He: So I was studying with my Chino friend —
Me: Do you mean Triet?
He: Yeah, we were trying to solve a really tough problem —
Me: I thought he was Vietnamese.
He: He is.
Me: Then he’s not a Chino, well unless he’s one of those Vietnamese people who is ethnically Chinese and then I guess he’s technically a Chino…
He: Just let me continue and stop being all politically correct. You knew who I was talking about.
Me: No, I was genuinely confused. And it’s not about being PC, it’s just simply correct.
“Angie, your permission to enroll number is 73258. Eva, yours is 03281. Derek, yours is…”
This session was bigger than most of my orientation sessions. I usually met with 6 or 7 students, but this time around I had a dozen.
I looked down at my roster and then up at the girl in the lavender tank. Sure of myself, I continued, “Janey, your number is –”
“I’m Kelly,” she corrected me.
“I’m Janey,” spoke up the girl in the blue t-shirt. She was seated a couple seats away from Kelly.
“But I thought you were Janey,” I said to Kelly.
She shook her head.
I felt my face go red. I checked the roster again. Both names were there along with some academic and demographic information: Kelly, Chinese, Neuroscience; Janey, Korean, Biology major.
“Sorry. Okay, Kelly, your number is 54106. Adam, 01792. Estela, 65578. Janey, your number is 21945…”
I got the rest of the names correct.