Stereotype Gripe

| Learning | March 3, 2015

(I am in chemistry lab and working on a delicate procedure that requires a high degree of accuracy, otherwise the experiment will be wrong. It should be noted as relevant that I am Chinese, my friend is Bangladeshi, and Lab Partner is a very insensitive white guy.)

Friend: “Hey, [Lab Partner], can you hand me a paper towel?”

Lab Partner: “Sure! Paper towel!” *sees me* “Hah, Chinese way of life, right? Pa pa tao! Pa pa tao!” *starts talking nonsense in a Chinese accent*

Me: *trying very hard not to react* “Aw, d*** it. I messed up.”

(My friend looks over and sees my work is WAY off.)

Friend: *hurriedly* “Dude, shut up. Shut up. It’s not funny!”

Lab Partner: “Naw, man, it’s hilarious! Pa pa tao! Pa pa tao!”

Teacher: *having heard conversation and come over* “Since she’s too nice to say it, pa pa tao probably means you’re getting 10 points docked off your lab grade for violating [Community College]’s rules of conduct which clearly state you’re to treat your classmate with respect at all times.”

Lab Partner: “What! That’s not fair. I WAS funny!”

Teacher: “Is [My Name] laughing? No. No, she’s not, because you’re not a comedian and if you keep your performance in this class up you won’t be much of a chemist either.”

(I mouthed thank you to my professor, who gave me a wink. He was awesome.)

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