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Written by on July 15, 2013

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder: Veto SB 59! No guns in my children’s schools!

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.

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Written by on December 17, 2012

Possibility. Imagination. Conversations to remember. A Future for all of us.

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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.

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Written by on November 29, 2012

Making Teriyaki Sauce for Thanksgiving Eve

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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.

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Written by on November 22, 2012

This Halloween: Dress classy. Dance cheesy. We’re a Culture, not a Costume.

This Halloween: Dress classy. Dance cheesy. We're a Culture, not a Costume. Comments Off on This Halloween: Dress classy. Dance cheesy. We’re a Culture, not a Costume.

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.

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Written by on October 25, 2012

“What do you mean you don’t vote? How can you not vote?”

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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.

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Written by on October 18, 2012

Mooncakes and Yo-Yos

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We were going to have an moonlit picnic at the park — teriyaki chicken musubi, steamed little dragon buns, a thermos of hot jasmine tea, and of course, plenty of mooncakes. Thirteen-year-old Hao Hao had already written up a grocery list (which suspiciously includes “Pocky — 1,000,000 boxes”). We had four pink and green paper lanterns and candles from Vietnam, one for each of the kids. It was going to be a rare Saturday night with everyone together, just to sit and eat as a family and look at the beautiful full moon, the Harvest Moon, while composing a poem or two for the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival (basically, Chinese/Vietnamese/Korean Thanksgiving or Oktoberfest … but without the beer). But then rain was forecast.

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Written by on September 27, 2012

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