Saturday, March 31, 2012

March is National Reading Month!

I love National Reading Month! Read Grace Lin's Ugly Vegetables and Lissy's Friends, and Mary Brigid Barrett's Shoebox Sam to second graders at King Elementary School on Friday.

Friday, March 30, 2012

UM Asian American Association Mr & Ms APA Charity Pageant



Judging the University of Michigan Asian American Association Mr & Ms APA Charity Pageant with Prof. Victor Mendoza and Cathy Cao on March 24, 2012. It's getting to feel a lot like Asian Pacific American Heritage Month!

Photograph by Huy Nguyen.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Lessons I do not want to teach my children–about Dharun Ravi, Trayvon Martin, Shaima Alawadi, Vincent Chin | Chicago is the World

After Indian American Rutgers student Dharun Ravi was convicted of bias intimidation, I sent the very long New Yorker article about the case to my teenagers so that they can understand what kind of digital footprint they leave whenever they do anything online, and to remind them that regardless of what they might actually be doing, they need to be aware that sometimes those actions may be perceived quite differently by others, including people who do not understand technology and culture, including people with power.

Although I agree that homophobic bullying should not be tolerated, because of the technical complexity of this case, I cannot shake the nagging feeling that had Dharun Ravi been white, or if Tyler Clementi had been a person of color, this case might never have been prosecuted, and certainly would not have been punished so harshly (Ravi faces a possible sentence of ten years and deportation). Ravi admits to being a jerk, but there have been too many other cases in which white bullies have gotten away with much worse. Harry Lew. Danny Chen. Phoebe Prince. Vincent Chin. Luis Ramirez. Trayvon Martin.

My heart breaks as I read articles by African American mothers about the rules they make for their children because they know how easily their children could be Trayvon Martin:

click here for more: http://chicagoistheworld.org/2012/03/lessons-i-do-not-want-to-teach-my-children-about-dharun-ravi-trayvon-martin-shaima-alawadi/

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Vincent Who? at UM School of Public Health


I am excited to have been asked to join the panel discussion at the upcoming showing of Vincent Who with Asian Pacific Americans for Progress' Curtis Chin, American Citizens for Justice's Roland Hwang, and more.

University of Michigan School of Public Health, SPH II M1020, April 10, 6pm.

http://www.sph.umich.edu/scr/news_events/event.cfm?ID=2603

Thursday, March 22, 2012

What our children and their books could teach Rush Limbaugh and friends - NAM EthnoBlog

A few weeks ago, in the midst of Linsanity and some of its racist reactions, journalist Grace Hwang of Hapamama.com asked if I thought racism was taken more seriously than sexism.

I was still thinking about how best to answer her when Rush Limbaugh spent three days vomiting all over Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke.

Well, I guess there was my answer.

click here for more: What our children and their books could teach Rush Limbaugh and friends - NAM EthnoBlog

Monday, March 19, 2012

What our children and their books could teach Rush Limbaugh and friends | Chicagoistheworld.org

A few weeks ago, in the midst of Linsanity and some of its racist reactions, journalist Grace Hwang of Hapamama.com asked if I thought racism was taken more seriously than sexism.

I was still thinking about how best to answer her when Rush Limbaugh spent three days vomiting all over Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke.

Well, I guess there was my answer.

Some of the racist taunts that hit Jeremy Lin might possibly be able to be explained as accidental, insensitivity, ignorance, (barely), but Limbaugh’s incredible remarks (coupled with all the transvaginal ultrasound legislation by white male congressmen and the all-male testimony on birth control that brought about Limbaugh’s remarks in the first place) left me sputtering.

What is wrong with these people?

click link for more: http://chicagoistheworld.org/2012/03/what-our-children-and-their-books-could-teach-rush-limbaugh-and-friends/

Sunday, March 18, 2012

read these blogs | angry asian man

When Angry Asian Man says to read these blogs, you had better read these blogs! Thanks for the shout out, Phil! (Little Brother, by the way, asked if he can meet Angry Asian Man some day.)

read these blogs | angry asian man

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Linsanity’s Impact on My Son | InCultureParent

Third time's a charm!

I missed the first week of Linsanity because I was caught up in fighting the racist China-fear-mongering Pete Hoekstra political ad that aired during the Superbowl. I remember feeling beleaguered at the time, like we still had a looooong way to go until the elections in November, and if this was just the beginning…

I was surprised to learn that the mainstream considered Jeremy Lin an unknown who had come from out of nowhere, because even though I know nothing about sports, even I knew who Jeremy Lin was (courtesy of Ryan Higa and Kev Jumba).

click here for more: Linsanity’s Impact on My Son | InCultureParent

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Linsanity-a hero for Little Brother - NAM EthnoBlog

I missed the first week of Linsanity because I was caught up in fighting the racist China-fear-mongering Pete Hoekstra political adthat aired during the Superbowl. I remember feeling beleaguered at the time, like we still had a looooong way to go until the elections in November, and if this was just the beginning…

