#MarchWritingChallenge – Day 5 – What’s the worst piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

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This March Writing Challenge of thirty-one questions is hosted by Marquessa, with questions from Alexandra Franzen‘s100 questions to spark conversation and connect.

All are welcome to join in and a list of the questions can be found here.

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My teacher pulled me aside one day, wearing a huge smile, and complimented me on my attention to detail and organizational skills. She then strongly recommended I reconsider attending a state university and instead enroll in the local business college because I’d make a fantastic secretary.

I felt confused and awkward…. because I was an honor student with a spot already paid for at a top state university. I was only in her Business Infrastructure and Office Machines class because, like many of my fellow seniors, I’d more than satisfied the credit requirements for graduation. Instead of a winter ceremony, we opted to take the legal class enrollment minimum (3 classes) so we could graduate with our class in the spring.

Her class was simply filler and she knew this.

She also knew I had a university spot waiting for me in the fall.

I told my guidance counselor and my mom, who both had words with her. She approached me two days later with the same huge smile (and what I now realize was fake sincerity) and said she hoped she hadn’t upset me but really did feel I’d be a great secretary.

Yeah. That was the apology.

I later learned she gave this same career advice to several other female students. African-American female students.

Microaggression, marginalization, and misogyny… with a smile, and I didn’t even know it at the time.

Wonder how many others were graced with her great advice?

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Oprah advice

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6 thoughts on “#MarchWritingChallenge – Day 5 – What’s the worst piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

  1. M says:

    My God! I just yelled out a number of profanities so loudly that I could have scared the neighbors. “Microaggression, marginalization, and misogyny… with a smile, and I didn’t even know it at the time.” 100% truth. When I look back on the things that I have experienced too…the level of disrespect that I felt in my core but had no “terms” to label them with…They knew exactly what they were doing and knew that they could manipulate to diminish our greatness.

    Like

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