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asiam


asiam Whol esofOurI dent i t y spring 2014


Or i g i n a l l yf o u n d e da sTr u eCo l o r si n1 9 9 3b yAs i a nCa u c u s , ASI AM i sBo s t o nCo l l e g e ' sp r e mi e rAs i a nAme r i c a nl i t e r a r yma g a z i n e . “ ASIAM”i st h el i t e r a la n dd y n a mi cf u s i o no ft wowo r d sa n di d e n t i t i e s -As i a na n dAme r i c a n . Th i sma g a z i n ea i mst od e mo n s t r a t et h ewa y si n wh i c he mb r a c i n gt h i sd u a li d e n t i t yh a se n r i c h e do u re x p e r i e n c e s , e n d e a v o r s , a n dp e r s p e c t i v e s . b o s t o n . c o l l e g e . a s i a m@g ma i l . c o m f a c e b o o k . c o m/ b c a s i a m h t t p : / / b c a s i a m. c o m


doyouhaveor i gi nsi nt heor i ent ?

Yoshika Wason


asiam spring 2014

Ed i t o r ’ sNo t e 0 1 Dennis Ma

prose MyAme r i c a

0 6

Yoshika Wason

Un t i t l e d

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Gn o s i o p h o b i a

1 6

Ve n nd i a g r a ms

2 3

Lucilla Pan

Darrien Bush

Dennis Ma

Na me s , Awa k e n i n gOu rSe n s e s 2 5 Seo-Young Hyun

Ta l e n t e dOc e a n

2 9

Pa r o u s i a

3 6

Haesoo Yoon

anonymous


poetry APu s h k i nSo n n e tf o rt h eNe wYe a r

0 5

Qian Deng

Ha l fa n dHa l f

1 3

Mi s c o n c e p t i o n si nGl a s s

3 2

Natalie Blardony

Megumi Demond

art Co v e rUn t i t l e d Cindy Park

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Un t i t l e d Eun Hee Kwon

8

Un t i t l e d Quyen Nguyen

1 1

Un t i t l e d Eun Hee Kwon

1 2

Co n t e mp r a l l e y Cindy Tung

1 4

Un t i t l e d Cindy Park

1 5

( Mi s ) c o mmu n i c a t i o n :Sa meDi f f e r e n c e Eun Hee Kwon


1 9

Me d i t a t i o no naSi n g l eLi n ea n dCo l o r# 4 1 Matthew Alonsozana

2 2

Un t i t l e d Cindy Park

2 3

Un t i t l e d Cindy Park

2 8

Un t i t l e d Cindy park

3 4

Un t i t l e d Cindy Park

3 5

Fr a me d Eun Hee Kwon

Th a n kYo u ASI AM ‘ 1 3 ’ 1 4Te a m

4 0


Edi t or ’ sNot e dennis ma

Whatexact l yi si dent i t y?Thef i r s tent r yf ori dent i t y i nt heOxf or dEngl i s hDi ct i onar y( OED)des cr i besi tas“t he qual i t yorcondi t i onofbei ngt hes amei ns ubs t ance, compos i t i on,nat ur e,pr oper t i es ,ori npar t i cul arqual i t i es undercons i der at i on;abs ol ut eores s ent i als amenes s ; onenes s . ”Thi sdef i ni t i oni sl ever agedonani mpl i ci tqual i t y ofhomogeni zat i on,ofcoher ence.I twoul dappear ,ast he OED ar gues ,t hatas ens eofs el fi st i edi nt r i ns i cal l yt o har mony.I nt heear l ys t agesoft hi spubl i cat i on,pr i ort ot he whol epr oces sofpubbi ngf ors ubmi s s i ons ,andt he s ubs equents i f t i ngt hr oughands el ect i onofwor kst obe i ncl udedi nt hi si s s ueofASI AM,Idi s cus s edwi t ht he ASI AM t eam whati dent i t ymeantt ot hem. Thes ent i mentt hatwear r i vedonasagr oupwasi n oppos i t i ont ot hatof f er edbyt heOED—i dent i t ywasnota s t at eofs amenes s ,butdependentonmaki ngs ens eof i nher entdi f f er ence.Asmyboar dwaswhol l ycompr i s edof As i anAmer i cans ,t hi scont r as twasas cr i bedt oourl ar gel y di s s onantcul t ur alupbr i ngi ngs .ButIwoul dar guet hat beyondt heexper i enceofgr owi ngupAs i ani nAmer i ca, i dent i t yi nt heabs t r acts t i l lr es onat ess t r ongl ywi t hani dea ofcont r adi ct i on.I npar t ,t het hemef ort hi syear ’ smagazi ne ( “whol esofouri dent i t y”)wasl ar gel yi ns pi r edbyt hi s .As Col um McCannwr i t esi nhi snovel ,Tr ans at l ant i c,“t her ei s al waysr oom f oratl eas tt wot r ut hs . ”Li kewi s e,ourt heme embodi esdualconnot at i ons ,s eemi ngl yi noppos i t i on,but bot hequal l yval i d. Asacoedi t ori nchi ef( t heot herbei ngt het al ent ed 1


