Today I am sitting at a desk that hits my knees if I try to sit under it. There is an African man next to me (not Ghanaian as I’m in the international student’s computer lab) and I can feel how close he is. Not his fault… the desk design allows me to see everything he’s doing and vise versa.
Earlier I did poorly on an exam which consisted of 10 T/F questions, all of which were true. To pass you needed 7/10…and I had 4 “Falses”.
During the exam my lecturer left for multiple periods of time. The classroom erupted in conversation when he disappeared out the door. I easily could have asked my fellow classmates for assistance…yet I chose not to out of integrity. Evidentially the professor did not care if we talked, as the door was open and from time to time he’d come back in to hear the “shh” and endings of discussions. It would have been nice if he outright said we could discuss…then I would have discussed. I think this is one of those cultural understandings I have yet to understand.
A boy in my class tried to talk to me by asking me what the answer to number 2 was. I told him I put ‘false’ however I really didn’t know. He repeated this back to me as though he wanted to be sure he heard and understood what I said. I nodded. He repeated it again… at which point I felt like I was an amusing toddler whose strange decisions were so fascinating. He then started speaking to me in Twi. The students around and between us began laughing and giving him “you’re crazy” looks. I just stared at him. I wasn’t sure if he was speaking English or what.
After three or four good jokes (by the laughs of our surrounding peers) he then says “Oh, you don’t speak Twi?”.
Being the only white person in the class, it’s well known that he knew I didn’t speak Twi. The females around us rolled their eyes “No, she doesn’t speak Twi” they all said while smiling, throwing up their hands and giving each other “who the hell is this guy” looks.
There’s not much else I could do. I smiled. “No, No Twi” I said… still smiling.
“Oh, ok” he said. I turned away. The professor came back in. Everyone had completed their paper. The same guy jumped up and handed his in to the professor right then. “oh look, this guy just got 10/10” the professor says.
Guess he really didn’t need the answer to number 2.
The rest of us passed our papers to the font. The professor then begins going over the answers (which were all true). After each “true” the back half of the class would erupt in cheers. Deep, loud, ‘your football team just scored a touchdown’ cheers. They’d throw their fists in the air, stand up, run around, dance, scream… all of it. Over a damn “true”. Unsurprisingly, the 20+ students partaking in this activity consisted of only boys.
The females sat quietly, like me. I even heard one say “I put false there”, as I had as well.
After the first three questions the professor said “what is everything else?”
“TRUEEE” They all screamed as if they had just won the world series.
The professor, clearly on the same page as me, said ok and got the hell out of there.
There are some things worth looking at through a woman’s lens. Women will experience many frustrating things that men never, ever will.
Women will read this story and be frustrated with me. Men will read this and think “What’s the problem? Boys are just being boys”.
As Trump put it: locker room talk.
What’s the problem?