December 13, 2019 at 4:45 pm #1548Michael MeeganParticipant
Entering class this year I was skeptical about the whole class. I have taken an english class before in Geneseo and I really did not like it and felt uncomfortable taking it due to the past professor. But, Professor McCoy made this class a delight the entire semester, the information about how people have been treated in our countries past and how to get certain consent from people. Learning all of this has really got me to think about my life experiences in the past, and wondering if I have always been treated correctly and always have given my consent to certain things when employed.
I am a first generation american meaning, both of my parents are immigrants from Ireland. I know for people that their families have been here in america for years, they do not truly know what it is like to be raised by immigrant parents. You are raised with different values and want different things than the average kid you grew up with on the block. My Dad was a firm believer in a dedicated work ethic will get you by in life more than education, but also stressed an education in my household and this was because he never was able to receive one. He came to America at age 22 with 200 dollars in his pocket and just an idea of making a new life. Now he is a successful business owner and owns various businesses’ including Bars all across Manhattan and while doing that he also raised my family in queens. Which he was able to afford a house only 10 years after getting to this country. He did not get this from anyone and definitely did not just land upon this opportunity, he worked his ass off every day for 30 years, no complaints about what he went through when arriving here or about getting paid 10 dollars a day at one point. That is my motivation, to take what he has built and make it into an empire in certain ways. I want my kids and grandkids to have properties, business and traditions that will be passed down for centuries to come in America.
Why I mention all this, my first memory that came to my mind was my first job at 13, I worked for a local Bar being a busboy cleaning tables, ashtrays and the floors. I was working for this local guy in the neighborhood I got the job because I wanted money to go out with my friends. I lied to him and told him I was 16, he did not ask questions and I started working 40 hours a week after school and on the weekends. He was paying me 5 dollars an hour cash in hand so I was getting 200 dollars a week and I was as happy as you could be. The first time he paid me which was actually 5 weeks after my first day working because I was too nervous to ask him to pay me and my dad just told me he will pay you do not worry about that just be patient. This makes me think about our class all year and when we talk about consent and how important some people deem it is. In One of our reading Home, by Toni Morrison, Cee made a huge decision to marry Prince, Cee was only 14. “Besides, Prince loved himself so deeply, so completely, it was impossible to doubt his conviction. So if Prince said she was pretty, she believed him. If he said at fourteen she was a woman, she believed that too(Morrison, 48).” Yes Cee was taken advantage of but she did agree to being married at that time. “But he never warned her about rats(Morrison, 52).” This quote talks about her brother Frank never warned her about Prince and how she was not told the full information. So some people would argue she never gave her true consent. This situation is a bit different than my work story from when I was a kid. It makes me believe that consent can be situational but it still compares in a way when you come from certain families sometimes there are things that are normalized. Even though society around you deems them wrong and you just move on with your life and grow up on your own pace. This was a point in my life I was taken away the right of giving my consent in the workplace. But to be honest with you, I just think this is the life you are dealt. Not everything is going to go right for you and you do not want it too, people that live the picture perfect life they do not know how to deal with the ups and downs life truly brings for someone that comes from absolutely nothing. Well let me tell you regardless of if I gave my consent when my boss handed me the 1000 dollars cash at 13 I as probably the most excited kid I have ever been. I remember it like yesterday all my friends did not work I was the only one that did. Some parents and kids thought it was crazy that I was working but I never saw an issue with it, actually I was proud of what I was doing. That day I fell in love with money and the hustle that comes with it, I told myself that I want to make a name for myself and give my kids and grandchildren to come the true american life.
I know many people will not agree with a lot of the things I am saying. They believe that consent is necessary in all situations and that I was underpaid and taken advantage of at a young age. Maybe they are totally right, but I know personally I do not regret it and I would not change a thing in my life. I live with no regrets and take life’s consequences as they come. Remember it is not about what you do in life but how you react after things happen to you.
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.