"White Trash"

Jaynee jayne_stj at yahoo.com
Sun Aug 20 14:04:24 EST 2000

Your purpose would be what?

The Watcher <watcher2000 at crosswinds.netNOSPAM> wrote in message
news:8nn4de$9nb$1 at taliesin.netcom.net.uk...
Straight from the trailer park. Perhaps I should have made the heading
"Trailer Trash"?
>From the Saturday, August 19th 2000 Los Angeles Times, Valley Edition,
section B, page 10:

She's Only 14, but
More Than Ready to
Hit the College Books

FULLERTON-The mother and daughter sit not two feet apart at a table at Cal
State Fullerton, and it's clear the two still live in vastly different
It is more than a generation gap. The mother, a waitress, is 35, and the
daughter, a genius, is 14. But today the two somehow are closer than ever,
partly because the high-school-educated mother perused her daughter's
textbooks for the first time, but mostly because it's the day they've come
to Orange County to put a little girl from Idyllwild in college.
Shawna Carlson on Tuesday will become the youngest person ever to attend Cal
State Fullerton full time. To boot, she's entering as a junior and taking
five classes, one more than a full load.
"She was my first child," said Cheryl Carlson, Shawna's mother. "I thought
it was normal . . . how smart she was, how she was walking when she was 7
months . . . It took a while to realize what we were dealing with. But here
we are."
Shawna, who uses phrases such as "layered contextual stuff" and out of
boredom slept through classes at Mt. San Jacinto College, where she got her
associate degree this year in social behavioral studies, will continue to
live with her parents in a mobile home in the Riverside County mountain
community of Idyllwild. But three days a week, she'll live with her
grandmother in Fullerton, taking classes two days and studying on the other.
Does she have trepidation about attending a four-year school?
"When I was [in community college] I didn't really understand pressures or
that I was different from other people in class. I was studying. I don't
feel any pressure now." Shawna said she might not be old enough to
understand the pressures of being so young at a university. All the better,
she said. "I'm here for the teachers."
Shawna defies stereotypes. She is not a geek; friends come to her birthday
parties. She fights with her two younger sisters over compact discs.
It's hard to tell when folks realized Shawna's mind contained such
multitudes. It could have been when she walked before crawling. Or when she
began reading adult books at 4. Or when she balanced the family's finances
before she was 10. But her mother figures the realization might have come
the day Shawna was reading some fat book on the couch. "I couldn't go near
her. She was in another world. She was 7."

Wants to Pursue
a Career in Law

Shawna has read George Orwell's "1984" 10 times. She read "War and Peace"
twice, but the book bored her. For a while, computers tweaked her mind. Her
job last summer was to help an Idyllwild man build Web sites and computers.
She built a PC from scratch. But that eventually bored her, too. She didn't
want "a life in a cubicle behind a computer. Ugh."
And so she wants to become a lawyer. She's majoring in political science and
political justice, and wants to be a criminal prosecutor.
But with her brains, why Cal State Fullerton and not Harvard or UCLA?
Cheryl Carlson and her 39-year-old husband Doug, a roofer, simply don't want
their daughter that far away, or in a town without relatives, or in a city
whose harshness would break a small-town girl.
Beyond that, the parents say, they weren't aware of scholarships and grants
that could help her.
Shawna's parents are paying for her education and saving to give her a
laptop, something she's wanted since she was 7.

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