Monday, January 30

Where The Sun Rises & Sets

Guys, where is the edge of the world when I need it? You would not believe the experiences I'm blessed with--some of which make me so ashamed of being part of the human race.

Am I so strange?

Here's a question: If you had never spoken to me, but read one of my blog posts, would you have believed the two to be the same person? Apparently I'm some pseudo-being (wait, I shouldn't use phrases like that, as I've just been deemed INCAPABLE of thoughts, let alone words).

Subhan Allah. Seriously. As much as I fear the Day of Judgment, I have to admit, it almost gives me a sense of relief every now and then.

I'm so tired of racist, prejudice, "You wear something on your head; Therefore, you must not be able to understand a single English word I'm speaking" professors.

The dude said, "You're an International Student from what I understand."

I said, "I'm sorry, I'm actually not."

He didn't believe me! He then proceded to say, "Well, there are ESL courses I know of...You speak Arabic at home? Farsi?"

"No," I said. I looked at him about to cry--how much can an ethics professor degrade a human being?

He said, "Well there's certainly no way you know who Carl Rogers is--Do you know who Carl Rogers is?" He smiled like he caught me or something.

I said, "Actually, I'm a psych major. I've learned about Carl Rogers since I was around 17 years old."

He said, "Well, I know a thing or two about psychology," like it was some challenge. So I sat and explained Carl Rogers' humanistic approach and how it converged with Tillich's beliefs against dehumanizing and objectifying human beings (sort of how I felt sitting in the dude's office half an hour ago). I wished he could see my bookshelf in my room in Rapid City, South Dakota--where I thought I grew up. He has some uberdegree from Harvard, so apparently he also knows everything about me--that I'm incapable of writing in the English language, and probably that I may as well be illiterate while I'm on a roll. Then, he's like, "I could report this to the dean, but you're fortunate I won't. I assume that you'll never take a course with me again, but know that this is unacceptable."

I wanted to scream at him, "Give me another essay to write. Give me 12 freaking hours. Let me show you that not only am I capable of writing the essays I did, I can write hellava lot better." I guess since throughout his course, I only opted for T/F exams instead of essays, he never read my writing till the end of the course. He just saw this Muslim girl who probably walked into the wrong lecture hall every Tuesday and Thursday morning at 9:45am for an entire semester. Some lost little girl who dresses in too many layers who should probably be sitting at home doing oppressed girl things. Maybe knitting something? And after three essays, he's determined I didn't write them or something. And finally, he was like, "I'm gonna let you slide." I guess he's some merciful saint.

So I said, "Thank you sir." I looked right at him and smiled. I asked him if there was anything else, after which I said, "Have a nice day," and left his office.

I'm used to being underestimated, but not dehumanized.

At least it's over.

Al Hamdulillah.


Current AAF: A + 4 = Me, now.


Nandita said...
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Samira said...

After I told my mom, she just said, "Some of these Harvard people--they're not normal. They've lost something along the way." Maybe that's overgeneralizing the situation...

My dad, on the other hand, pointed out the following: "Every institution has to fill its 'Idiots' quota. We know how one of them did."

My parents are funny. Al Hamdulillah.

rima said...

dude, i dunno exactly what the tone of that post was supposed to be but i thought it was hilarious. you were much nicer than i would've been... i'm pretty sure i could've treated him to a biting remark or two. hahaha this is a great story :) i mean, i'm sorry you were dehumanized, but subhan allah some people are just so dumb. maybe ignorant is a more pc term. people amaze me. so, thanks for that :)

Samira said...

Anytime Apa :)

Be certain there will inevitably be more to come--I can't wait (NOT!)

Nuri said...

The fascinating world of stereotypes! I was an exchange student in Cali in Highschool. I remember the weirdest questions. Being from Spain i belonged to the Hispanic world so i got to hear things like:
-Oh, so you're from Spain? I'm going to Acapulco next week!
-You're Spanish? I have a friend in Buenos Aires
-How come your last name is not Gonzalez?

And it goes on and on...
It's the same: some people see all muslims just the same and all muslim girls with hijab are oppressed and incapable of free thinking

Samira said...

Fascinating indeed.