Thursday, December 24, 2009

What's New 2010?

2009 is almost over. Reflecting on 2009, it has been a great year for me. The highlights of the year were becoming a RA, seeing my boys play at Celebr(asian), going to Australia and people that I've met this past semester.

The year was filled with new experiences, hope, hellos, and also goodbyes.

As this chapter of 2009 closes, I want to take this time to look ahead and list out the things that I am looking forward to in the new year. I was lucky enough to have all of the important things planning out this past year and I hope to continue this streak.

January-First time in 3 years that I will be in classes for a whole academic year. Hopefully I won't burn out. January 15th will be a big day as internships will be posted for NASPA!!!

February-Looking forward to the Lunar New Year with the Family and I hope to make it a tradition and not miss anymore. I'll be turning 22 but lets keep that on the hush hush. Possibly Los Angeles for Spring Break?

March-NASPA Conference in Chicago! Decision time on whether I will be a RA again, hopefully in an upperclassman dorm. Interviews for NUin, and the summer internships

April-Decisions on the summer internships and NUin.

May-Decision on where I will be going for NUin. And the GRE?

June-Summer Internship somewhere in the country.

July-Summer Internship

August-NUin...hopefully Australia. If not, I guess I'll take Greece or England with my bud Sean Quinn.

September-Enjoying life somewhere in the world.

October-Enjoying life somewhere in the world.

November-Enjoying life somewhere in the world/returning/looking at Grad Schools.

December-Applying to Grad Schools.

Here is the year at a glance. Hopefully things work out!
Happy Holidays everyone, thanks for reading.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Dream Lives On...

Senator Edward Kennedy passed away last night at the age of 77. He was the "Liberal Lion" or just the Lion of the Senate. Senator Kennedy first took office as Senator of Massachusetts in November of 1962, that is a month after my dad was born and served the people of Massachusetts and this country until his death. He was the youngest of the Kennedy Camelot. Brothers John was the President and Robert was the Senator of New York, both assassinated in the 1960s. He was next in line to take over the reigns however his bid for Presidency was stopped short due to an incident that happened in 1969. That didn't stop Senator Kennedy from fighting. He was the first high profile politician in the United States to suggest Universal Health Care. Senator Kennedy didn't live to see the day when this country has Universal Health Care. However, his dream never seem so close.

In 1980 after he conceded defeat to President Jimmy Carter in the Presidential primaries, Senator Kennedy said "For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die." He cared about the people, he cared for the youth and the poor in this country. Senator Kennedy was born into a wealthy, respected family yet he never forgot the less fortunate. His fight for Universal Health Care is a prime example. He was also one of the first to endorse young Senator from Illinois. In one of his last public appearances for his political party, the Lion of the Senate delivered a message for the people and for his country..."the torch will be passed again to a new generation of Americans, so with Barack Obama and for you and for me, our country will be committed to his cause. The work begins anew. The hope rises again. And the dream lives on."

The dream will live on, Mr. Senator.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Summer of Love, Peace, New Friends and New Home

I haven't took the time out to reflect my summer. I've been just reminiscing piece by piece but never saw put the puzzle of thought together. To begin, I went on a Dialogue through Northeastern to Australia. I was in a month-long program with 19 other Northeastern students, being with them 24/7 for a month. It can be view as "Real World: Australia" part 2 for something because I know there was one in Sydney? I had the most amazing time over in Australia, learned lots of life lessons and came back with new perspectives on life, etc. Sit back, grab a coffee because this might take a while.

This was the second time I've been out of the country,the only other time was to Montreal so I've haven't been anywhere. I applied for this trip after sitting in class one day and thought "lets go to Australia." This was back in the Fall 2008, so I applied late and got accepted. I had no preparation going into this trip. My mind set was to go with the flow and let things fall into place.


Our first destination in Australia was Melbourne, shout outs to Melbourne CITY! Melbourne has a special place in my heart, I adopted it as my second favorite city in the world next to...I'll let y'all fill that in. Melbourne has that smell in the air where you know you belong to a place. I became fascinated with the Australian government when I was in Melbourne. Australia is a Social Democracy and the more I see how the government works, the more and more I just believe in the system. I've been reading Marx before the trip but seeing how some of the theories put into work was just mind blowing. I've always been a proponent of paying high taxes for the betterment of society. If the streets were to be safer and cleaner, I rather pay that extra 10 dollars of my paycheck to have those commodities. However, the thing that struck me the most was universal health care. I know our country is in the midst of this debate whether it would "kill grandma" as Governor Palin refered to but I saw the system at work and you know what? it works. The people of Australia are more relaxed, and felt more free to do things. In a Social Democracy the centralized government is bigger and had more control, yet the people had more freedom. Isn't that a shocker? There is a trust between the people and their government which our "free" country does not have.

Pause on the politics, Melbourne had this vibe that I feel when I am back home in New York. It was vibrant, yet I feel the quiet and safe atmosphere when I am in Boston. It was a mixture of the two, something I was looking for in a city. We did a lot of the tourist stuff. However, having a Professor who was a Melbourne man himself gave us a lot of insights on what locals do. We had the pleasure of having dinner with local families in a suburb. It was fun times, talking to the kids and learning about their way of life which was not much different from our upbringing except the fact that they don't like poptarts. This reminds me to send them some pictures...

I became a Melbourne Demons fan!

I was in Melbourne for two weeks and I still long for nights where we sat outside in the balcony and just chill. I missed walking the streets of Melbourne at 3am, the delicious crepes, the trams, sausage rolls, meat pies and the overpriced beer. Like I said before, it was just the vibe in the air where you know you are where you want to be. I made a promise to myself that I will go back, and I have a hunch that it will be like going "home."

