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By: Samantha Taphom

How do you know when something is racially driven, and when someone is just being rude?

I don’t know if it was just at me in general, but my English professor did nothing but act condescending towards me. I’ll admit, I did miss the first day due to misreading my block schedule. That was my first mistake. My second was sitting in the front row (due to my bad vision) I got there and it began right away. He was extraordinarily uncivil, and asked me (an East Asian woman) if I ate dog. I wasn’t the only Asian person in the class- there were more, but he picked on me. I didn’t know what to say. I do not eat dog- but I was dumbstruck at his rudeness.

We wrote essays on the first day. Nearly all of us had no idea how to properly format a college paper, myself included. A few papers in, and all of my classmates were getting high marks but me. I was getting marked off for everything such as how I wrote the date or how I spelled his name. I saw other people making the same mistakes as me and getting away with them.

Here’s the catch though. This professor would write on my paper that I was not allowed to re-submit a paper because of formatting errors, HOWEVER, all of my classmates were able to re-submit a fixed paper no problem. Keep in mind that there are three of us who are of color while the rest of my classmates were white. The three people of color failed his class with a solid D.

I don’t know if it was just me, or the fact that he was very specific on what he wanted for a paper but he changed what he wanted on a paper every single class. His class worsened my anxiety and made me believe I was a disgrace to my family because no matter what I did, I could not get a decent grade on a paper. It did not matter how hard I worked, or how much help I got from other people who managed to get an A in his class.

Thank the heavens I do not have to worry about his class for another semester. I’ll have to retake English as a whole since I did so poorly for his class.

There was clearly something he had against me. I did whatever I could to not get in his bad books, and did every single assignment that was asked of me ,but it was like he threw it in the trash and decided just failing me was too brutal, so he instead gave me the second worst grade in the book.   

Some other people took his class and loved it, I just could not see why. I always had the worst side of him. I’d walk in and enter this incredibly hostile and negative environment that I could not leave.

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