18 June 2013


I loved my college. Which is something I'm sure that anyone who knew me during my freshman year would be extremely shocked to hear. I'll be honest, I hated it that entire year. But after that, it got a lot better. And then when I met my Bear, it was the best. So, I'm pretty sure no one in my family would ever have expected me to say this, but we're proud to be Calvin alumni.

Besides, my college actually did turn out to be pretty awesome. I'll prove it by one story. I had this very young professor, I think it was his first year teaching during my Senior year. He was extremely energetic and extremely distractable and talked very fast.  One time he performed an entire rap in class that he wrote himself and choreographed. But that's not the funny part.

One day, when he was well into his lecture, he walked past my seat in the very front row, and interrupted himself to ask, in front of the entire class, "Rachel, I'm just wondering, are you white?"

Startled, I looked up at him and said, "Yes."

And he went on with his lecture. It was probably one of the most bizarre and hilarious in-class experiences I had in college. Most college professors probably wouldn't consider it appropriate to inquire as to their student's ethnicity during a lecture, but apparently he did.

The next week, in class again, he asked me, "Are you Italian?"

I said "No," and grinned.

I wasn't going make it easy on him and just tell him that in spite of my hometown in Asia, my obviously Hispanic last name, my brunette hair and my short stature--I'm 50% Dutch, just like he was. I just hid it a lot better than my tall, skinny, blond professor who was born and raised in the heart of Michigan's Dutch community.

Probably professors shouldn't wonder that much about their students' ethnicity, but I can forgive him for any indiscretion in that regard--because he was hilarious. Funny people can be forgiven much.

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Suzanne said...

What a strange and hilarious story. He could have been fired for that remark here.

That said, I never would have guessed you are half Dutch.


Moonofsilver said...

O_O omg I would have died. But that is a totally funny story. I had amazing teachers like that too!! (sans the asking-if-I'm-white...)

Lauren said...

Hi Rachel! Just curious because you've mentioned a few times that your parents live in another country, where were you born?

Unknown said...

Did he ever figure out what your ethnicity is?

Angi said...

That is hilarious...I don't think I've ever had people wonder so blatantly what my ethnicity is! I have had a couple of people wonder if I was something I'm not (which is all European...German, English and Scottish) but nobody's asked me in the middle of a crowded classroom. ;)

Susannah said...

Oh my word, that's super funny! I don't know many colleges where it would be ok for a teacher to ask about a student's ethnicity during a lecture. Haha.

Rachel said...

I was born in the US, but I've never stayed in the same place long--I'm one of those kids who has a hard time identifying one "home."

Rachel said...

Nope, I don't think I ever satisfied his curiosity.

Inge Jane said...

Funny! I had a professor who insisted that I was pronouncing my own name wrong, once saying he would "fight" me over it haha.

Katie Cook said...

This is hilarious! Loved this story:)