Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Only Stupid People Are Breeding

Below is an excerpt from a recent conversation:

'Hi GWCH! Look what I brought you!'

'Oh, what a pretty wedding invitation. Who is it for?'

'A Pakistanian guy. Do you know him?'

'I don't know. I have a few Pakistani friends, but don't think I know this groom.'

'Can you read the invitation?'

'No, I can't read Urdu. I know Farsi and a little bit of Arabic.'

'That's too bad that your parents didn't teach you Pakistanian.'

(Confused look on my face.)

'It's just that I thought you'd be proud of your Pakistanian heritage and all. You know, because you were talking about stuff that is going on over there for the last couple of weeks.'

(Trying to bite my tongue and not call her an idiot): 'Oh, no. I'm from Iran. I'm Iranian--some people say Persian. It's the same thing. We speak Farsi (also known as Persian). Pakistanis speak Urdu which has a similar alphabet and some shared words, but they're actually different languages.'

'Oh. So, you're not Pakistanian?'

(Me calmly nodding no, trying not to scream that there is no such thing as Pakistanian.)

'Huh. Maybe that's why I was confused and thought you were Indian. Do you know Indian?'

And that is the story of why I have welts in my mouth. And why I'm considering quitting my job and becoming a History and Geography teacher. God knows I can't make the kids any dumber.

Oh--and this lady has four kids, the first two of which she home schooled for a few years.


Anonymous said...

That's funny but extremely sad. I can just imagine you standing there, bothered by that woman's ignorance.

On a better note, you'd be a GREAT teacher!!! I learned a lot...even though it wasn't history. :)

A Lover and a Fighter said...

Good lord. Your restraint is heroic.

TK said...

I once had someone ask me where in Africa is South Africa.

I was so stunned, I literally did not know how to answer the question without being blatantly insulting.

So I guess what I'm saying is... I feel your pain.

Trail In Progress said...

That is the saddest thing I've read all morning.

a.j.g. said...

My freshmen this year couldn't even label the continents. One kid got North and South America right but then labeled Asia and Europe "East and West America."

However, the best (worst?) story, is from when I briefly taught middle school. I wouldn't let a student leave to go to the restroom because the last time he went he wandered the halls for half an hour.

BOY: "You won't let me go because I'm black. 'Cause I'm an African-American!"

GIRL: (sitting beside him) "Dude, shutup. I'm more African than you."

BOY: "You ain't African. You ain't black!"

GIRL: "I'm from Egypt. Egypt IS in Africa."

BOY: (to me) "Miss J., tell her that she ain't really from Africa."

I didn't know whether I should laugh or weep.

Girl With Curious Hair said...

Anon: I don't know who you are, but the possibilities are making me paranoid. I hope haven't traumatized you.

Meg: I restrained myself then, but ranted about stupid people for hours later--just for balance.

TK: Please say you punched him.

Trail: I'm sorry I ruined your day.

a.j.g.: I had a conversation with an Egyptian gentleman who insisted he wasn't African, he was NORTH African.

Lainey said...

Oh my goodness! She could easily be friends with my director. You know the one. Good job not laughing in her face and walking away. I salute your restraint!

Girl With Curious Hair said...

Lainey, you may be on to something! We should set them up. Maybe the new girl can help them organize a meeting and we can just sit back and marvel at our handy work.

Anonymous said...

Dear. Sweet. Lord.

Idiocracy, indeed.

celery said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
celery said...

speaking of idiots, the other day someone asked me if vegans can drink alcohol. i told him yes, but not beefeater gin or wild turkey whiskey... and he believed me.

more relevant to your story, in 1994 (when rwanda was in the news every day), i had the following conversation with a university graduate:

me: craig is thinking of going to rwanda.

him: i thought he wanted to go to africa.

me: where do you think rwanda is?

him: i thought it was in a book.

me: you mean, like narnia?

him: kind of.