“Cindy, you are going to apply for college soon, right? What are you going to study?” People in the lab ask. Cindy doesn’t come to visit her mom at her workplace often, but she does on this particular day.
“Comedy,” Cindy said.
“Wow, that’s interesting. Is that a drama major? In NYU?” The three people in the lab are about Cindy mom’s age. They are all immigrants. 70% of the people working in the research labs of this particular department in Rutgers University, the state University of New Jersey, are either Asian or Eastern European immigrants. Cindy has wondered why this is the case before, but now she’s matured enough to understand that the pay is low, which is not enough to pay back the student loan if Cindy or any of her peers at school come to work here after college.
“Yeah, probably. I think.” Cindy says in her typical teenager way of carefree drawl. Other people’s kids come to the lab from time to time too, but those kids are aloof, uncomfortable and uneasy when their mother pushes them to call this one “auntie” and another one “uncle” in a style that’s distinctly foreign and awkward to the kids who have grown up here. Cindy is different. She loves to talk with these people and listen to their stories.
“Do you want to hear my jokes. They are not really finished, but I just want to see your reaction.” Cindy asks.
“Of course. We love jokes. I hope you are going to write a better show one day than ‘Fresh Off The Boat’, which is terrible in my opinion. All stereotypes. All fake.” One of her mom’s colleagues says.
“Don’t encourage her. Comedy? Jokes? That’s crazy. All because of her good for nothing boyfriend. Such a bad influence. She will starve herself as a comedian.” Cindy’s mom comes back from checking on her experiment. The mother and daughter are getting ready to go to an orthodontist.
“What is this? Your notebook?” Cindy’s mom cranes her neck and sees the notebook Cindy pulls out for her intended impromptu comedy standup.
“Is this your opinion of me? If I don’t save every penny, I won’t be able to pay for your college. If your grandparents don’t farm in our backyard, we won’t have any vegetable to eat. Don’t you know how expensive vegetables are in the stores? By the way, you need to learn to save too. You waste too much.” Cindy’s mom says.
“What do I waste? I save everything. Just last night, I diluted the detergent before washing the dishes.” Cindy tries to defend herself.
“But you wasted two hours with that boyfriend of yours. What a waste of time. And your GPA (Grade Point Average In the American School System) has dropped.” Cindy’s mom says.
“From 4.2 to 4.1, only 0.1, which is negligible and insignificant.” Cindy is aghast.
“Look, if you had taken the AP Statistics as I asked you to, you would have known that anything that shows up on a school transcript is statistically significant.” Cindy’s mom says.
“You are so number crunching and so mean.” Cindy says, “but it’s good material. I need to write this down. Mom, you are comedy gold.”