Last week something happened that took the wind out of my sails. A staff member at my school made an extremely racist comment. I was so shocked that I had to leave the room and be by myself for two hours to deconstruct what was said. The fact that someone would say something about blacks in front of a black person floors me and leads me to realize that she probably didn't realize the magnitude of her comment. Nevertheless it was said.
Later that night when I was home, I still couldn't believe what happened and then it hit me. Many Middle Eastern individuals in this county (even Middle Easterners living here from other Arab countries) have never encountered a black person that wasn't a nanny, maid, security guard or prostitute. That is the sad truth my friends. Not only am I a teacher, I am a science teacher at that. Their minds have been blown and they cannot comprehend. In fact I am probably the first black teacher at my school.
Many of you who are coming out here to teach or are already here have to realize that compartmentalization is a huge factor in 'making it' out here. Yes, I am here to work and that is what is paying my bills and allowing me to live my dreams, nevertheless, teaching here is not like home. You will have kids that do not listen, you will have administration that will not listen, heck you will have parents that will not listen. You will have days that you question your decision to move and you will have days that you may cry yourself to sleep. Remember at the end of the day if you want to keep your sanity you have to take all those events, pack them up in a box and put them away in the back of your conscious. Do not let those moments ruin the great things that you are experiencing, do not let those moments stop you from being great. Do not let others get to you. Do not let them bring you down. I know this is easier said than done but you have to do it. You have to leave work at work. This is why having a great group of friends is important. You will need people to vent to and who can console you when times are tough and you feel like packing up.
I always think of myself as a pioneer, this may sound cheesy but I think of all those young people during the Civil Rights movement and everything they went through. I have to show the world that blacks are not only good for entertaining and sports. We are educated, well travelled and multilingual. We are beatiful. We are educated. We are accomplished.
Please so not take this post as a deturant, if anything this is the reason why you SHOULD come over to the UAE. People are always shocked that I am from Canada and not an African country. I speak French and a bit of Japanese. I have two degrees and have seen more of the world that anyone in my family and most people in the world. Just today I was asked why I want to go to Sri Lanka for my Spring Break, my answer: why not. The world is my oyster. I love being an ambassador for my race and breaking those stereotypes not only as a female but as a black female. I am not perfect but My goal is to educate others so that racial comments like the one I heard will no longer occur.
My life is too sweet. I will not let anyone stop me from living the dream.