Friday, November 06, 2009

This and That

I had the day off today because yesterday was a full day of parent-teacher conferences. We worked till 8 PM, so we got the day off today. Parent-teacher conferences went very well, though it was a long day. I have great students (for the most part) this year, so I had no problem parents to deal with.

Then, after the conferences ended, I performed my first duty as the new chair of the social committee at school. I was nominated by several people (I guess the people know I like to get people together for fun) and so I took on this job. I guess it is nice to be chosen since I am only in my third year at this school. Anyway, I organized a post-conferences shindig, and it went very well. Lots of teachers showed up and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.

Elsewhere, in my grad class this week, my ding dong professor showed off his racism a bit:
Prof: It is important to recognize cultural diversity in your classes. For example, I once had a class with several Orientals [We were all taken aback by this very inappropriate term.] When you have Orientals, you have to remember that in Oriental culture, they are are very smart, but Oriental girls are not supposed to speak.
At this point, once of my classmates said, "Were they Chinese, Japanese, Korean . . .?"

And three of us added at the same time, "Or were they rugs?"

And when he handed our reflections back--remember he told us we could not start any sentences with pronouns--several students protested the red marks on their papers. For example, one student had written "This idea becomes clearer . . . " and the word This was circled. She said, "Why is this word circled?" and he said, "This is a pronoun." So I said, "In that sentence, this is a demonstrative adjective, not a pronoun. It describes which idea." And he said nothing.


8 Comments:

At 12:43 PM, Blogger P "N" K posited...

I actually had no idea oriental was PiC. Why is this offensive? I guess I never hear anyone use the term though either. The ballpark generalization is almost universally 'Asian.' I'm assuming oriental must be akin to negro? I.E. an outdated 19__s term that used to be better than the alternative but is now worse?

I feel a little left out of the loop, considering my overall genetic makeup.

 
At 12:45 PM, Blogger P "N" K posited...

Plus, goddamnit, it figured Korean would be the third choice that rolls out.

I kid. I kid. :P

 
At 5:04 PM, Blogger PBear posited...

I think the term "Oriental" is pc; the prof was just implying that Orientals could be grouped under the same culture, which isn't pc.

 
At 5:15 PM, Blogger CoachDub posited...

Oriental is considered offensive by most people because of the historically pejorative usage. On addition it is considered a Eurocentric term.
Oriental, especially as a noun, should not be used to describe people. The term is usually used these days to refer to objects, such as rugs, vases, etc.

In addition to what Adam said.

 
At 6:54 PM, Blogger P "N" K posited...

Gotcha. I guess it would be like calling North Americans 'occidental' correct? I guess that makes sense.

 
At 8:40 PM, Blogger Kathy posited...

Glad you had good parent-teacher conferences. We have a friend who teaches math in an NYC public school & he was talking about his...at one point, when a father heard that his daughter had only done 4 out of 23 homework assignments, he started smacking his kid & security dragged him away...and all the other parents were lined up & watching it all. After the guy was dragged away, our friend said, "Next!"

Be glad you teach in the 'burbs, and not in the city.

 
At 6:25 PM, Anonymous alan posited...

I've never heard Oriental used in a pejorative way. It's mostly positive stuff. Like:

"Those Orientals really know how to clean a shirt."
and
"Orientals are really good at math."

Although, if what I've heard about their driving is true, I could understand their hesitation.

 
At 11:39 AM, Blogger Jake posited...

I am loving this new professor of yours. Please post as many stories as possible about him in the near future.

 

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