Several of the women in the lab were now commiserating with Maicee making it even worse. Becky was saying, “Gosh, I can’t believe your instructor would continue to think that you’re Chinese. No wonder you feel depressed.” Jill responded, “Yeah, you must feel like nothing that you do can make a difference.”
Todd started to think about the Iowa State game this weekend. He and his girlfriend had tickets. He needed to get some blankets and a thermos since the weather had turned cold. Sometimes he wished he had a group of buddies to go with, but his girlfriend liked football and didn’t mind going with him. He hadn’t really formed any friendships on campus, and lately he had realized that his buddies from high school hadn’t been calling him anymore. Thinking about the game, he drifted back into the lab conversation. Maicee had been prompted by everybody’s sympathy to go on about this English instructor. Clearly she was most bothered by what the instructor had done this last week.
Maicee was saying, “He asked me about my culture and stuff after class. He had either had a previous class or instruction or something on Chinese literature or writing, and so he started talking again about that, about Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching, and he recited a poem in Chinese and asked, ‘Do you know that?’ I didn’t. He said, ‘Well, you should, it’s part of your history.’ I felt so fed up because he wasn’t Iistening to me. I don’t know how to speak Chinese and learned all the Chinese history I know from high school. And throughout the whole interaction with him I was afraid that he would be offended by me always correcting him, especially in front of the class because he always corrected everyone. But yesterday he told me that my writing is too uptight, that I need to relax. He said that I didn’t put enough feeling into my writing and that I didn’t have a lot of power . . . uh . . . no, wait a minute; he didn’t use the word power. He used the word constricted, that my writing is constricted. And then he said in front of the whole class, ‘Why don’t you relate what you write to your personal self and culture, you know, your Chinese culture?’”