Envisioning and Building a Stronger Asian/Asian American Community
vol. ix, i. 1
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VISIONS is a publication that highlights and celebrates the diversity of Brownâ€™s Asian/Asian American community. We are committed to being an open literary and artistic forum for Asian/Asian Americans, as well as other members of the university community, to freely express and address issues relating both to Asia and the Asian American experience. VISIONS further serves as a forum for issues that cannot find a voice in other campus publications. As a collaborative initiative, VISIONS attempts to strengthen and actively engage Brownâ€™s vibrant community of students, faculty, staff, and alumni, as well as the larger Providence community.
Letter From the Editors Fall 2007 Volume IX, Issue 1
Erin Frauenhofer ‘09
Karynn Ikeda ‘09
Soyoung Park ‘09
Clayton Kim ‘10
Saying goodbye is never easy, and for us—Soyoung, Karynn, and Erin—it’s almost impossible to believe this is our final semester as editors of VISIONS. This publication has meant so much to us these past few years, and for that reason, we wanted this semester’s theme to be special. We chose the phrase “Revolution: Realizing Our Roots” to highlight the important role VISIONS plays in transforming the Asian/Asian American community at Brown by giving a voice to Asian and Asian American students. Let’s start by looking at our roots. In 2000, Dean Kisa Takesue had a vision of creating a publication that would increase the awareness, visibility, and sense of community of Brown’s Asian/Asian American students. Thanks to Kisa’s untiring support, VISIONS has become a strong presence on campus, a place where Asian/Asian American students can explore and transform what it means to be Asian/Asian American in this country. We are so thankful to Kisa for making her dream a reality for all of us, and we dedicate this issue to her for believing in us all these years. As we pass the torch along to next semester’s editors—Clayton Kim (Art & Photography Editor), Sophia Lin (Layout Editor), and Eric Lee (Editor in Chief)—we look forward to seeing how VISIONS continues to revolutionize the community.
We also thank our contributors and staff members for their commitment to making this issue one of our strongest yet and for making our last semester with VISIONS such a meaningful experience. But most of all, we thank you for taking part in our mission of Envisioning and Building a Stronger Asian/Asian American Community. And now, we welcome you to enjoy the wonderful prose, poetry, artwork, and photography of VISIONS, Fall 2007! Love,
MANAGING EDITOR Soyoung Park ‘09
WRITERS Irene Chen ‘09 Erin Frauenhofer ‘09 Michael Frauenhofer ‘11 Masumi Hayashi-Smith ‘10 Kevin Huang ‘11 Eleanor Kim ‘11 Eric Lee ‘10 Yeppii Lee ‘11 Jessica Mar ‘08 Erin Morioka ‘08 Anthony Myint ‘09 Jessica Pan ‘11 Soyoung Park ‘09 Stacey Park ‘11 Corrie Tan ‘10 Star Wang ‘11 Alissa Yamazaki ‘08
EDITOR IN CHIEF Erin Frauenhofer ‘09 POETRY EDITOR Irene Chen ‘09 PROSE EDITOR Eric Lee ‘10 COPY EDITORS Maya Strushane ‘11, Yeppii Lee ‘11, Paul Mithun ‘08, Kipper Sanchez ‘09, Jilyn Chao ‘11, Star Wang ‘11, Corrie Tan ‘10, Stacey Park ‘11 ART & PHOTOGRAPHY EDITOR Clayton Kim ‘10 PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHERS Katrina Chu ‘10, Clayton Kim ‘10 STOCK PHOTOGRAPHERS Norris Hung ‘09, Karynn Ikeda ‘09, Clayton Kim ‘10, Michelle Nguyen ‘11 LAYOUT EDITOR Karynn Ikeda ‘09 ASSISTANT LAYOUT EDITOR Sophia Lin ‘10 Cover Designers Clayton Kim ‘10, Quynh-Giao Nguyen ‘10 PAGE NUMBER DESIGNER Michelle Nguyen ‘11 LAYOUT STAFF Jilyn Chao ‘11, Melanie Chow ‘11, Ho-hin Choy ‘10, Lisa Gomi ‘10, Norris Hung ‘09, Clayton Kim ‘10, Sonia Kim ‘11, Yeppii Lee ‘11, Michelle Nguyen ‘11, Stacey Park ‘11, Wendy Sekimura ‘11, Elaine Tamargo ‘11, Wudan Yan ‘11 Freshman Representative Yeppii Lee ‘11 Outreach Michael Frauenhofer ‘11 Publicity Melanie Chow ‘11, Wendy Sekimura ‘11 Webmasters Norris Hung ‘09, Yue Pang ‘11
A Very Special Thanks to The Third World Center Kisa Takesue, Associate Dean of Student Life Undergraduate Finance Board (UFB) ADVISOR Dean Kisa Takesue SPONSORED BY The Office of Student Life
ARTISTS/PHOTOGRAPHERS Amy Chang ‘08 EJ Eojin Chung ‘11 Daniel Deisley ‘11 Pik-Shuen Fung ‘09 Siqing He ‘08 Karynn Ikeda ‘09 Katharine Joo ‘09 Janice Kim ‘09 Erin Morioka ‘08 Sonia Nayak ‘08 Michelle Nguyen ‘11 Tai Ho Shin ‘09 Kam Sripada ‘09 Jeanne Tong ‘10 Ngoc Tran Vu ‘10 Angela Wong ‘09 K. Zafra ‘08
Corrections VISIONS would like to acknowledge the following corrections to its previous issue (vol. ix, i. 1) The closing sentences of Tao Rugkhapan’s “Of Coffee and Man” on page 45 should read, “I hear the buzzing and the wirring of a throaty whoose of intimate wordplay. I can’t tell what colour these sounds make, but I like the familiar smell of coffee and sunwashed linen that the room lets loose.” Please email any corrections to the current issue to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Table of Contents Prose Tibet on Wheels Corrie Tan Witty Title Tony Myint Generations Eric Lee The True Meaning of FOB Stacey Park Simple Like Birds Michael Frauenhofer More Korean? Yeppii Lee Are You Angry Yet??: A Word on the Complacency of Koreans at Brown Soyoung Park “We Have the Hall, Get on the Ball!” Jessica Mar Intersecting Lines Masumi Hayashi-Smith Smile Jessica Pan August 6, 2006 Allisa Yamazaki Poetry Seeds Erin Frauenhofer Song of Myself Star Wong Of Ramen and Reason Kevin Huang A Stranger at Home in Tokyo Eleanor Kim Post-it Notes Irene Chen Kyoto Nights Erin Morioka
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4 12 20 24 32 46
Art & Photography Irresolution Joshua Tropp Untitled Corrie Tan Untitled Corrie Tan Untitled Corrie Tan Giant Robot Erin Morioka Syrianna Hong Chau Uighur Children Amy Chang Vulnerability Pik-Shuen Fung Looking Forward Janice Kim Grandmother Jeanne Tong Leaf Kam Sripada Not a Girl Not Yet a Woman EJ Eojin Chung Broken Dreams Siqing He Castles Drenched in Pink Michelle Nguyen Tsingtao Karynn Ikeda Poem Catharine Joo Smoke at Sunset Daniel Deisley Construction, Uttaranchal Kam Sripada Makar Sanranti - The Good in Mumba Kurla, Mumbai, India Sonia Nayak Untitled Tai Ho Shin Untitled Amy Chang In Cuba Ngoc Tran Vu Back Home K. Zafra Fly Angela Wong At the Edge of My Affection Michelle Nguyen Byodoin at Sunset Erin Morioka
4 5 5 6 8 11 13 14 16 18 21 24 25 26 27 28 32 36 39 40 40 40 44 47 48 48
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The algae lounges across the shoulders of the pond, who sits heavily. You wait for me to speak.
One duck drifts in the other direction. Still, you wait.
But the pond wears her green coat without a shrug and whispers nothing.
They licked each grain until its coat burst echoes upon their tongues and the stem extended from stomach to sky.
Say these words, the words our mothers breathed.
You like the rows of bubbles, but I like the backward duck, hesitate to break consonants with clumsy teeth.
A parade of ducks with round brown bodies like buttons draws lines of bubbles in the algae fabric.
Irresolution Joshua Tropp Digital Photography
Once upon a time, syllables dropped from the sun like seeds onto our mothers’ lips.
Say these words. The pond pauses, while your lips plant these words on my lips and wait for them to grow. ERIN FRAUENHOFER ‘09 loves you.
Revolution: Realizing Our Roots
Corrie Tan Digital Photograph
Tibet on Wheels
For Jamdü. Whose name we mutilated because we could never pronounce it correctly in Tibetan. (We called him Jandun.)
Corrie Tan Digital Photograph
We drove a lot. When we checked the odometer on the Landcruiser—which was still working, as compared to the fuel gauge, which wasn’t—we calculated that our driver had driven enough to circle the Earth three times. Not solely on our trip, of course, but it was an impressively long number. 5
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Sometimes we’d be driving three days in a row, spending eight hours on the road each time and watching Tibet slide by. Kelsang, our Tibetan guide, and Jamdü, our driver—they would perch on rocks in the shade while we chucked pebbles at self-declared targets (maybe a beer can or a tree) or chased yaks or went triggerhappy with our cameras. In Tibet you realize what quietness is: when you trudge a little far-
monasteries rising out of mist. In some ways the endless skies and mountains were true. But more than anything, Tibet seemed confused: a bustling border town would unfold into wilderness, tarred roads sometimes took the place of gravel (but not often), pockets of Tibetan siblings played against a backdrop of painted slogans that screamed STOP AT ONE CHILD. I also believed Tibet to have some of the
pean Union on the side.He was the only person who could store all our backpacks in the car in a reasonably neat fashion, and when the wires for the odometer came loose while he was driving, he could fix them with one hand on the steering wheel, one hand under the dashboard, and both eyes on the road. Whenever we pulled into a larger town, he cleaned every inch of the Landcruiser despite the fact that it would be
Their maroon robes streamed after them as they raced after this Unidentified Flying Object… ther away from the group, you can stand in the wind and hear nothing but nothing, the mountains watching you while you watch them. Jamdü gave me flowers once. We were both sitting in front of the Landcruiser to avoid the wind, leaning against the bumper and trying to talk across the language divide of Mandarin and Tibetan. There were these tiny flowers everywhere—they seemed to grow straight from the sand. Do you have these flowers at home? he asked, purplish blooms in his wrinkly fingers. His face rising into a smile.
When I was younger, my visions of Tibet were glorious ones. I imagined the ShangriLa on the Roof of the World to be comfortably rural, dotted with happy shepherds and yaks and
Corrie Tan Digital Photograph sanctity associated with its great height. Maybe they were closer to God. In Lhasa there were congested traffic and gaudy neon lights. Teenagers had spiky hair and too much denim. Bored tourists shuffled through monasteries that seemed to them exactly the same as the last.
We never uncovered much about Jamdü, even though he drove us everywhere in his precious 1975 Toyota Landcruiser for five weeks. But what we did know was that it was his baby. A white and gleaming baby, with a picture of the sacred Mount Kailash pasted on the window, and a puzzled sticker of the Euro-
drenched in dust and mud a few hours after we left. Roads thrilled him. He had been to every single part of Tibet accessible by road, and in all his 20 years of driving, had never had a single accident. A road accident is an ominous event in Tibet—a slip of the wheel and you could be plunging down a vertical 10,000-foot drop. He mapped the desert in his mind; you could see his eyes divining a path through sand and rock, circled by a backdrop of mountains that all looked the same. He found bone-rattling roads especially amusing. We would smack our heads on the roof of the car after a particularly nasty bump
Revolution: Realizing Our Roots
(and there were many), and there he was, his toothy grin plastered across the rear-view mirror as we let out collective yells of shock. He had the most infectious laugh ever—it sounded something like “HNGHNGHNGHNGHNGHNG,” and would invariably dissolve into a stream of excited Tibetan.
You can tell which stores are Tibetan by the traditional curtain draped across the doorway. It’s usually white, with an Endless Knot symbol embroidered in the centre. What you can’t tell is whether the store is a teahouse or a brothel. Usually we peered through the dusty windows to check—sultry women sitting in twos and threes? Or grandmothers gossiping over tea?
We stayed in a monastery after a two-day trek through a hilly area in Southern Tibet. Wherever we went we carried a luminous frisbee which was, to most people we met, the most amazing object they had ever seen. The monks who lived here were no different. They were in awe. Their maroon robes streamed after them as they raced after this Unidentified Flying Object, and a crowd of them would cheer whenever anyone caught it in a swirl of dust. Two of the older monks visited us in our room after. They stood respectfully in the doorway, slightly uncomfortable in the presence of so many foreigners, with a fistful of papers in their hands. There was a rapid exchange of Tibetan between them and our guide: they were trying to get Chinese passports for two fellow
monks who were legal refugees in Nepal, and were wondering if we could help. Sometimes the stories of refugees are painfully similar: they want to go to India, they smuggle themselves across the near impossibility of the Himalayan range, they get frostbite along the way, or perhaps they die, or perhaps they are arrested by Chinese border guards and put in jail.
