27 January 2014
“Open Letter to Angela Whitiker in Response to Class Matters” Dear Mrs. Angela Whitiker, First and foremost I would like to commend you on what is an awesome and drastic change that you accomplished in your life and the life of your children! What you have accomplished is nothing short of a miracle, and you deserve all the praise for having the mental fortitude experiencing such tragic events that you have in your life. You are a prime example of what hard work commitment and dedication is all about when faced against such astronomical odds.
I to am a person that has faced those odds, and still to this very day face them almost on a daily basis. I know that I am judged by those that allow my appearance to dictate such, and do not have the understanding of a person like myself in the transition state I am in. Being that I am a strong individual confident in who I am, those types of things motivate and inspire me to accomplish my goals in life. But for others those negative things have a way of defeating them before ever even trying to get out of the situation they may be living in. So having some sincerity, empathy, and compassion for others is what separates me from them. I have learned from all of the good people that I have surrounded myself with in this learning environment, along with all of the great instructors, how to view things more positively and not to let the negative govern what I feel for other people and their situations.
There was a section in your story where you commented about how you, “looked down on the women who had grown accustomed to bullet holes over their dinette tables, who watched All My Children and ate Doritos all day and didn’t seem to want anything better” (207). Although I agree with you to a point, I don’t think it is alright to look down your nose at people who have accepted or become accustomed to the project lifestyle. Just like your experience has changed you in a more positive fashion, the same exact experience can affect you negatively to where you don’t think that there is anything else for you outside of what you know. Which is why, I believe that it is so important to always remember where you come from so that you don’t lose sight of where it is that you are going.
A good example I would like to use is how you started to feel the resentment of the Certified Nursing Assistants who worked under you at your new job at the hospital. In my opinion, you should have been the one who could of everyone else relate to their feeling of inadequacy. But instead you took this attitude of what I see as superiority and stated, “If you want my job, you need to suffer and cry like I did” (216), which leads me to think that you have forgotten what you felt like on the other end of that spectrum. Finding your bearings in this new class doesn’t mean looking down on those who don’t have what you have, because then all you become is a part of the problem in the segregation of classes. Your story is one of inspiration and could be used as a template for others to aspire. Yes, you went through your struggles and did the work to get where you are, and for that you should feel great pride. But it’s very important that you realize that you could have just as easily been eaten up by your circumstances affecting your life negatively.
Changing gears a little bit, I would like to talk some about the issues that linger from your absent father. I too am a product of an absent father and I now realize the damage that it has caused me, especially how it affects my personal relationships. In your case with Nicholas and Willie, it seems that you were easily willing to disconnect from them because of lifestyle choices. Something I feel is in direct relation to the hurt caused by your father who has let you down when you were younger. You spoke briefly about your first visit with your father in your interview stating that, when you were ten, “it was