Goodbye Melbourne

I had the pleasure of going to the Australian Outback for a week. I am a city kid, so camping out in the desert was not something that I do everyday. That week was something that I will almost remember. Before going to the middle of nowhere literally, we stayed in a town called Alice Springs. I've said really nice things about Australia but that town was where I saw the flaws in Australia and in humanity. To give a background, Australia was where the old British empire sent their prisoners. Most of the prison sentences were 7 years and then the convicts have the option of staying afterwards. Long story short, most of them did and that was how Australia came about. Before they "established" the country of course, there were natives called Aboriginals. Much like the Native Americans here in the States, they were pushed to the side and considered two rate citizens. I come from an inner city neighorhood in New York City, so I shouldn't be surprised to see half the things that were happening with the Aboriginals yet I was still shocked. We've heard about all the bad things like alcholism, fighting and povery within that community but its one thing to hear and another thing to see.

I felt kind of strange sitting on the other side of the spectrum. I was sitting in a cafe in Alice Springs, a nice establishment and on the other side of the streets were Aboriginals sitting on the grass trying to sell their art. I felt hopeless not being able to help them. I wanted to buy their art because it is beautiful yet I know if I bought them, they would use the money to buy alcohol. If I bought them at a shop, I know the shop owner ripped the artist off. I was at this crossroad that I was trying to balance what I thought was right. I've always been about equality and justice for all. This was the first time in my life that I've been on other side seeing the struggle. Something I was not used to.

So I went on a 5 day 4 night adventure into the heart of Australia...Centralia if you will. That experience was just unreal. I've saw some of the world's greatest natural treasures. Uluru and Kata Tjuta was simply amazing and breath taking during sunrise. At night time, I've never seen so many stars at night. You look up at the sky and you realized how small you are in this giant world. Yet somehow, you know you are so important to a few individuals. The Outback humbles you in a way that you never felt before. I showered twice during that week and I've felt cleaner. For once, I felt at peace with what I was doing and where I am. I didn't have a worry in the world. I lived IN the moment. Everything was nice, I had my friends that I was with and I had me being me in the Outback.

Sunrise over Uluru

The tour guide on this trip was one of the people that I will never forget in my life. His name was Brad, I called him big brother Brad because that was basically who he was. He took care of us, and even though it was his job...he told us that we were his favorite group. His outlook on life just changed my perspective and made me how I am right now. Brad said "as long as I wake up in the morning and go to sleep at night...everything in between is an added bonus." I go by everyday thinking of that line and I have credit Brad for this thinking. We live in a complex world where not everything is needed. We live on accessories instead of necessities. Brad reminds me that the finer things in life are the simple ones, family and friends. We just needed the camp fire, sing alongs and each other. After the trip, we were family.

We could have ended the trip in the Outback and I would be fine with it. But WAIT...theres more! We went to Sydney for a week. Sydney was cool but I didn't have that attachment like I did with Melbourne. We did a lot of sightseeing in Sydney. I was watching a video posted by Passion the singer when he visited Sydney a couple of days ago. He went to some of the destinations that we went to and it reminded me of good times. Bondi Beach was the most beautiful beach that I've ever been to. We were greeted by a "guest lecutre" who wanted to give us some American opposition talks. However, the beach was still beautiful. The Sydney Harbor was amazing as well. I got to take the ferry rides during sunset so that was cool.

Even though it was not summer in Australia, it was a summer to remember. I couldn't have a better time. It was the perfect trip in a more perfect time in my life. I am three semesters away from graduating, and I felt re-charged and energized to tackle the next three semesters. Even though things are up in the air, the trip taught me how to just let go and enjoy the moment. As long as I am happy, thats all it matters. So long Australia, thanks for the memories, take care. In the words of the terminator, I'll be back.

Opera House/Sydney Bridge

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

To the people of New York City...

Please obey the street lights. If it's red, please do not cross the street. Go only if it is green. Also look both ways when you cross a big intersection. Almost killed 5 of y'all today. Thanks.

Friday, June 5, 2009

What Teachers Make

I've been debating myself on my future lately. It always seems like I go in a circle yet somehow it lands back on teaching. I've been "teaching" since I was 17 when I landed a summer program job. I loved every minute spent with those kids whether playing UNO's, going on field trips, making fun of them, teaching them homework or just listening to their stories. As time passes and I drifted away from that environment, I've been thinking about every profession besides being back in the classroom.

Until I listened to this poem.

It is powerful, it reminded me why I wanted to be a teacher in the first place. It reminded what my purpose and focus should be. Strangely, my latest imaginative was going to law school but no I don't think that can make me happy. The sole purpose of me wanting to go to law school was the money. I want to be able to provide for my parents, have them live comfortably because they've been working for all of their lives. And yes, I do want to help the poor out but I would also be taking money from them in return...which contradicts the purpose.

So why do I keep on going back and forth? Maybe I am just scared of the committment that I will make to be in the classroom for however long. Maybe I just need to man up and admit that teaching is what I was meant to do. Time will tell but this Taylor Mali and his poem reminded me why I love it in the first place...

Friday, May 29, 2009

Rest in Power Dr. Ron Takaki

I've been struggling to to write about Asian Pacific American Heritage month. I was going back and forth on whether to write about little known history on Asian Americans or just what that term means to me. This changed two days ago when I found out about the news on the passing of Dr. Ronald Takaki.

