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I forced my class to take a series of tests and answer questions when relating to voting rights and citizenship.

First, came voting rights. I explained how people convicted of crimes lose voting rights, and also, how over 4 million people in US Territories don’t have full voting rights, and in American Samoa’s case, lack full citizenship.

So first step. I made them take a literacy test that was disproportionately, and in many case given solely to Black people and had them try it out:

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Then, I made them answer questions from the citizenship quiz. And finally, I had them look at a list of potential interview questions related to immigration and marriage:

Development of Your Relationship

  • Where did you meet?
  • What did the two of you have in common?
  • Where did you go for dates?
  • When did your relationship turn romantic?
  • How long was it before you decided to get married?
  • Who proposed to whom?
  • Why did you decide to have a [long, short] engagement?
  • Did your parents approve of the match? Why or why not?

The Wedding

  • How many people attended your wedding?
  • Did each of your parents attend?
  • Where was the wedding held?
  • Was there music or other entertainment?
  • What kind of cake (or other food) did you serve?
  • Who were the bridesmaids/groomsmen?
  • How late did the guests stay?
  • Did the bride change clothes for the reception?
  • Did you serve liquor? What kind?
  • Did anyone get drunk or otherwise embarrass themselves at the reception? Who? Describe.
  • What time did you and the [bride or groom] leave the reception?
  • Did you go on a honeymoon? When did you leave? How did you get there? What airlines?
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Regular Routines

  • Who gets up first? At what time?
  • How many alarm clocks do you set in the morning?
  • Who makes breakfast?
  • What do each of you eat for breakfast?
  • Does your spouse drink coffee in the morning?
  • Who is your spouse’s employer? What is the location of your spouse’s workplace? What is the name of your spouse’s boss?
  • How much does your spouse earn every month or year? How often is your spouse paid?
  • What time does your spouse arrive home from work?
  • Who cleans the house?
  • What day is your garbage picked up?
  • Who takes care of paying the bills?
  • Do you have a joint bank account? Where?
  • Do you have a cat, dog, or other pet? Who feeds it? Who walks it (or cleans its kitty litter box, cage, etc.)?
  • Do you and/or your spouse attend regular religious services? Where?
  • Where do you keep the spare toilet paper?

The Kids

  • Who picks up the children at school?
  • Who packs lunches for the kids?
  • What are their favorite toys/activities?
  • What are their least favorite foods?
  • Which children (if any) still use a car seat?
  • What is your usual babysitter’s name?

The Cooking

  • How many times a week on average do you eat out?
  • What is your favorite restaurant for special occasions? For weekly outings?
  • Who does most of the cooking?
  • Who does the grocery shopping? Where?
  • Is there a particular food that you eat every week?
  • What is your spouse’s favorite/least favorite food?
  • What color are the kitchen curtains?
  • Do you have a barbecue grill? Do you use it?
  • Is your stove gas or electric?

Other Family Members

  • Have you met each other’s parents?
  • How often do you see each other’s parents? Where do they live?
  • When was the last time you saw them? Where? For how long?
  • On important holidays, do you buy individual gifts for your parents-in-law? Do they buy individual gifts for you?
  • How do each of you get along with your parents-in-law?
  • How many brothers and sisters does your spouse have? What are their names?
  • Which other members of your spouse’s family do you see frequently? When was the last time you saw them? What did you do together?
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Home Technology

  • How many land-line telephones are in your house? Where are they?
  • What type of cell phone does your spouse have? What is his or her phone number?
  • How many televisions are in the house? In which rooms? Do you watch shows together, or separately? Name one show that you always watch together.
  • Do you record any television shows?
  • Do you subscribe to a DVD rental or streaming video service?
  • What company provides your cable TV service? Internet service?
  • How many computers, laptops, or tablets are in the house? What kind are they?
  • Does your spouse listen to the radio? What station?
  • What kind of car does your spouse drive?

In the Bedroom

  • What size is your bed (Twin, Queen, or King)?
  • Do you have a regular mattress, futon, or waterbed?
  • How many windows are there in your bedroom?
  • What color are your spouse’s pajamas?
  • Who sleeps on each side of the bed?
  • What form of contraception (birth control) do you use?
  • When was your wife’s last menstrual period?
  • Where do you keep your toothbrushes? What kind of toothpaste, soap, and shampoo does each of you use?
  • Do either of you read or watch television before going to sleep? Do you have lamps next to your bed?
  • Have you ever had an argument that resulted in one of you sleeping in another room? Who, and which room?
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The Rest of the House

  • Do you live in a home or apartment? Who pays the mortgage or rent? How much is it?
  • Do you have a garage? Who parks in it? Do you use a garage door opener?
  • Is there a carpet in your front hallway? What color?Is your sofa a regular one or does it have a pull-out bed?
  • Have you ever had houseguests sleep there?
  • What type of curtains or window coverings are in your living room? What color?
  • How many staircases are in your house?
  • How many sinks, toilets, and showers are there in your house or apartment in total?
  • Do you leave any lights on when you go to sleep at night?

Celebrations

  • When is your spouse’s birthday?
  • What did you do for your spouse’s last birthday?
  • What did your spouse give you as a present for your last birthday?
  • How did you celebrate your most recent wedding anniversary?
  • What religious holidays do you celebrate together?
  • What’s the most important holiday of the year in your household? Where do you typically celebrate it?
  • Have you and your spouse gone to see a movie or other form of entertainment lately? When, and what did you see?
  • What did the two of you do last New Year’s Eve? Fourth of July?
  • Who takes pictures at important family occasions?

If they couldn’t answer a majority of the questions, I put them as denied. No one passed the literacy test. Out of 40, 25 passed the citizenship test, and out of 40, half could not answer a majoirty of the marriage questions.

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I was smug, I’m not gonna lie. But I hope my class learned something.

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