I remember when my children were small and I would not let them have playdates or sleepovers at homes that had guns. It was embarassing to ask, “Do you have guns in the house?” but I did. I made one relative get rid of the gun I knew he kept before we would come for a long visit. Curious small children. Careless adults. Deadly weapons. Not a combination I was interested in seeing together.
Written by frances on December 17, 2012
Imagination has no limits today. I love that about Halloween. Education has no barriers today either. I love that about the Natural History Museum. (Whenever we talk about Chicago, eight-year-old Little Brother has only one word, “Sue.”) Even now, three weeks later, the memories of this day and the imagination it inspires insulate me from the hateful racist and sexist rhetoric churning outside my door.
Written by frances on November 29, 2012
Of course, Thanksgiving (Eve or otherwise) is not really about the food. As I told the children in my most recent presentation on Asian harvest festivals, it really is about the people—all the family and friends we call home. And in this, all of our different cultures really are more alike than not.
Written by frances on November 22, 2012
So I am really puzzled by people like Abigail Fisher of the current US Supreme Court case Abigail Fisher v University of Texas. A mediocre student, the University of Texas insists that she simply was not good enough, but she is certain that the reason she was not accepted is because of affirmative action and less-qualified minorities. This case also pulls Asian Americans into the argument. Lots of folks have already written about the legal dimensions of this case, and it is complex, but I am curious about the sense of entitlement that makes her so certain that it is the fault of others that she did not get in.
Written by frances on November 11, 2012
As Halloween nears, whenever I teach late, I come home to find a different cast of characters galloping triumphant through my house, including Howl’s Moving Castle, pirate vs. ninja, kung fu masters, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Steampunk, Goth Lolis, and more. A raucous combination of cosplay and Halloween, the spirit is festive, the creativity fun, the details impressive. Last week, even my old prom and wedding dresses were both trotted out and Steampunked. “Don’t you kids have homework to do?” And the background music in our house these past few weeks has been Psy’s “Gangnam Style” with its driving beat and in all its many variations.
Written by frances on October 25, 2012
Sometimes friends tease me for being so naïve and idealistic. But with the elections upon us, I am there once again. I cannot help it. As the child of immigrants, I was raised valuing freedom and democracy, knowing how lucky we all are to be here, knowing how fragile that luck can be. I am always shocked when I meet people who do not vote.
Written by frances on October 18, 2012
I have enjoyed the easy camaraderie found with these folks whenever we have met since then, especially Ryan Suda, who is just such good people. The conversation always flows and the ideas for collaboration come easily. He has helped so many people and organizations over the years, always with a kind heart and easy humor. I am struck by the thought that there are so many different ways of being a leader in the community, and so many ways of giving to the community, but in the end, it always comes back to good people.
Written by frances on October 11, 2012
« Older Entries