In case you don't know, Dr. Takaki was a poineer. He was an innovative scholar who asked us the question "how do you know what you know, you know what you know?" Dr. Takai re-shaped the American History by fighting the master narrative. Most importantly, he was the Godfather for Ethnic Studies and the father of Asian American History.

I was not fortunate take his class. However, I got the chance to meet Dr. Takaki once when he came to Northeastern for a lecture back in 2007. He was really nice and jolly for man who has fought for justice all his life. During his lecture, I specifically remembered one line that stood out to me "we must comprehen the world before he can start changing the world."

After the lecture, I faciliated a discussion where he sat down and listened to me speak. I almost peed in my pants because here is the legendary Ronald Takaki listening to this 19 year old talk about Asian America. After the event, Dr. Takaki came up to me and told me that I did a good job. That moment was almost unreal to me.

But finding out that he passed was unreal to me too. I have plan to visit the West Coast one day and maybe send him an email asking for his advice as to what I should do with my interest in Asian American history. Now, it's too late. He was and still is my academia idol. A man who gave Asian Americans the closest thing to a history. He was a fighter for justice, a man who touched the lives of thousands just by listening to him speak once. He was jolly but at the same time, he was fighting his own demons. However, I want to thank Dr. Takaki for everything that he is done.

Rest in Power Dr. Takaki, I am forever grateful.

Also Rest in Power to all of the Asian American Freedom Fighters who passed away recently. We are suppose to celebrate our heritage month yet we lost so many poineers along the way.

Richard Aoki, Mr. Manong Al Robles, Dr. Ronald "Ten Toes Takaki and Professor Him Mark Lai may you all Rest in Power as we continue to carry on your traditions.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Leave Carrie Prejean Alone

I am tired of reading this whole Miss California thing on the news, saying how she is a gay-basher and how she stirred up all these controversies. I, on the other hand blame the media. The whole thing started when Perez Hilton (of all people) asked Carrie Prejean, Miss California about marriage. Ms. Prejean answered that "she believes marriage should be between a man and a woman."

Okay now, what is wrong with that answer? Is it because it was asked by Perez Hilton? or Is it because SHE was expected to say "marriage should be for all?"
From last time that I checked Barack Obama said he didn't believe in gay marriage as well and no one called for his head or his crown in this matter.

The underlining matter is the fact people forget that fact there is a freedom of speech in this country. She can say whatever she wants! See I am a gay marriage and gay rights supporter, I don't believe marriage should be just a man and a woman. I believe that marriage should be for people who are in LOVE. However, I am not offended by her comments at all. In fact, I am glad that she said what she said because she is stating her opinion, freedom of speech again. The New York Daily News went too far by saying she was a gay basher because she never did say "FUCK THE GAYS."

It is another case of how ugly this country's political spectrum is. Conservatives and Liberals are one of the same. They attack each other the same way. Liberals in this case saw Carrie Prejean as a conservative figure and attacked her the way without even looking at the substance of her comment. Now revealing, naked pictures of her is for one I think a classless act on the Liberals.

Oh now, I am bashing Liberals, so am I a Conservative now?

See why does this country have to be so polarizing? It is so dialetical that there's no in between. Democrats and Republicans think the same, they just handle their business differently. Coming from a Democrat side, if one is a moderate...then he/she is a too conservative. It is vice versa coming from the Republican side.

Well I, for one is not ashame to say that I am a Moderate...a Humanist Moderate. You can take it anyway you want. I like to put logic first before party lines.

And you know who else is a Moderate?
Our great "Liberal" Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. If you really follow their careers, their voting records have been in the middle and the only reason why they have been deemed Liberal heroes is because they are Democrats. People have to read between the lines and not just go with the popular flow. Yes, Fuck Bush...but why Fuck Bush?

I am a registered Democrat but if a Republican comes along and impress me, you bet that I will vote for he or she.

Bottom line is this whole thing should be squashed. Carrie Prejean did nothing wrong. If you are looking for one type of answer then don't ask the question. I thank Carrie for answering the way she did because for one she is showing the public that we are the stupid ones for making this a whole big mess and two, there is still something called FREEDOM OF SPEECH!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

My mom is the best mom in the world.
She has been strict with me while I was growing up but I understand why.
and I want to thank her because without it, I would not be where I am.
My Mom is protective.
Even now that I am 21, she still calls me everyday
just to hear my voice
I ask her why she says "because you are my baby boy"
Mom, I will always be your baby boy.
My Mom is a warrior.
She works 6 days a week, and does not complain.
Even when she's tired, she puts the S on her chest.
Giving everything she got and nothing less
My mom is forgiving
I have made my mom cry before
She forgave me
But I don't I can forgive myself.
My Mom is a Queen.
I will make sure that you will live like one
because you deserved it.
My Mom is beautiful
The most beautiful woman in the world.
Dad got it right
and I hope I do the same.
My Mom is my best friend.
Even though I hate the 4 hour bus rides,
just to hear you call my name
and see your smile is worth the trip every time.
My Mom is the greatest Mom in the world.
I love you.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Give Back

It's that time of the year, Graduation Season. To all of the 2009 graduates, congratualtions! A new chapter of your life is about to begin, but please remember to cherish this past chapter and relfect on all of the good times.

Today, the Department of Education here at Northeastern had the pinning ceremony for all of our Education graduates. I was helping out with the event, setting up and cleaning up. However, I had the priviledge to stay and sit through the ceremony. First off the food was great but that was not the best part of the ceremony.