That night is the first time Jamdü makes tsampa for us. From his tiny backpack he takes out a plastic bag full of ingredients: wheat grain, cheese curds, sugar. Tibetans love butter milk tea, a concoction that tastes nothing like tea, and more like melted butter. They can down jugs of it without flinching. With the precision of a chef, Jamdü pours everything—including the butter milk tea—into a plastic bag, and after mixing it, offers us the curious paste that most Tibetans live on. It has the texture of clay and smells of yak. We later learn that tsampa is usually made in a bag of sheepskin. But a plastic bag will suffice.
We were leaving Tibet for East Turkestan, another autonomous region in China that was just next door. They are neighbours who embrace each other, but who couldn’t be more different: Muslim and Buddhist, stocky and petite, confident and shy. If you glance at any photographs of Tibetans, they’re usually frozen in time, directing a panicked gaze at the camera. Arms stiff by their sides, lips flattened, a ramrod straight posture. Change unsettles them, and
their home has been changing—irrevocably and steadily as each year trots by. In a new environment they are wary, and in East Turkestan, Jamdü grips the wheel a little tighter. It is the first time he sees a camel. It’s a scrawny and bewildered wild camel wandering by the roadside, so depleted of water that its only hump is flopping over. His excitement is immense. He bursts into unintelligible Tibetan and bounces up and down.
The shabby bridge is under construction, and we are faced with an expanse of water at least twenty yards wide. Jamdü leaps out of the car to size up the situation. He squats by the water’s edge, measuring depth. Distance. Current. And then he is up and running back to us in his worn black blazer that is three sizes too big, jumping into the driver’s seat and revving up the engine. The Landcruiser wades into the water that reaches up to its waist. As we near the other side, he yells out the only English words he knows. YESSS!!! he shouts, OK!!! In the back seat, we cheer him on. CORRIE TAN ‘10 is wanderlust.
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Giant Robot Erin Morioka Digital Photograph
For a guy whose entire experience with babies amounts to nothing, I know my niece pretty darn well. I know that she has a sweet disposition. I know that she laughs when you rub her tummy. And I know that she craps at a rate disproportionate to her size. But for all the stuff I know, I have yet to see her with my own eyes. Since August, I’ve lived the life of an uncle vicariously through streaming
Revolution: Realizing Our Roots
video and facebook photos. About 10 gigs of my hard drive have now been consumed by a Natalie-chubby-wubby folder, the vast contents of which have begun to overload my Pentium processor. The existence of such a folder has not gone unnoticed by fellow dudes, who have taken this opportunity to cast doubt upon my masculinity, which would otherwise have been a golden example for all men alike. Thankfully, though, I’m not the only one who’s fallen for Natalie’s charms. My dad, my brother, and my brother-in-law are all smitten by her cuteness and come up with excuses to visit her in our home’s makeshift nursery–much to the displeasure of my overprotective sister, Emmie. It is a commonly known fact that female black bears are not aggressive by nature, but can become extremely violent when the safety of their cubs is threatened, going so far as to preemptively attack any potential threat. In the event of such an outburst, there are only two options for survival: either play dead, or blast the shit out of the bear with Mace. This warning was issued by the Yosemite Park Rangers with regard to black bears, but my dad is of the firm belief that it should be extended to my sister, too. On one occasion, Emmie–having just finished nursing Natalie—was taking a nap with the explicit request not to be bothered. I’ve never breastfed
a kid, and hope I’ll never have to; but I could relate to such a simple request. My dad, on the other hand, could not, and apparently broke the air conditioner in the nursery so that he could “come in and fix it.” with the explicit request not to be bothered. I’ve never breastfed a kid, and
y sister and I were born eleven years apart. When we were kids, my mom was employed fulltime as a dietician at Ventura Hospital, which is about an hour away from home. So Emmie would end up filling in my mom’s shoes. I was really lucky as a kid; Emmie was the
Emmie was the kind of second mom that every kid wished for. When you were sick, she would feed you candy. When yo broke furniture, she helped cover it up. When you punched her, she punched back. hope I’ll never have to; but I could relate to such a simple request. My dad, on the other hand, could not, and apparently broke the air conditioner in the nursery so that he could “come in and fix it.” To no one’s surprise, he spent more time playing with Natalie than with the AC-circuitry. According to my mom, at around 3 p.m., he could be seen fleeing the nursery, with tools from his kit hurtling past his head. To the casual observer, my sister may seem like a monster. This would not be far from the truth. Nevertheless, when it comes to taking care of Natalie, Emmie undergoes a subtle transformation from merciless matriarch to sweetest mom in the world—a fact that I can attest to.
kind of second mom that every kid wished for. When you were sick, she would feed you candy. When you broke furniture, she helped cover it up. When you punched her, she punched back. When I was old enough, the two of us would walk ten blocks to the local pharmacy, where they sold ice cream, baseball cards, and if we lucked out, the occasional pack of grape-flavored Big League Chew1. Em and I would lick the ends of a few pieces, then stick them on our faces and smugly twirl our purple musta1 Big League Chew was by far the best gum out there because it came shredded so you could tie knots with it. This doesn’t sound like the best rationale for liking a gum, but back then it beat the hell out of the other brand— that shitty Fruit Stripes gum with the zebra on it that lost its flavor 2 seconds after you started chewing.
VISIONS | Fall 2007
chios. The pharmacy also sold a rainbow of Jolly Rancher flavors. Back then, they still made Jolly Rancher sticks. Emmie, Albert, and I used to suck on the candies until they were sharp, then poke each other. By the time I was five, I had nurtured the deepest, unhealthiest passion for robots possible for a kid who didn’t even know what robots were. All I knew was that they were cool, and I wanted them. As soon as Emmie could drive, she took me downtown to a massive shopping
Emmie knelt down beside me and promised to buy me the one model I liked the most. This was more than my five-year-old mind could handle, and I did the only respectable thing anyone could do: I wet myself on the spot. Actually, that’s not entirely true. I slightly crapped myself on the spot—more a result of my lunch of cheese-its and mayonnaise than of my awe for Gundams (but given the circumstances, I would have crapped my pants anyway.) There were so many models to choose from.
I remember peering over the tabletop from Albert’s awe-inspiring, seemingly indestructible Gundam warrior to our shameful, very destructible pink mess. mall called Yohan Plaza, which happened to house the largest Gundam model store in L.A. The plaza itself was impressive, complete with its own arcade, Chuck-e-Cheese’s, and candy store—a little boy’s dream come true. I remember spotting the Gundam store from across the square, its radiant neon sign spelling out the word “Gundam” in big Japanese characters. Unfortunately, I couldn’t read Japanese. In fact, I couldn’t read at all, so I also missed the word “Gundam” spelled out in English right next to it. Luckily, the salesperson dressed up as a robot was a dead giveaway. With Emmie behind me, I entered the store carefully, as though the ground itself were sacred. Hundreds of models lined the shelves, each perfectly assembled, painted, and chromed to a shine through hours and hours of finger-blistering, mind-numbing dedication.
Some had swords. Others had guns. Some had swords and guns. My mind buckled under the weight of a decision of such epic proportions. After an hour or so of deliberation, and with Emmie’s input, I finally settled on Gundam RX90, which was the only gender ambigious Gundam on account of his/her pink armor but exceptionally large gun. The second after the clerk handed us the box, we bolted out of the plaza and burnt rubber all the way home. As soon as we set foot out of the car, both of us sprinted to the kitchen table and ripped open the box, ready to breathe life into Gundam RX90. We spent several hours trying to decipher the discouragingly persnickety instructions, and it didn’t help that neither of us could read Kanji. When we finally managed to triumph over the forces of stupidity, Emmie and I sat back to admire the fruits of our labor: Gundam
RX-90 looked like a grand piece of crap. But the important thing was that we had finished building it, and that we had done it together. The next day, my twelve-year-old brother came home, laughed at the model, laughed at both of us, and then busted out his own Gundam warrior, whose lustrous black armor shone more brilliantly than that of our flimsy pink robot. I remember peering over the tabletop from Albert’s awe-inspiring, seemingly indestructible Gundam warrior to our shameful, very destructible pink mess. Humiliated by my brother’s caustic cacophony and frustrated by my own ineptitude, I threw the pink robot to the ground and stomped off to my room. In retrospect, I wish I had considered my sister’s feelings before crushing Gundam RX-90, that way I wouldn’t have felt so guilty about smashing it later. But as I said, I was a really lucky kid. Emmie, who was more concerned about me than she was about the model, snuck into my room to check up on me, only to find a sullen, grouchy kid thrashing his pillow. Having faced this dire situation many times before, she turned to the only solution she knew—tickle torture—and proceeded to tickle me until my sides almost burst from laughter. When I finally calmed down, she stepped quickly out of the room, returning moments later with something in her hands: a stuffed Thumper bunny that she had gotten from one of her boyfriends. I’m not sure why she chose to reward my tantrum with kindness, or why she even felt like I deserved it, because if I had been in her shoes I would have slapped myself and told me to man the fuck up. But she chose to
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forgive me and gave me Thumper, who I have held onto since. He currently guards my desk at home.
n August 12 at about 3:00 London time, I got a phone call from my dad telling me that my sister had given birth to a healthy baby girl. As soon as I heard those words, I headed straight out the door to the Disney Store in Trumpington Square, Cambridge (England, not Massachusetts). I entered the festively decorated establishment and hunted around for the stuffed animal section, only to find myself in the little princess section, where more than a few mothers shot dirty glances in my direction before shuffling their kids away from me. After a few more minutes of poking around, I finally found what I was looking for: a Thumper stuffed animal. After fighting off a super-aggressive mom of two, I bought Thumper and ran over to the Royal Mail Office, where I wrapped and express mailed that rascally rabbit home. The whole caboodle cost me about a hundred bucks, but it was worth the satisfaction. In a sense, I had reciprocated the kindness that my sister had shown me fifteen years ago by passing it on to her daughter. About a week later, my sister called and said that the package had arrived, and that Natalie had accidentally pooped on my rabbit. I figure that’s just fate’s way of slapping me in the face for trying to use cheesy symbolism to buy off my obligations as an uncle.
Syrianna Hong Chau 35mm Black & White Film
TONY MYINT ‘09 is a soldier of love.
VISIONS | Fall 2007
Song of Myselfâ€ƒ
Sing in me, muse, and through me tell the story of a girl born amid quiet shadows and cottony warmth, Who takes ample time in contemplation of free thought and abstract personal epiphany, Who has willingly lost herself in brilliant rich complexities of the natural world, Who falls logically from her physical roots but searches still for her soulâ€™s future, Who speaks now to an audience of easy listeners, taking some liberties and some external identities, designed to better communicate herself to you.
My roots are entangled in a myriad of hard and soft spaces, an effusion of life made of sound, symphony, the steam of car engines and the smell of neon, The memories fringed and faded and no longer fitting together nevertheless there is no doubt even now this city is electric, It burns poisonous and addictive, triumphant in my soul where oftentimes whimsy is but a breath of dust blown into the darkness of the goodnight wind, forgotten, Mislaid sometime between my birth and my reincarnation Softer are the thatched roofs of small people, Quieter are lives lived among grasses and rice paddies in a country scene etched in charcoal and cinders, Hot kitchen and wild grapes, a dirt floor the foundation of generations of struggle and sweat, The rice harvest comes along with leeches and new cloth shoes, and through rose-colored sunglasses I hide my face, I have never sunk my feet into the warm muddy waters, the grainy soot of my dereliction.
Revolution: Realizing Our Roots
I am what I keep around me, Cluttered squares of objects kept in an ivory snuffbox with an antique dusty lock, the only protection of my childhood against wolves, I am books and songs flashing with the iridescent wonder of childhood, I am on ice caps tilting and swirling black waters with the patterns of my feet, I am alone in the musky attic shut away from rich little girls in lace dresses, missing my father, and Africa, I live in the little house that looks like a shoe, with children popping out of countless windows even though really it’s just my parents and I, who try to make our own small adventures on the white linoleum kitchen floor, I am drunk on lemon ice-pops, dizzy in the dusky streetlights with the freedom of naïveté as I whirl endless rings with my candy-striped hula hoop, I whisper behind closed fingers and graceful giggles slip through narrow cracks of teeth crooked and free, I ride the concrete hills of suburbia having almost forgotten that there is something more, I swirl the thick air with fingers and hair, dancing to a song I can almost hear, but only because it started within me, I close my eyes for a moment and savor the sweet breath of summer night before I am forced to grow.
