I don’t think you know what “ethnic group” means.

Orientation Day
Ok so today was our program orientation, for SILP (Summer Intensive Language Program), which people pronounce as a one syllable word, kind of like “silk” but ending with a /p/. If you don’t know yet, I’m at the Monterey Institute for International Studies, which abbreviates to “MIIS” and everyone pronounces as “miss.” It’s an 8 week summer intensive for a handful of languages; I happen to be taking Mandarin.

The orientation started in a lecture hall, and I have a question: are lecture halls engineered to put you to sleep? I tried in vain to find a feature of the lecture hall that wasn’t the sleepiest possible choice: the carpet, the sound proofing, the dull lights, the sound system with no treble, the lack of sunlight, the high narrow walls, the padded seats… every design choice made had a sleepy sleepy bias. I wonder what a non-sleepy lecture hall would be like… it would have some sunlight, I imagine.

Orientation was kind of tedious. They gave us a folder full of hand-outs at check-in, which we all read in about 20 seconds before the hour started. Then the hour started, and for an hour people read the hand-outs to us. Then our conversation leaders took us on a tour of the tiny campus, and then they herded us into a lecture hall to fill out forms. P loaned me a pen.

After that we all went to lunch, and P and I got sandwiches at a coffee shop, and dealt with our technology accounts. Then it was back to the classroom to take the diagnostic placement test.

You are not supposed to “do well” on diagnostic placement tests. They’re supposed to diagnose your level and then place you in the corresponding class. If you “do well” on the diagnostic, they place you higher than your level.

So I kept telling myself not to be anxious about the stupid placement test… but it did make me tense. I was annoyed by people making noise, sneaking in and out of the lecture hall door to do the face-to-face oral assessment in the lounge.

After class I found the student center, and I’ve been here ever since, listing the vocab I should know for tomorrow’s quiz (below). If it seems like too much, it’s because it is too frackim much.

The part where people try to tell me my own identity for the sake of their convenience.
One last thing; they asked us to fill out a form, checking off which one “ethnic group” we were: African American/Black, Asian American (including Pacific Islander), Caucasian/White, Hispanic/Latino, Native American/Indian, Multiracial American, and Decline to State.

We all know that most of those are not ethnic groups, right?

If some bureaucrats want my ethnic identity for their stats I’ll be happy to tell them; but if they list a bunch labels, and then tell me to check only one, then they can go eat a dick, because I’m Filipino American, and not some bullshit label they invented for the sake of their own shitty convenience.

Here, I made them a form they can fill out:

What is your first name? Check only one:

  • __ Nigel
  • __ Pricilla

生词 New vocab for tomorrow

  • 自从 自从我到了蒙特雷、天气还冷了。
  • 广泛
  • 自从手机广泛用以后、不用写信了。

  • 交流
  • 传递
  • 至少
  • 我早上至少喝一杯咖啡。

  • 一封信
  • 信纸
  • 信封
  • 免费
  • 在韩国、泡菜是免费的。

  • 留起来
  • 真实
  • 落伍
  • 有人还上网、落伍地下载音乐。哈哈!

  • 打印机
  • 印出来
  • 道理
  • 他不聪明、所有地他说的从来没有道理。

  • 根本
  • 我根本不进去星巴克。

  • 道理
  • 日常
  • 日常生活

  • 影响
  • 互联网
  • 天下事
  • 拿——来形容
  • 其实
  • 任何人
  • 科技
  • 使
  • 认为
  • 缩短
  • 距离
  • 增加
  • 速度
  • 因此
  • 改善

4 thoughts on “I don’t think you know what “ethnic group” means.

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