At W&L one of the most uncomfortable moments in class for me was in my junior year marketing seminar. I am mixed race, half-Chinese and half-Caucasian. While the professor was lecturing the class about food brands, out of nowhere, mid sentence the professor turns to me and asks about an obscure Asian soft drink from Japan in front of the entire class, as if I were to know about it.
I am totally caught off guard, and sit still for a moment not really believing that she was asking me this in the middle of class. I look around and notice that everyone in the room is staring at me waiting for an answer. I was shocked and caught with an overwhelming feeling of embarrassment and shame. I had absolutely no clue what it was. I look back at her and say, “Um, um, uh, I don’t know what it is” and give a small laugh to try to play off how uncomfortable I was feeling.
I immediately looked back down at my notebook and pretend to be writing something, not wanting to look up or make eye contact with anyone.