Monday, April 30, 2012

The sun is shining, the birds are singing--it's National Poetry Month! - NAM EthnoBlog

A sudden cold snap has sent me scurrying for my Hello Kitty scarf and gloves. Hard to remember that only one month ago, I was splashing through puddles at balmy midnight, wearing a Hawaiian print skirt and flip flops.

A woman I see every morning walking to school growled about the cold this morning, and I, for some reason, sang out, “But it’s National Poetry Month! The sun is shining, the birds are singing.”

She was not quite sure how to respond.

On my way home, I found a stack of five free SAT and ACT and AP Calculus AB prep books on a neighbor’s lawn. A Tiger Mom score! Life does not get better than this.

So here we are, in the last week of National Poetry Month. A few more days to take the NaPoWriMo challenge of writing a poem a day. Last year, I was so impressed by all those poets who dared to publicly take the NaPoWriMo challenge, writing and publishing in real time, that this year I wanted to try, too.

click link for more: The sun is shining, the birds are singing--it's National Poetry Month! - NAM EthnoBlog

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Chicago is the World » The sun is shining, the birds are singing—it’s National Poetry Month!

A sudden cold snap has sent me scurrying for my Hello Kitty scarf and gloves. Hard to remember that only one month ago, I was splashing through puddles at balmy midnight, wearing a Hawaiian print skirt and flip flops.
A woman I see every morning walking to school growled about the cold this morning, and I, for some reason, sang out, “But it’s National Poetry Month! The sun is shining, the birds are singing.”
She was not quite sure how to respond.
On my way home, I found a stack of five free SAT and ACT and AP Calculus AB prep books on a neighbor’s lawn. A Tiger Mom score! Life does not get better than this.
So here we are, in the last week of National Poetry Month. A few more days to take the NaPoWriMo challenge of writing a poem a day. Last year, I was so impressed by all those poets who dared to publicly take the NaPoWriMo challenge, writing and publishing in real time, that this year I wanted to try, too.

click on link for more: Chicago is the World » The sun is shining, the birds are singing—it’s National Poetry Month!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Jamie and Jordan - Ann Arbor Observer

Jamie and Jordan, which returns on April 28 as part of the monthly Performance Network children's theater series, is a charming musical about two boys born in the same hospital on the same day who become best friends until a twist of fate (and ankle) separates them, with lessons about healthy lifestyle and healthy friendship. It is not so hard for adults to guess where this story is going to go, but how it gets there is a delight--and not heavy-handed at all. There are laughs. There are tears. There are great lines like "Your mom has some cut-up fruit on the dining table." Parents can lecture for years before kids see the consequences--both good and bad--that this play shows clearly and convincingly in one hour.

click here for more: Jamie and Jordan - Ann Arbor Observer

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Seeking Asian Pacific American Superheroes...at a Conference? - NAM EthnoBlog

Purdue University recently had some race-related troubles in the form of a racist anti-Asian Twitter account(s) that denigrated and ridiculed Asian and Asian American students there. The Asian American community was offended. Others thought it was funny. The university was slow to respond.
As the Asian Pacific American media began talking about it nationally, I began to fantasize about a more effective solution. I knew that two very cool Asian American activists happened to be headed to Purdue for various Asian Pacific American Heritage Month activities. I conjured up the image of the two of them dressed up in sky blue superhero costumes with fluttering capes and bright yellow masks and gloves, parachuting into the center of Purdue to take care of business.

Ka-pow! Sock! Bam!

Sometimes, in the face of depressing news item after depressing news item, I long for a superhero to set things right as cleanly and simply as they do in the comic books.

click on link for more: Seeking Asian Pacific American Superheroes...at a Conference? - NAM EthnoBlog

Monday, April 23, 2012

Chicago is the World » Seeking Asian Pacific American Superheroes…at a Conference?

Purdue University recently had some race-related troubles in the form of a racist anti-Asian Twitter account(s) that denigrated and ridiculed Asian and Asian American students there. The Asian American community was offended. Others thought it was funny. The university was slow to respond.
As the Asian Pacific American media began talking about it nationally, I began to fantasize about a more effective solution. I knew that two very cool Asian American activists happened to be headed to Purdue for various Asian Pacific American Heritage Month activities. I conjured up the image of the two of them dressed up in sky blue superhero costumes with fluttering capes and bright yellow masks and gloves, parachuting into the center of Purdue to take care of business.
Ka-pow! Sock! Bam!
Sometimes, in the face of depressing news item after depressing news item, I long for a superhero to set things right as cleanly and simply as they do in the comic books.

click on link for more: Chicago is the World » Seeking Asian Pacific American Superheroes…at a Conference?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

How to Raise Strong and Confident Asian Pacific American Daughters | InCultureParent

An old article suddenly starting new conversations about apa girl power and leadership workshops...interested?

A few years ago, I took a seminar called, “Raising Strong and Confident Daughters.” My husband laughed at me. “Could our daughters 
be any stronger or more confident?” 

