On Life and Love

Eeny, meeny, miny, mo

Tuesday’s differential equations class was a bit awkward. The professor was attempting to get people to volunteer to go to the board and work on a problem he’d tossed up, and wasn’t having much luck.

He was sitting at the back of the class, and said, “Alright. If no one goes up, I’ll just go, ‘Eeny, meeny, miny, mo, catch a tiger by the’–wait. Why is that ‘tiger’? I wouldn’t want to catch a tiger that way.”

There’s a moment of uncomfortable silence, during which at least one member of the class wondered how a hip, youthful professor of our day and age doesn’t know the origins of that song.

A student spoke up. “Um, that’s not what it always said.”

“Well, what did it used to say?”

Another student. “It used to be a, ah, a racial slur.”

There’s a longer moment of silence during which I feel very Black.

“Well, it’s a good thing they changed it to tiger then, isn’t it?”


Certainly not the most racially awkward moment I’ve ever had at Rose, but it was a vaguely amusing one nonetheless.