chapter  4
11 Pages

Breaking the Silence and Removing the Garb

Revelations From a Working-Class Academic
ByKatelynn DeLuca

As we approached St. John’s University’s (SJU) cobblestone entryway, lined with iron gates, my mother stumbled over her words, finally bursting at the seams: “Wow, this is incredible, Katie.” I beamed. Looking back at what my mother’s response stems from; however, I’m not sure pride describes how I feel now. On that day, as my tires rumbled from stone to stone, I wasn’t even sure I was supposed to be driving there; it seemed an entranceway for someone else to a place that is foreign, private, other. Walking across the sprawling green lawn, past beautiful old buildings, the bewilderment on my mother’s face grew. She turned to me worriedly, “Wait, Kate, am I dressed for this? Should I wait in the car?” Up crept the sickening feeling that has followed me since leaving my diverse and relatively low-income high school.