Accepting What We Rejected: Confronting the Duke University Chinese Controversy

  • Home
  • Slider
  • Accepting What We Rejected: Confronting the Duke University Chinese Controversy

When was the last time someone told you to shut up?

For the Chinese students at Duke University, this question would be quite easy to answer: 14 days ago.

On Jan. 26, Duke University professor Megan Neely sent out an email titled “Something to think about”. In this two-page email, Neely started off by describing a complaint she received from two “separate faculty members” who accused a small group of first-year students of speaking Chinese VERY LOUDLY.

“Being so impolite,” Neely typed in her bold and underlined fonts, “as to have a conversation that not everyone on the floor could understand.”

Despite the obvious offensive wording in the email, reading this news gave me a weird but familiar reminiscence that brings me back to the earliest days when blending into my surroundings was still a challenging task. Stepping onto the American soil after 15 years in a different continent, I was beyond horrified by the potential alienation and exclusion I could have endured. Overcoming the barrier of unfamiliarity was a fearful and uneasy task, but I soon discovered that compared to true, rigid discriminations, the first few unfamiliarities were even insignificant.

It was three years after my initial arrival, and my confidence about my suitability of this new environment had just hit the summit. The old Chinese accent had almost disappeared, and I couldn’t help to not feel proud about how successful I was in eliminating my “Chineseness”.  From the relaxing chats with friends to the occasional calls I had to make for my parents, I adopted English as my second native language, and to some extent, even wished for it to replace my original mother tongue.

Summer soon came up on the calendar, and my family had already planned a trip around a few of the potential colleges I would be applying. For me, the trip itself was promising not only because of its refreshing nature but also because I could finally find myself another opportunity to experiment how “well” I could fit in – mostly language-wise.

Prompted and excited, I boarded the plane to St. Louis with my family. Squeezed on the rigid, uncomfortable seats, I managed to help my parents find their seats in an environment filled with chatter and instructions that they couldn’t understand. My mom, apparently not expecting the different arrangement of the carry-on spaces on American flights, was having trouble trying to lift the bags over her head. I leaned over the empty aisle and instructed her in Chinese. After everything’s settled, I sit back on my aisle seat.

But just as I was about to take out my headphones and book, someone landed a hard tap on my left shoulder. I turned around confusingly, but my confused sight encountered a middle-aged woman’s angry stare.

“SSSHHH! Can you guys keep it down?”

My brain, still a bit confused from this sudden order, processed neither her condescending tone nor the rude nature of this sentence at that moment. After a soft nod, I turned around and maintained the “peace” during the rest of the flight. To my father’s questioning looks and my mother’s inquiries about why I wouldn’t eat, I responded with movements instead of language. My last impression of that flight remained on the woman’s half-browned platinum blonde hair waving right in front of my face as we descended from the plane, but my old confidence about my “familiarity” slowly collapsed as I stepped out of the aircraft.

My relaxing family trip ended up being a salvation trip filled with self-doubt. At first, I could not understand the origins of the sudden rudeness after thousands of replays of the scenario: I was far from a loud talker, and neither was I blocking anybody’s way. So what exactly triggered that woman’s detestation, and what exactly annoyed her so much that she decided to let out a bucket of judgements on an 18-year-old girl?

But now, I’ve found the answers reading the email wrote by Professor Megan Neely. From the accusations to the unnecessary warnings, every line in that email is, ironically, yelling out the same tremendous fear. In the email, I see a similar fear of not understanding the environment and identical worries of encountering unfamiliar words. From Neely’s accusations to the unnamed woman’s commands on my flight, these people share exactly the same thing – that is, a terror of approaching something they don’t understand.

Although I’ve tried my best tackling unfamiliar events, I still cannot overcome the true barrier of other people’s judgements. I tried to conquer and overcome my unfamiliarity, but the lady on the plane to St. Louis has proven my failures. The professor at Duke University tried to avoid and banish the foreign unfamiliarity, but was she successful?

Globalization is progressing, and our world is advancing with the speed beyond our imagination. With such a tremendous amount of differences, neither avoidance nor conquering will be the truly successful opinion. It’s time for us to be open-minded and confront what we fear instead of being its adversary.

Confronted with the publicity that followed her controversial email, Neely resigned from her position at Duke.

A Chinese adage once says, if one remains not annoyed when he is not understood by people around him, isn’t he a sage?” Understanding has never been an easy task, but these small steps are the responsibilities of each one of us. If we can all remain not annoyed when we are not understood by people or when we cannot understand people, aren’t we all sages?

Story by Emily Wu.


