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Thanks, Scripps Core: I am Now Woke.

By Guest Writer Annabella Van Der Beek, Scripps College ’21

Happy student girl studying taking notes sitting in a coffee shop

Now, I know what you’re thinking: you did three whole semesters of Core at Scripps College, so you can never be offensive! And I’d reply to that with “yes, you are exactly right.”

Scripps College core has really taught me so much and I confidently can now call myself woke. Like first semester when we were discussing socioeconomic disparities, after I took a break from shopping on the Saks website, I had a crazy awakening. I grew up around mansions but my house was only 6,000 square feet, and my dad is a lawyer, not a CEO. So I thought I was upper-middle-class my whole life, but I was actually really ignorant. It was really hard for me to come to terms with this, but I’m upper class.

Another really eye-opening experience was when we talked about the prison reformation and abolition movement. When my uncle Nathaniel went to prison last year, it was really hard for my family. He was caught embezzling money with his hedge fund and we were so scared he would stay there forever. Thank God liberals are working so hard because we were able to get him out after just one week! This is a way Scripps core has taught me that we can really make change happen.

Racism was also a big part of Core. After three whole semesters, I now choose to identify as German and English because I want to stray from the term “white.” Core showed me that historically, white people have actually been really, really oppressive. Lucky for me, I am actually German and English so I don’t have to say I’m white because I am different.

Another aspect of Core I’d like to highlight is how important it is to listen to minority voices so we as people with power can understand their problems and work to fix them. So, in class when a person of color spoke up, I always made sure to listen extra carefully and then talk a lot right after to show her that I understood what she had to say. It’s really frustrating for POCs to constantly explain their arguments to ignorant racists, so I now know to immediately repeat everything they said and then take credit for it to avoid making them expend more emotional labor. I think this is the first step to really creating a society where all people are considerate.

Even though all of this other stuff is really important, the most valuable thing I learned after these three semesters is that everything I say is now super valid. I’m so grateful to be attending a liberal arts college where students never say anything bad ever because they learned so much in core. Also, it would be really offensive to me if you called me offensive after all the labor I’ve undergone, so if you have a problem with any of this you are sadly mistaken neoliberal trash.


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