Home and Identity

Week 9: This is what home as all along

This was absolutely the toughest quarter I’ve had in school. At the end, it fits because of what was on my plate. One thing I won’t do is discount all the things that lead me to here – write them off as something I moved pass from. From issues of my health to moving in with my partner to feeling my own intergenerational trauma to feeling so affected by the content of this course. So many things grabbed at me and have both contributed to massive amounts of stress and gratitude for being able to see through the pain and turn it into action.

The bad part is though, I don’t know if my writing has improved. Because I chose something so personal I focused a lot more on the personals than how I’m writing it. And with the stress and the issues I just wasn’t able to dedicate enough time to really think about my writing.

One thing I realized with my paper was how the home I chose to write about has been with me this whole time. For like the past three years. My home are the feelings of being connected to myself and my environment (sometimes other people are involved in it too lol), it’s the feelings of appreciation and forgiveness of myself, and honesty-acceptance-love for myself. Practicing it everyday, being patient in that process. Noticing when I’m far from home and seeing how long and what needs to happen in order to get back.

The hard part was connecting it to APIA pop culture. I started with family which is a definite sore spot. Then I moved it over to representation of Asian women and then shortening the lens to include specifically Pilipina women. I wanted to connect my home with how disconnected I was to my ethnicity and WHY. With my home and all that connection, I took the time to really feel my feelings, to talk about them, and to move forward with them. Because my ethnic identity was largely erased, most of the feelings I had about it were uncomfortable feelings. And I had no place to feel or talk about them. Even when openings were available throughout these three years I didn’t dare to walk through them. It’s the power of representation and opportunity when it took a rare Asian American culture program to get me to think deeply about my own damn life.

So that is where my paper is. I have not worked in it since this past Monday night but I did that purposefully to being all dedicated tonight and tomorrow. Really that is all I need. I highly believe in my writing abilities and I know the finished product will be something I’m proud of. I just need to really take the time out and let the words and connections all come to me.

A lot of my paper is recognizing my identities and how the development of those hindered my Pilipina identity – it just wasn’t something I thought about. In my paper I wrote about why it’s important for me to bring all my selves into the work I do and in my life. So yeah yeah it’s all personal to me, and when it gets like this I know I resist getting to the personal feelings. Like it’ll take me a long time to actually write something I can use. But this is why I waited until the night before to do all the heavy lifting.

When this is done I can relax and feel good about the work I’ve done.

Why I Stopped Reading Paper Bullets

Week 9: Another post on misogyny

Look I gotta deal with this everyday. Why I stopped reading this week’s book definitely wasn’t an excuse to just not read for the week while everything else in life goes on. Although Week 9 was a particularly difficult week and everyday misogyny did play a role in that… I felt I had to establish a boundary somewhere like I always have to try to do in my life and I drew it with this book. Here is the line that started it all:

I literally put the fucking book down and walked away. One thing I really really hate is how people are viewed and judged as body parts rather than as whole people. For the case of people of color (especially qtpoc and woc) and people with marginalized identities (especially those with disabilities and of size) there have been many ways we have been dehumanized and objectified. As a woman of color, this line and several other instances of the book up until the part where I stopped reading, this is something I could not overlook/step back and view from a critical perspective/not take too personally.

Maybe on another week I would have just passed it, made an annotation about the misogyny, move on and finish the book in the day and a half I gave myself time to read. Maybe on another week I would have rationed out the pages over a span of six days like I have done with the other books and that line and the other lines wouldn’t have been so offensive to me. THIS week was particularly stressful on the living-as-a-woc-navigating-a-world-of-misogyny front. On Wednesday I had to talk to an advocate from CASV to vent and cry in front of someone who would understand. Throughout that morning in class I was fighting back my feelings trying not to feel them because these things just keep coming up. I will never not escape sexist comments, news of sexual harassment/assault allegations, rape culture, sexist media, casual misogyny from peers, anything anything anything related to any of that.

