So the students are graded partly on their ability to deal with environmental conditions whether they be seagulls flying overhead, hecklers, noisy airplanes flying by or what have you. Well my students sure got to deal with their fair share of challenges today. My first class had a mentally unstable homeless man walking around the area making very loud noises that I can only spell as "mreeeh." I saw him walking towards the speaker and I started to worry a bit but luckily he detoured toward the garbage can nearby, still making these loud noises. After that, another speaker was up. During her speech a couple of ducks, regulars in Red Square, decided to walk in front of her, down the steps, and for a little sight seeing around the audience's ankles, and then back up the steps in front of her. Damn they were soooo cute. Distraction #3 was the crowd of elementary school kids. They were actually not terribly noisy but one of the idiot teachers instructed them to run up the steps toward Kane Hall, right in front of my speaker. WTF?
In my second class, one of my students was doing a speech advocating that our state mandate the HPV vaccine. Just as soon as she said "teenagers are having sex" you could see the two crazy Jesus folks walk towards us with this HUGE, I mean like 12' tall sign held up in harnesses they were wearing. The sign said something like repent for your sins among other things. I'm pretty sure I remember seeing the word hell. One of those crazies decided to park himself right behind the speaker so we could all see his big huge sign. On top of that, some folks decided to set up and test an amplified sound system for an ROTC event to take place later that afternoon so that speaker got to compete with someone saying "test, test 1, 2" through a microphone.
I have to say nothing beats teaching. Everyday is different and usually pretty interesting in one way or another. You can't say that for most desk jobs.
Admittedly that also means I hate it when good things happen to bad people and when bad things happen to good people.
Couple more weeks of papers and grading before I get to head to Vancouver to unwind and then to the Bay Area for the summer.
... this act was no more despicable as the massive acts of terrorism -- theYou can probably see why that article ruffled a few feathers.
deliberate killing of civilians for political purposes -- that the U.S.
government has committed during my lifetime. For more than five decades
throughout the Third World, the United States has deliberately targeted
civilians or engaged in violence so indiscriminate that there is no other way to
understand it except as terrorism. And it has supported similar acts of
terrorism by client states. If that statement seems outrageous, ask the people
of Vietnam. Or Cambodia and Laos. Or Indonesia and East Timor. Or Chile. Or
Central America. Or Iraq, or Palestine. The list of countries and peoples who
have felt the violence of this country is long. Vietnamese civilians bombed by
the United States. Timorese civilians killed by a U.S. ally with U.S.-supplied
Tonight I spoke with him one on one and I cannot describe how exciting it was to have this opportunity. I thanked him for writing that article because it voiced a very unpopular opinion, one that I held but did not dare to discuss with anyone but my closest Canadian friends. I thanked him because when "my people," and I mean this in a collective sense meaning anyone of Asian, South Asian or SE Asian descent, make claims like this we're immediately dismissed and often told to "go home" if we "don't like America and all it stands for." Opinions like this are, after all, used as "proof" of our unassimilability in this country. In Asian American studies classes we talk about the millions of lives lost in SE Asia at the hands of the United States all the time, but this sort of thing doesn't enter into the wider discourse unless someone like him -- a white male professor -- initiates that dialog and he did and I couldn't imagine if he hadn't.
I also thanked him for writing The Heart of Whiteness: Confronting Race, Racism and White Privilege. I confessed that one of my most terrifying teaching moments was introducing the idea of whiteness and white privilege to a racially diverse class that included many white students. I told him that I made a very conscious and deliberate decision to front end the lesson with articles written by white men about white privilege because I felt that being an Asian woman simply wouldn't give me the credibility to get the message across. I admitted that at the end of the class I felt guilty and disappointed that I would not feel comfortable giving that lesson in my own words in my own skin. It's not fair that I feel that I have to direct students to articles written by white men in order to teach about a topic that I can articulate myself, but I feel like I have to and I hate it. We joked about our differences: white - Asian, male - female, older - younger (looking), tall - short. "Well you're screwed," he concluded with a laugh. But in all seriousness, Bob reminded me of what's really important. It's teaching and helping people to understand these things. It's about being strategic and doing what works for you. You can try to overthrow the system and I think we (as in people of color) are taking baby steps to at least shift the so-called system, but sometimes in the here and now you need to just work within it and do little things to make a difference. I forgot to thank him for this conversation. So, Bob, thanks for this (and for being a privileged white man who gets it).
This is my campus in March. The cherry blossoms are beautiful. Those clouds were not as threatening as they appear in the photo. That was a warm sunny day.
This is a used bookstore up the street from my campus.
Here is the aforementioned cat.
This is what you get at Cafe Ori in Bellevue for under $7. Yes, for that much you get the big bowl o' noodles AND that huge pork katsu (2 pieces stacked).
- edit my friend's wedding video
- go to gymnastics class in Mountain View
- take a course at a community center, maybe an instrument
- write one paper and submit it to a conference
- do lots of reading (reading list needs to be developed still but definitely some hard core theory and cultural studies stuff I need to catch up on)
- pick up running again, aim to do 10Ks without feeling the need to throw up
Oh and did I mention this heated argument took place in MY HOME within five minutes of meeting him? Aside from taking Ethnic Studies 101, this person also needs to take a lesson from Miss Manners on how to make small talk with people you've just met.
North Central. This is what everyone calls a "Minnesota accent." If you saw "Fargo" or "Drop Dead Gorgeous" you probably didn't think the characters sounded very out of the ordinary. Some Americans may mistake you for a Canadian.
Canada. You probably get irritated when British people and Europeans think you're from the States, but over here we wouldn't make a mistake like that.
It doesn't help that Facebook has been such a distraction. It's been cool though to reunite with some of my closest friends from high school/junior high and also some neighourhood kids I used to play with.