The class was an eye-opener for me, not just in how to raise my girls, but also in understanding my own Chinese-American childhood. I had no memory of dealing with a lot of the issues the instructor talked about as being so important to pre-adolescent girls, such as friendship and physical appearance. 

At first I thought that I must have been just so low on the social totem pole—because of race and nerdiness—that I had given up hope of competing in those arenas; I never even tried. 

Then I came across a Wellesley College study of Boston middle-school girls’ self-esteem along racial and ethnic lines and discovered that girls of different ethnic backgrounds based their sense of self-esteem on different factors. It found that the Caucasian girls were obsessed with dieting and body image, the Puerto Rican girls were very attached to their friendships, and the Chinese girls based their self-esteem on how well they spoke English. I started noticing in the media and in casual conversations that Caucasian women cannot talk for more than five minutes without making some self-deprecating comment about their appearance or weight. The Chinese women I know do not talk weight or appearance, except in the context of health, as in, “You’ve lost a lot of weight, have you been sick?” So it wasn’t me, it was a cultural thing.

click on link for more: How to Raise Strong and Confident Asian Pacific American Daughters | InCultureParent

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Helping Asian American girls and women navigate a crossroads of stereotypes and expectations - NAM EthnoBlog

My twelve-year-old daughter was recently backed up against a wall at school by someone much taller and heavier than her—that classic pose with one hand against the wall behind her head, body leaning into her as he talked, running his other hand through his hair, acting so cool. She did not feel like she was in any danger, but she did not like the feeling of being trapped there.
So back home in the safety of our kitchen, we practiced different strategies for what she could do if it ever happened again. She could push him back with two hands. She could casually take one step away from the wall. She could even point, “Look, over there!” She does not need to make a big deal out of it, but practicing these small adjustments empowers her to discretely shift control of the situation.

I shared this story with the very cool Lisa Lee, a former publisher of Hyphen Magazine and co-founder of ThickDumplingSkin.com, then peppered her with awkward and inappropriate questions. She works with young Asian Americans on issues of body image and self-esteem. Together we worried about young women finding themselves, staying safe, having fun, demanding to be treated with respect, and cultivating their characters. It is not easy, especially with all the different messages they get. There is a fine line between sexy and slutty, free-spirited and cheap, nice and taken advantage of. We like to think we can navigate that line with spirit and style, but as this perfectly titled article in Jezebel says, “People Are Terrible, So Stop Putting Your Boobs on the Internet.”

click on link for more: Helping Asian American girls and women navigate a crossroads of stereotypes and expectations - NAM EthnoBlog

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Congratulations UM Yuri Kochiyama Leadership Program Graduates

Congratulations to the University of Michigan Yuri Kochiyama APA Leadership Program participants who graduated Saturday! Many thanks to the UM students for leading this great program! Painting the rock was great fun!

Congratulations also to Cathy Cao for her UM APIA Award for Yuri Kochiyama Lifetime Achievement and Frank Chi for his UM APIA Award for Most Likely to be elected President.

#bubbletearocks

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Writing Class: Finding your Voice Sat at WCC

I will be teaching a writing Class, "Finding your Voice" this and next Saturday 10-12 at Washtenaw Community College. Hope to see you there!

If you have been scribbling poetry in secret journals for years or if you now want to begin a memoir for your loved ones, it can take some time to find your voice or to have enough trust to show your writing to the world. Rather than waiting until all is perfect, begin in this course, one word at a time. With many tips, tricks, exercises and more, overcome those barriers to writing. 2 sessions.

click here for more information: http://www.wccnet.edu/lifelong-learning/browse/view/category/writing-literature/

Sneak Preview:

Friday, April 13, 2012

Chicago is the World » Helping Asian American girls and women navigate a crossroads of stereotypes and expectations

My twelve-year-old daughter was recently backed up against a wall at school by someone much taller and heavier than her—that classic pose with one hand against the wall behind her head, body leaning into her as he talked, running his other hand through his hair, acting so cool. She did not feel like she was in any danger, but she did not like the feeling of being trapped there.
So back home in the safety of our kitchen, we practiced different strategies for what she could do if it ever happened again. She could push him back with two hands. She could casually take one step away from the wall. She could even point, “Look, over there!” She does not need to make a big deal out of it, but practicing these small adjustments empowers her to discretely shift control of the situation.
I shared this story with the very cool Lisa Lee, former publisher of Hyphen Magazine and a co-founder of ThickDumplingSkin.com. She works with young Asian Americans on issues of body image and self-esteem. I peppered her with awkward and inappropriate questions. Together we worried about young women finding themselves, staying safe, having fun, demanding to be treated with respect, and cultivating their characters. It is not easy, especially with all the different messages they get. There is a fine line between sexy and slutty, free-spirited and cheap, nice and taken advantage of. We like to think we can navigate that line with spirit and style, but as this perfectly titled article in Jezebel says, “People Are Terrible, So Stop Putting Your Boobs on the Internet.”

click here for more: http://chicagoistheworld.org/2012/04/helping-asian-american-girls-and-women-navigate-a-crossroads-of-stereotypes-and-expectations/