Yos hi kaWas on) ,It ent at i vel yf r amemyexper i encesover t hepas tyearwi t hASI AM asnotonl yacr eat i veef f or t ,but al s oaneducat i onaloppor t uni t y.I nt heques tt ocons i dert he ques t i onofi dent i t y,ofs el f hood,Ihavehadt hewondr ous pr i vi l eget ocomef acet of acewi t hmul t i pl enew per s pect i ves .ASI AM hashi s t or i cal l ybeenaf f i l i at edwi t h As i anCaucus ,andt henameoft hepubl i cat i oni t s el fi sa phonet i cdoubl eent endr e.Yet ,i ti smygr eathopet hat ASI AM t r ans cendsbeyondi t sor i gi nsasvoi cef ort he As i anAmer i canexper i ence,andevent ual l yi scapabl eof s t andi ngi nf ort hel ar gerques t i onsofwhati sats t akei nt he pr oces soff or mul at i ngi ndi vi dualper s onhood.ASI AM i snot mer el yat i t l eofapubl i cat i on,butabat t l ecr yf ort he i ndi vi dual .I ti sanexpr es s i onofwhatmakesyou,wel l ,you. I nt hi si s s ue,youwi l lexper i encel aught er ,j oy, s or r ow,andpai n.Thecont r i but or st ot hi si t er at i onof ASI AM haveexpr es s edt hems el vest hr oughvar i ouswr i t i ngs andvi s ualcompos i t i ons .Iam gr at ef ult ot heASI AM t eam f ort hei ref f or t si ncur at i ngandcons t r uct i ngt hemagazi ne, butal s omor es oi ndebt edt ot hes ewr i t er sandpoet sand ar t i s t sandphot ogr apher s ,who,t hr ought hei rwor k,have gi venapi eceoft hems el vesf oryou,t her eader .I fIhave oner eques tt oyou,i ti st hatyous i mpl yenj oy.Savort he wor ds .Reveli nt hei mager y.Letyouri magi nat i onsr unwi l d. AsIam wr i t i ngt hi s ,Icannothel pbutgl anceatt he cal endar .Onaper s onalnot e,Iam ont hever geof gr aduat i on,aboutt ol eavet hi ss hel t er edacademi cs pher e f ort heuncer t ai nt yoft her ealwor l d.AndyetIam nota f i ni s hedpr oduct .Iam s t i l lver ymuchi nt hepr oces sof f i gur i ngoutmys el f .And,asInow r eal i ze,t hat ’ st hebeaut y ofi t . Thi spubl i cat i oni sr epr es ent at i veoft hatpr oces s .I t

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maybeaphys i cal l ypol i s hedpr oduct ,buti ti sbynomeans def i ni t i ve.I dent i t yf or mat i oni sacont i nualpr oces s .I ti sa cons t ants t r i vi ng.Andt hat ,t hepos s i bi l i t yf orcons t ant r ei nvent i on,i swhatmakesi ts owonder f ul .Asyout ur n t hes epages ,Ihopeyouar eal s oi ns pi r edt ocons i derwhat i tmeanst obe“asIam. �

3


eun Hee kwon


Tur bul ence:A Pus hki ns onnetf ort heNew Year I ' mt ol dt hedi f f er ences eemsbuts ubt l e Bet weent hi swayt hatI ’ mt oeat Andr i deal onet heHor s e' ss hut t l e, Andt hatwayyouhol ddearands weet . I ' mt ol dIl ongf or gotmycr adl e; Myoat hi sowedt of r es herl adl es . Ieat ,t hen,t obes ur eIknow, Remembr ance,age—s t i l lt as t el i kes o: Hongdout opokeat ,mi ant os wal l ow. " Butt r ans l at e! "Noodl es ,t hen.Redbeans . " How quai nt ,how et hni c,s uchcui s i nes ! " —whos es t r angenes smakesyourvoi cegohol l ow, Tos uckt her oot syoucl ai medwer eyour s . Butwhoam It obl ockt hedoor s ? ( Not e:I nmuchofChi na," l ongevi t ynoodl es " ar eeat ent ocel ebr at ebi r t hdays ;t her edbeans al l udet oapoem cal l edRemembr ance,byt he Tangdynas t ypoetWangWei ,s oI ' vedonea l i t er alt r ans l at i on: I nt hes out hgr owst her edbean, Whi chbl oomsi ns pr i ngt i me. Ihopeyou' l lpi ckt hem i npl ent y, Fort heyar eofr emembr ance. )

qian deng

5


MyAmer i ca yoshika wason

Or i gamicol l age,208cr anes

Iwasbor nont he47t hanni ver s ar yoft heat omi c bombi ngofHi r os hi ma.Maybei ti sj us tacoi nci dencet hatI wasbor nonAugus t6t hbutIl i ket ot hi nkt hati thol dss ome s i gni f i cance,cons i der i ngt hatmydadi swhi t eAmer i canand mymom i sJ apanes e.I nas ens e,I ’ mt heembodi mentofU. S. J apanr el at i ons . Theat omi cbombdr oppi ngsof1945mar kedal ow poi nti nt her el at i ons hi pbet weent heU. S.andJ apan.You candi s cus sandar guet hi sevent :wast hedes t r uct i oni t caus edj us t i f i ed?Ican’ ts ayt hatI ’ m qual i f i edt oeven at t emptt oans wert hatques t i on,al t houghIwasoncef or ced t of umbl et hr ought hi sconundr um f orapr ompti naU. S. 6


hi s t or ycl as si nhi ghs chool .Es s ent i al l y,i nonees s ay ques t i onIwasbei ngas kedt odeci dewhi chpar tofmeand myhi s t or yIf avor edovert heot her .Can’ tIhavebot h? MaybeIdon’ tknow i fyoucanj us t i f ydr oppi ngt he at omi cbombonHi r os hi ma.ButIdoknow t hi s :I ’ m i mpr es s edbyhow t heU. S.andJ apanwer eabl et obui l dup t hei rr el at i ons hi pf r om t hatpoi nton.Augus t6t hhass i nce beencommemor at edasUni ver s alPeaceDay.Thi s commemor at i onandr ei nt er pr et at i onofhi s t or i calevent s f as ci nat esme.I nt hes amevei n,Ibel i evet hatpar tofmy pur pos ei nl i f ei st obeabr i dgebet weent heU. S.J apan.I ’ m nots ur ehow andi nwhatcapaci t ywi l lIf ul f i l lt hatr ol ebut atl eas tIhaves omevaguei deaofi t sexi s t ence. Is t ar t edt hi sor i gamicol l agebecaus eIwant edt o pr es entmymul t i et hni ci dent i t yi nahar moni ousuni on. Of t ent i meswhenIexpr es smybackgr oundIf ocusont he negat i ve;t heconf us i on,t hecompet i ngval ues —andt hat ’ s cer t ai nl yapar tofmyexper i ence—butt her ear et i meswhen Iwoul dl i ket ocel ebr at ewhoIam.

