Because the noise level is so high you can’t hear the lecture, I have two suggestions: The first is to speak privately with the teacher. And if that doesn’t do the trick, when the students around you become disruptive, ask them to pipe down so you can hear what the instructor is saying. That is not being bossy. You paid for the class, and you should get your money’s worth.
:Dear Abby: My husband and I often go out to eat at local ethnic restaurants with a small group of friends. When we’re at a Mexican restaurant, I often throw a couple of “arribas!” into our conversation. When we’re at an Italian restaurant, I will sometimes use an Italian accent to say “pizza pie-a!” My husband tells me it’s offensive.
I don’t mean to insult anyone. My comments are made in the spirit of fun. Furthermore, the owners and servers at these restaurants are hardly ethnic Mexicans or Italians.
I would never wish to hurt someone or be derogatory, so I told my husband I’d consult you. What do you think?
:Muy Caliente in Iowa
:Dear Muy Caliente: When you visit a Jewish deli, do you tell the server, “Oy vey, I’ll have the corned beef”? Your husband is right — cool it. Not because you’ll offend the servers in the restaurant, but because stereotyping makes you look like a fool.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.