Recently, I read how a woman described herself as 'exotic' on Social Media. When I asked about this descriptor, she replied that's what she is: from Latin America, from the jungle! In my personal experience, exotic is usually used ethnocentrically, by people who describe people different than themselves. For me, it has a racist connotation, … Continue reading Owning Stereotypes?
Thank you, dear men, for your endeavors to explain the world to me. Thank you, dear men, for explaining my research topics to me. Thank you, dear men, for approving of my decisions. I had no idea what I was doing for years before you came around and explained everything in one or two sentences! … Continue reading The Joys of Mansplaining
Every time I am leaving the house, I cannot believe that there are still people refusing to wear face masks. I see people on public transport that do not wear masks or do not wear them properly, covering mouth and nose—including the person disinfecting the handrails, handholds, and grab handles. I see people in shopping … Continue reading The ‘Subversiveness’ of Not Wearing Face Masks
Dear Black people, I believe in equality. I believe that, although humans are so different in so many ways, we still are the same on a basic level as long as we respect each other. Regardless of the color of our skin, our nationality, our believes, our gender, our sexuality, our age, our social class, … Continue reading Black Lives Matter: A Letter
How does one begin a new research project these days? It's difficult to begin a new research project without funding. It's difficult to get funding without (a lot) of experience in a new field. So the plan was clear: use some of my own funds for a brief, exploratory field trip to the new place … Continue reading (Not) Doing Fieldwork in Times of COVID-19
These are crazy times. Who would have thought that a virus—just the flu, basically—would change the entire world for who knows how long. Most freelancers in education and research probably struggle with this: less work or, for at least some, no work at all. I lost my main source of income, but luckily not all … Continue reading Back to School.
A few months ago, I started teaching culture, cross-cultural comparison, and intercultural communication to privileged (mainly white, mainly male) management students. Before I had my first day, I had expected excited, motivated students eager to learn about cultures and how to communicate with business partners around the globe. I'm not sure why I had these … Continue reading The Elite.
When I booked my room for this year's AAA in Vancouver, I didn't think too much about it. It was quite cheap, the reviews accordingly, but without funding, it had to do. It can't be too bad, right? When I arrived in Vancouver on Tuesday, public transportation didn't work as expected so I decided to … Continue reading At the AAA in Vancouver
It's been a while. The job at the coffeehouse, in addition to teaching and (unpaid) academic work, drained all my energies, and—eventually—made me sick. I had to reduce and/or cancel everything I love to do. But in the end that wasn't enough. And all I did was: work. So, I had to make choices. Do … Continue reading Still Alive. I Think.
A few days ago, I came across an old course evaluation. Every time, I'm afraid of these evaluations. For no particular reason. There are always one or two students who complain and/or criticize. But most of them are satisfied or even happy. (And I cannot make everyone happy--one or two critical responses are perfectly fine, … Continue reading Love Letters From My Students