Lost In Transl-Asian

| Learning | August 27, 2013

(I have just started my junior year of high school. I am Chinese. The previous year, I was one of the top students in my Spanish class, to the point where my Spanish teacher places me in the Advanced Placement Spanish class she also teaches for the next year. As flattered as I am, I know for a fact that I am not ready. I go up to my teacher who taught me last year.)

Me: “Hey Ms. [teacher’s name].”

Teacher: “Oh, hello! I’m glad you made it to class on time!”

Me: “Actually, I need to talk to you about that.”

(A group of grumpy looking Spanish kids in the front note my presence.)

Me: “I’m extremely flattered that you decided to put me in this class, but I don’t think I’m quite ready.”

Kid: *condescending tone in Spanish* “Hey, chino! What are you doing here?”

Me: *ignoring kid* “I need a note to get out of this class. I’m really sorry.”

Teacher: “Aww, are you sure? You were one of my best students!”

Kid: *in Spanish to his friends* “Man, this chino kid must be a f****** dumb-a**. He definitely doesn’t belong in this class. I bet he doesn’t even speak—”

Me: *speaking rapidly in Spanish* “LISTEN TO ME; I KNOW HOW TO SPEAK SPANISH! BUT I DON’T WANT TO BE IN THIS CLASS BECAUSE I DON’T THINK I’M READY, AND I DEFINITELY DON’T WANT TO BE HERE IF PEOPLE LIKE YOU ARE HERE!”

(I take a breath and switch back to English calmly for the teacher.)

Me: “Now may I please get a note? I really don’t think I’ll enjoy it here.”

Teacher: “Umm… sure. Give me a moment.”

(The loud kid slinks down in his chair.)

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