15 March 2019

Linguistic minority

I take a Discourse Analysis course in the Applied Linguistics department. Most of my classmates are international students, many of whom are studying teaching English as a second language. The computer in the classroom is set to display Chinese in most places that I expect English. Last night, the professor showed a YouTube video, before which an ad played. I saw a character with a Doge head and a three-piece suit, and all of my Chinese classmates started laughing. Everyone else looked confused. I thought about asking someone to explain what was going on, but I decided against it. I sat with the discomfort of being in the linguistic minority, for just a brief moment. My opportunities to experience that are few, and the discomfort is important.

Everyone was laughing, except for me. I didn't get the joke.

There are people who live with this all day long. Imagine if it wasn't just a joke. Imagine if it was class.
May I continue to check my privilege and strengthen my empathy.

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