Uighur Children Amy Chang Digital Photograph
I know well that the love I want will spoil me like a dirty urchin child flailing and grasping at you with greedy hands, I care not, for the paramount indulgence of my life approaches, and it is love in floods and excess I am a bridge between the has been and the forever to be, Poor and unsteady as I may be, and unfit for anyone to cross, perhaps then I serve as a bridge for myself to see and grow out of my infantine cravings, To relinquish childish needs, to give up the click-whirr of the mechanism that grants wishes in the dark shoddy corners of a baby’s life, And so I contradict myself.
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Vulnerability Pik-Shuen Fung Oil on Canvas
I used to sit on scrubby grass nearby tomato vines drooping ripe red bulbs in a tiny backyard garden, and sing to the stars, I used to wander twilight streets with hands cupped holding green gleaming seashells, hungry for adventure, I used to stalk the stoops of neighbors, waiting for friends to share my little pony picnics, I used to sell homemade necklaces of juicy jawbreaker beads for fifty cents, and hope that I could stay in business until dinnertime at least, I used to laugh suddenly and loudly, sixty-eight full decibels of surprised shattering laughter that would linger for hours on my face even after it was over, I used to read, and write, in idle hours pushing sleep later and later, stories about ships and blue dolphins and warm Egyptian sunsets, I used to play card games with my grandmother, who was young for her age but old for mine and wore knitted slippers, slippers sliding and clapping across the living room floor, I used to cry through glass walls at airports when they missed home too much to stay, Now I buy phone cards long distance to China and talk holes into the ceiling late at night while she boils eggs enough for all her sons and daughters, I read about war and politics and write about everything except war and politics, I laugh properly with feet firmly on the ground, I’ve given up dreams of candy colored merchandise, and wait outside no one’s door to share peanut butter sandwiches, I still sit on scrubby grass behind my house, alone in a two-person hammock, and look to the sky.
Revolution: Realizing Our Roots
If I worship any particular thing it shall be the something that is the spark of creation, Confidence in inspiration that gives form and thought to wet sheets of pink satin it shall be you, Unshakable faith holding fast those quivering in insecurity it shall be you, Chemical and hormonal imbalances that chase me nearly to the gaping mouth of insanity it shall be you, Jagged beds of mossy stones where the poet goes to contemplate her existence it shall be you, You intangible silver threads of thought that plague my pillow it shall be you, Fierce green waves that sweep the ground out from underneath us leaving the lacy foam of nostalgia and our reawakening it shall be you, Beaded and whiskered tracks of infinite wisdom that guide me always back to myself, it shall be you, Wakeful mind storming through tradition to shake and break the foundations of history, it shall be you, It shall be you, you desperate crying love letters, And when I love beyond the limitations of my earthly frame and break before the judges in lofty skies, I shall worship my soul that holds that raw naked fervor.
I weave a creation myth of self, trudging through the dunes of the sierra, searching for a hint of divine knowledge, I throw my head up at the apex of each hill, and crouch low in valleys searching for a glint of pink glass or obscure clue as to my destination, Tasting pitted wind and somehow the saline honey of seawater, I walk on, Somewhere at the delusive end of the journey lay ten goldspun commandments of being, Or maybe I missed them somewhere near the beginning.
In poems and in life and in artful caprice the nature of the world reveals itself in all its favoritism and intolerance, The painter cannot apply a steady brush without scathing doubt crowding the eye, The dancer may find fault in every corner of her pensive craft, She wavers doubtful like the one in ponytails who comes in early and stretches her tights and her waist to the breaking point in an attempt to please Madameâ€™s fickle eye, The quitter who walks in dirty sneakers, she lingers last at the water cooler between sets, her own brackish tears of remorse mingling with the contents of her cup, The one who is constantly adjusting herself in front of the mirror that spans the room, if she stands in just the right panel, she sees herself quadrupled, and her flaws, Madame herself, with her ethereal build and perfectly arched feet, leaps weightless out of our reach The perfect one flies, she escapes, And I take care not to tread on little feet.
In a world of black and white and hard mahogany edges my sanctuary cloaks itself in blue velvet and determination, Prevents a fall to the ground and asphyxiation by crumbling soil, Softens the frame of thick character and provides elevation by lyrical melody ablaze and shooting off the square boundaries of authoritative ivory chords, When massive architecture holds labyrinthine machinery controlled by eighty-eight deftly crafted fingers I hold my breath for rioting contention, But witness only synergetic harmonium… Such that my internal machinery learns to give way to musical murmurs of the heart.
I live in Kafka’s Amerika, alluring cruel and beautifully disorienting place it may be, It houses well the restless spirit, as sometimes I find comfort in uncertainty, I live in oriental America, I feel the tug of heartstrings in an ancient place far away in time where My fighters for freedom fought and died seven thousand miles away, worlds of differences away, decades of memories away, I am required by the hands of history to remember Renaissance culture and the revolutions of white religions, But I am required by the pangs of my own heart to remember Kuomingtang violence and Tiananmen Square, I live in female America, I embrace a history of women’s movements and white angel ladies on horses who die to convince male egoists that they do not own America, I live in Asian America, having held the hands of those who have eaten the bitterness of a suffocating social dogma, Who have been ostracized for being worlds apart from the era they were born in, resplendent in their disobedience and disinterest in hierarchical matters, Who have lost themselves in a foreign world of jarring colors and sounds when they were not yet ready to leave the family kitchen, Who guide my path to revelation as they continue to blindly feel their way down their own, I live in the memory of the hardships of generations of women before me, and I am better for their patronage, I take my own advice and live the experience of others, And so I live in America, young and old America, black, white, red America, Indian America, crippled America, great White House America, America of the poor and destitute and the gorgeously endowed, America of opportunity, America of dreams.
Looking Forward Janice Kim Digital Photograph
VISIONS | Fall 2007
Revolution: Realizing Our Roots
The sky is aloft with the ambitions of millions, A generation of brilliance holds its breath and waits for tempestuous winds to pass, Crouching low creeping, but wait and feel soon the implosion, Hands raised high above heads and we dream that our dreams will make us rich, We drown in the turgid waters of unbreathable competition, But we are not to be pacified, Our textbook lives far outreach any fulfillment you can offer us in form of letter, lock, or love, We can’t stop, we can’t give up our steaming passion lattes late nights and early mornings we stretch our eyelids open and awake to be sure of an edge, With bitter coffee our vice and bitter hearts our corruption angry when we are sad and angry when we are happy, And angry when we lay ourselves out on a sheet of white paper justice that may lead down two tunnels of equal despair and echoing groans of remorse, In this state of strained and feigned pleasantry we find contentment.
Oh, earth of untapped knowledge! Earth that holds volumes of secret wisdom that is grudgingly allotted to humans in small portions of enlightenment, Earth made of mind and body and spirit and producing mind and body and spirit, Earth that gives under pressure of our insensate wantings and beliefs, allowing our mistakes to fill up experience, Earth, we are part of each other and I worship you, as I find miracles within myself, I have found miracles in the diagram of my physical body and the permeability of my mind and the celebration within my spirit, I walk quickly and slowly and carry with me always a penchant for the trials and glories of candid living and existential freedom.
I take my place in the world with intrepid willpower, I effuse hues of grace and grimace and a combination of discordant thoughts which through intricate threading and knotting constitute my innate opus, In some radical epiphany I have realized that there is fault in things other than myself, That all work other than the weavings of nature is innately human and prone to criticism, That I can assert myself in the faces of others in pure postulation of self, regardless of accuracy and perception, I assume only myself and the constancy of my own being, I take not liberty or libation in the judgment of men and women, though impulsive vision is faster at approximation and makes its own conclusions, I am decidedly my own individual, free-thinking, indulgent, and open to suggestion, Loosed to air to make my own path in clouds with a south wind tilting my consciousness so slightly at an angle, keeping me mobile.
open fields of crystal dreams On swings and by wings I enter the sky feet first and whisper goodbye to vulnerability and youthful caprice as I take my place among the stars.
STAR WANG ‘11 misses the bicycle rickshaws in Yancheng.
VISIONS | Fall 2007
Grandmother Jeanne Tong Digital Photograph
I really like meat. I am an equal-opportunity meat eater. Chicken, beef, pork…I do not discriminate. I even like those veggie burgers sometimes; they remind me of meat. I also eat a significant amount of potatoes, whether in baked, mashed, or French fried form. I actually enjoy potatoes as a nice, small side dish to my apparently large portions of varied meats. My father, on the other hand, enjoyed potatoes more as a means of staving off death from starvation. My father could actually count on his hands the number of occasions he had meat to eat when he was growing up. All he had was a bit of rice and potatoes. As farmers in the rural countryside of Southern China during one of the most chaotic periods in its history, he and the rest of my extended family endured the pangs of hunger and many other hardships that I can barely even imagine. My father belongs to a generation lost in the Cultural Revolution. A decade of chaos had enveloped the nation. Mao’s Great Leap Forward had failed and left millions suffering or dead from famine. Yet, it wasn’t the hunger of that period that most disturbed my father, but rather the disruption of his education. That decade of disorder completely overlapped with all the years of his schooling or what would have been his years of schooling. Excelling enough to attend school in the nearby city, my father was disappointed to find that the curriculum consisted of little more than quotations from Mao’s
Revolution: Realizing Our Roots
Little Red Book. He spent increasingly more time in the fields than in class. Eventually, Mao condemned academics altogether and essentially disassembled the educational system of an entire country, ensuring that the effects of that decade would be felt for decades more to come. Schools and universities were shut down, and books were burned. Teachers and intellectuals were persecuted, and students were sent to la-
I can still feel the rippling effects of a revolution that happened on the other side of the world almost half a century ago. Today, I carry the task of realizing the dreams of my father. bor in the countryside. The university entrance exams were cancelled. This was the world in which my father came of age. As history unfolded around him, his dreams of a university education crumbled. Today, on the other side of the world over four decades later, my father is one of the smartest men I know. On the surface, the difference in our educational backgrounds is markedly obvious, but the difference is very misleading. I still can only aspire to match his intellectual curiosity and his steadfast pursuit of knowledge. He does not describe to me in great length what
his life was like during that tumultuous period in history, but sometimes I can discern hints of the difficulties he faced. In a bookstore, he once told me about a book on Chinese history that he read as a young teenager. When I asked him what he did with the book, he looked at me with a calm expression full of strength. “I burned it afterwards. It was not safe to have something like that around,” he told me. He did not say it in a tone of defeat, but one of perseverance. Now, whenever I go home from my Ivy League university with my backpack filled with textbooks and works of literature, I make sure to get some sleep on the four-hour bus ride back because I know I will be up late that night. At around midnight, my father will come home from work after a long day of delivering takeout orders for a Chinese restaurant. Then, we will sit down and eat a late dinner, which now always includes dishes from most of the essential food groups including my favorite, and we will be up for the next few hours talking about current affairs, politics, and countless other topics that my father knows a surprisingly great deal about. (I also realize now that, though we vote Democrat, my father is actually a secret Republican.) I can never complain when I’m up late in the library writing a paper or studying for a test because I realize now how much my father must have wished that he could have sat where I am
right now; a university student with boundless opportunities before him. Somehow, I can still feel the rippling effects of a revolution that happened on the other side of the world almost half a century ago. Today, I carry the task of realizing the dreams of my father. I only wish that he could experience it for himself. ERIC LEE ‘10 is mad gangster, son.