I was surprised to learn that the mainstream considered Jeremy Lin an unknown who had come from out of nowhere, because even though I know nothing about sports, even I knew who Jeremy Lin was (courtesy of Ryan Higa and Kev Jumba).

click here for more: Linsanity-a hero for Little Brother - NAM EthnoBlog

Monday, March 12, 2012

Adventures in Multicultural Living: Chicago is the World » Linsanity–a hero for Little Brother


I missed the first week of Linsanity because I was caught up in fighting the racist China-fear-mongering Pete Hoekstra political ad that aired during the Superbowl. I remember feeling beleaguered at the time, like we still had a looooong way to go until the elections in November, and if this was just the beginning…

I was surprised to learn that the mainstream considered Jeremy Lin an unknown who had come from out of nowhere, because even though I know nothing about sports, even I knew who Jeremy Lin was (courtesy of Ryan Higa and Kev Jumba).

As I got caught up in Linsanity along with everyone else, I found myself talking about Jeremy Lin with my Chinese language class, my Critical Race theory class, my Asian Pacific American History class, even at a career talk for Chinese American high school students. I finally had something to say to the little boy next door who spends his afternoons shooting hoops on the corner. Jeremy Lin applied to everything, everywhere, in equal parts good and bad, and for once, everyone—Asian American or not—was in agreement.

Then I realized the person who needed Jeremy Lin the most was my eight-year-old son, Little Brother.

click here for more: Chicago is the World » Linsanity–a hero for Little Brother

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Ohara Language Institute Students are first in the State in 19th Annual Michigan Japanese Quiz Bowl

East Lansing, Michigan — On Saturday, March 3, 2012, seven students from Ann Arbor Public Schools (Huron High School, Skyline High School, Clague Middle School, and Slauson Middle School) who study Japanese at Ann Arbor’s Ohara Language Institute took part in the 2012 Michigan Japanese Quiz Bowl competition on the campus of Michigan State University (MSU). These students comprised three of a statewide total of 55 teams who competed in six different divisions in a quiz-bowl type format, exercising their knowledge of Japanese spoken and written language and culture.

All three Ohara Language Institute teams won first place in their divisions. Larkin Babbitt, Emily Davila, Emi Jackson (all of Skyline High School) and Chris Schweitzer (of Slauson Middle School) won first place in Division 1. Stuart Brabbs (of Clague Middle School) won first place in Division 3. Hao Hao Wang Pontius and Samantha Liu (of Huron High School) won first place in Division 4, the second highest level. (Emerson School won the other three divisions.)

Instructor Kaori Ohara said, “It was a big day for all of us. I cannot tell you how nervous, excited, and proud I was! ...The students and I all worked hard until the last minute. It was definitely a team effort. The beauty of our teams was that everyone contributed. It was definitely not one-man-show….The questions were not easy, but the students did well even under the pressure.”

Parent Anne Jackson said, “Ohara Sensei is just amazing!”

The Consul General of Japan, the Honorable Kuninori Matsuda, was also in attendance. He talked to the students about his difficulties learning English, and he encouraged all the students to work hard and have fun. Impressed with Stuart Brabbs’ lack of accent, he asked Brabbs how much time he had spent in Japan. Brabbs’ response (in Japanese, of course) was, "I have never even once gone out of the U.S."

Parent Julie Brabbs said, “Many people have said to me ‘Stuart must have worked so hard for this,’ which is funny because I don’t think of it as work since the kids enjoy it so much.”

This is the sixth year that Ohara Language Institute has participated in the annual event, that is directed and co-sponsored by the Japan Center for Michigan Universities (JCMU), the MSU Asian Studies Center, MSU’s Office of Gifted and Talented Education and the Japanese Teachers Association of Michigan (JTAM), with support from the Consulate General of Japan in Detroit, the Japan Business Society of Detroit and the Center for Japanese Studies at the University of Michigan.

Now in its 19th year, the all-day event draws students from Ann Arbor, Battle Creek, Beverly Hills, Birmingham, Detroit, DeWitt, Garden City, Livonia, Novi, Oak Park, Troy, Utica, and West Bloomfield. Volunteer judges, scorekeepers, and timekeepers come from Eastern Michigan University, Lansing Community College, Grand Valley State University, Michigan State University, the University of Michigan, Wayne State University and Western Michigan University. In addition to the quiz competition, there was a student-produced video contest, poster contest, T-shirt design competition, performances by Raion Taiko Japanese Drummers and US Tamiya Ryu Iaijutsu martial arts, and a number of traditional Japanese crafts and activities.

Ohara Language Institute offers Japanese language classes in Ann Arbor for adults and for students 4th through 12th grades. For additional information please contact Kaori Ohara at Ohara Langauge Institute at kaori@logicsolutions.com. More information at www.oharalanguage.com.
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