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quyen nguyen

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Val i dat i on: Toomuch Yet– Neverenough ~Si xWor dSt or y

Val i dat i on.It hi nkt hati st hecor r ectwor d.Wes pend ourent i r el i vess eeki ngi tf r om oneanot her .Is pentmy wi nt erbr eakwor ki ngongr aduat eappl i cat i ons ,andt hathas beenoneoft hemos tdaunt i ngexper i encesofmyl i f e.I s endi nmyr es ume,myper s onals t at ement ,awr i t i ngs ampl e, andIt el lt hes egr aduat epr ogr ams ,“her ei swhoIam.Her e i swhatIhaves pentt hepas tt woandahal fyear sofmyl i f e s t udyi ngandwor ki ngf or .Now,i si tenough?” I nmyf r i ends hi ps ,t her ecomesamomenti nwhi chI s har es omet hi ngort heot herper s ondoes ,andwebecome vul ner abl e.Andt hatchange,t hatchangei sours i l entpl ea, “her ei smypas t ,pr es ent ,andf ut ur e.I ti sbr oken,buti t ’ s al lIhave;i t ’ swhathasmademe.Now,i si tenough?” Whenyoucomei nt ot hati nt er vi ew,pr epar et oas k t hatper s onout ,t aket hatf i nalexam,whatyou’ r er eal l y s ayi ngi st hi s :“It hi nkyouar ei mpor t ant ,andIwantt obea par tofyourexper i ence.Thi si swhatIhavef oryou.Now, i si tenough?” Now,am Ienough? Tobehones t ,Is t i l ldon’ tqui t eknow.Is uppos et hat i fi twer eeas y,wewoul dnotneedt ot al kabouti t .I nt he end,Imi ghtnotbeenough,orImaybet oomuch.Andt hat wi l lhur t .Thatdoeshur t ,andever yt i met hati thappens ,i t doesnotbecomeanyeas i er .Ihavebeenhur t ,r ej ect ed, 9


s t ompedupon,andever yt i meIwonderwhet heri ti swor t h t heef f or tt ogetuponcemor e. Butt ol i vei st or i s k,andt or i s ki st ol ove.Andeach ofusi swor t ht hatr i s k.Wemus tl ear nt ol oveour s el ves ,t o val i dat eourownexi s t ence,yetwemus tal s ol ear nt o val i dat eoneanot herbecaus et hewor l dwoul dbeanempt y pl acewi t houtot her s . Sol oveoneanot herbecaus et her ear ehol esi neach ofourwhol enes s .Lear nt ohol doutyourhear t ,br ui s edand bat t er edandbl eedi ngr aw,ands ay,“t hi si swhoIam,t oo muchyett ool i t t l e.Wi l lIbeenough?” Andmypr ayeri s t hatourans werwi l lbeaf i r m,def i ni t e,unwaver i ng: “Yes . ”

10


eun hee kwon

11


“ Co n t e mp r a l l e y ”

cindy tung

12


Hal fandHal f Ihearher . Tal ent edbeyondheryear s . Bl es s edwi t havoi cet hats ur pas s est heangel s . Iwat chher . Rubbi ngawayherout ers el f ,hercul t ur e. Shes t epsi nt ot hi sbodys ui tever yday. A mas kofwhos hei s . Is eeher . At hi nvei lr ai s edbet weenherandot her s . Ass hes t r i vest omat cht hos et hatt r ampl eherpas t .

Ir eachher , Shes hovesmeaway. At eart ear i ngt hr oughhermet i cul ous l yappl i edmas k. Il oveher . Fami l y.Bl ood. ButIs eewhatt heyhavedone WhatIhavedone. Thi spar tofme, Thi sot herhal f , Ihaver ui nedherbeaut y. Ihavet ai nt edherhear t . Ihavedes t r oyedhers ens eofs el f . Wehavedes t r oyedour s el ves . Natalie Blardony

13


cindy park


“ ( Mi s ) c ommuni c a t i on:Sa meDi f f e r e nc e ”

eun Hee kwon


Gnos i ophobi a Darrien Bush

“Al r i ght ,r eady?Today’ st opi cf orcl as swi l lbet he f unct i onsoft hebr ai n. ” Thes ewor dswer eenought os hakemyver y f oundat i oni nt hef i r s t10s econdsofcl as s .Pani cs eti n, caus i ngmet of eelonedgeandevenbegi nt os weat .My hear tr acedasi fIwasbei ngpi ckedoutoft hel ar gecl as sof 208s t udent s ,yett her oom r emai neds i l ent .Inow know t hat t hos ei nvol unt ar yact i onsar eat t r i but edt ot hes ympat het i c s ys t em,whi chcont r ol st he“f l i ghtorf i ght ”mechani s mi n humans .Att het i mehowever ,mymi ndwasf ocus edonmy des i r et ol eavet hi sl ect ur ehal l .Ther ewasnodes t i nat i oni n par t i cul arf orwhi chIl onged,butIknew i twasout s i deof t hecl as s r oom.Mygoalwast ogoasf arawayf r om br ai n f unct i onsaspos s i bl e.Mys eatwasl ocat edhi ghi nt he l ect ur er oom,r i ghti nt hemi ddl eoft her ow.Es capi ngwas i mpos s i bl e.AsIr emai nedi nt hi si nvi s i bl es pot l i ght ,my headr ol l edbackandal l owedmyl i mbst odr op.Bef or et he l ect ur eevens t ar t ed,al ongs i ghes capedmymout h, s i gni f yi ngt hatInow hadt of acemyf earofl et t i ngever yone l ear nabout-notj us tt hehumanbr ai n,butr at her-my per s onalbr ai n. I twas12: 00P. M andI nt r oduct i ont oPs ychol ogyasa Nat ur alSci encewasj us ts t ar t i ng.Inevercar edaboutt he nat ur als i deps ychol ogy,onl yt hes oci alper s pect i ve.Ever y mi nut ei nt hatcl as swasabi tl ongert hant hel as t .Some peopl e,i nahypnagogi ct r ance,s l owl ynoddedbackand f or t h,occas i onal l yopeni ngt hei reyest os eet her oom i nan unf ocus edl ens .Ot her s ,wi t hmor eexci t i ngl i ves ,s entt ext 16