VISIONS | Fall 2007
Of Ramen and Reason
It is Saturday evening, a time for believing in the promise of sleeping in, For retrieving lingering memories of a week too quickly flown away, Each day spent weaving our way through an endless array of noodles. It is a time for reflection. It is a time for ramen. It is a time for not-so-common sense to renew direction to our questions and ponderings, Recollection of lost thoughts, long gone during our wanderings. It is a time to boil our fears in tap water tears and Watch the bubbles appear and then burst like our troubles; For such subtle scents of soup base to flow through our nostrils And sentiments that on Sunday morning, nothing will be impossible. Tonight is for pouring our stories and sights, the medley of madness, of pain and of plight, Of laughter and love, and after the stuff of the week has transpired, We pour packets of powder into the fire. Too tired for cooking, we cover containers and three minutes later, the meal is prepared. And there, neatly squared, cast in Styrofoam walls is all we require for breaking our fast. At last! The time has passed for paper and pencils. This is a time for plastic utensils. And when so many noodles drift in our minds, this bowl of ramen is all but divine. It’s mine to ensure that it’s stirred decently and ruminate on all that’s occurred recently. The purpose? To eat! To eat and devour our minutes and hours, mixed in with the spices as sweet and as sour For now we’re empowered; this moment’s release Allows us to cherish our own sense of peace; emotions at ease, we open the feast. And at least the noodles are warm, though our hearts may be cold. They fold and they tangle like tales left untold. While the world outside, in chaos and grandeur, endures relentless, disordered expansion In the temple of ramen, there are many mansions. Fashioned by methods of increased convenience And since the ingredients remain unfamiliar, ramen is like life—too much can kill you. Yet still to encourage reasoning in our souls, we must apply seasoning in our bowls. While breathing in odors so beautifully brief, leaving our lungs is a sigh of relief For joy and for grief, for doubt and belief, for all of our triumphs and all our defeats, Now is a time for rest; For life to enter the mouth and fall through the chest
Revolution: Realizing Our Roots
And rest in the stomach so we can digest; A time to address the transient conscience with which we so often lack correspondence, The nonsense that seems to govern existence embodied in ramen: like mortals, so instant. And since men are given such scarce little living, All who have wronged us are hereby forgiven. Tonight my friends, we make amends! The soup drains intestines of offense! And when such bowls are cleared of food, our mood is cleared— The world makes sense. Immensely blessed are we with this to believe in: Man’s two greatest gifts are ramen and reason. KEVIN HUANG ‘11 believes there’s a ramen-reason to the rush of day.
Leaf Kam Sripada Digital Photograph
VISIONS | Fall 2007
The True Meaning of FOB
“Dude, you are such a FOB. Hahaha!” His remark broke the dead silence that was pervading the classroom. A suppressed mocking laughter was soon issued from the crowd. And I, not exactly knowing what he meant, remained standing where I was. I carefully sorted through every word stored in my brain until I was absolutely sure I had never heard of “fob”. Feeling completely lost, I could only stare at the boy hoping for any clue. Maybe it would have been just fine if I had ended it there. However, with a sudden urge to sort this out myself, I dared to march up to him and ask, “What does fob mean? How do you spell it?” A moment of silence. Then, a burst of uncontrollable laughter. In a few minutes, what started within the small group of boys quickly
ated in front of the whole class or the fact that I could not come up with a brilliant comeback to that comment; what truly shocked me was the fact that Jason, the boy who had so generously endowed me with this stigma, was actually Korean just like me, and even shared my last name, Park! Never mind the fact that we both came from the same ancestors. Never mind that his eyes are just as chinky as mine, his nose just as flat as mine, his skin just as yellow as mine. To him, I was just an alien from a planet millions of miles away, a creature accidentally dropped onto this oh-so-grand American continent. He simply made it seem like FOB was some kind of foreign species that needed to be distinguished at all times. Although it was perfectly okay
I became more and more painfully aware of the stigma FOB practically engraved on my forehead, the indelible mark that instantly imposed a barrier between me and other Korean Americans. spread to the entire class. I could only helplessly watch them as they were banging their fists on the desks, repeating my question over and over. This scene marked my very first day of school in America. It was not until a few days later that I learned that FOB was an acronym for Fresh Off the Boat, a term coined by Americans to poke fun at “fresh” immigrants. However, what frustrated me the most was not the fact that I was humili-
for Koreans who were born in the States to be called Korean Americans, immigrants had to be constantly reminded of their true origins by a special acronym. And, to my dismay, there were many more Jasons in the school than I had ever imagined. As my new school life in America rolled on, I became more and more painfully aware of the stigma FOB practically engraved on my forehead, the indelible mark that instantly im-
posed a barrier between me and other Korean Americans. The more I tried to fit in the group, the more I realized felt like I was neither first nor second generation: I was too much of a Korean to those Americanized Koreans born here, yet I was too much of a “Yankee” to my Korean friends back in Korea. I was, if such a thing existed, “Generation 1.5.” Nevertheless, watching the two polarized types of Koreans over the years, I realized they were also suffering from their own crises. I observed how common it was to find Korean Americans struggling to find their identity. While they were masters at memorizing American celebrities’ entire profiles, they struggled to pronounce their grandparents’ names. While they were perfectly eloquent in debating in class, something that I had always envied them for, they simply could not achieve more than ten minutes of serious conversation with their parents, not only because of the language barrier, but also due to drastic differences in their value systems. Many of them confessed to me how frustrating it was to look like a Korean outside while filled with American values, culture, and pride inside. On the other side of the spectrum are my old Korean friends who have spent all their lives in Korea. Whereas they have a solid sense of identity, they often complain about being confined to only one culture, without an opportunity to experience “the bigger world”, an experience
Revolution: Realizing Our Roots
that is necessary for them to step up to the global stage. Countless students in Korea spend (or waste) thousands of dollars a month just to have a one-hour conversation with a native English speaker. When I visited Korea last summer to
accents. My tongue is an interesting mixture of tastes, with both kimchi and pizza. I am as excited by Korean superstars as I am by American idols. It is the ambiguity within myself that also yields distinction to my identity. With knowl-
I began to view myself not as an ugly stone stuck between two enormous cliffs but as more of an essential bridge connecting the inevitable rift between the two generations. reunite with my old friends, I was surprised to find how much they envied me for the opportunity to study in the States. For most of them, America was just a far, far away kingdom that they could only learn about from TV and the Internet. With these discoveries over the years, I have managed to find my niche as a FOB in America. And to my surprise, in the process, I began to view myself not as an ugly stone stuck between two enormous cliffs but as more of an essential bridge connecting the inevitable rift between the two generations. Although I might not fully belong to either, I am privileged with components of both generations. While maintainin my Korean base firmly in my roots, I am also constantly shaped and molded by the foreign influences that abound in America. Now whenever I hear the word FOB, I feel a surge of pride within myself. My English is not as boring as typical English speakers’, for it is slightly spiced up with my unique Korean
edge and experience from both countries, I can play the role of bridging the gap between two generations, the daunting challenge that Koreans are facing in this period of massive immigration. To me, FOB is no longer an acronym for “Fresh Off the Boat”; it can instead stand for “Fulfilling Of Both,” the duty I carry as a part of the proud Generation 1.5. STACEY PARK ‘11 is craving kimchi pizza at this moment.
VISIONS | Fall 2007
A Stranger at Home in Tokyo
Not a Girl Not Yet a Woman EJ Eojin Chung Digital Photograph
A bug cries like a whining child Meh. Meh. Meh. Streets still wet from the summer rain Black, glistening, slick Car oils, cleanly uniquely, car oils. She stands at the narrow corner, Watching the people by. Bald, black-suited ants One-dimensionally crawling underneath Hidden under umbrellas but Moist from the sweat: a hot, brisk walk, Moist from the condensation: the thick, scentless air. She stands at the narrow corner, The monochrome ants pretend to ignore Her radiant silk A cocoon of color Her pale face Her small lips A black eye.
ELEANOR KIM ‘11 loves taking showers.
Revolution: Realizing Our Roots
Simple Like Birds
She just looked at the ground while I wiped the last tears from the corners of my eyes. Near the big windowed mouth of the subway station the punks were fighting, sprawled like always in a clearly-defined black clump on the sidewalk squares. One of them lifted his head up to spit, but he blinked unhappily
Broken Dreams Siqing He Digital Photograph
VISIONS | Fall 2007
Castles Drenched in Pink Michelle Nguyen Digital Photograph and just looked right back down, letting it swing out in slow-moving arcs from his thin open lips. His girlfriend was resting motionless on his arm, her state of consciousness unclear. Five feet away two of their own were preparing for battle. The short man was stocky, built in pale blocks of clay like a stumpy little doll, a good foot or two down his opponent. When the tall man slipped out of his shirt the sun lit up the sweat on his back, smooth and tan and wet like the back of a lover. They danced lightly from foot to foot, short man sweating in droplets blinked and rubbed, tall man coated in shine, their chains jingling and dangling and singing them modern-day shamans. “You little bitch!” barked the tall man, whipping his head and making a frenzy of the thin hair by the back of his neck; his voice was slurred by no drink at 11 a.m. but by a habit of drinking. They were like magnets, awkwardly shaped, spinning and clattering in their instant of collision. Their twisting bodies made loud silences and their fists popped quiet noises as they struggled just outside the T terminal, the unstaged drama of summer stillness with no causes or repercussions to be gradually teased out. The sun grew punks like bacteria from the pavement, and they satsleptlovedlaughedsmokedfuckedfought and then passed back into it. Mellow undrama, rendered in the heat for the camera eyes of a hundred forgetting pedestrians from twice as many angles of varying veracity. His hair flew up his hair flew down his knuckles are big his fists are flying his fists
are hard and soft now watch his cheekbones cheeks jiggle hear it crack crack crack, the details all canceled out and the digits that were left carried over. Tall hit short’s jaw short grabbed tall’s middle hit him with his body and short tall grappled now tall swung arms loose several times barely hit short short too close in to tall’s body tall went down on one knee short too to keep on hitting tall twisted short’s neck headlock short screamed kneed tall’s balls and then they both stood up and laughed and made like friends. When they rejoined their former company it was as if nothing had passed and they disappeared instantly in the huddle, featureless. Businessman, student, passerby, punk. The audience can draw no further distinctions because the roles have been typecast with cycling stock faces; definition is impossible. Case study: boy, red-faced, punk, blonde buzz cut, a Harvard Square regular with a “WALKING TO GEORGIA” sign. The coins in his canister gathering and diminishing with the tides and the twists of his combat boot laces but he takes no steps closer to Georgia. Case study: the grumbly old man with the ache in his back and the belt and the pot and pot belly, his beard coming in all patchy and his eyes squinting. The words that he mumbles so no one can hear when he walks in the sun every day. Case study: the chipper ruddy boy in the Men’s Wearhouse suit in the Starbucks every morning. His briefcase which is always with him but never open, probably because he is on break, but for all I know he could be homeless. Case study: it is not only that I do not know their names but that if they
Revolution: Realizing Our Roots
all switched clothes postures and skin tones one day I don’t know if I’d notice, so maybe they do. Case study: the meaningless battle? It was a disturbance, yes. But disturbances were accounted for within the system, they must have been, because twenty feet and forty-eight seconds away it was being repeated by pigeons. They were gray and white patchy like film noir fried eggs as they battled for the dissembled muffin, its crumbs spread radially like a set of polar axes on the ground. They danced and pecked at each other at crumbs and they all blurred together, for the reason that (rubber band, water bottle, lily flower, dusty tome, muffin top, cellular phone, compact disc, the mind can only hold seven thoughts at once they say and so by the eighth clause of these parentheses the parent thesis is already pushed to its back) for the reason that I was not focused on them and so my mind drew them discursively, pigeon pigeon crumb pigeon pigeon pigeon crumb crumb pigeon, invisible action lines like in a sketching class, peck peck shuffle peck peck peck. They were indistinguishably bird. Businessman, student, passerby, punk, bird. Bird. I have always wanted to be a bird. Sitting still as stone and stone-faced in a room of stoned Andrew Bird listeners, spin I Am a Bird Now, wings cut stripped shit and tied down with stones. Sitting all alone at home collaging poetry to records by the Bird, hear brassaxophone sternum shape columns of air into flight, soaring looping and trills and squealed feathers. Flipping the bird at pretty birds so we could maybe nest together. Watching the blessed void
of black unthinking in each beady eye, wishing I were a whirring machine of animal instincts – are birds ever sad? Feeling cheated because I never have flying dreams. “Do you want to keep walking now?” she asked and I tried to disguise the redness of my eyes, not from you because you watched my whole cry but from the infinite domain of strangers of which my eyes would only ever plot a bounded interval. From where we were sitting I could see the fat pigeons finishing off the muffin’s last, and I swallowed the rock in my throat. “How do you always find me when I’m like this?” Sonia smiled and put her hand on my shoulder. “It’s okay.” That didn’t answer my question but I guess I just felt like no answers. I twisted my feet on the dirty cement; we watched as the pigeons stressed into the sky. They left one behind, still scanning ground for food particles. When they beat out of sight he looked up with his head twitching side to side. He was stuck at an impasse. “It must be sad to be alone,” I said. “Yeah,” she said. Businessman, student, passerby, punk, boy, girl, pigeon, muffin, lonely, bird. MICHAEL FRAUENHOFER ‘11 finds ugly cats kill yams, over under, if no time has even asked, silly sweet.
