Tiffany Martínez, 21-year-old senior at Suffolk University, was met with a lack of respect and sheer embarrassment when her college professor returned her paper with the word “hence” circled. “This is not your language,” Martínez’s supposed superior wrote as a footnote.
On top of the page, her professor continued: “Please go back and indicate where you cut and paste,” assuming Martínez was incapable of presenting such scholarly work. The soon-to-be-graduate felt disrespected that her professor was trying to diminish her intelligence, in front of all her peers no less.
Martínez, who also writes poetry and keeps an online journal, took to the Internet and issued a blog post titled, “Academia, Love Me Back:”
My professor did not ask me if it was my language, instead they immediately blamed me in front of peers. On the second page the professor circled the word “hence” and wrote in between the typed lines “This is not your word.” The word “not” was underlined. Twice. My professor assumed someone like me would never use language like that. As I stood in the front of the class while a professor challenged my intelligence I could just imagine them reading my paper in their home thinking could someone like her write something like this?
Martínez has built up an impressive résumé for herself and, as such, finds it hard to believe that her professor would emit this kind of microaggression. She’s presented at national conferences, entered the Dean’s list, supervised programs that empower girls and created a research project that is funded by the federal government. Just as importantly, she is also a first generation college student. “I am a little uneasy about returning to class but I know that I have the support of so many,” said Martínez.
This Bronx Latina doesn’t plan to let her professor’s bombastic ignorance slow her down. After she graduates from Suffolk University, she plans to earn her masters and PhD. Meanwhile, Twitter is powering collective support, using the #Hence hashtag to denounce all of the hate.
@Suffolk_U should be ashamed how prof treated student. Negative spotlight feel good? https://t.co/yFtj0Msfrl #Hence #TiffanyCorinMartínez
— Sam Solace (@SamuelSolace) October 29, 2016
#hence is definitely one of my words. 👍🏼👏🏼#TiffanyMartinez https://t.co/tQEifYCPP7
— Desiree García (@thedezzie) October 29, 2016