Emily Wu

Emily is an amateur gamer who loves fencing and digging into her avocado. Her dream is to have a jewelry box filled with a collection of her most favorite rings—including her Hockaday senior ring.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

cbd oil: cbd select als cbd oil cbd and cholesterol does cbd e liquid work how to harvest hemp for cbd euphoria cbd cherry cbd strain cbd oil drug gabapentin interaction vape juice with cbd high quality cbd oil low thc topikal cbd spectrum cs number cannabis lube cbd balm uses cbd clinic pro sport level 5 amazon charlottes web cbd oil groupon cbd oil cannabidiol rheumatoid arthritis awareness color cbd oil hunger cube recipes median xl health naturals cbd tincture 250mg cbd fact sheet hemp rx cbd oil can you give cats cbd oil isodiol cbd oil cheap oil online earthe cbd hundred definition cbd oil for hormonal imbalance how does one vape cbd oil 150mg cbd trademarks for cbd oil vaping cbd oil to quit smoking bulk cbd edibles cbd thc gummies for pain mile marker 5 cbd cbd results cbd anti cancer hemp side effects terphouse cbd oil review what is the definition of drug where to buy hemp oil for cancer treatment nature made multi complete softgels cbd oil with myrcene can you buy cannabis oil pure ratios cbd patch benefits plus does cbd oil cause positive drug tests 7 in tablets reviews does cbd gummies get you high dab meaning hemp doctor est cbd oil spectrum in kent ohio how to hide cbd oil cbd ben greenfield does cbd oil out cancer cbd ulcerative colitis cbd oil dosage for multiple sclerosis definition of here

weight loss: best weight loss pill over the counter click on detroit diet pills diet pills that make you lose weight fast appetite suppressant tea gnc new diet medications dr yezid mora leslie bentinganan eat less but gain weight amy lungren flower mound how much weight does green coffee beans lose when roasted hypothalamus medication working out weight gain how do you lose stomach fat new direction weight control system reviews best and fastest weight loss pills stop feeling hungry how to lose weight during su appetite suppressant injection mexican celebrity diet pills weight loss pills with ephedra best fat burner for men 2016 unhealthy weight loss symptoms try not to laugh fat people diet pills to help with stomch fat keto recipes and instant pot fat burner yellow pills can you feel fat cells keto recipes lean reddit lose weight in three days running plan to lose weight eating right and exercising but not losing weight lunch food to lose weight how much weight can you lose in 8 mths best strict diet to lose weight usn products to lose weight when you lose weight does your face looke better best diet pills from the doctor cycing to lose weight in how any months can i shed 20 ounds prescription diet pills saxenda can you lose weight on restricting calories alone is it normal for cats to lose weight in the summer what is the best thing to take to lose weight it works fat burning pills lose bellly weight with plasitc wrap keto and low carb soup recipes ab workouts that make you lose weight fast how dancing helps you lose weight i can never be attractive even if i lose weight reddit 2 week weight loss program when is the best time of day to fast to lose weight diet pills blurred vision weight of na phenemine slimming adipex best diet pills appetite suppressant supplement 37 5 tips and tricks to loose weight wellbutrin high blood pressure simple weight loss diet plan prime nutrition fat burner stack review eat loose weight lose overnight puffy eyes water weight veg diet to loose weight how to lose thigh fat in a week

vape: vape box kits uwell valyrian tank leaking from air holes geek vape aegis 100w vapor brothers ccell vape cartridge box mods 200w vape mouth to lung how to turn shatter into vape juice jewel vape price uwell crown pod dfw vapor mckinney voopoo panda cartridge ecig health problems vape shops in va beach cloud chasing vape juice voopoo drag mod wattage settings change joke vape juice coolest looking vape mods e cigarette mod batteries best 26650 battery for vaping playboy e cigarette e cig stick disposable e cigarette gas stations austin vape what does vaping do to your lungs e 51 cigarette symptoms of vaping lung illness ipv vape vaping illegal drugs grape ape dank vapes diseases from vaping best 100w vape mod what does vaping do to your health pewter frame voopoo vmate 200 vaping and bladder cancer vicks vapor rub belly fat phix vape review best vegetable glycerin for vaping unregulated mech mods best site to buy vape top ten e juices vaping in hotels herakles tank price benefits of vicks vapor rub novo coils vaping and antidepressants best dna box mod blu ecig battery retailer aspire subtank mini smok vape 80w smok m2 25 nike max vapor backpack uwell se1 capacity diamond vape shop uforce voopoo coils e cigarette refill liquid price voopoo camo ceramic coil tank voopoo drag rainbow silver vapor junkies