The best part of the ceremony was Sister Mary Hart who was the keynote speaker for the day. Now let me tell you a little something about Sister Mary Hart. Sister Mary is about 75 years old. She has been a Sister of the St. Katherine Drexel church for 55 years and has been an educator in the Roxbury community of Boston for about the past 30 years. She has a full head of grey hair. stands about 4'9 but her heart and presence is larger than life.

I first met Sister Mary back in Janurary 2007, my freshman year when I used to volunteer at the St. Katherine Drexel after-school program. She came into my education class at the time to recruit some volunteers for the program. She stood at the podium and had the respect and attention of the 75 students in class. Sister Mary had my respect the moment she started talking and I knew I wanted to work for her. The first day I was there, she came up to me and asked what my name was. She proceed to give me a valuable lesson that I will never forget as an educator. Sister Mary looked up to me and said "you need to be firm with these kids. Tell them when I say "sit down" I mean it." I shook my head "yes" and she went on to tell how much she appreciates me being there. She meant business, teenagers in the program who are about 6 feet tall are scared of her. They can be messing around all day, causing trouble but as soon as they hear or see that Sister Mary is coming, they would sit down and be quiet.

Fast forward to 2009 now, I haven't seen Sister Mary in almost 2 years until Today. She still remembers who I am and my name. She told me that she had to retire and cut back from the after-school program because she had became ill last year. However, being Sister Mary she still goes everyday.

On to the ceremony, a good friend of mine Earl Stafford from NEU's Balfour Academy had the priviledge to introduce Sister Mary. Now Balfour Academy is an after-school/summer prep program affilated with Northeastern for high school students, helping them get into college. My man Staff was telling all of us the first time he met Sister Mary back in 2003. She wanted to get these two kids Patrick and Jason to be admitted into Balfour. Staff told her that they would have to go through the interview process like everyone else in the program. Sister Mary then handwrote Staff this two page letter and he read a paragraph of the letter...and I am paraphrasing

"I would only give you the best of the best, the cream of the crop. I can promise you that Patrick and Jason can match up with any 7th grader in the city of Boston. I am giving you my word and my word will be our bond. Earl, please just give me this opportunity."

Staff told us that Patrick and Jason went on to Balfour and are now seniors of Boston Latin School and Boston Latin Academy two of the best high schools who will be going to Northeastern and MCPHS respectively. As Staff was about to finish, I noticed that these two tall boys were walking down the aisle in Sister Mary's direction. At this point, no one knew what was about to happen. There they were, Patrick and Jason greeting Sister Mary with a pat on the back as they go up to the podium to introduce the person who played an important role in their lives. Just as Staff gave Sister Mary a chance for these two kids, Sister Mary gave them the first chance to succeed. By then, everyone in the room was teary eyed except for Sister Mary, she was happy. She was bouncing up and down in her chair.

The theme of Sister Mary's speech was to give back. Sister Mary told us that she has been dealt a good hand to play the game of life. She told stories of her father telling her that she was blessed that her last name was Hart. She had more priviledges than others but that doesn't mean that you take that priviledge and run. You have to give back to the community. She said that no matter how much money you have, what nice cars that you drive, what designer clothes that you wear, the measure of your success is deeply rooted in your community. She reminded us that even if you think you have everything, without support and love from your community you have nothing. When she finished, Sister Mary got us thinking, our emotions running and our faces smiling.

Sister Mary is one of those people that you meet in you life who will make a difference. I always talk about the quiet heroes, and she is definitely one. Sister Mary is the definition of a woman warrior. She has spent her entire life spreading the message of love for the people. She will go to bat for anyone and she will make you realize your potential. You know movie stars, sports stars, polticians, musicians do not change your life but Sister Mary does. She cares for you from day 1 that you meet. She has given opportunities to countless youths in Boston, and deservingly so, she is beloved in the community. She gave me the opportunity to learn from her and has always reminded me to stay humble. I gain a valuable lesson by just listening to her speak and by being in her presence knowing what kind of work she's done. If I become half the person Sister Mary is, I know I am doing a good job.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

My Sad Attempt at Poetry

This is my sad attempt at poetry whenI wrote this in 5 minutes on the Fung Wah yesterday...

The hustle and bustle of New York City
and Life on the Fung Wah.
A parallel line between two,
beneath the glamour of the bright lights
lies the mentality of the Natives.
Might not be pretty but the job gets done.
Similiar to the the Knicks in the 90's,
present day Giants, what the Yankees used to be.
Blue collar sometimes ghetto.
The Fung Wah lady gets on the bus screaming
"one more, one more."
The gentleman puts his belongings on the inside seat
and pretends to sleep on the outter.
A veteran on the Fung Wah, I assume
however he was caught and had to move
for the late arriving couple.
An old Chinese man speaks loudly on the phone
in his native tongue as though no one else
was around him.
Yes, I could understand every word he is saying.
Of course, there is traffic
because everyone seems to forget
how to drive in the rain.
But this is the hustle and bustle of New York City
and Life on the Fung Wah.
Might not be pretty but it will always get me
where I need to be.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Susan are a beast!

This morning, I ran through my normal routine for settling into work. Log into Gmail and Facebook, checked ESPN and On, the most viewed article was titled "Never-Kissed woman wows Cowell." Now I fell out of love with American Idol years ago because it had went on for way too long. Skeptical of the article, I skipped through it and right before I decided to leave CNN I clicked the article. I had no idea of what was coming.

If you have 7 minutes, please watch this video

Amazing huh?

Susan Boyle is a 47-year old woman from Scotland. She has never been married, never been kissed. She lives by herself in a village with her cat. Asked by the judges and people on the show what she was doing there, her answer was innocent enough "I want to be a professional singer." The audience reacted in a way a normal person in this and age would react, the audience laughed at her. When asked who did she want to be? She responded "Elaine Page" and the audience laughed some more. The judges didn't know what was coming, the audience didn't know and I certainly did not know.