Tsingtao Karynn Ikeda Digital Photograph
VISIONS | Fall 2007
What makes you more Korean than me? Because my chopsticks cross when I eat? Because I’ve spent more time in the Continental US than in the Korean Motherland? Because my passport says American Citizen, born and raised? Why do the hyphen and the American make me less Korean? I eat the same food. I speak the same language. Granted, it’s not perfect, but it’s still Korean. I watch the same bad dramas and can predict the same cheesy endings. My last name is just as short and just as common as yours. My family’s holidays are just as traditional as yours. I was raised with the same customs and ways. I might even have been raised with more of them than you. How can you quantify how Korean I am? What makes you more Korean than me?
Poem Katharine Joo Collage
Korean-American. Just as Korean as just Korean. YEPPII LEE ‘11 is missing her dog and writing lists.
Poem Catharine Joo Collage
Revolution: Realizing Our Roots
Are You Angry Yet??: A Word on the Complacency of Koreans at Brown In a time when 15% of South Korea’s population (seven million people) is living below the poverty line1, we, Korean students at Brown, are swimming through the glorified sea of an Ivy League education. While 13 million North Koreans suffer daily from chronic malnutrition that impairs their physical and mental development2, we, with already-underweight figures, obsess over the fear of a Ratty-induced “freshman fifteen.” Every year, about 4,000 to 5,000 South Korean children are placed into orphanages, and only 1,000 become adopted3; yet we complain about petty fights with our parents that arise because they don’t understand us, failing to recognize the privilege of even having a family. While one in every six Koreans in America have undocumented immigrant status and are thus subject to exploitation and abuse in the workplace4, we are obsessed with our de1 Lee, B.J. 2006. “A Social ‘Time Bomb.’” Newsweek International, January 23. Retrieved October 12, 2007. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10854742/site/newsweek/. 2 Lobe, Jim. 2004. “North Korea Executing Starving People for Stealing Food.” Antiwar.com, January 22, 2004. Retrieved October 12, 2007. http://antiwar.com/ lobe/?articleid=1752. 3 Yun, Yong-mi. 1997. “Korea Still Suffers From Image of Orphan Exporting Country.” The Korea Times, July 25. Retrieved October 12, 2007. http://www.korealink.co.kr/ times/times.htm. 4 NAKASEC. 2005. “Korean Americans and Comprehensive Immigration Reform.” Los Angeles, CA: NAKASEC, Retrieved October 12, 2007. http://nakasec.org/ blog/633.
sires to propel the very Capitalist system that oppresses poor Koreans by becoming CEO’s of I-Banking firms. In spite of the existence of government corruption, a failing economy, and a volatile student population in South Korea cou-
Our ancestors fought wars and died in the name of freedom and autonomy. They did not stand idle in the face of oppression. Their struggle, their han is embedded in the roots that built Korea to be what it is today. pled with the struggle for citizenship and the American dream that pervades Korean America, all we want Americans to see about Korea is Kimchi and the Korean wave. Consequently, when events like Virginia Tech lead to American individuals shouting out at Koreans walking down Thayer Street, “Go back home,” we don’t do anything about it. Worse yet, we don’t think we should do anything about it. Our ancestors fought wars and died in the name of freedom and autonomy. They did not stand idle in the face of oppression. Their struggle, their han is embedded in the roots that built Korea to be what it is today. That han, that grief, that pain still pervades in the lives of those who immigrated to the United States for a better life. These are our parents, our grandparents. This is our history. Yet, what we do to pass along the legacy of our ancestors is to serve Korean food and put
VISIONS | Fall 2007
on culture shows that will earn us enough profit to serve more Korean food and put on more culture shows. In forgetting about our history, we have become a people addicted to materialism and occupational “success,” usually defined by the size of our wallets. This has blinded us to various forms of covert and overt oppression that persist in the lives of Koreans and Korean Americans both in the U.S. and elsewhere. Those of us who try to express our views on these issues are belittled with comments of, “Oh, there
M.B.A.’s become green grocers because of discrimination at work5. Are you angry yet? Two years ago, a group called the Jung Organization smuggled hundreds of Korean women into the United States and distributed them to brothels where they were forced to work as prostitutes6. Are you angry yet? Thirty-five percent of the population in Los Angeles’ Koreatown lives in poverty, while one third of the youth in Koreatown lives in poverty7. Are you angry yet?
Koreans throughout the United States hit “glass ceilings” in the workplace every day—Korean lawyers often find difficulty in becoming partner, Ph.D.’s become taxi cab drivers and M.B.A.’s become green grocers because of discrimination at work. Are you angry Yet? she goes again with that humanitarian stuff.” This humanitarian stuff is about racism, sexism, ageism, poverty, an unresolved war, impoverished people – all these things that we’re choosing to ignore because we’re cruising down the highway of privilege. We believe that as long as we’re not getting lynched, there’s nothing to be angry about. Well, maybe this will get your attention: Koreans throughout the United States hit “glass ceilings” in the workplace every day— Korean lawyers often find difficulty in becoming partner, Ph.D.’s become taxi cab drivers and
Because of the patriarchal society in South Korea, unwed mothers cannot establish households, and their children are thus unable to have their names recorded in the household registry. This means that they legally are unable to attend school or get married8. Are you angry yet? 5 Jo, Moon H. Korean Immigrants and the Challenge of Adjustment. Westport: Greenwood Press, 1999, pp.160 6 Kouri, Jim. 2005. “Cops Shatter Korean Human Trafficking Ring.” American Chronicle, August 30. Retrieved October 12, 2007. http://www.americanchronicle.com/ articles/viewArticle.asp?articleID=2177. 7 Koreatown Youth and Community Center. 2007. “Some Facts…” Los Angeles, CA: KYCC, Retrieved October 12, 2007. http://www.kyccla.org/about/about_community.htm. 8 Hildreth, Christina. 2005. “A World Apart.” The Michigan Daily, March 11. Retrieved March 11, 2005. http://media.www.michigandaily.com/media/storage/
Two hundred thousand North Koreans are held in concentration camps where they experience forced abortion, biochemical experiments, forced manual labor (for adults and children), public executions and other various cruel punishments. In addition, guards are promised college tuition if they capture an escapee and bring him back to the camp. Guards, subsequently, often force prisoners to climb the camp fence so they can shoot the prisoners dead and claim their reward9. Are you angry yet? The government of North Korea denies its people every internationally recognized human right, without which we at Brown University could not even fathom enduring a happy existence. These include freedom of speech, freedom of movement, freedom of religion, and protection from torture and slavery. Since 1995, 2-3 million North Koreans have died due to starvation and anti-human rights oppression10. Are you angry yet? Do I have your attention? Or are you too distracted by the “he said”—“she said” pseudodramas that characterize your life atop College Hill? What can I say that will make you angry? Does it take a war or an occupation or starvation to anger you? Are we a silent people falling victim to the myths of model minority? Do we honestly believe that our opinions, our voices paper851/news/2005/03/11/News/A.World.Apart-1429372. shtml. 9 Liberty in North Korea. 2007. “Inside the DPRK.” Washington, DC: LINK, Retrieved October 12, 2007. http:// www.linkglobal.org/north-korea.html. 10 ibid.
Revolution: Realizing Our Roots
do not matter; that our position in society is one of a quiet, submissive Asian? Or even worse yet, are we so blinded by our love of Capitalism, PRADA bags, and one hundred dollar meals that not only do we not see the problematic nature of this world, we don’t want to do anything to change it? We are not bound by the chains of foreign occupation that wipe away our power to speak. We are not inflicted by an impoverished existence that denies our ability to learn to read or write. Wait. We go to Brown University. We’re supposed to be on top, more educated than even the average white American. We have the privilege and the power needed to make a difference. Yet, we stand here silent, utterly content with the world because we have opportunity. We have power. We forget, however, what it took for us to get where we are. We forget that years of poverty, development, migration, and pain have brought us to our advantaged positions. We, as the privileged generation of Koreans, have an obligation to remember the past of our ancestors, our people, and speak out for those who do not have the opportunities we possess. We should be angry that even after all these years of fighting for freedom, Koreans around the world still suffer from various forms of oppression. We, students of the Ivy League, are the ones who are supposed to change the world. But, we don’t want to do anything about it and so we don’t do anything about it. Ivy League?? That’s just a pretentious name for complacency.
To those of you who hear me, to those of you who too get frustrated by the injustices of the world, let’s put a stop to this. We don’t have to be a silent people. We don’t have to be the group that puts aside the issues of the world so as to cater to a community unaware of the problems facing Korea. We don’t have to feed into the general plague of complacency that has hit Brown University students as they care more about “appreciating culture” by attending events with free food than they do about understanding the plights of Koreans everywhere. Let’s not be afraid to be a bit “political” sometimes. We owe it to ourselves, and we owe it to our history. We, Korean students at Brown, have a reason to be angry. So let’s make some noise and make sure everyone hears what we have to say. Soyoung Park ‘09 wants to give a big shout out to the TWC family for always keeping her in check and making sure she’s not complacent about the world.
VISIONS | Fall 2007
Smoke at Sunset Daniel Deisley Digital Photograph
audible click click click words crumble in my bowl of the gas alphabet soup and think of the wires daddy-daddy that run between you and this place daddy-longlegs thousands of miles death as a brittle, and the faint pencil lines crumbling you never write in pen. heat. of color: i don’t see myself in black and white or latino (is that a color?) i’m yellow (or so they say) oh but you’re white little red shoes she says curled-under toes as if that is reassurance eyes dark slits whisper-rattle of bamboo sticks the pieces fall face-up, face-down the edges burn fire devour hungrily knots knots criss-cross knots and jaded jade, encircle my wrist flight 11, four hundred and sixty-six knots flight 154, five hundred and ninety knots red red fire red white white cloud white sky blue blue september blue fingers crossed uncrossed crossed-Take-off. its 3 a.m. and no one is sleeping yet alarm clocks clicking with the minutes and hours salty sour golden liquids swim in the glazed eyes of slow moving bodies strobe lights pulsating behind the concaves of my eyes, red rows of childhood games its 3 a.m. and no one is sleeping yet IRENE CHEN ’09 writes post-it notes to herself.
Revolution: Realizing Our Roots
“We Have the Hall, Get on the Ball!”
April 23, 1975 Wednesday Night The air inside the Asian American Students Association office on the third floor of Faunce House was tense. Discussion had gone into the night and haunted faces, peaked and exhausted, looked back in the dark reflections of the window panes. About ten students were crammed into the office space, sprawled on chairs and across the floor.
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Riiiiiip. The scissors in Bob Eng’s hand slid through the fabric, cutting thread after thread, leaving a trapezoidal gap in place of the bottom right-hand corner. AASA was no longer on the Third World Coalition banner. “I don’t think it’s a good idea. It’s too radical, too extreme,” said Eugene, a sophomore member of AASA. “It’s unnecessary.” “AASA is one of the founding members of the Third World Coalition. We have to be involved,” Bob Eng replied. “And we already signed our name on the letter asking for support that went out yesterday to parents, alumni and friends. We can’t back out now.” “Wasn’t last week’s strike enough?” someone asked. “Unless we stand up for ourselves, demand our rights, nothing is going to get done,” Bob Char, a junior from Hawaii, snapped back. “We can’t just wait around and think that the administration is going to give anything to us out of the kindness of their hearts.” He shook his long hair out of his eyes with a frustrated flick of his head and pushed up his glasses, which had slid down his nose in the course of heated debate. “But there are other ways. We don’t have to take over a building,” Bob Lee, a graduate student in the History department, returned. “And it’s never been done before. Even in the ‘60s students didn’t take over a university building,” a voice piped up. “Let’s put it to a vote,” a weary voice said. “A show of hands. Who thinks that AASA should sponsor the takeover?”
The group was narrowly split, with those against winning by a slight margin. “Fine—let’s reach a compromise. We won’t fully sponsor the takeover, but we will issue a statement of support,” someone suggested.
Riiiiiip. The scissors in Bob Eng’s hand slid through the fabric, cutting thread after thread, leaving a trapezoidal gap in place of the bottom right-hand corner. AASA was no longer on the Third World Coalition banner.
Asian American Students Association Support The Asian American Students Association voices complete support for the actions and demands of the Third World Coalition. The spirit of solidarity exhibited is a manifestation of our commitment to the struggles of all oppressed third world peoples.
