Category: Monday Writing Prompt
I will always remember Mrs. Greenwell from my 2nd grade. I will always remember her making me stand in front of my class and say “rock” over and over again. Only it came out as “wock.” I will always remember her saying I will not get to sit down until I said it right. I never did say it correctly. Another teacher, either Mrs. Brugens or the Vice Principal happen to walk by and seated me. It was certainly Mrs. Brugens who lectured the kids who were laughing at me. She asked how many of them spoke more than one language. She also addressed those who spoke Spanish. They of all kids should understand how hard it is to learn two languages at the same time. I still sometimes get self conscious about my r’s and w’s.
I will always remember Ms. H from 3rd grade. I was late from a doctors appointment or something. I joined the lunch hour and because of the tardiness had to sit at a table by myself. It wasn’t that big of a deal because we had ‘silent’ lunch. No talking was allowed. If you were caught talking, your recess would be taken away. Ms. H, who was disabled and who was my third grade teacher, wheeled around patrolling. She stopped at my table, pointed at me, and said, “YOU – NO RECESS!”
I was shocked. My classmates were shocked.
“You were talking!”
“I was not! No one is HERE!”
I vaguely remember classmates speaking up for me. Telling her I wasn’t. She then banished me from the cafeteria and I had to sit outside the cafeteria to finish my meal. Another teacher, Mrs. Lecia (who died 3 years later), came to sit with me and told me she knew I wasn’t talking and consoled me as I cried and ate my lunch. I still had to sit recess out. Though I remember always thinking fondly of Mrs. Lecia, I was confused why she didn’t stick up for me.
Question: Who are the teachers you will always remember? Why?
This week’s writing prompt is social etiquette. There is one social gaffe that is, sadly, near and dear to my heart: approaching Asian women in the bar scene. The Asian fetish nursed by men for decades now in the US has led to some disastrous come ons. The fetish doesn’t bother me. Everyone has a type. I will say though, that you and I will have a less miserable night if you don’t make it obvious you have a broad attraction to a minority demographic. In that interest, let me share a few tips on how not to approach Asian women without appearing ignorant and being offensive.
How Not to Hit on Asian Women
Do not greet us in a random Asian language. Most times you’ll pick the wrong language and even if you get it right, it’s a turn off how presumptuous you are. If you would like to show us your Asian vocabulary, how about smoothly asking us what our ethnicity is first?
Does “Ching Chong Chang” even mean anything in any language? Don’t do that. Don’t make fun of us. I don’t care what Mr. E, the Pickup Artist says.
Do not mention everyone in your life who is Asian. We do not care if your brother’s girlfriend is Chinese or Korean. We do not care if you know someone from Bangkok. There are no brownie points for knowing one of our “kind.”
Do not call us Lisa Ling or Lucy Liu or Miss [insert Asian last name here].
If you ask for our name and we give it to you, do not act surprised and ask us what our “real” name is. (Yes, Jerkface, my name IS Linda. Sorry to not fulfill your stereotypical expectations.)
Do not assume we’re not from here. Some of us were born here, you know? Asking us when we came over to the States is NOT a good opening line.
Question: What is the funniest pick up line you’ve heard?
I rarely use the word dumb or stupid in my vocabulary. Maybe once in a year I’ll call someone a “dumbass” behind his or her back but that’s such a rare occasion. I might tease a friend who’s being smart with me and call him a “smartass” or “punk” but I rarely criticize people for being dumb or stupid. My philosophy is that there are so many ways to be intelligent, I’ll just give people the general benefit of the doubt that they’re either having an off day or that ____ is not their area of expertise. Making people feel less than or stupid for not knowing something is not encouraging them to learn so if in fact they are dumb, making them FEEL dumb would only exacerbate their uh condition.
I had an exboyfriend who used to make me feel so dumb. A habit he had that is kind of common is when someone asks a definitive question, he’ll guffaw and say, “You don’t know that?!” He did this to me so often that I started to feel dumb. Also we had a lot of the same classes and whenever I did better than him he would get upset and say things like, “How did you get an A? I basically taught you everything.” Once in a lab, I calculated my standard deviation and got an extremely low number. A low standard deviation, just in case you didn’t know, means the variance is low which in turn means you were relatively consistent in your experiment. It’s a good thing. He was so shocked by my low standard deviation, he pulled out a calculator and recalculated my SD. Being really young, instead of feeling insulted, I just felt dumb.
After our relationship ended, the healthier mirrors of my peers, friends, professors, mentors, and colleagues outshone the previous reflection of the condescending mirror my exboyfriend gave me. I no longer perceive myself as dumb but as someone who is always learning. Because of my experience with this relationship, I am now super careful with how I interact with people. Whenever someone asks me a question, I consciously never make them uncomfortable for not knowing something. If I know the answer, I gently tell them making sure the tone and inflection of my voice is not judgmental. This is pretty hard sometimes when I run across something I find bizarre. For instance, if you didn’t watch Jersey Shore or know what it is, I might have to bite back a, “What?! You’ve never heard of Jersey Shore?!”
Just kidding. What a dumb show.
Question: When was the last time you felt dumb? What did you learn?
*** This blog post was written in conjunction with this week’s writing prompt.