As soon as she sang her first note, the audience rose to their feet, the infamous Simon Cowell's face light up and I was floored. The same never been kissed 47 year old woman has won the world's heart. Now maybe due to beautiful cinematography, I got teary eyed. Here is the ultimate underdog story, a 47 year old woman with a funny dress, and funny hair came out of NOWHERE when no one was expecting it. Everyone was expecting another funny ha-ha audition but she was for real.

The title of the song was only fitting "I Dreamed of a Dream" from the musical Les Miserables. Asked why she hasn't been famous, she responded "I never received the chance." Just to show how the universe works in mysterious ways. In the mist of the dog eat dog world, a feel good story comes out. At 47 years old, Ms. Boyle is still chasing her dream. She might have thought it would never come true but here it is...the whole world is watching and you stole hearts around the world. Ms. Boyle, your story is HOPE. We lived too long in this pop minded culture that you have to be in the right age, right face, right clothes to succeed. Well Ms. Boyle is the complete opposite of what we've thought and for that 7 minutes, she reminded me the beauty of humanity. You prove that with a dream and a little bit of hope, it doesn't matter if you are 21 or 47...just believe it and it will come true. Listen, I've never teared up watching a performance and I certainly did for this one and I am not afraid to admit this. As corny as this may be, sometimes we need a little cornyness in our lives to ground us, teach us not to judge a book by its cover and just beautiful the common people are.

Thank you Ms. Boyle.

Publish Post

Friday, April 10, 2009

Relay for Love

In 2004, my family lost our patriarch to lung cancer. Although it was not said at the time or widely discussed, I knew my grandfather was sick and lung cancer seemed to be the logical illness due to his years of smoking. Since he passed, I haven't took the time out to discuss the issue or really brought light to it.

I guess the reason why I haven't is because in the Chinese culture sickness and death are negative aspect of life that no one should talk about. Negativity should not be discussed and we are not as open as to talking about it rather than talking about positive things in life.

To tell you a little bit about my granddaddy

He grew up in the country rural side much like everyone else in China, and continue due to the Communist revolution. Thats where he started our family as a school teacher. From then, he became a Principal and moved his family to the city of En Ping in the Guangdong province of China where I was born. Later on, he became a business man partnering with his brother and traveled around the Hong Kong area until he retired.

I didn't see him a lot when I was young because he was always traveling. But when he came home, he always showed me a lot of affection. Hugging me, showing me love and did the thing that irritated me the most which was rubbing his 5pm shadow on my face. When my mom would get angry at me, he would always be the first person to comfort me then make me apologize to my mom and make things better again.

He encouraged my dad to come to America to give me a better life. I went years without seeing my dad so my Grandfather was my father figure. He was tall, strong and truly the patriarch of my family.

When I left for America at age 7, I met him in Hong Kong before my flight. I remember the visual vividly. I still remember the last hug that he gave and the tears that he shed. I remember holding on to him saying I don't want to go and him shaking his head telling me that he didn't want me to go but I needed to go. He gave me a kiss on my forehead and we said goodbye.

The next time I saw him was 8 years later, and during that time he had a stroke and developed cancer. He came to America along with my grandmother September of 2004. I was a teenager then and I was busy with the football season. The fact that we spent 8 years apart, we grew apart. I did not spend a lot of time talking to him or spending time with him. One day I was coming home from practice and I saw a man with a crane struggling to walk down the street. I got closer and realized it was my grandfather. I asked him if he was okay and he said yes. The man who was tall, strong and seemed undestructable to me was now showing signs of weakness. I was hurt and sad at the same time.

My cousin Toby asked him while he was here how his childhood was like. He didn't want to answer and blew Toby off. Thinking back, I think it was a way for him not to think that it was time for him to go. But he knew his time was up, because I think coming to America for that month of September was his farewell tour. He wanted to see his two sons, his grand kids Toby, my sister Fiona and me for the last time.

He passed Thanksgiving day of 2004. Right before he passed, I was home alone one Sunday afternoon and I received a call from him. He asked for my dad but my dad was not home. He asked me how I was and I asked him when he was getting out of the hospital. He said hopefully soon and had I known that was the last time that I would speak to him, I would tell him that I loved him. A week later, I came home early from a family function by myself. I was watching football, I think it was a Packers game. My grandmother called frantically asking for my dad again, he was still at the function so I told her that he wasn't home. She told me to call my dad immediately because my grandfather was about to die.

On Thanksgiving day 2004, my mom walked into my room and told me that my grandfather has passed. I looked at her with no emotions and said "oh." The whole day my dad walked around the house teary eyed and I left my house to take a walk in Manhattan by myself. On the train, "Dance with My Father " came on my CD player and I started to cry on the train.

I regret not spending a lot of time with him while he was here in America. But my biggest regret was not telling him that I love him. Like I said before, I haven't have time to honor him but tonight I am going to Relay for Life the organization to fight cancer. I am going to honor the man who taught me affection, love and always putting family first.

I am going to honor the man who I want to credit my interest in Education because I want to be just like my granddaddy. I want to honor the man who was my father figure while my dad was in America for the first 7 years of my life. I want to honor the man who was the glue of our family.

Tonight I am honoring my grandfather for the first time outside of family.


I hope you are proud of me and all of the things I've done. Please continue with your guidance and love from above. I can't wait to see you and wait for your hug and for your 5pm shadows. Thank you for showing me love and thank you for this great family that I have.