Students had been negotiating with the University administration for weeks regarding President Hornig’s proposed budget for the upcoming academic year. Of particular concern was the increase in student costs without commensurate increase in financial aid and a lack of University commitment to a diverse and representative student body. The previous week two-thirds of the student body had supported the demands of the Student Coalition through a campus-wide four-day strike, during which time students did not attend classes, submit papers or sit exams. Negotiations had led to a stalemate. On April 19th, the previous Saturday, the Advisory and Executive Committee of the Corporation had approved Hornig’s budget. The broad Student Coalition was divided over the best way to respond and splintered. A group of minority students on campus joined together to form the Third World Coalition, composed of the Organization of United African Peoples (OUAP), the Asian American Students Association (AASA)
The group reached a consensus: students who would like to participate could participate on their own, but they would not operate as representatives or spokespeople for AASA. Bob Eng and Bob Char decided that they would participate. “There are just two of us, so one person will go to negotiations, and the other will be inside University Hall.” “I’m older,” Bob Char said. “I’ll go inside U Hall; it’s riskier. But you have to come and keep me updated on the negotiations.” Bob Eng nodded. “What about the banner? It’s already painted and set to go for tomorrow morning,” Bob Eng asked Bob Char.
Revolution: Realizing Our Roots
“Walk quick like you’re going to a party.” The students marched in single file through the mist and early morning chill from Churchill House to University Hall where white students, newsmen and deans were already waiting . . . and the Latin-American Students Organization (LASO). Over half of the Third World Coalition’s demands were identical or similar to the demands of the Student Coalition. Demands included that the black population at Brown be proportional to the black population of the United States and that “all admissions officers spend twenty percent of their time personally soliciting areas not traditionally solicited for recruitment.” The Third World Coalition harkened back to the agreements that the University Administration had made with Black students in response to the 1968 walkout and expressed dissatisfaction that the agreement had not been fulfilled in the intervening seven years.
hursday Morning Students began to straggle into Churchill House at 155 Angell Street around 5:30 am. Most students had only had a few hours of sleep, yet anticipation tinged the air with excitement as students went over logistics and meticulous plans. Brown University had acquired Churchill House from the Rhode Island Women’s Club in 1970 and the Afro-American Society, the Afro-American Studies Program, and the Graduate Minority Association moved into the building in 1972 and Churchill House became the epicenter of black
student activities. By 8:00 am over 100 students had assembled. “Lord, we are here today because we think this is right.” The voice of the student leading the prayer reverberated in crisp early morning air. “We are in this together. We ask your blessing and we ask that you keep us cool and allow us to do what’s right. In Jesus’ name.” “Amen!” swelled up from the crowd of assembled students. Most of the students were black members of the Organization of United African Peoples, and the prayer had been in the style of an A.M.E. church. A handful of members from the newly formed Latin-American Students Organization Association checked their watches and peered out the front window. It was a few minutes before 8:00 am, and all the instructions had been given: for the picket lines, for security, and for the students who were to occupy University Hall. The word to move came shortly after the prayer ended. “Walk quick like you’re going to a party.” The students marched in single file through the mist and early morning chill from Churchill House to University Hall, where white students, newsmen and deans were already waiting outside the building. Sixteen students entered University Hall a few minutes after 8:00 am, before most people had arrived to start the work day. Four students
were assigned to each University Hall’s four floors. They politely told the staff members in the building, “We’re going to stay awhile; you can leave now if you want,” and “We plan to stay awhile. If you’d like to leave we’ll be locking the doors in a few minutes.” Secretaries gathered their belongings and locked office doors behind them. Two administrators, dean of freshman James Kelley and acting dean of the college Thomas Bechtel, decided to stay in their offices. “We’re here for the duration,” Kelley told a reporter for the Providence-Bulletin. Once the students had cleared out University Hall, an additional twenty students joined them to participate in the occupation and they tied the doors shut. Students outside formed two snaking picket lines that circled the building, an internal line for Third World students and an external line for white supporters. Fourteen years earlier, in The Wretched of the Earth, Frantz Fanon, an eminent thinker and author on decolonization, urged readers to band together against oppression and colonialism, by pioneering a “Third Way,” or an alternative to the ways of the first world, as represented by the U.S. and Western Europe, and also to the second world, as symbolized by USSR and Eastern Europe. The term “Third World” was a political statement.
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Third World Coalition Statement of Principles Peoples of the Third World— in Asia, Africa, and Latin America—have suffered the political and economic oppression and the cultural hegemonism imposed and practiced by expansionist capitalist powers. These geo-political and economic relationships have forges a strong unity among Third World people to combat all types of imperialism and colonialism. We contend that Third World people in the United States also suffer from the same sources of oppression. The peoples of Asian, African, and Latin American descent, like white working people, have traditionally suffered from political and economic oppression. Unlike these whites, however, the Third World peoples in the U.S. have had to fight racial prejudices and discrimination. These conditions have led to the creation of a bond among Asian Americans, AfroAmericans, Latino Americans, and Native Americans to fight for necessary social and economic changes.
In the Third World Coalition’s statement of principles, a section, titled Relations with White People, states that poor white students, campus workers, junior faculty and women employees often find themselves in opposition to the same source of power that denies Third World students educational opportunities. White students could be allies and support Third World students, but there was also awareness that whites experienced oppression in different ways in U.S. society than Third World students. Because of this, white students and supporters could demonstrate in a picket line outside of University Hall, but were not among the students who occupied the building. The idea of “Third World” was an idea of reclaiming identity, agency, and
voice in the face of past cultural and economic imperialism. The picket lines chanted and clapped their support, carrying large cardboard signs saying, “What is White, Male and Tenured All over?” and “We have the Hall, Get on the Ball.” Inside University Hall the mood was relaxed, yet serious. Some students went to the windows to help lead the picketers in chants. Several students were assigned shifts monitoring stairways and doors. The offices were locked, so most of the students settled down in the central rotunda, just outside the President Hornig’s office. Setting down knapsacks, students unpacked oranges, brownies and sandwiches, as well as
garbage bags. They were determined to keep the building in pristine condition, so that administrators could not disparage their efforts on that account. Students who had gone for days with little rest splayed on the floor to catch some sleep. For those who wanted to stay awake, a batch of coffee was passed in through a window facing the Main Green on the North side of the building. Students pulled out reading material ranging from the Brown Daily Herald to genetics texts to “The Dialectics of Legal Repression.” Someone set up a small portable television, but the early morning programming attracted little interest. Others unpacked flashlights, making a Construction, Uttaranchal Kam Sripada Digital Photograph
Revolution: Realizing Our Roots
small pile in one corner, in case the University decided to shut off power to the building. These students were prepared to stay. Bob Char pulled some books and notes out of his backpack. The last week had been full of preparation, student actions and planning, and studying had taken a back seat. It was April, near the end of the semester, and he had a term paper to write. A few of the other students teased him as he spread out the research notes he had taken for his paper on Indonesian-Chinese foreign relations for his Asian History major. In their list of demands, the students requested legal and academic amnesty for the students participating in the occupation and negotiations, but they still didn’t know how the University would respond. When it became clear that the students intended to stay in the building until their demands were met, the workings of University Hall relocated and set up shop in a lounge on the seventh floor of Barus and Holley. Administrators and top faculty held meetings on the top floor of the physics and engineering building, while lower level administrators served as gatekeepers, telling reporters that all comments would be given as press releases, and ensuring that the key meeting rooms were not disrupted. At noon, Robert Reichley, associate vice president and director of university relations, issued a statement saying that the university would have a written response to the list of 21 demands by that night.
hursday Afternoon Bob Eng rapped on the window facing the Main Green on the North side of the building. He had come from the conference room in Graduate Center where he, three OUAP representatives and a LASO representative had been in negotiations with dean of faculty and academic affairs Jacquelyn Mattfeld and the dean of the graduate studies. Bob Char, wearing a long sleeve plaid shirt and wire rimmed glasses, came to the window to go over negotiation points with Bob Eng. Within the coalition it was understood that the negotiators could deal with the administrators, but it was the students inside University Hall, the students who had put the most on the line, who would have the final say.
black students—student services, faculty, counseling, tutoring.” The early morning mist had morphed into late afternoon rain, and the picket lines outside had died down. Ellen, one of the Asian American women in the Third World picket line and Bob Char’s housemate, had come to the window. “Ellen, can you bring me my rice cooker and some lapchong fan from the house? A lot of the other students don’t have access to a kitchen— so we’d just be eating sandwiches and hamburgers if it were up to them,” Bob Char asked. “And maybe a blanket, or something to sleep on for tonight. Negotiations have been going on all afternoon and into the night, but it doesn’t look
“Look what I have.” Bob Eng dispensed with the general formalities of greetings and breathlessly thrust a three-page handwritten note on behalf of AASA through the window. “Bob, you have to remember—the number one point that you can’t forget is the official recognition of Asian Americans as a minority. Brown has to recognize disadvantaged Asian American students as a minority in this country. Asian Americans are a minority, and we need to be offered the same educational opportunities as the members of privileged ethnic and economic groups.” Bob Char caught Bob Eng’s eye, to make sure he understood. “If we get anything out of the negotiations, the first step is recognition. From there, our needs, our demands, are going to be pretty much the same as those of the
like this is going to get resolved tonight, and the floors of University Hall aren’t too warm.”
riday Afternoon “Look what I have.” Bob Eng dispensed with the general formalities of greetings and breathlessly thrust a three-page handwritten note on behalf of AASA through the window. “Read it!” Bob Char, Greetings. As you know the AASA has now officially endorsed the 3rd World Coalition’s efforts on campus. Most of them [AASA members] are taking action of some sort in
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support of the movement. We feel that a strong show of solidarity and unity among blacks, Latinos and Asians vis-à-vis the administration will be of significant help to the cause. One way such solidarity can be demonstrated before the administration is to add an Asian on the negotiation table. We think that even our (silent) presence at the negotiating table will strengthen the show of our unity and solidarity. We hope that you can communicate our view to the OUAP leaders as soon as possible. I know that you are a sincere and forceful person. Just remember that in a tense and critical moment like this it is important to exercise selfdiscipline and self-control. Perhaps it will help if we can find another Asian to be with you. What do you say? Cheers! [unknown signature]
be “no further reductions in the size of teaching faculty,” claiming that they “deeply regret[ed] that our current financial situation requires a decrease in the faculty over the next several years.” Among other things, the administration agreed to “strive for” a 25 percent increase over the next three years in the number of black students applying for and gaining admission to the University and to appoint an admissions officer whose “primary responsibilities would include the recruitment of minority students, particularly from inner city schools.” At 10:30 pm jubilant students cut the ropes that had held the entrances to University Hall shut for the past thirty-eight and a half hours.
Some entwined in exultant hugs, others stamped their feet and victoriously pumped their fists in the air, the adrenaline and excitement of accomplishment coursed through the air with vibrant electricity that seemed to release the tension of the last several weeks that had climaxed over the last two days. “Well, its official then, you can sign off on behalf of AASA,” Bob Char said as he nodded in approval.
riday Night Around 6:30 pm the students inside University Hall received the proposal from the negotiators. They examined the proposal in detail, going over line by line the responses to their 21 demands. Voices clamored as lively debate broke out. The agreement stated that, while “no punitive action” would be taken against the students who occupied University Hall, the University rejected demands that there
Third World Coalition student leaders and university administrators announced that a resolution had been reached. All the students inside University hall gathered in the rotunda as Fred Carl read roll. A sense of joyous solemnity hung in the air. Each name was called and resoundingly answered with an affirmative “here!” or “present!” All were present and accounted for. “I can’t believe we did it!” one students exclaimed. Some entwined in exultant hugs, others stamped their feet and victoriously pumped their fists in the air, the adrenaline and excitement of accomplishment coursed through
the air with vibrant electricity that seemed to release the tension of the last several weeks that had climaxed over the last two days. “Ding, Dong, the Wicked Witch is Dead,” a voice began, ricocheting off the walls and ceilings. The tune caught on and swelled as more and more voices joined in excitement. The students gathered books, blankets, flashlights, newspapers, signs, and thirty-eight hours of garbage, careful to make sure that University Hall was in pristine condition before they left. The students spilled out into the cool night air, finally released from the confines of their self-imposed imprisonment. Shouts and laughter overpower the soft pitter patter of rain as the students marched to Churchill House to announce the news to the rest of the Third World Coalition students. Epilogue Third World Coalition meetings with President Hornig, Dean of the College, Walter Massey, and Provost, Merton Stoltz continue through the next year and into the spring of 1976. Robert Char serves as the AASA representative and chairs several of the meetings. Tracy Lai, Cynthia Chong, Peter Yu and Robert Eng also serve as members and resource people representing AASA for the Third World Coalition meetings. In 1976 the Third World Center (TWC) opens in the basement of Churchill House. Robert Lee completes his Ph.D. in History in 1980 and serves as the fourth director of
Revolution: Realizing Our Roots
Makar Sanranti - The Good in Mumba Kurla, Mumbai, India Sonia Nayak Digital Photograph
the Third World Center from 1981-85. He becomes an Assistant Professor of American Civilization at Brown in 1990 and an Associate Professor in 1997. He teaches courses such as “Asian American History,” “Race, Immigration, and the Law,” and “Asian American Political Movements to 1970,” which explore Asian American themes. In 1985, approximately 350 Third World students rally to demand that the University resolve issues raised by students of color in pre-
vious years, including the demands of the 1975 takeover of University Hall. The Third World Coalition occupies the stairs of the John Carter Library to reclaim documents of Brown’s slaveholding family. This is the first time that Blacks, Asians, and Latinos work together in large numbers. The rally increases Asian matriculation substantially, but several demands from the 1975 protest are still not met, such as increasing the numbers of Black students at Brown to their percentage of the U.S. population.
