Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Week 17 Day 2

This is the last week of the Marketing class. The exam will be on Thursday. Next week we start Canadian Business Practices for 4 weeks.

But I want to tell you about what happened to me last week.

As you all know, Canada is very diverse - very multi-cultural. In my class there are students from Brazil, New Zealand, Canada, Bangladesh, Switzerland, China, India and Trinidad/Tobago. When I first met the girl from Trinidad, I made a comment that my sister in law is also from Trinidad and Tobago but she is Indian. This girl was black. I did not mean it as an insult, I was just making an observation. I had not known that Trinidad had people of African origin as well as those of Indian origin.

That was 3 months ago when we started the Human Resources class. All through HR, Business law and Marketing she has been loud and petty towards me, telling me I am wrong and not accepting that I am entitled to my opinions. No, she has to be right and I have to agree with her. It got to the point where I just ignored her.

Because I have a hearing problem, ignoring someone is very easy for me to do. I can read a book and tune out everything else around me.

So one day last week, the teacher took the day off to attend a funeral. She didnt tell us she was going, in fact she had mentioned the day before that she was NOT going to attend. She left a cryptic message with one of the students that we were to answer the questions at the end of chapter 9 in a group. I decided that I didnt need to be part of their group because this other girl would be telling me I was wrong when I know that I am usually right. So I read my text book and ignored the group. I didnt listen to them, and I heard noone calling my name.

The following day when the teacher came back, we went through the answers, and when they all got one answer wrong, and mine was right, this Trinidad girl lost her temper and went into a tirade. In front of the teacher. She called me a liar, a hypocrite and a racist.

She claims they tried to get my attention the day before, to ask me what I thought, and I just ignored her. She thinks I ignored her because she is black. NOT TRUE. I ignored her because I didnt hear her. And she made no attempt to get my attention by any other means except for calling my name. She made no attempt to touch my arm or to stand in my field of vision to get my attention. Which any intelligent person SHOULD have thought to do.

No she assumed that I deliberately ignored her only because she was black. I would have ignored anyone calling my name no matter if they were red or yellow, black and white, (Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world - so says the old religious song). I tried to tell her I was deaf - LIAR she screamed back.

I was shaking and crying by the time she sat down. The teacher did nothing. She said to me later it was better if this girl got her anger out. I too was glad that at least the anger was out. Anyway I told the teacher that I did have hearing problems and I did not ignore her because she was black. I ignored her because I did not hear her and she did not try to get my attention. The techer promised to talk to her to explain.

Now I just ignore her and she ignores me. All I can do is to study harder and get batter marks than her in the next 2 classes - Marketing and Business Practices. I want to tell her to not be so defensive about her race - but I cant. I dont want to set off another explosion. But she is DEFENSIVE.

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