I love you.

-Your Grandson

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Oh HELL No Betty Brown.

Down in Texas, people of Chinese, Japanese and Korean descent often have problems voting and other forms of identification because they may have a legal transliterated name and then a common English name that is used on their driver’s license on school registrations. Rep. Betty Brown, a North Texas legislator recently offered a perfect solution suggesting that "Asian-descent voters should adopt names that are “easier for Americans to deal with.” The GREAT Betty Brown defended her comments by saying it was "an attempt to overcome problems with identifying Asian names for voting purposes."

To overcome these problems, the genuis Brown suggested that " Asian-Americans should find a way to make their names more accessible. Rather than everyone here having to learn Chinese — I understand it’s a rather difficult language — do you think that it would behoove you and your citizens to adopt a name that we could deal with more readily here?”

And comments from Brown to Ramey Ko, who is a representative of the Organizations of Chinese Americans, "“Can’t you see that this is something that would make it a lot easier for you and the people who are poll workers if you could adopt a name just for identification purposes that’s easier for Americans to deal with?”

Now Brown's spokesman Jordan Berry said Brown was not making a racially motivated comment but was trying to resolve an identification problem. Berry also said that Democrats are trying to blow Brown’s comments out of proportion saying "they want this to just be about race."

You can find this great story here:

Now a few words for Betty Brown...

Mrs. Brown as a person of Asian descent with an Asian name, I am highly offended by your comments. Now what you may think is a simple solution turns out to be an ignorant solution. Because for one, you want all Asian-Americans to find a way to make our names more accessible. Your reason and I am quoting "Can’t you see that this is something that would make it a lot easier for you and the people who are poll workers if you could adopt a name just for identification purposes that’s easier for Americans to deal with?” Mrs. Brown, correct me if I am wrong, although the names are intrepreted as "Asian" the word itself is still in English. And I have a perfect solution to your little problem here, see if you listened in elementary school and studied your phonics, you would learn how to utilize your vowels correctly and the pronounications of these name would not be a problem for you.

Secondly, you suggested that "rather than everyone here having to learn Chinese — I understand it’s a rather difficult language — do you think that it would behoove you and your citizens to adopt a name that we could deal with more readily here?" Your suggestion is logical, but not all Asian Americans are Chinese Mrs. Brown. See, there are other countries in Asia. Yes I know, it's hard to believe. See there's Japan, Korea, Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, India, Thailand, Taiwan and many more...shocking isn't it?

Now lastly, yes I know you think that people are trying to make this a race issue but I want you to know that YOU made this a race issue. Why? because you named a specific race out in your comment so they can be more "American". I really really want you to elaborate on how this ISN'T a race issue.

Mrs. Brown, I am sure that you are a fine American and a pretty nice lady. But Asian AMERICANS are Americans as well, and our duties to this nation has not be recognized and continued to be undermined by ignorances and ignorant people like you. Now I am sure, the idea was pretty good in your head but please, take the advice of my CHINESE IMMIGRANT mother "think before you speak."

Betty Brown, you failed.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

I'm Pissed Off, Man

I'm pissed off, man. I came across a Facebook group that has make me furious at the Northeastern Asian American community. Now I know it is just a harmless group and it is for fun, but it is also highlighting all the negative stereotypes. Well the group is NEU Asians, the headline is "If your asian, full, half, quarter, whatever, or if you just have asian pride, join us and represent the NEU Asians." Now hold up, I can go into details on why that line just rubs me the wrong way and I will go into details. Going back into my post about Chris Iijima who was a pioneer in Asian America, he would be infuriate with that statemet like I would be. The great Chris Iijima said "a lot of young people are missing the point, being Asian is not about parading yourself how Asian you are." He was 100% correct. We don't need a group to show our pride, we don't need a stupid headline like that to prove our point. We need to work together to make our lives better, our voice louder, and our bond more solidify.

BUT the group's page gets better..."After you join post what bubble tea you like so I can add you as an officer." Excuse me? After you join, post what bubble tea you like so I can add you as an officer? so being Asian is about bubble tea? Thank you tp the creator of this group because you have given more stereotypes to Asians. First I am not about bubble tea and in fact, I don't even like bubble tea. Second of all, back to Mr. Iijima's point of "grooving to Asian Pride." Third, instead of talking about bubble tea, why don't you ask who is your favorite activist or favorite author or a book? wait I don't think you are smart enough to comprehen that and fourth, did you really just say "After you join post what bubble tea you like so I can add you as an officer?!"

It only gets better...there is an official email for the group, I wonder what can be emailed to this group. What kind of mini Winnie the Pool toy is the best? or whether to spell Asians or a Z?

Where is the office of this group? Super 88 (or anywhere with bubble tea)...Shake my head.

And the icing of the cake is that this group is closed. The members must be invited or approved by an admin officer. Thank you creator once again to prove that we as Asians are a closed group, who seclude ourselves from everyone. If you are not Asian, you can't join is the policy.

To Mr./Ms. Creator of this group, I don't know what your intentions were when you created this group. If it was to show pride, you missed out on the boat. If it was to unite people, maybe you have but I think that you did it in the wrong way. If it was to promote culture, no you did not promote any culture because the Asian American culture is NOT about FUCKIN' bubble tea or the bubble tea flavor.

The Asian American culture is about stories, well YOU (Mr./Ms. Creator) has certainly not heard of these stories. Stories about being discriminated, oppressed, and hate. Vincent Chin did not die for you to drink fuckin' bubble tea, Yuri Kochiyama did not organize for you to make this group and Chris Iijima definitely did not sing, teach and protest for you to show your Asian Pride.

