Tell us about a time you made a false assumption about a person or a place — how did they prove you wrong?
When I first decided to go back to school, I was resistant to taking night classes and opted for day classes instead. In those day classes I met a woman named Ramona. She was a German lady in the Criminal Justice program. She came across as loud, obnoxious, and a little prejudiced to be honest. She never said two words to me and the other “ethnic” people in the class. I assumed she was prejudiced. So I never went out of my way to speak to her either. I helped her with her classwork if she needed it and that was about it.
After Winter semester, I decided to focus on my core classes instead of gen-eds. So I opted for night classes instead of day classes. For 3 months Ramona never even crossed my mind. At least not until I saw her again in July. The start of the Summer semester. I was sitting in the student lounge with a couple of guys that I go to class with talking. Out of the blue, Ramona walks up to me.
“Hey!” she says. “Hey” I say back. I introduce her to the guys I’m sitting with and we start to talk.
She tells me she’s on her last semester, about to Graduate in October. She has already entered the Bachelors program at CTU. I ask her about her family life… last time I saw her she had just had a car accident and was getting screwed around by the construction company that had built her new house. (We didn’t really talk, but I listen when people talk around me). Every week Ramona came up to me and we would talk. She asked about my family, I would ask about hers. We got to know each other a bit more.
Turns out she wasn’t prejudiced at all. She didn’t talk to us because we were new and she didn’t know us. She hung out with guys in her program, just like I did. Because that is who she knew and felt comfortable around. If anyone could understand that I could. I felt bad for assuming something about her that wasn’t true. She was still loud and obnoxious, but she was also very nice.