‘A’ is for Asian

Alyssa Conner

This summer, a friend and I decided we would be studious students and take a couple summer courses through the community college in our town. We learned from last summer not to take an online course because not only do you pretty much have to teach yourself, but we felt we had more assignments than we would if we went and sat through a lecture.

The first day came along, and we walked into the little room with no more than 12 people. All eyes were staring at us. It felt as if they were looking straight through our clothes or something.

I whispered to my friend, “Dang, do we really look that good?” (Note: The class started at 9 a.m. and took 30 minutes to drive to, so you can just imagine how gorgeous we looked.)

We found a seat in the far left corner of the room and decided this would be where we would sit every day. As we were waiting for the professor to start his lecture, we made small talk to the people around us.

“I wonder if those two are sisters,” a chubby girl with black curly hair mumbled to her friend sitting next to her.

My first reaction was to ask her if she had a question she would like to ask instead of whispering sweet nothings to her redheaded friend, but I just ignored it. I figured I would be making a bigger fool of myself by saying anything to her.

“You know they will probably get A’s in the class!” The redhead whispered back.

I turned to my friend and asked if she was hearing any of what these girls were saying about us. She said no and that I was just assuming they were talking about us.

“Of course they are talking about us,” I said. “We are both Asian and for some crazy reason people tend to think all Asians look alike and because of that we just HAVE to be related.”

It was 9 a.m. and the teacher started his welcoming spiel and what we should expect – you know, the normal first day stuff. Because the classroom size was so small, he decided it would be nice to go around the room and share something interesting about ourselves.

It was finally my turn. I stood up and said, “My name is Alyssa Conner. Yes, I am Asian. No, I do not get straight A’s, and no, this is not my sister sitting next to me.”

I sat back down in my seat thinking to myself, “Did I really just say that?” I heard some chuckles here and there, but the two girls in the front of the room just had this stunned look on their faces. I contemplated if that was the best way to react in the situation, but it gets annoying growing up and hearing comments like that all your life. I mean, just because I am Asian, am I supposed to be some genius?

At the end of the class the two girls confronted me and apologized.

“Oh, no worries,” I said.

I turned to my friend and told her to spell out ‘assume.’

“A-S-S-U-M-E,” she said.

“When I am with you, please don’t assume anything because it makes an ass of you and me,” I said.

Alyssa Conner is a junior public relations major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].