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|New York Times|
I'm reading my book about class, and, I suppose as I've done many times in my life, trying to figure out where I fit. I grew up on a farm in South Dakota. In some ways we were poor, seldom had new things or new clothes. We qualified in some years for government assistance -- I went to Head Start. I went to public school. We couldn't afford to go out very often. But in other ways, I had things that were more upper class. I had miles of space to explore. I had access to intellectual culture -- my family took me to the library of the nearest sizable town, My parents had the flexibility that comes from not needing to punch a clock. I had piano lessons, we got the internet when I was a teen. Regular dental check-ups and braces. We ate food fresh from the garden. Both my parents were college educated at South Dakota State University, and it was assumed that I would go to a similar state college.