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Lessons I do not want to teach my children–about Dharun Ravi, Trayvon Martin, Shaima Alawadi | InCultureParent

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 ChenPhoebe PrinceVincent ChinLuis 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 on link for more Lessons I do not want to teach my children–about Dharun Ravi, Trayvon Martin, Shaima Alawadi | InCultureParent

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

From the Twitter Feed: gaman and bullying

10h Frances Kai-Hwa Wang ‏ @fkwang
jacl's mary kamidoi tells high schoolers can't be all nicey nicey, have to speak up, forget gaman when it comes to bullying & racism #badass

11h Frances Kai-Hwa Wang ‏ @fkwang
With amazing @jacl mary kamidoi talking about internment w huron hs students. #badass

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

May-Lee Chai response to Preparing Children for Bullying and Hate Crimes we hope never come

from the beautiful and brilliant author May-Lee Chai in response to http://chicagoistheworld.org/2012/04/preparing-our-children-for-the-bullying-and-hate-crimes-we-hope-never-come/:

Frances,

Great column, great advice, as usual!

I'm really glad you wrote on this topic. And what great advice you give to kids about speaking up.

This is what's missing from the other media accounts I've read and seen about bullying.

They focus on what parents can do, what the kid being bullied can do, but you also but responsibility on kids who WITNESS bullying, which we all know is the vast majority.

It's so important that you show there's moral responsibility --and civic responsibility, and self-interest!--in telling an adult (so much more useful than just trying to defend the kid in the present) and to keep telling adults. Also puts responsibility on adults' shoulders. Many adults DO NOT FEEL ANY RESPONSIBILITY, but they should.

Great column!

May-lee

Monday, April 9, 2012

Preparing our children for the bullying and hate crimes we hope never come - NAM EthnoBlog

Last Thursday, my son, eight-year-old Little Brother, did not want to go to school. No fever. No stomachache. No runny nose. Normally, I am a big softie when the children do not feel well, but that day I had to go to the courthouse, so no time for fooling around. As I carried him to school under one arm, socks and shoes and breakfast and backpack under the other, he finally admitted that he did not want to go to school because something had happened on the playground a day earlier. Nothing too serious—definitely not bullying—just boys playing a little too rough, but he was frightened. He did not want to get his friend in trouble, but I told him that he had to tell, if only to help his friend learn how to become a better friend, and to let the grownups know to keep a closer eye on the foursquare. Together, we went in to tell his teacher and the principal, after which Little Brother was able to go to class without worries.click here for more: Preparing our children for the bullying and hate crimes we hope never come - NAM EthnoBlog

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Friday, April 6, 2012

ITASA begins tonight

International Taiwanese American Student Association (ITASA) Midwest Conference at the University of Michigan begins tonight, April 6, 2012. Looking forward to hanging out with TaiwaneseAmerican.org Ho Chie Tsai, ThickDumplingSkin.com Lisa Lee, Akufuncture, Mochi Mag, and more!

Click here for more information. Workshops

Thursday, April 5, 2012

International Neighbors' Luncheon May 23

Excited to have been invited to speak at International Neighbors' Luncheon Wednesday, May 23, 2012, at the Ann Arbor Women's City Club.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Speaking at UM Yuri Kochiyama Leadership Program

After the ITASA Conference http://midwest.itasa.org/2012/Workshops.html, I am thrilled to be speaking to the High Schoolers in the University of Michigan Yuri Kochiyama Leadership Program about the Vincent Chin case. They'll be going on a huge expedition that day to the Day Center, the McDonald's, the plaque, and more.

Here's more information on the program for your high schoolers...

http://www.umich.edu/~uaao/ykprogram/whatis.html

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Angry Asian Man Tweets Awesome

April 2, 2012 Twitterfeed

Angry Asian Man ‏ @angryasianman
Heejun Han, an Asian American mother's lessons for her children, and how to invest in human beings. And other links: http://blog.angryasianman.com/2012/04/read-these-blogs.html

Frances Kai-Hwa Wang ‏ @fkwang
@angryasianman thanks for including me in your read these blogs! you're the best!

Angry Asian Man ‏ @angryasianman
@fkwang Of course! I hope your kids are aware of how awesome you are.

Frances Kai-Hwa Wang ‏ @fkwang
@angryasianman they are :) wait until you hear the whole story over drinks some day

Monday, April 2, 2012

Lessons I do not want to teach my children-about Dharun Ravi, Trayvon Martin, Shaima Alawadi - NAM EthnoBlog

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.

click here for more: Lessons I do not want to teach my children-about Dharun Ravi, Trayvon Martin, Shaima Alawadi - NAM EthnoBlog

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Speaking at ITASA Conference at UM April 7, 2012

I am excited to be a speaker at the International Taiwanese American Student Association (ITASA) Midwest Conference at the University of Michigan on April 7, 2012. We're going to have some fun with "Spark your identity" (post-Tiger Mom). Looking forward to hanging out with Ho Chie Tsai again.

Click here for more information. Workshops
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