Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Me: Should I cancel this?
O: Yes, done.
Me: You’ve already done it?
O: No, cancel it.

Me: Can you forward me that e-mail?
O: Actually, it’s already been done.
Me: I don’t see it?
O: I’ll send it to you right now.

I have conversations like this all the time with my supervisor. It’s frustrating because he’ll inevitably become upset and tell me, “Do not misunderstand me!” In that case, does that translate to no means yes and yes means no? I understand that ESL speakers may find it difficult to convey ideas at times because I’ve had to deal with my ESL parents my entire life. For instance, when I graduated college, my mom told me that I needed to hang out at UCSF so I can find a rich doctor boyfriend to be dependent on. I was like, what the hell? All my life, my mom told me to stay away from “the boys” and then suddenly she tells me that I need a rich doctor boyfriend immediately? Something must have been lost in translation so I asked her to explain. She patiently explained to me that “dependent like you go back to school to become doctor and he pay for it.” Oh wait, that wasn’t a misunderstanding.

My mom has been speaking English for the past 26+ years, and I have to commend her because English is hard bitch to learn. Cantonese doesn’t have all the phonemes in the English language (this is why t’s, d’s, and l’s are difficult for Cantonese ESL speakers) and it’s difficult to translate certain words in English so I understand that the inability to articulate what you mean is stressful. My English is pretty atrocious despite the fact that I’m a native speaker and you know that whole thing about black kettles. So I guess what I’m trying to say is that I need to chill the fuck out and be more understanding. Now, I need to work on those de-stressing breathing exercises I learned on YouTube…      

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Pat Robertson Is Law

One of my supervisors went on a mini rant yesterday about how her daughter’s teacher violated her amendment rights by telling her that she can’t write about God. She goes on to tell me that she wrote to the American Center for Law and Justice and was informed that her daughter’s right was infringed upon and was also encouraged to sue. Now, I’ve never heard of American Center for Law and Justice, so my supervisor pulled up the webpage and showed it to me. I was alarmed when I noticed that there was a blurry YouTube image of a man that resembled Pat Robertson on the home page, but my supervisor assured me that the website was very reliable and informative. She even encouraged me to check it out, but “don’t check it out if you like Obama because there’s a lot of Obama bashing.” Erm…yeah…I just weakly smiled and walked away.  

For those of you who don’t know, students in the state of California can freely express their religious beliefs as long as they are not disruptive, so I’m all for her daughter talking about God and Jesus in school. However, it worries me when someone believes media mogul Pat Robertson is more credible than the ACLU. But then again, she thought this video was the real deal - 

I had to explain to her about CGI because she’s never heard of it, and even then, I knew that she didn’t believe me. But come on, the shadowing and the ripples in the water were so off!

I’ve always believed that no question is a stupid question because when you’re asking, you’re learning. But how does one transition that to critical thinking?