af t ert exti nanat t emptt ol i vent hemoodoft hemonot onous l ect ur e.Mybat t l ewasdi f f er ent .It r i edashar dasIcoul dt o bl otoutt hei nf or mat i ont hatt hepr of es s orwass pewi ng,but ever ywor dwashear d.Mymi nddwel l edi naf arof fwor l d f i l l edwi t hdaydr eamsandmemor i es ,butt hatdi dnots t op ever ys i ngl ewor doft hel ect ur ef r om r eachi ngme. “Thebr ai n’ sout erar eai sdi vi dedi nt of ourar eas :t he f r ont all obe,t empor all obe,par i et all obe,andt heocci pi t al l obe. ” Is ear chedt hedept hsofmymi ndt of i ndt he s i gni f i canceoft hos ewor ds ,onl yt or eal i zet hatt heywer e us edt odes cr i bet hedi agnos i sofmyt womys t er i ouss t r okes i nhi ghs chool .Theydi s pl acedmyr at herl i nearl i f e;a gr eet i ngt omydr as t i cl i f echange Att het i meoft hebr ai ni nj ur y,al mos tt hr eeyear s pr i ort ot hatcl as s ,Iwass t i l lonl yas ophomor ei nhi gh s chool .Mydayswer emuchs hor t erandt i mewasmor e pl ent i f ul .Al mos tever yday,Is aw t hes amef ami l ymember s , t hes amecl as s mat es ,andevent hes amet eacher s .I nr eal i t y, myl i f ewasj us tas mal lcommuni t yofpeopl ewhol i vedon r epeat .Suddenl y,Iwasr emovedf r om t hewor l dt hatIknew s owel lf oral mos tayear .Al loft het eacher s ,s t udent s ,and f ami l ymember s ,al ll ef tmycl os ecommuni t y.I twasnow j us tme,cl i ngi ngt omypas tl i f e.Ther ewoul dbet i meswhen mymot herwoul dgot owor kandcomehomet os eemewi t h abl ankexpr es s i on,s i t t i ngi nt hes ames potwher es hel ef t me.Myl i f es t oppedi ni t st r acks ,wi t hnos i gnsorwar ni ngs . I tf el tasi fmyl i f ewasahuges t ones t andi ngs t i l li na s t r eam asever yt hi ngf l oat edonahead.Notknowi nghow t o dealwi t ht hi sabr uptt r ans i t i on,It r i edf or mi ngnumer ous ques t i ons ,butmymi ndt r ul ywasneverr eadyt oheart hes e ans wer s .Noone,notevenI ,want edt oknow t het r ue damaget hathadbeendonebyt hos eunexpect edand 17


unwel comeds t r okes . Is ati nt hel ect ur er oom r el i vi ngal loft hedet ai l sof myhos pi t al i zat i onf r om s t ar tt of i ni s hwhi l et hepr of es s or wenton.Hes t ar t edof fs mal lands i mpl e,des cr i bi ngt he ar easoft hebr ai n,butevent ual l yhewoul df ocusont he f unct i ons .Hi sgoalwast ot eachhow eachar eacor r es ponded wi t hadi f f er entnot i onoft hebodyt hr oughadi agr am. However ,hi sdi agr am onl yl ur edmyeyesawayf r om ever yt hi ngel s epr es ent .Theans wer st ot heques t i onsI f or medwer eaboutt ogetans wer edandIcoul dn’ tl ookaway. Myeyeswer edr awnt oi tt hes econdi twentup,l i kei ns ect s dr awnt ot hef i r eofacandl e.Theyf ocus edont hewor ds “Tempor all obe( hear i ng,memor y) ”and“Par i et all obe ( t ouch,s pat i alr el at i ons ) , ”bl ocki ngoutt her es toft hes l i de. Myf acebecamebl ankasIs t ar edatt hos ewor ds .I twasal l comi ngbackt ome.Theconnect i onoft hos ewor dst omy ownl i f e,t hebadexper i ences ,ever yt hi ng. Whi l et es t swer ebei ngr unatt hehos pi t al ,Iwas cons t ant l ybl i nds i dedbydoct oraf t erdoct or .I twas n’ tj us t anot hercas ef ort hem,butr at heri twasanhonort os eeand hel papedi at r i cs t r okevi ct i m qui ckl yr ecover .Ther ewer e headdoct or sf r om di f f er entdepar t ment s ,nur s esal ls howi ng di s bel i ef ,andevens t udents t udygr oupst hatat t empt edt o uncoveranunknownar t i f act .Icoul donl yl i ei nbedand wai tf orever yonet ol eavemeal one.Ami ds tt hecommot i on, wor dswer eexchangedt obot hmymot herandmeasnot es wer ewr i t t endown,asi fIwasondi s pl ayi nanexhi bi t . Wor dss uchas‘ t empor all obe’and‘ par i et all obe’wer eof t en s ai d,butmymi ndwasf ocus edones capi ngt hi sdi s pl ay. Ast i meel aps edi nt hehos pi t alt hos ewor dswoul dcomet o des cr i bet hel ocat i onoft hemys t er i ouss t r okes .I twass ai d t hati toccur r ed“pos t er i ort empor all obeandpar i et all obe” –ori nl ayman’ st er ms ,“i toccur r edbehi ndt het empor al 18