A final word to the creator of this group...Fuck you and the website where you got your Pocky picture from.

Thank you for proving all the negative stereotypes about Asians, killing the mission of our Asian American Center and WHY we need an Asian American Studies here at Northeastern.

Friday, April 3, 2009

One of my biggest fears I have right now is not being able to go home. Home as in living there, working there and having a life there. My family will always be in New York but as I inch closer and closer to what I want to do as a career, it seems like I am moving farther and farther to the one place that I truly love...New York. It seems all too ironic because three years ago, I couldn't wait to get the fuck out of New York. I felt trap, a city of 8 million people...I felt alone.

I left home for Boston in Janurary 2007 thinking that I will be back in the summer but I haven't left Boston since. Now I feel trapped, trapped by the world. What I want to do might take me all over the country, and the world which is what I always wanted however the only place I ever want to go is home. I hate leaving, but I love coming home. I can't seem to find the balance.

You never know what you have until it's gone, and I certainly didn't know what I had in New York. I find myself reading the Daily News online, listening to Z100 and even when I's not about the money or my life, its about New York. As sad as that sounds, I daydream with random in-mind still photographs of the Verrazano Bridge, Grand Street and the Subway just to name a few. I am getting a little homesick with all these post about New York. I got it bad is an understatement.

Monday, March 16, 2009

A Song for Ourselves

Sing a song for ourselves what have we got to lose?

Chris Iijima asked the question way before people started questioning society. With people, I meant Asian Americans. Chirs was a pioneer in ways of thinking and our hero for the community. The life and work by Chris Iijima was beautifully put in a documentary by Tadashi Nakamura in "A Song for Oursevles."

I first came across Chris Iijima this past Fall semester when I was doing my final paper for my Music as Popular Media Form class. The topic of the paper was on Asian American music. As you can guess, music is go hand in hand with stories of life and society. I see music as history documented with music notes and words rather than long winded paragraphs. There are definition of Black and White music even Latino music but there are no clear definition of Asian music here in America. Something to ponder about, like why Asians are always left out in conversations with politicans. "Black, White, Whatever" reference to poet Kelly Tsai. As I was doing my research, I stumble across something called "A Grain of Sand" by Chris Iijima, Nobu Miyamoto, and Charlie Chin.

I did not find any music on their work but their lyrics
"We are the children of the migrant workers We are the offspring of the concentration camps. Sons and daughters of the railroad builders, who leave their stamp on Amerika. We are the sons and daughters of the Chinese waiter, born and raised in the laundry room. We are the offspring of the Japanese gardener who leave their stamp on Amerika"

really struck me at the core. Similar to any other college student, I put this on my Facebook favorite quote section because I really liked the quote. Anyhow, this was said in the late 1960's way before Vincent Chin and during the back end of the Civil Rights Movement.

When I first saw the trailer of "A Song for Ourselves" about the life of Chris Iijima with clips of the Geologic, Kiwi and Bambu really had me going and excited to watch this documentary.
I really thought about going to Los Angeles to watch the premiere for it. After a talk by Delia (Director of the Asian American Center) someone who is a little more reasonable than me and she promised me that she would buy the DVD, and she kept her promised.

As I was watching the documentary, the only word that I can describe my feelings was insipration. Chris Iijima was the father of Asian America. He saw Asians in America as one, not Japanese, Chinese, Flipino, Indians, Vietnamese but rather as just one. That alone was pioneering at that era. Chris mentioned in the documentary that being Asian American does not mean being proud of being Japanese or Chinese food. We don't have to prove that we are proud of our heritage. This is still a problem to this day because of racism and it also shows in us Asian Americans discriminating one another whether we are "Asian" enough. Chris had it right then, he had it right when he passed, he still has it right now that he's gone...Asian Americans need a voice and it doesn't matter what car we drove to show how "Asian" we are or can be or what do we need to speak or to cook but we needed that one voice because of the situations we are put in.

His music was revolutionary due to the fact that he was one of the first Asian Americans to be polticial in his music. What stood out to me about Chris was that he was humble. He never claimed the limelight, when he had the chance to sign with a record company he refused because he would not allow himself to compromise his music, his beliefs with business. Chris "rather taught in schools" which he did. And when he felt like he was not reaching to the elderly or enough people, he got his law degree and helped others out as well. He was one of the quiet heros, Chris did not want to be a leader but he saw something wrong in the world and all he wanted to do was to correct it. That is the true defintion of a leader in my book, he never bloated about his achievements. He spoke up because it has to, he started our revolution. A revolution in which Geologic, Kiwi, Bambu, BPAC, and others Brothers and Sisters around the country are still trying to fight.

Chris brought up a good point in his interivew which I completely agree. He questioned the current state of Asian America. It is not about getting Asians in politics or media, and its just not about numbers but rather keep the progressive mind set, he wanted all of it be completely re-examined. Recently I had these questions in mind in school, beginning thinking what our values are here for our organizations. Chris said "it's not all about being groovy and I'm Asian." I feel my community here at school is missing a lot of substance, and we are not a progressive school. At times, I feel our community prevents us from being progressive, because Northeastern has numbers, we have the potential to be a great voice in the community yet we have not done so and I begin to think about Chris' philosophy about young Asian American involvement in the community here at Northeastern. I don't want to be a sour apple but why do we have all these events involving culture culture culture. Don't get me wrong, but I feel it is a way to isolate ourselves because we are still separate. We should be ONE in this country because thats the nature of the beast. Like Chris thought that we should be one in a voice, in this country. All the dancing and food are great but just that we are not seen as ONE in this country should be something that we take notice of, and something that I am weary of.