In 1987 the TWC is relocated to Partridge Hall, its current location, in response to demands of the 1985 protest. Protests asking for an Ethnic Studies department and recommitment to the 1968, 1975, and 1985 demands begin in 1988 and last until the following year. Eugene Mahr goes on to work as the Acting Director of Minority Admissions at Brown University for one year. Robert Eng works in Chinatown in New York 1977-1981, as a social worker and later as a teacher. He is involved with Asian American activities and issues, including the high-profile Vincent Chin case. Vincent Chin was a 27 year—old Chinese American who died as a result of a brutal beating to death with a baseball bat, at the hands of Ronald Ebens and his stepson Michael Nitz. Ebens and Nitz were charged with and pleaded guilty to manslaughter. They received a sentence of 3 years probation and a $3,000 fine. This case was seen as a miscarriage of justice by many people and served as a pivotal event for the development of the Asian American movement. Robert Eng says that his experiences with the Asian American student movement sensitized him to social justice and sharpened his purpose in life: to search for ways to empower the poor and powerless. While AASA was often split between those who wanted to explore cultural and social activities and those who took a more political bent, Eng says that AASA was a vehicle to explore and build and connect in ways that he carried forward into life after Brown.
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Tai Ho Shin Digital Photograph
Amy Chang Digital Photograph In Cuba Ngoc Tran Vu Digital Photograph
Revolution: Realizing Our Roots
In 1988 students protest for an Ethnic Studies department and ask the University for a recommitment to the 1968, 1975, and 1985 demands. The protests last until the following year. In 1996 the Ethnic Studies concentration is added to the Brown curriculum as an interdisciplinary and comparative concentration that examines the construction of race and ethnicity in social, cultural, historical, political, and economic contexts. JESSICA MAR ‘08 likes Thai iced tea, impromptu picnics and singalongs and still dreams about changing the world. Sources Asian/Asian American Student Resource Center Archives Third World Coalition. “Letter to Parents, Alumni and Friends.” April 22, 1975. Third World Coalition Press Release April 24, 1975 Third World Coalition Statement of Principles, undated Brown University Third World Center Website, http:// www.brown.edu/Student_Services/TWC/ Emerson, Robert. “Inside Brown.” Journal-Bulletin Photos. April 1975. Emery, Gene and Sarah Cecil. “Univ. offices relocate to Barus-Holley.” Brown Daily Herald. April 25, 1975. Volume CIX, Number 58. p. 1 Kovacs, Peter. “Third world coalition occupies Univ. Hall: Black and Latino students plan to remain until administration meets all demands.” Brown Daily Herald. April 25, 1975. Volume CIX, Number 58. p.1 Mar, Jessica. Interview with Robert L. Char, Brown University Class of 1976, conducted October 22, 2007.
Pong, Myra. “Asian/Asian American History at Brown University: A Work-in-Progress.” Pong, Myra. Interview with Eugene Mahr, Brown University Class of 1977, conducted November 14, 2003. Pong, Myra. Interview with Robert Eng, Brown University Class of 1977, conducted October 24, 2003. Pong, Myra. Interview with Robert L. Char, Brown University Class of 1976, conducted Fall 2003. Presidential Papers at John Hay Library Archives: President Hornig Hornig’s Press Conference : Introductory Remarks Third World Coalition Meeting: Notes, March 4, 1976 Memorandum “Re: The Hornig Memorandum and the Statement of Policy” from Barry Beckham to Professor Edward Beiser, Chairman of the Committee to Review the 1975 Agreements. April 9, 1981 Hornig, Donald F. Memorandum to the Student Representatives and Officers of the Administration:
“Brown University—Documents Relating to Minority Affairs.” April 25, 1975. Rubinton, Noel. “Careful planning seen: report from inside UH.” Brown Daily Herald. April 25, 1975. Volume CIX, Number 58. p. 1 Salganik, M. William. “Their Prayer: ‘We Ask That You Keep Us Cool.’ Providence Journal-Bulletin. A 1. Third World Center Archives and Student Protests Archives at John Hay Library Hand Written Letter “For Bob Char: AASA” undated and unsigned “Friday” Notice for vote for student strike on April 10, 1975 Coalition information sheet. Undated. Coalition Report. “OUAP Proposals” March 21, 1975. Vol. 1, Number 6. Coalition Report. “Committee Disbands; Strike Plans Made.” April 5, 1975. Vol. 1, Number 9.
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With a white stone in his hand, he considers setting it adjacent to a black stone on the board. He strategizes to show his opponent that the bottom left corner of the board belongs to him. If he places his stone there, there will be no way his opponent can keep the black stones from being surrounded and he will be one step closer to victory. He is known for moving quickly. He rubs the white stone in his hand, feeling its smooth coolness whisper secrets to his fingers. Then the deceivingly hollow sound of stone on wood resonates through the air as he places the stone down. Whether or not he wins, a radiant smile will break forth from his face as soon as the game is over. The game is called Go. Grandpa plays it well. Grandpa’s smile and his game are so engrained in my memory, I often forget that his life story included unfortunate chapters in which joy did not fill his. Grandpa cultivated his Go skills in the Japanese American internment camps. In a state of xenophobia and nationalism, the US government told my grandfather, and every other Japanese American on the west coast, that they were unsafe and untrustworthy. General John Dewitt urged Franklin Roosevelt to authorize executive order 9066, which mandated that all Japanese Americans on the West Coast relocate into internment camps. Although this was painful and humiliating, sixty years later my grandfather, like many of the Nisei intern-
ees, only had good stories to tell. He proudly bragged how he learned to cook 26 pounds of rice at a time, and of playing Go. Go is known as a game of strategy. More importantly, Go is about power, and territory. Go is about war. The game requires an eye for patterns, a quick mind, and an ability to anticipate the moves of the opponent. How was it that Grandpa learned the strategy of warlords while in the confines of an internment camp?
by 19 square grid. There are more different outcomes possible from playing go than there are atoms in the know universe. Possibilities lay at Grandpa’s fingertips over the board, but evaded him in the political reality of war. The grid lifted off the board to tower over the camp as barbed wire fences. Bolstered by rifles and guard towers, they glared menacingly at the Tule Lake “Relocation Center” internees. The Go-ishi are the smooth black and white stones. In Go, the dual-
The stones brought clarity in a time and place where decisions and morality were muddled into a greyness of ambiguity…there are no stones for for immigrant farmers or American born students. . . Grandpa sits on a wooden stool in a sandy barracks. The guards outside point their guns inward as they watch for subversive activity within the camp. Their eyes scan the barracks of the dessert land as Grandpa’s eyes scan the sharp lines intersecting on the Go board. He watches carefully before quickly setting down his stone. He is young and attentive. His active mind calculates how to capture territories. His moves seem benign for the moment, but soon this will change. For now, he is studying the sharp grid and the black and white stones, trying to imagine the possibilities that can unfold. The board is simple: twenty lines on each side intersecting at 90 degree angles to make a 19
ity is clear. You are on your side and the enemy is on the other. You are trusted or mistrusted. In Tule Lake, Grandpa saw the dichotomy on the Go board, but had to separate if from what he was experiencing. The stones brought clarity in a time and place where decisions and morality were muddled into a greyness of ambiguity. In Go, there are no stones for immigrant farmers, or American born students who are asked to fight for the country that refuses to offer them freedom. In addition to having the face of the enemy, many of the residents of Tule Lake were considered especially dangerous. When asked the standardized questions, “Are you willing to serve in the armed forces of the United States
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on combat duty, wherever ordered?” and “Will you swear unqualified allegiance to the United States of America and faithfully defend the United States from any and all attack by foreign or domestic forces, and forswear any form of allegiance to the Japanese Emperor or any other foreign government, power, or organization?”, these residents stated “No” and “No”. This pegged them as doubly disloyal. While some members of Tule Lake were loyal, the majority of the Tule Lake population was moved there by the government. By segregating the loyal from the disloyal, the government hoped to better its ability to monitor subversiveness. Grandpa was perceived as being especially dangerous. In addition to being a “No-no boy”, he chose to go to school in Japan despite being an American citizen. As an enemy, he gardened flowers once the War was over. His flowers bloomed in Disneyland, and in the beds of smaller flower companies. Grandpa was no more menacing than the flowers he tended to, except when he was in front of a Go board. It is late at night. In his middle age, he is tired as he enters the house. Go is still weaving through his mind, and he is weary, but he manages to produce the product of his labor: An ornate and large trophy. He humbly shares that he has just won the Southern Californian Go Championship. His wife and daughter are ecstatic.
Armed with his Go-ishi, Grandpa won competitions and the respect from his friends at the local Gardena Go club.
rived at our house. Only a week before he entered the hospital he was still going to parties and enlivening people with his broad smile.
Grandpa is a widower, relocated across the country to live with his daughter. He no longer can drive himself, and is chauffeured around by his daughter and son-in-law. Knowing no one besides his family in the Pacific Northwest, he turns to the local Go community to find friends. On the way to the local Go club, he turns toward his son-in-law and smiles. He opens his mouth to speak: “Go is fun”.
Grandpa visits me in a dream the night before I start my class on Japanese American internment. He is having a heart attack and is surely dying, but everything is calm. I kiss him and he smiles back. He is having trouble sucking in oxygen or pushing blood though his body, but he doesn’t matter. He smiles all the same.
Once again, relocated and interned by his own age, Grandpa could find liberation through Go. He succeeded at finding a new group of friends. These were young men: interesting, and intellectual. They all had one thing in common: the game of Go.
Masumi Hayashi-Smith ‘10 is watching steam rise from her teacup.
Grandpa’s funeral takes place at the small Jodoshinshu Buddhist church. The majority of the people attending are white college aged men. One man walks up to the lectern. His long hair is tied back into a ponytail and his eyes look down at a sheet of paper. He read aloud a haiku about Grandpa’s smile. The summer of my sophomore year, Grandpa died of a heart attack. In a jovial mood, he insisted on walking to the ambulance when it ar-
VISIONS | Fall 2007
Back Home K. Zafra Digital Photograph
When I first walked in, she was already lying there, a porcelain doll on display. I couldn’t help but notice all the white that surrounded her: the opaque shawl draped across her shoulders, the pristine headrest supporting her neck and head, and the vanilla mat board bordering her portrait. I almost chuckled; black had always been her favorite color. Feet shuffled on the carpeted floor, first to the pictures, next to the Memories book, then finally to her. Holding a bouquet of fresh roses and a sympathy card enclosing the only picture I had ever taken of her—she hated cameras—I trembled long before coming close to the front of the line. With bated breath, I stepped solemnly onto the stage where our final goodbye was exchanged. Many people have described the body’s renewal behind the formaldehyde curtain as an amazing transformation, one that takes the bleak image of death, and, in a pseudo-celestial manner, molds it into a façade of serenity and rest. Here, the attempted preservation of her corpse was a disgrace to her memory. The gel pulling back the hair from her face was flaking. The mounds of foundation plastered over her skin failed to conceal the blue and purple bruises that flowered across her forehead, nose, and cheekbones. Between her lips weaved a transparent, barely visible thread, forever sealing that hollow, soulless expression. The flaps of skin folding over her neck gave her
Revolution: Realizing Our Roots
the wrinkles of an elderly gentlewoman who had passed in her sleep. But she was only sixteen. She had been beautiful; she should have been beautiful then, but death declared otherwise. No, death had no say in this—just massive head trauma and major blood loss. The fact that I couldn’t have offered her any relief during her last moments of life haunted
It was the missed phonee calls I never returned, the notes slipped into my locker to which I never responded. It was the smile I never took time to appreciate.
A year had passed before I realized that “the worst” was neither the wake, nor the funeral, nor the death itself. It was the Monday mornings I was too groggy to greet her, the Friday afternoons I left school without saying goodbye. It was the missed phone calls I never returned, the notes slipped into my locker to which I never responded. It was the smile I never took time to appreciate. Since then, I have never taken another smile for granted. JESSICA PAN ‘11 is looking forward to an iridescent tomorrow.
me as I slowly knelt beside her casket. Her mother, recognizing me, came over and placed my hand over her daughter’s with a reassuring squeeze. The touch of flesh cold and hard as ice made me cringe. A part of me still could not believe that she was dead. When I closed my eyes to pray, I felt her mother’s hand above my own. The warmth permeated through skin to skin to skin, until the hand beneath mine felt warm, too. When I looked up, I saw the first genuine smile I had seen since the accident. “You know Stephanie isn’t hurting anymore.” I responded with a smile of my own, and instinctively whispered, “I know the worst is over.”
