Billed As A Different Name

| Related | April 11, 2017

(My dad’s given name is “William,” but from the moment he was born everyone called him “Billy.” This ended up causing problems on his first day of kindergarten. My dad was off in a corner.)

Teacher: “William, please sit over here.”

(My dad continued playing. He had no idea the teacher was addressing him.)

Teacher: “William, come over here!”

(Dad continued playing. The teacher walks over to him.)

Teacher: “WILLIAM! Why aren’t you listening to me?”

Dad: “My name’s not William. It’s Billy.”

(The teacher called my grandma to tell her about what happened. When my dad got home from school, he and my grandma had to have a long talk about what his name really was.)

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Celebrating Thanksgiving And Independence Day At The Same Time

| Learning | January 30, 2017

(When I was in kindergarten, we made Thanksgiving placemats by coloring in pictures of a pilgrim, which my teacher then laminated for us. I decided to color my pilgrim green because I didn’t like leaving a lot of white space.)

Teacher: “Why is your pilgrim green?”

Me: “He’s an alien.”

Teacher: “There weren’t any aliens at the first Thanksgiving.”

Me: “Now there is!”

(When I showed it to my dad after school, he pointed out that technically all the pilgrims were aliens because they came from a different continent. We still have that placemat somewhere.)

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Royal Colors

| Learning | October 27, 2016

(My aunt is teaching a group of small children, talking to them about Disney princesses.)

Aunt: “I rather like Belle. Which one is your favorite?”

Little Girl: “I like Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella. I don’t like Tiana.”

Aunt: “Why not?”

Little Girl: “I just don’t like her color.”

Aunt: *feeling uncomfortable* “Um, why not? I think she is very pretty.”

Little Girl: “Yes, but I really don’t like green. I like blue and pink.”

Aunt: “Oh. Well, that’s fine, then!”

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Burning Through Your Equality Lessons

| Learning | September 4, 2016

(I am doing an internship in a local kindergarten. This kindergarten is taking equality and multicultural learning very seriously. The children come from all across the world, so of course some feature darker skin as well. One afternoon, I am dressing all the naked dolls with the help of a Caucasian four-year-old. One of the dolls has dark skin, too.)

Girl: “Okay, now we’ll take the brown sunburnt baby.”

(I was in shock for a few seconds, not knowing how to react. I tried hard not to burst into laughter.)

Me: “Is this what you children always call this doll?”

Girl: “Yes.” *smiles and hums as she chooses the clothes with the doll in her arms*

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Judged By The Content Of Their Character

| Learning | August 30, 2016

(I have an appointment in a school in a rural area and am waiting in the teachers’ lounge when I overhear the following conversation. Due to the rural area, people are not used seeing other than Caucasians.)

Teacher #1: “How is the new pupil doing?”

Teacher #2: “Well, you know how we have now two kids named David? The kids refer to them as ‘tall David’ and ‘short David’ or ‘curly-haired David’ and ‘short-haired David.’”

Teacher #3: “Really?”

Teacher #2: “Yes. Nobody ever mentions the colour of his skin.”

(Sometimes I think there is still hope for humanity.)

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