matthew alonsozana

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andpar i et all obes . ”Backt hen,Ineverat t empt edt o under s t andt hedoct orj ar gonorevencar e.Thos ewor ds wer ehear dt hr oughdeafear sasIenvi s i onedt hef ut ur e wher eIwoul dn’ thavet owor r yaboutt hi sexper i enceever agai n. Thet i mewas1: 10P. M andt hes l eepi ngs t udent s wer es t ar t i ngt oemer gef r om t hei rs l umber .Thepr of es s or ’ s wor dswoul dcont i nueonl yf oraf ew moment sl ongeri nhi s monot onemannerbef or ebei ngr el eas e.Ashes ummar i zed t het opi csoft heday,r ecappi ngf ort hos ewhomayhave f or got t enal r eady,hedet ai l edt hei deaofpl as t i ci t y. Accor di ngt ohi sl ect ur e,peopl e’ sbr ai nshadt heabi l i t yt o changei nor dert odealwi t hexper i encesanddamages .My br ai n,t heor gant hati sus edt opr oces st hi snew i nf or mat i on aboutmypas tdamages ,waswr appedar oundt heconcept t hatIwasuni nt ent i onal l ydoi ng.Pl as t i ci t yofmymi nd becamemuchmor ei nt er es t i ngt ot hecl as sashe exempl i f i eds t r okevi ct i ms .Thequi cks par kofi nt er es ti n ever yoneel s es entmebackt ohos pi t ali nmymi nd.Back whenIwast ur nedi nt oacur i ousmedi calcas e,pl as t i ci t y wasi nt r oducedqui t edi f f er ent l y.Fort hos ewhodi dnot know ofpl as t i ci t ys i mpl yexpl ai nedmyr ecover yas “ami r acl e. ” Af ew daysaf t erbei ngdi agnos ed,t es t swer e conduct edal mos tnons t opt hr oughoutt heday,ever y s i ngl eday.Thedamageoft hes t r okewasunknownbutt her e wer enot abl edef ect s .I ts t ar t edof fwi t hMRI s ,EKGs ,and manyot heri nt er nalt es t s ,buts ooni tmovedont omemor y t es t sandcogni t i ont es t st oas s es smypr ogr es s .Myi ni t i al pr ogr es swhent het es t ss t ar t edwasl i t t l et ononeandi twas bl at ant .Ononehumi l i at i ngoccas i on,whenmyf ami l y s ur r oundedmyhos pi t albed,doct or ss i mpl yas kedwhot he pr es i dentwas .Theonl ywor dsIut t er edaf t erbei ng 20


over whel medbydoct oraf t erdoct orwer es pokeni nadr awn out ,l ow manner .“ObamaBar ack. ”Mywor dss ounded conf i dentdes pi t et hel ow vol umeandi nmymi nd,r ecover y wasal r eadyoni t sway.A s pl i ts econdl at er ,af t ernot es wer eal r eadyr ecor ded,mymi s t akedawnedonme,br eaki ng myf açadeofbr aver y.Ther ewasnopr ogr es sandnomi r acl e. Myheadf el li nt omyhandsi nanat t emptt os t opmys el f f r om cr yi ng,i nor dert os t ays t r ong.Des pi t emybes tef f or t s , t ear ss t r eakeddownmyf ace,cover i ngi twi t hs hame.To t hem,myr es pons es i gni f i edt hatmybr ai nwasal r eady changi ngi nor dert or ecoverf r om t het r auma.Tome however ,i twasonl yas et backf r om l eavi ngt hi sexper i ence behi nd. Lear ni ngt hi smat er i alcameataheavypr i ce,t he pr of es s orexpl ai nedashewr appeduphi sl ect ur e.Al mos t ever yoneknew t hepr i cebutnow i twasouti nt heopen. Wi t hs ympat hyi nhi svoi ce,headmi t t ed,“t oget i nf or mat i onaboutt hebr ai n,peopl egot hr oughs omes or tof damaget ot hebr ai n.I tcoul dbeabl ow,al es i on,as t r oke, oranyt hi ngt hatcoul daf f ectt hebr ai n. ”Hi sr el uct antwor ds l ef tmeal mos tpar al yzed,asi ft hes ympat hywasdi r ect ed t owar dsme.Bef or eIr egi s t er edhi swor ds ,t hepr of es s or f i ni s heds peaki ngandt hecl as swasover .Not epadswer e cl os ed,bagswer ezi pped,andpeopl ebegant odi s per s e.My exhi bi t i ondi s pl aywasnow over ,andever yonewhot ookt he cl as sj us tt of ul f i l lcour s er equi r ement swentaboutt hei r l i ves .I twoul dj us tbeanot herl es s onf or got t enaf t ert he exam.Thi swass omet hi ngt hatcoul dnotbef or got t enf or me.Wi t hans wer st ool dques t i onsandnew i nf or mat i on,my pas texper i encesar et hef oundat i onsofmyl i f eaf t ert he s t r okes .Al t hought hes t r okesendedi nhi ghs chool ,t hey wi l lal waysbeas cart hats hapesmyf ut ur e.

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cindy park

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VennDi agr ams Dennis Ma

Venndi agrams .I nbet weens paces .“Noman’ sl and. ” Cul t ur aldi s s onance.Myf at hert el l i ngmewhenIwast en, cas ual l yatt hedi nnert abl e,“weChi nes ear enotaver y goodl ooki ngpeopl e,butwedowor khar d. ”Thes vel t e gr eyPr adas ui thedonnedatmys i s t er ’ sweddi ng.A Fami l yGuys ket chwher ePet erpr obest hr oughanAs i an cr owd,poi nt i ngatr andom and,i nt hei mper at i ve,r epeat edl y s t at i ng,“Look,J acki eChan! ”Debat esoverAmyChua,and mymot her ’ sdi s dai n.Anappr eci at i onofTheJ oyLuckCl ub, i ns pi t eoft hef actI ’ veneverr eadi t .Myr omant i cf or ays i nt oAmer i canwomen.Col l egeappl i cat i onst oI vyLeague s chool s ,emphas i zi ngacas ualdi s dai nf ors ci ence.Anol der t eammat ewhoAf r i cani zedmewi t ht heni ckname“Gamba” dur i ngmyf r es hmanyearofl acr os s e,becaus e,ashel oos el y puti t ,“I ’ venevers eenanAs i anki dasbi gandf as tasyou. ” Redi s cover i ngMandar i ni ncol l ege,i nanat t emptt or ever s e t hedamaget hatas s i mi l at i onhaddonet omyaccent . Cul t ur algui l t .Af t eras ummerabr oad,mypr i deaf t erbei ng t ol di nanai r por tt hatIs oundedl i keanat i veBei j i ng s peaker .A hi ghs choolEngl i s hawar d.Fal l i ngi nl ovewi t h Pat r i ci aaf t erbei ngt ol dt hats heenj oyedPr ous t ,whoIal s o haveneverr ead.Myl ongi ngt obel i keKeat s .Mymedi cal s choolappl i cat i ons .I dent i t y.Cont r adi ct i ons .Pi cki ngs i des . Feel i ngl os t .Sear chi ng.