VISIONS | Fall 2007
Erin Morioka I walked across the Kamo River On giant turtle stepping stones That led the way to a place that I didn’t know. Then ended up on Mount Daimonji Next to you And you sang to me, Of the Christ child That you didn’t believe could ever save you. Gravel passing before my eyes The pedals pushing upward against my tennis shoes Feeling the burn that is almost delicious As the breeze kisses the sweat on my forehead. I asked you if you wanted me to show you The temple The sacred place Where my thoughts are kept. And ended up under the neon lights With two lonely donuts A cup of coffee And thoughts of why you didn’t say a word.
So why are we here again Walking side by side With the rain making me worry That my make up will smudge And you’ll see who I really am? Why do our thoughts Reflected in the moonlit water Sour the taste Of manju in my mouth? Why are we sitting under this bridge… As the rain comes down… And the smell of urine rises… Trying to hold on to our last moments. Of this city Of this city Where plum blossoms make me want to fall in love… But not with you. ERIN MORIOKA ‘08 is missing matcha.
Why do our thoughts Reflected in the moonlit water Sour the taste Of manju in my mouth? 46
Revolution: Realizing Our Roots
August 6, 2006
The hands of my watch point 8:15. I am back from the east coast, spending the summer working with human dermal cells at the University of California. It is still early morning at the laboratory. Inside a closed chamber with automatic doors I slice away at human facelift tissue, brought in from a surgery just the day before. The squishy resiliency of the connective tissue beneath the scalpels reminds me of the network of collagen fibers and cells that compose this organic mass. Every day, the systems inside of us create metabolic exchanges and processes like a whole micro-universe, and most miraculously of all, evolution equipped us
I see Hiroshima in my mind. The specter of the building that is now its skeleton, stands against the bright blue sky. with the ability to reason, and learn about ourselves and the world around us. Ironically, we can reduce into individual cells or obliterate the very complex structures we are made of, and it is hard to believe that more than 61 years ago, a weapon that could destroy so many of us in a single second was devised by human hands. I see Hiroshima in my mind. The specter of the building that is now its skeleton, stands against the bright blue sky. Cicadas hum a peaceful melody as the wind rushes through the vibrant
Fly Angela Wong Digital Photograph
At the Edge of My Affection Michelle Nguyen Digital Photograph
Byodoin at Sunset Erin Morioka Digital Photograph
VISIONS | Fall 2007
And even now, the radiation eats away at the survivors, and at those who came days after the bomb to help the casualties. green in the park, and sunlight dance between them. Paper cranes of bright reds, oranges, festive blues and purples decorate the ground, and it’s hard to imagine that such a beautiful city had at one time, been a vision of hell, or that many people, burnt to unrecognizable degrees, had drowned in the calm river where some unknowing youth now run their jet-skis across the surface. It’s like any other metropolitan city in Japan today. Yet, 61 years ago, skin much like what was under my scalpel hung off the victims’ hands like shreds of tissue paper as they walked under the red sky. One hundred and forty thousand died that day. And even now, the radiation eats away at the survivors, and at those who came days after the bomb to help the casualties. They had been exposed to the poisonous particles in the air rising from the soil. Like relics from an ancient, lost civilization, pieces of the city rest inside the cool, dark cavern of the museum. A wall where a person once sat, his shadow burnt on it forever. Not a soul knows where his spirit or body disappeared. A clock with a shattered face, hands frozen at 8:15. Molten soda bottles twisted into grotesque forms. Burnt, shriveled skin, once raw and attached to one’s fingers. A mangled tricycle the color of rust rests quietly, never to take its young rider on adventures again. These survi-
Revolution: Realizing Our Roots
vors silently tell their tales to visitors who come from around the world. When I was five years old, I watched an animation called Barefoot Gen. Based on the story of the artist himself, the protagonist, a young boy in Hiroshima, loses his family on that fateful day. A huge flash of light, and time is suspended as a dog disintegrates to bones, then into thin air, and an old man’s eyes pops out of his sockets and oozes down to the ground. I cried out in horror, and ran out of the living room, crying. My mother felt bad for not knowing the film was so graphic, and took much time to console me, but even on the sunniest days, my heart clouded in apprehension when an airplane buzzed over my head, as if a flash of light and fire would envelop the world around me any minute. My five year old mind still perceived the world to be peaceful, but I knew that it was any ordinary day for the people in Hiroshima that day, as well. Just a year ago, I met Mrs. Kaz Suyeishi. A cheerful and youthful lady in her eighties who insists everyone call her Baaba-chan (an affectionate term for grandma), she had once been under the red sky of Hiroshima after the bomb fell. Baaba-chan was born in Pasadena, California. She moved back to Hiroshima with her family during her childhood. “Hello, Angel!” She used to greet the B-29’s in her mind as she saw them flying overhead, just as she would a visiting acquaintance. They never harmed Hiroshima until that day. At 8:15 that morning, Baaba-chan noticed for a moment a tiny dot suspended under the silver angel, and just as she pointed it out to a friend, all was enveloped in a
blinding whiteness, and she lost consciousness. She was 18 years old then, two years younger than my current age. Baaba-chan suffered injuries that didn’t allow her out of bed for a year. She still uses a cane to walk, and has cataracts in her eyes as results of the radiation. When she went to the doctor she told him, “I must be very wealthy, then.” The doctor asked her why, and she replied with a smile, “Because I have two cadirracs (cadillacs) in my eyes.” She stated she was lucky to have someone marry her, as many survivors of the bomb also faced discrimination from Japanese living outside of Hiroshima, due to the fear of the radiation’s effects on survivor’s offspring. Yet, she never felt hatred or resentment towards the United States, or anyone else afterthe atomic bomb. Instead, she recalled the small acts of kindness and help she received after the bomb. Nightmares of the fateful day did keep recurring in her mind, and she wanted to forget. Yet, years after moving back to California, she made the decision to share her experiences and communicating to everyone the importance of peace, which she does to this day. “It should never happen again,” Baaba-chan said. It didn’t have to be Hiroshima, it could have been dropped anywhere, upon any group of people, bringing many lives to an unnecessary end, and scarring many lives, as well. When I visited the grounds of Pompeii in seventh grade, I saw plaster molds of actual citizens, and even of a dog, still in the exact poses as when they had taken their last breaths. It was a similar tragedy, abruptly taking away lives without any warning,
and it could happen anywhere, at any time on earth. Yet, this was not a natural disaster, and it was inflicted by humans upon humans. I am a second-generation Japanese American. Like Mrs. Suyeishi, I was born in California. When I recall the summers I spent in Tokyo during elementary school and the friends I made, or when I make pointless puns in Japanese, or when I help my mom cook traditional foods, I feel Japanese. When I visit my relatives in Tokyo, as I awkwardly fumble even to buy tickets to ride the train, or when waiting at the subway platform I look down at my crude denim and worn-out old sneakers in contrast to the young girls with hair dyed in identical shades of caramel, sporting dainty heels and elegant fashion, and I feel rather out of place and American. When I take my mind back to Hiroshima, to the moment I placed my hands together and closed my eyes as I face the smooth, stone arch of the commemorative sculpture years ago, is when I realize— I am a part of mankind. Peace is my wish. ALISSA YAMAZAKI‘08 rocks out on the koto.
VISIONS | Fall 2007
Staff Bios Jilyn Chao ‘11 grew up in the deepest wildernesses of Connecticut. She was the first child in her family to learn to ride elks.
Clayton Kim ‘10 is an artist for hire; running through the shadows, looking for his shot.
Irene Chen ‘09 is a Taiwanese-American from the Garden State. She edits poetry for VISIONS but unfortunately, her poems are usually written with magnetic poetry on her fridge. You can find her in used bookstores on her tiptoes to reach the top shelf.
Sonia Kim ‘11 has visions of dead people, warm weather, and sugarplums dancing in her head. Yeppii Lee ‘11 is a Jersey girl without the accent, and highly disagrees with the statement that New Jersey is the armpit of America. She’s sitting, waiting, wishing for this college experience to sweep her off her feet.
Melanie Chow ‘11 loves to watch Asian Dramas and spends late nights in her room eating pretzels and peanut butter. She is always seen running around campus with post-it notes at hand. Ho-hin Choy ‘10 is an asian-loving dude from Oakland, CA. When he is not cruising around town in his Honda Civic you can find him at the local tapioca shop drinking pearl milk teas. Erin Frauenhofer ‘09 is so happy to have her brother on campus with her this year! She hopes he is having lots of fun so far... Michael Frauenhofer ‘12 is incredibly powerful. Some describe him as “playful” or “sweet”. BUT FEW SURVIVE THE BEST TASTING COFFEE IN THE UNIVERSE. Do you ever feel alone? You wouldn’t if you had good legs. Some nights I can’t sleep at all. Lisa Gomi ‘10 has much love for oolong tea, pears, and the V-Dub’s raspberry swirl cookies. Norris Hung ‘09 is a malefivefooteightinchtwentyyearoldguitarstrumminggraphicdesigningbioengineeringdinnercookingtennisplayingcheeseeatingcaliforniaoriginatingchineseamericanmolecularbiologyconcentratingjunior at Brown University. Karynn Ikeda ‘09 is a yonsei hailing from Sacramento, California. When she is not doing layout for VISIONS, you can find her wandering the aisles of Beadworks or enjoying a giant cookie at Meeting Street Cafe.
Eric Lee ‘10 once tried to sell issues of his high school’s art and literary magazine on a New York City subway. Apparently, panhandling is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $300 fine. Sophia Lin ‘10 loves waking up to Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” every morning. Paul Mithun ‘08 is a hapa yonsei from Marin Country, California, who splits his time between the Pacific Ocean and the Sierra Nevada mountains. When not traveling around the world, he enjoys eating, laughing, and listening to anything except for country music. Michelle Nguyen ‘11 has moved from the sandy beaches of Miami, Florida to witness the changing of the seasons. She enjoys sleeping, sleeping and sleeping. During the few hours that she is awake, you can find her messing around with Premiere Pro, painting or playing video games. Yue Pang ‘11 is often found absentmindedly forgetting all her previous obligations and curling up with her homeboys, Murakami and Faulkner. She enjoys pasting photography from Vogue on her wall and fantasizing about the good life. Stacey Park ‘11 a true Koreano-Californian at heart, loves to daydream about having an unlimited supply of Pistachio muffin, mastering five languages, and traveling all over the world with a (prospective) boyfriend.
Revolution: Realizing Our Roots
Soyoung Park ‘09 is a Korean American woman from Hartsdale, NY. When she is not running around campus for Asian/Asian American activities (like VISIONS) and events within the community of color, she is usually sitting on her couch eating tofu and watching CNN as she thinks about the craziness that is this world. Oh, and she LOVES being Asian. =) Kipper Sanchez ‘09 lives 5 minutes from the beach in a small strawberry beach town in California. However, he sadly is unable to neither swim nor drive. Nevertheless this Hapa enjoys being fabulous in the passenger seat on the way to the coast.
Wudan Yan ‘11 is from Westchester County, New York . She is infatuated with peppermint and loves running down Thayer Street in flipflops when it rains.
Thank you all for your hard work this semester and making this the best issue possible!
Wendy Sekimura ‘11 is a yonsei pondering the possibilities of college life. She laments the long plane ride from her hometown in the San Francisco Bay area but rejoices in experiencing her first “real” autumn. Maya Stroshane ‘11 is a proud German-Chinese citizen of Boston, capital of Red Sox Nation. She likes to tweak grammar as a copy editor for VISIONS, but she especially has a penchant for fantasy novels and Monty Python episodes. Elaine Tamargo ‘11 is the typical clumsy ballerina, frequently found twirling and dancing for no apparent reason. Elaine’s constant companion is her digital camera, contributing to her addiction of picture-taking and her growing status as a paparazzi. Corrie Tan ‘10 is usually a bird. Every summer and winter, she follows a migratory path home to an island in Southeast Asia. She likes long clicketyclackety train rides, wordplay, Imogen Heap’s voice, impeccable analogies, adrenaline highs, and flapping her wings when she’s excited. Star Wang ‘11 inadvertently brought fourteen pairs of shoes to college. She spends much of her time kicking a path through said shoes to get to her desk. She hopes to double major in ethnic studies and biology.