way. Growing up, I thought that if I just stayed away from talking about both issues, then I wouldn’t get into any ... Read more
Heric HuangI went to a high school that was predominantly composed of White students. I was the one of the few Asians and the only Chinese at my high school. Most white students at my high school had never talked to any Asians before, except when they went to the Asian market stores. People were curious ... Read more