exam: Discount 9A0-336 Prep Guide Is What You Need To Take, Help To Pass 4A0-101 Vce Software , Free Download Real DMDI301 Dumps Latest Version PDF&VCE, 100% Success Rate 640-821 Practice For Sale, 100% Pass 642-902 Exam Dumps Pdf Online Sale, Buy Discount 644-068 Vce Download For Download, We Have PW0-205 Cert Guide On Store, Useful GSSP-JAVA Exam Questions And Answers With Accurate Answers, Certleader HMJ-1014 Dumps 100% Pass With A High Score, Testkingdump HP0-Y35 Test Prep With Low Price, The Most Effective HP0-071 Exam Topics Online, Easily To Pass HP0-M57 Exam Dump On Our Store, High Pass Rate 000-234 Guide For Download, Offer 000-960 Vce Download Online Sale, Certshared C2170-009 Online Exam 100% Pass With A High Score, Pass4sure C2040-927 Exam Collection For Sale, Most Accurate 000-605 Book Pdf Is Updated Daily, High Pass Rate 000-S32 Cert Exam On Our Store, Best 000-536 Practice With High Quality, Reliable and Professional 070-640 Training With Low Price, Provides 70-519 Self Study Online Shop, Provide Latest 070-466 Exam Dumps Pdf Online Shop, Experts Revised MB3-409 Exam Questions With Answers Online, Buy 070-543-CSHARP Exam Demo Sale, Best MN0-400 Actual Test With High Quality, Discount A30-327 Training Guide Guaranteed Success, Prepare for the 1Z1-884 Exam Collection Covers All Key Points, Gocertify 1Z1-041 Exam Guide Pdf Sale, Money Back Guarantee DP-021W Exam Test Questions With High Quality, Most Important 1V0-603 Study Guide Book Online Sale,

face mask: n95 or n99 mask how to make your own clay face mask kids n95 masks nowhere the world burns face mask california fires n95 masks n95 mask vflex is n95 mask reusable face guard mask when to apply face mask n95 how to disconnect to wifi after face mask glitter surgical mask face mask to avoid germs filter mask respirator n can a virus go through a surgical mask lions face mask surgical mask devil face masks to use to keep flu away like doctors use disposable full face breathing mask first aid only cpr face shield osha respirator medical people in china wear face masks when they are sick whoop your ass into a respirator lyrics charcocaps face mask allergy mask for mowing false face society masks where do they sell face masks for winter portable respirator mask winter running face masks iron man front face shield what is the face mask they use for radiology how to select a 3m disposable respirator how to make a face mask with oranges lazer motorcycle helmet face shield cat fangs dust mask n95 p2 p95 gp2 r dust mask recommendations uline face masks asbestos approved dust mask can you wear surgical mask on bart lowes table lamps medical face mask walgreens disposable half face mask what are those face masks celebrities have medline orlando fl when is it a good time to put on a face mask miel design studio 3m half mask side view covid 19 testing locations respirator masks for dust treatment of coronavirus enteric cardboard animal face masks coronavirus nc0v ncov coronavirus coronavirus 229e mers rite size p filter cleaning 3m half mask in dawn child friendly face masks to buy adding face shield to a motorcross helmet how to make a homemade mask for your face

male enhancement: libido enhancing supplements sex enhancing herbs nitrates mechanism of action how much money is spent on viagra every year what is bph cialis viagra language ed medicine generic causes of male erectile dysfunction cock inside another cock penis enlargenet pills do penis stretchers really work what is wrong if viagra does not work real way to increase penis size spell to increase penis size free masturbation makes penis smaller legal lean male enhancement shot herbs for testosterone boost what age do mens sex drive decline viotren ingredients i have a cock stiff bull coffee reviews male enhancement extender 5551 male enhancement l arginine male enhancement pills rhino 3k male enhancement pill how to know if a guy has a high sex drive troy aikmans enhancement male drug how much gains penis enlargement alpha force testo male enhancement lingam massage magnum plus herbal male enhancement review which particular strain of kratom has most common effects boost libido sex drive penis enlargement presentations ways a guy can pleasure himself penis enlargement affiliate marketing viagra still requires stimulation journal article prolactinoma sex drive desi viagra high sex drive synonym what is the main use of viagra lithium and sex drive boost libido argentine what to do if your partner has no sex drive strong girl smart weight loss does sex drive return after stopping xanax male enhancement pills at vitamin shoppe how to boost your sex drive on birth control american sexual health association viagra economica ageless male max vs nugenix viagra commercial actresses 2015 midnight pleasure male enhancement pills before viagra viagra vs tadalafil nigger viagra lamar why do i have a crazy sex drive what is side effect viagra who got busted with a bunch of viagra picos low libido porn star penis pills ebay