I have no title for this post. Mostly because it’s not anything profound. School was funny today. It was funny because today was the day that many of the teachers found out I was from Taiwan.
I really want to know what goes through the minds of other people in conversations like this. There’s always an awkward pause, when I can see them thinking, “Oh…didn’t see that one coming.” This is either followed by intelligent questions about what in the world I was doing in Taiwan, do I speak Chinese fluently, and how I ended up in small town Massachusetts, or the conversation stops right there. I actually felt honored today that the teachers at my high school who, while a little surprised that this white girl from a small Christian college is actually from Taiwan, took it in stride and had fantastic questions.
But along with that, I’m reminded that as much as I don’t want others to judge me based on my ethnicity, nor should I be judging others based on it. I was most rapidly put in my place when, in helping another teacher formulate a response to past experiences on cultural diversity, I learned that she had had just as many if not more insights than I did through past experiences. My assumption that since she was teaching in a small town predominantly white New England high school meant that she had never interacted with other cultures was entirely unfounded, and I realized that I had fallen into the same trap that I wished others to avoid with me. Whoops. Lesson learned.