I'm Poor, You're Rich

Darren E. Spirk, Gettysburg College

Surge is a student blog at Gettysburg College where systemic issues of justice matter. Posts are originally published at Through stories and reflection, these blog entries relate personal experiences to larger issues of equity, demonstrating that –isms are structural problems, not actions defined by individual prejudice. We intend to popularize justice, helping each other to recognize our biases and unlearn the untruths.


It started in ESL class when I haphazardly threw around one of my new Spanish phrases. “Dame tu dinero,” I joked to Maria*, one of the adult students I was teaching. She playfully responded back, “I can’t. I’m poor.” I laughed and nodded in agreement: “Yeah, me too.” This became a sticking point for her, however, as she kept telling me, “No, I’m poor. You’re rich.” I remained adamant that I wasn’t rich, offering as a closing point to our lighthearted interaction, “OK, we’re both poor,” but I could tell that she remained skeptical. [excerpt]