The fact that we don't know who he is should be a warning sign. Here at Northeastern, we don't know our heros and I believe that should be our calling not dancing and food. We need to implement an Asian American studies so we know our heros. Chris was the defintion of a warrior. A warrior of love, his people, and his family. He is someone who I will forever model my life after.

To a great man, warrior, activist, musician, teacher and father..Thank you.

Rest in Power.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

I miss you...

Boston has token a toll on me. The snow, the cold, the scenery, the food, and the emptiness has just creep up. It makes me more homesick, and miss the greatest city in the hometown New York City. I've recently read that there are three types of New Yorkers. The first one would be natives, New Yorkers who takes the city for granted. The second type of New Yorkers is the commuters who give New York its relentless, never die attitude because they are trying survive. The third type would be the out of towners who come to New York to discover themselves thus giving New York its passion. I would have to fall into the first type of New Yorkers. I took my city for granted.

Everyday I think about how I left in the first place. I felt trapped and I needed to get out. Growing up in New York is way different than what people are used to know. People think of New York as a place to party. The nightclubs, Times Square, Canal Street and Union Square are all wonderful places people have come to know. However, people do not know about the Coney Island, and the feeling of being alone in a giant city with 8 million people. They do not know the feeling of riding the hour ride subway home alone and repeating the same routine everyday.

Those feelings drove me right out of love from New York. Yet I still find myself "repping" my city any chance that I get wherever I go. The more time that I am away, the more I fall in love with New York. When I see that skyline, the feeling of home come over me. I swear even if its raining or snowing, it tends to clear up whenever I reach New York. I bet it's a way of New York welcoming me home, call me crazy but it's true.

I guess my mission now is never take New York for granted. It has been my home, and it will always be my home. I have dreams of traveling around the country and the world. I have dreams of living elsewhere but at the end of the day New York is on my mind. I miss the people, I miss the building, I miss the atmosphere and I miss the smell. I miss the Summer nights, the winter's day, Autumn's fall and the Spring's feel. It's where I made the best friends of my life, it's where love is a different kind of love and it's where my heart is. I just want to take this time to say "hey, I miss you." Goodnight New York, see you soon.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I have a dream...

Yesterday was the Inauguration of our 44th President, Barack Obama. The event was symbolic in every way. Hope and change were the slogans of the day. The one thing that stood out to me the most was a lady being interviewed on CNN saying and I paraphrase "my great grandmother was a slave and my grandmother was an activist. They didn't live long enough to see this moment but their youngest grandbaby did."

In the midst of all the happy festivities that was the Inauguration, I found something really disturbing on television and the media. The television showed an African American every 10 seconds or so, and a minority every 30 seconds or so. Now why do I find that disturbing? I feel as though they are saying "here you go, now you have your Black President...enjoy this its your time." Maybe it was just me , but I felt pity when I was watching the inauguaration. Yes, Barack is the first non-white person to be President but why does his race or anyone else in that matter have to come up every 10 seconds. It just sickens me that White America still has to apologize for their wrong doings, when it could have been prevented in the first place.

It also sickens me to see Native Americans from Wyoming marching in the Presidential Parade, same people whose land was taken away from them for the reason why they were there.

On a lighter note, I did feel proud to be an American. Our new President gave me new hope, not for the country sake but for my future. On the bandwagon of Martin Luther King, Barack gives me hope that one day I might see an Asian American President on those steps telling the country truth instead of promises. Barack says it the best, "there isnt anything false about hope." Whenever the time may be, it could be my sister with those 18 million cracks that Hilary has thrown at the ceiling and with the election of our new President...anything is possible. That is my dream right now, to see our first Asian American President reciting the oath of office.

p.s. did anyone see how G he looked as he walked out?
and yes I got my RA JOB!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

NEW YEAR's resolution 2 0 0 9!!

2009 is now 3 days old. Since I am going back to Boston tomorrow, the new year officially starts on Sunday January 4th, 2008! First off, I had a really good break. The snowboarding trip was the shit with my homies. Mc Nugget spit some truth out as well as finding some inspirations for our next album and Golden Rong passed out as usual. Large ups to Ryan for planning, and a hell naaww to David for ditching us. Summer trip will be in the works and it will pop off.

Looking back at 2008, there were a lot of firsts, ups, downs, happy, sad, mad, surprises, and there were a lot of regrets. I can't take them back and all there is left to do is reflect and learn. I can't say it's was a bad year because it was not. I am not going to hate on '08 because I still got love.

2009 will be a BIG YEAR! I can feel it, not to hype it up but I will make it into a big year! A couple of things that I am looking forward to:

January-Start of a new COOP, and my RA Interview...wish me luck!

February- Hopefully a Giants Superbowl win. Turning the big 2-1! Getting my RA decision, and ECAASU at Rutgers!

March-Hopefully the best Celebr(asian) to date.

April-I ain't got shit for April yet but it will be poppin'

May-look at April, hopefully get my macbook pro by now!

June-Last month of COOP, moving out and oh yes AUSTRALIA!!!!

July-still in AUSTRALIA!

August-Back home with the homies, hopefully another weekend trip. Relax. If I am a RA, SUMMER TRAINING!

September-December 2009 Start of the new project for me, and yes it will be great.

2009 will be a big year!

p.s. My resolutions for 2009:

Focus more on school (that 3.25 GPA when I graduate so I can be a CUM LAUDE)
Write more (blogs, poetry, etc.)
Read more (novels in general)
Save more money
Work out

Peace y'all