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cindy park

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Names ,Awakeni ngOurSens es Seo-Young Hyun

“Mynamei sSeoYoung. ” “SahYoung?” “No,SeoYoung. ” “SoyYoung?” Thi shasbeenacommonconver s at i onbet weens omeoneIhadj us tmetandmys el f . Evers i nceIf i r s tmovedt oVancouver ,CanadawhenIwas s evenyear sol d,Ihavebecome accus t omedt ot hi sconver s at i on:anabnor mals i t uat i onf or mewoul dhavebeens omeone pr onounci ngmynamecor r ect l yont hei rf i r s tt r y. Backt hen,Is i mpl yaccept edhow Engl i s hs peaker s pr onouncedmyname.Is i mpl y t hought ,“Oh,t hes epeopl edon’ thavet her i ghts hapeof t onguet opr onouncemynamecor r ect l y. ”Ast heyear s pas s edby,Is t ar t ednot i ci ngat r end.Becaus emynamewas unf ami l i ar ,mos tpeopl edi dnotevent r yt opr onouncei t . Becaus et henamewasf or ei gn,manydi dnotr ememberwhat i twasandt her ef or enevercal l edmynameevenwhent hey neededme. Ineverknew,however ,how t ot eachot her st os aymy namecor r ect l y.Iwass t i l lus edt or es pondi ngt owhat ever s oundedl i kemynamet hatIevenyel l edout“Yes ?”i nt he mi ddl eofmys ci encecl as swhenmyt eacherment i oned “CO2. ”Evenaf t ert hatembar r as s i ngmoment ,myhear t j umpedatever y“CO2”t hatmyt eacherexhal ed,t hi nki ng t hathewascal l i ngonmet oans weraques t i onf orhi m. 25


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cindy park


Tal ent edOcean Haesoo Yoon

Thoughyourmemor yi s n’ tt ot al l ycl ear ,peopl es ay youwer eahyperl i t t l et omboy.Your emembert hef i r s tt i me youf oundyourgi r l hoodal bumsi nt hes t or ager oom.Ther e wer epi ct ur esoft hi sonecut el i t t l eboyal loveroneoft he booksyoupi ckedup,andyouwer er eal l yconf us ed.Das hi ng i nt oyourpar ent s ’r oom youas ked,“Di dIus et ohavea l i t t l ebr ot her ?Whoi st hi ski d?”Theyl ookedateachot her ands t ar t edl aughi ng.“Nohoney,t hat ’ syou. ”Soyouhada boyi s hs hor tcuthai ri never yphot of oryourpat er nalgr andpar ent shopedt hatyouwoul dbecomewor t hasmuchasa s on.Now t hatyoul ookatyourphot osagai nyouknow t hat l i t t l eki dwasyou,becaus eyoucans eet hes carof18baby s hot sont hel ef tar m –amar kt hats t i l ls omet i mesmakeyou f eels el f cons ci ouswhenyouwears l eevel es st ops . Whenyouwer ebor nyouwer eunwant edbyyour pat er nalgr andpar ent s ,becaus eyouwer eagi r l .Yourpar ent s hadf ai l edoncet ogi vet hem agr ands on,gi vi ngbi r t hi ns t ead t oyourol ders i s t er ,andwer eencour agedt ot r yagai n.Then youcame,andyourgr andpar ent sr ef us edt hei rt r adi t i onal r i ghtt onameyou,becaus eyouwer eagi r landundes er vi ng oft henamet heyhadchos en.I nt heendi twor kedout ,becaus eyouwoul dhavedi edofembar r as s menti fyouwer e r eal l ynamed“J i s hi k”,whi chl i t er al l ymeansknowl edgei n Kor ean.Soyourpar ent ss t eppedi nandyouwer enamed af t eryours i s t er ,Haer i .Whi l eHaer imeans“vi l l agenextt o t hes ea”,Haes oomeans“t al ent edocean”,whi chyou’ ve comet or eal i zet hati twasyourpar ent s ’wayt ol etyou know t hatyouwer eagi f tt ot hem. 29


Youwer eor i gi nal l yl ef t handedt oo.Thi sgaveyour gr andpar ent sanot herr eas ont opi ckonyou,f ori nt heol der dayst her ewasaKor eans uper s t i t i ont hatwhenaper s onwas l ef t handedaghos tmus thaver ui nedt hes oul .Thusyou wer ef or cedt owr i t ewi t hyourr i ghthand,t ous echops t i cks wi t hyourr i ghthand,t odr aw wi t hyourr i ghthand.When youwer eyounger ,youwer euni nvi t edt odi nner satt he t abl e,becaus eyouwer ei ncapabl eofus i ngchops t i ckst he pr operway.Now youcanus eyourr i ghthandf orwr i t i ng andpl ayi ngs por t s ,butyoucanonl yus eyourl ef thandf or dr awi ng,pai nt i ng,andus i ngchops t i cks .Youwoul dn’ ts ay you’ r eexact l yambi dext r ous ;i t ’ smor et hatyouar eanawkwar dl ef t yandr i ght y. Youf oughtagai ns tyourpar ent s ’wi l landappl i edt o s t udyabr oadats chool si nt heSt at es .Youat t endeds ummer boar di ngcampsi nCal i f or ni abegi nni ngi nt hes econdgr ade andf ors omer eas onpr ef er r edt heAmer i cans chools ys t em. Des pi t ebei ngr i di cul edf oryouraccent ,youcont i nuedt ogo backt ot heSt at esever ys ummerandevent ual l yvi s i t i ng onl ydur i ngcamps eas onswasnotgoodenough.Yourpar ent swant edyout os t ayi nKor ea,becaus et heys entyour s i s t ert ot heSt at esf ors choolanddi dn’ twantt ohavebot h daught er ss of arf r om home.However ,backi nKor ea,you f ai l edcl as s eswi t hanaver ageof60,exceptEngl i s h,whi ch wast heonl ys ubj ectyouadvancedi nt hankst oal lt hes ummercamps .Af t ercont i nuouspl eadi ngf orachancet os t udy abr oad,yourpar ent scaved.Youf i ni s hedf i f t hgr adei n Kor eaandcamet ot heSt at esasaboar di ngs t udentata s mal lj uni orboar di ngs chooli nSout hBor ough,MA. Meet i ngpeopl ef r om di f f er entpl acesi nt hewor l d, youmat ur edi nadi ver s ecommuni t y.Whenyourbes t f r i end’ smot herpas s edaway,youof f er edheras houl dert o 30


