Why is it that I feel this sense of annoyance when I talk about Harvard at work that no one wants to hear me ‘brag’? I really don’t talk about it in the ‘oh it was so great’ kind of way, but in the ‘we are all nerds’ and let’s play to the self-deprecating stereotypes way.
The upcoming Harvard-Yale game is really the only time I’m vaguely interested in sports or college athletics. Yet I know that I have to moderate when I talk about it. Today in the elevator, there was that awkward ‘I didn’t get in to Harvard undergrad’ moment. Honestly, it’s probably a good thing you went where you did. You wound up in the same place as me, so it’s not so bad that you avoided all of the negatives associated with Harvard and you get to have school pride.
I guess I’m not that angry because it does make sense why it might be in poor taste to talk about it too much. But, when people talk about NYC prep schools and make statements comparing them – and I know where my shitty public school fits in, I get the feeling too. But no one says ‘oh you’re being elitist because you won’t date someone from X prep school or never socialized with people from Y school.’ Or what about when your VP says that ‘American football is so unrefined’ and compares it to squash, a sport she is happy her son enjoys. Ma’am, your classism is showing.
I guess I find it hard to reconcile (and likely because of my race sensitivities) why a black kid from very modest means has to down play his elite education (4 years of his life) and you make no apologies for your own privileged life?