January 31, 2017
“I am a Computer Science major, so I have the prospect of making a decent living in the future. I am not very tall but I am excellent in country dancing. Would you go out on a date with me?”
The girl in the front row at whom Ngoc Tu, or Tu as he is known to his friends at TCU, directed this question blushed, but said “yes” to cheers from her friends and the crowd behind her. Tu, ecstatic, said, “That was the second time a girl has agreed to go out with me.”
This is how Tu chose to open his TEDx Talk on December 7, 2016. The theme of the annual event, sponsored by the student organization TEDxTCU, was “Through a Different Lens.” Tu, a third-year Honors student double majoring in Business and Computer Science, brought a unique perspective to the talk.
As an international student from Vietnam, adjusting to American culture brought new challenges and experiences for Tu, including in dating. As he says, “Dating in Vietnam was uncommon because of the conservative culture, so college was the first chance I had to explore the world of dating.” Tu focused his TEDx Talk on his research into racial dynamics in dating. He analyzed perceptions and biases, opportunities and obstacles. Ultimately, Tu hoped that his talk would encourage people to be aware of subconscious biases and stereotypes and to combat them.
As Tu concluded his talk, he excused himself from the audience. He had a date to catch.