31


Mi s concept i onsi nGl as s Thedecept i vel ys moot hgl as ss t ar esbackatme ands ays , s t r ai ghthai r ,r oundf ace,s hor ts t at ur e... Youar eAs i an. Dr eaml i kei mageski s smymi nd— off ami l ys ur r oundi ngmeandt heal l i mpor t ant t abl eofbi zar r ef oods bi zar r et hr oughAmer i caneyes ; off as t ,l oudl anguagei nt er mi ngl edwi t hl aught er . J apan. I magest hatar eme. Thegl as snow i ns i s t ss omet hi ngel s e, ches t nuthai r ,yel l owbr owneyes ,hi ghnos e. . . Youar eCaucas i an. Ir oam t heexpans esandbr eat het hel i ber at edai r t hatr us t l est henei ghbor hoods t ar sands t r i pes . Ar omat i cChr i s t mast r ees ,ar us t i chome, unr es t r ai nedconver s at i ons — anopennes st hatmeansAmer i ca andme. Ias kt hegl as s , Whymus tIchoos e? Buti twasonl ygl as s . Onl ygl as s ,decept i vel ys moot h,andi gnor antof pos s i bi l i t i es . 32


Ir es pondt oi t ss i l ence, I ti snotmyappear ancet hatmat t er s ,butt he exper i enceswi t hi n. Theover whel medgl as ss hat t er s ,i t ss har ds col l i di ng,bl endi ng t hef as t ,l oudl anguageandl i ber at edai r : anecl ect i cf us i ont hats t r engt henswor l ds andchar gesi deas . Cl os i ngmyeyes ,Is ear chmypas t mypr es ent myf ut ur e andf i ndmyi dent i t y. Iam nots i mpl yJ apanes enorpur el yAmer i can; Iam i nt r i cat el ybot h.

megumi demond

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cindy park


“Fr amed”

eun hee kwon

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Par ous i a anonymous

Thel ockchi mesaf ami l i argr eet i ngast hedoors wi ngs open.Soonaf t er ,i ts hutwi t hanequal l yf ami l i art hud. Looki ngatbot t om r i ghtcor nerofhi sl apt op,J os hs eesi t wast i mef ort hepr omi s edr et ur nofhi sdear ,exi l edf r i end. Heput sas i dehi scomput er ,t os s esdownhi sbook,andr i s es outoft hecor nerofhi sbedt hathef avor s .Ani nqui s i t i ve l ookt owar dt hecommonr oom r eveal st hedef i ni t i veout l i ne ofManuel . “Hey,you’ r eback! ”J os handManuels t epi nt oan embr ace,compl et ewi t hpat sont hebackt oconf i r m each ot her ’ shet er os exual i t y.Whi l et hemundane“l ongt i meno s ee, ”“how’ r eyoudoi ng, ”andot hers mal lt al kens ues , Manuelput sdownhi sduf f elbagandt akesof fhi scoat . Hear i ngt hecommot i oni nt heot her wi s equi etdor mr oom, Leobouncesoutofhi sr oom t ogr eetManuel .Thes ame het er os exualembr aceands mal lt al ki sr i t ual l yexchanged. Oncet hecer emonyi sover ,Leoas ksManuel : “Readyt ohavef unt hi sweekend?” Manueli mmedi at el yr es ponds ,“Yeahman,bi t ches bet t erber eady‘ caus et heMan’ sback! ”Heges t ur est ohi s bag,“Ievenboughts omes t uf ff r om home. ” J os hs mi l esandnodsal ong.Looki ngar ound,henot i ces : “Heyguys ,wher e’ sWal l y?” A muf f l edvoi cer i ngsf r om t her oom ont hef ars i de: “I ’ m her e,Ij us thavet ogett hi sdone,i t ’ sduei nanhour . ” Theguysl ookateachot her ,br eaki ngi nt ogi ggl es . “Thi ngsr eal l yhaven’ tchangedmuch,huh?”Manuels ays

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s aysj oki ngl y.HeandLeocont i nuet hei rconver s at i onabout al cohol ,gi r l s ,s exuali nnuendo,andot hermandat edt al k. J os h,bor edofs mi l i ngandnoddi ng,r et ur nst ohi sr oom and pi cksuphi sbookwhi l ef i r i ngupt hegameheneedst o f i ni s honhi scomput er .Thecomi ngofManueli squi t e s peci al :ever yonei sdoi ngexact l ywhatt heys houl dbe. A coupl et wi cedeadzombi esandbeheadedvampi r esl at er , J os hnot i cest her owdi nes soft hedor m hasr eachedpr eexi l e pr opor t i ons .Heonceagai nput sdownhi scomput er , r emovest heunt ouchedbookf r om hi sl ap,andr i s esoutof hi sf avor i t enookoft hebed.Hewal ksoutt ot hecommon r oom ands eesManuel ,Leo,andWal l ybr eaki ngoutt he s t as h.A qui ckgl anceathi sphones howsJ os hexact l ywhy: t heguyshadapar t yt ocat ch.J os ht akesas eatnextt ot he guys ,appr eci at i ngt hel evelofpr eexi l er owdi nes st hathas s i ncedi edout . Scor chedt hr oat s :r um,cheapvodka,gi nbecaus eonl yt hi ng.Under wor kedl i ver s .A det ai l eddes cr i pt i onof Angel a’ st i t s .Manuels wel l sands hi ver swi t hr es oundi ng mot i on.Ther e’ sabr owns mudgeonapr i s t i newal l ! Unaccept abl e!Thewal l ’ sf al l i ngi nt ot hes ky,man!Fl as hes ofyel l ow f l i ckert hr oughs wayi ngt r eesonadar k,wi ndl es s ni ght .Thewar mt hofcal l ous edhandswr apsar oundf r i endl y necks ,br i ngi ngt woandt wot oget her .Hungr yhandsand conf us edf eetpl ungei nt oas eaofdar knes s .Ther e’ smor e br ownont hef l oor ,Leo,i st hatdi r t ?Bi t sofyel l ow weave bet weenbl uesandpi nks ,whi t esandof f whi t es .Shar p el bowspus handpr od,s hovi ngands ear chi ng.Theguti s gr as pi ngatt het hr oat .A bur s tofai r !A s at i s f yi ngchi l l !The dar kbr ownt r eesmer gewi t hbl uegr eyconcr et easbr i ght r edst ur nwhi t es . Thel ockagai nchi mesaf ami l i argr eet i ngast hedoor s wi ngsopen.Soonaf t er ,i ts hut swi t hanequal l yf ami l i ar 37


