Personal Memory Ethnography Project

I am taking a class called Cultural Diversity. One of my first assignments is to write a short paper about an "incident" from my own past experience through which I learned about "difference". This is the first part in a five part assignment. Thought I would post it.

I remember it like it was yesterday. Except; it wasn’t. I was five years old and in kindergarten. The classroom was large. Actually, it was two rooms which half of the center wall had removed to make one big room. My teacher; Mrs. Goodrich, was a tall, slender woman with short dark hair. I liked her. In my eyes, she treated everyone fairly. It was somewhere in the middle of the school year when “the incident” took place. There were two students; Susan and Cynthia who took a dislike of me from the very beginning. They make it clear to me that they came from wealthy families and they knew that I did not. I already was aware at the young age of five that there were definite differences in “class”. But that wasn’t “the incident” that bothered me. The following scenario is what affected me. Susan and Cynthia were playing with wooden blocks on the floor. I was not anywhere near them. As a matter of fact; I was on the other side of the room playing by myself. Suddenly, I heard what sounded like something crashing to the ground. As I looked in the direction of the noise; I heard Susan and Cynthia screaming and crying to Mrs. Goodrich. They said I had run over and knocked down their blocks. Mrs. Goodrich angrily asked me why I had done such a mean thing. I told her I didn’t do it. However; the teacher believed them and my punishment was no outside recess for that day. I think this incident has stuck with me for so long because I believe it was my first recognition of inequality coming from an adult I respected.

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