Susan Dennis (susandennis) wrote,
Susan Dennis
susandennis

Pool bonus and Oriental

Swimming was good today.  I'm getting very good at keeping my right arm from getting sore.  I got to the end of my 2,000 yards and was getting out of the pool when I spied the noon aerobics class getting started with a substitute instructor and that instructor was Kelsey, one of my all time favorites.  So I hopped back into the pool and took her class.  Her classes are generally rigorous but today I found that even the most difficult parts weren't that difficult. I think the lap swimming really is doing me good.  I enjoyed the class but I'm glad she doesn't teach it often cause I'm really not that interested any more.

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I can hear my brother and his employees chit chatting in their lab through their webcams.  I don't always listen but sometimes I do and the other day I heard my brother refer to a family of Japanese descent as Orientals.  (And, what brother this back to mind today was that machupicchu mentioned his aunt using the same term.)  To my ears, the adjective refers to rugs - never people and really, unless I'm talking about the book Murder on the Orient Express - which I never talk about - I do not use the word in any of its derivations.  But using the term to describe ancestry is just offensive to me.  I was shocked to hear my brother use it.  Paula Dean and now my own brother???

I wrestled with if I should say something and what I should say so as with everything else in life, I Googled it.  And I found a Wikipedia entry that I thought was fascinating - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orient. It lists the connotation of Oriental by country/geography. And it turns out - in general - only some of the United States considers the term pejorative and the rest of the English speaking world not so much.  I'm not going to use it but I'm also probably not going to say anything to my brother.  If/when he moves to Seattle, I'll tell him but as long as he lives in Texas, I'm leaving him alone on the topic.
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