t hud.Now s pi nwhi r l wi ndsofcol or ,eachcr as hi ngdowni n t hei rr es pect i ves pot s .J os hagai nl eaveshi sf avor i t ecor ner andj our neyst oManuel ,Leo,andWal l y.Leos eesJ os h, s t epst owar dhi m,andgr as pshi ss houl der swhi l el ooki ng deepl yi nt ohi seyes : “Hey,wr i t et hi sdown,I ’ vecoi nedt hi s :copbl ocked. Manuelgotcopbl ocked.Don’ tf or gett hat . ”J os handLeo bot ht ur nt oManuels i t t i ngatt hewoodent abl e.“Het al ked t oAngel aman,Angel a. " “Wai t ,Angel a?TheAngel a?” s wi ngsopen.Soonaf t er ,i ts hut swi t hanequal l yf ami l i ar t hud.Now s pi nwhi r l wi ndsofcol or ,eachcr as hi ngdowni n t hei rr es pect i ves pot s .J os hagai nl eaveshi sf avor i t ecor ner andj our neyst oManuel ,Leo,andWal l y.Leos eesJ os h, s t epst owar dhi m,andgr as pshi ss houl der swhi l el ooki ng deepl yi nt ohi seyes : “Hey,wr i t et hi sdown,I ’ vecoi nedt hi s :copbl ocked. Manuelgotcopbl ocked.Don’ tf or gett hat . ”J os handLeo bot ht ur nt oManuels i t t i ngatt hewoodent abl e.“Het al ked t oAngel aman,Angel a. " “Wai t ,Angel a?TheAngel a?” “Yeah,Angel a. ” “Hol ys hi t ,how’ di tgowi t hAngel a?” “Fucki ngAngel aman,f ucki ngAngel a! ” “Hewascopbl ockedman.Copbl ocked! ” “Okay,s er i ous l ywhatar eyout al ki ngabout ?”J os h f i nal l ybr eakst hecycl eofai ml es sexci t ement .Wal l ys peaks up: “Manuelal mos tgotar r es t ed. ” “What ?Whathappened?”excl ai medJ os h. Manuels i t supf r om hi ss t upor .“Thef ucki ngcops man,t heyj us tcamet ome.Theyf ucki nggoti nmyf aceal l l i ke‘ haveyoubeendr i nki ng’ands hi t . ”Hes t andsup, 38


br i ngi nghi spal msdownont ot het abl e.“Yoman,i t ’ s‘ caus e I ’ m br own.I ’ m br ownandI ’ mf r om t heBr onx.Weus edt o t hats hi tman.Fucki ngcopsmes s i ngwi t hyou‘ caus eyou br own. ” “Thatcan’ tbet heonl yr eas onr i ght ?Whatwas goi ngon?Wal l y?”J os ht ur nst oWal l y. “Idon’ tknow. ”Wal l ys t andsqui etands ober . Manuelcont i nues ,“Ever yone’ ss hi t t i ngonbr own peopl eman.Thatf ucki ngwhi t ebi t ch deant ookonel ookatme,wasl i ke‘ f ucki ngMexi can, ’and j us tf ucki ngki ckedmeout .I twas n’ t t hegr adesbul l s hi t ,i t ’ s‘ caus eI ’ m br own. ” Si l encewas hedovert her oom,t hes ame,eer i es i l ence t hati nf ect edt heai roft hedor m pos t exi l e. Manuel ,i nhi ss ur pr i s i ngcoher ence,angr i l y cont i nues :“Thi sonecoppoi nt edt oWal l y andcal l edhi m‘ t hatAs i anki d, ’j us t‘ t hatAs i anki d. ’ ” Leos t epsi n,t es t i ngt hewat er soft er r i t or yf or bi dden t ohi m:“Wel l ,i t ’ st heeas i es twayt o di s t i ngui s hbet weenusr i ght ?”Wal l ys t andsqui etands ober . “’ ThatAs i anki d. ’Thatcopcal l edWal l y‘ t hatAs i an ki d. ’Thatcopwasf ucki ngAs i andude.Hewasf ucki ng As i an. ”

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Thank you Th eCe n t e rf o rCe n t e r s Th eI n s t i t u eo fLi b e r a lAr t s Ou rAd v i s o r , De a nJ . J o s e p hBu r n s Lu c i l l aPa n Al lo fo u rs u b mi t t e r s Ou rr e a d e r s

asiam ‘13-’14 team Co Ed i t o r s i n Ch i e f

De n n i sMa , ' 1 4 Yo s h i k aWa s o n , ' 1 5 Ma n a g i n gEd i t o r Eu nHe eKwo n , ' 1 5 Vi s u a lAr t sEd i t o r Qu y e nNg u y e n , ' 1 6 La y o u t&De s i g nEd i t o r s Ry a nLe e , ' 1 6 Ci n d yPa r k , ' 1 7 Pr o s e&Po e t r yEd i t o r s Wi l lHwa n g , ' 1 5 Lo n gYa n g , ' 1 6 So c i a lMe d i aCh a i r Na t a l i eBl a r d o n y , ' 1 5

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Profile for ASIAM

ASIAM 2014  

Asian American literary magazine at Boston College

ASIAM 2014  

Asian American literary magazine at Boston College

Profile for bcasiam
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