Maybe on another week I could stand up to this book like I’ve done before and approach misogyny from a critical perspective. Take note of the time period the book takes place in, take note of who the voice of the story is, and not take it so personally. Maybe on another week I can critically analyze the ways in which my oppressor sexually objectifies my gender and talk about how that it’s wrong while also not discounting his voice and humanity as a whole. Maybe on another week I wouldn’t be so hard on my oppressor for viewing my gender as separated body parts to be measured and instead view THIS as an assignment for my program AND not let it get in the way of this week’s seminar and my education.

Maybe on another week I could see all of this from another perspective and not take it so damn personally. Maybe I could see that I’m¬†overreacting and this isn’t a big deal like I’m making it out to be.

Right. No. I don’t think so. Not this time.

I’m not here to blast anyone for reading through to the end of this book. I’m not here for that. I am taking this personally because it is personal to me. It sucks that I wasn’t able to look past the personals and unable to fully participate in seminar. It sucks that I wasn’t able to be a critical consumer of this book. But I just wanted to put down my feelings about why I stopped reading it. No man could ever say that shit to me and I’ll just hear him out and listen to his life story whether some of it is fictional or not. This book didn’t get a pass from me. Again, I have to stress that I deal with misogyny every day. I deal with it outside of school, I deal with it in my personal relationship, I deal with it internalized in my own damn self.

I had to draw the line somewhere in how I come across misogyny everyday. There are some ways I can’t avoid it but I can control how I deal with it. I’m still learning how to do that. Sometimes I just got to shut it out. Because it hurts me that much.

Final Cut (lol)

Week 9: Going to miss my blogging weekends ūüôĀ

I’m just sitting here thinking about how to start this. These are the last blog posts of the program. I mean, I write all the time privately, and I think no one really reads through others’s blogs BUT BUT BUT this was like the bright spot of the weekend. The informal type writing assignment of the weekend where we can just spill our minds and not worry about academic diction. These posts could be anything we wanted them to be. So I’ll definitely miss this and also reading other students’ blogs. I was that person who read through some of your blogs…

So I guess I don’t really know what to say that I’m already going to say for the Paper and Rock posts. Scissors was always my favorite because I got to talk about my personal life a little bit, even if the personals coincided with Rock most of the time. Here are just some random thoughts. I think Paper I’ll write about Paper Bullets (lol) and Rock I’ll write about the currents with my paper and how that’s been going.

I overall enjoyed the program despite being hit with some personal issues in the quarter. This program surpassed all other programs and classes I’ve taken that hit me so hard.¬†Forgotten Country did that to me – it did something I never thought I would do: reach out to my brother and sister who I have not talked to in years. Right now things are pretty awk with us as we have not met up since I sent the message. I pulled back from acting on getting us together, I feel like I’m so scared to be disappointed or have the whole thing blow up in my face if I make all these plans and try to get us together only to have it not happen. I was always scared of some “you did this to me” blaming battle that can happen when people hold resentment waiting for the time to strike. I’m not here for some digging of the past. Why I think that would happen anyway is my own insecurity, my own barrier I’m putting in front of me. But I want them to do some of the work too, I made the initial call, let’s see who picks up. But it would just be so like us to leave things where they are and not progress. I also dealt with some health and emotional issues that hit me around week 7 and 8. That made it hard to write my second draft. I’m still feeling the effects of it all. Yesterday I had a killer head and stomachache and my stomach is fine today but my head’s still in pain. Ugh. And Jackson’s been going through it too. So we’re both miserable. There’s just been a lot going on.

But anyway, back to the program… I could have done without the casual and not-so-casual sexism in some of the films and books but I guess there’s just seriously no way to ever escape it ever ever ever. And then like be “expected” to rise above it and be able to critique it and look at the nuances, the context, and the culture. Moving on… I’m very satisfied with the amount of female writers we got to read from. I learned quite a bit about Asian history and culture just by reading them and it inspired me to learn more. I did some extra reading on Operation Babylift, the Vietnam War, and the Korean War. I’m glad that I got to learn more about erased Asian identities and the positives and negatives of representation. I’ve always had a problem with Hollywood and it was interesting to notice how it has fucked up in regards to portraying Asians on TV and in movies. But I guess it didn’t “fuck up” since Hollywood was never about inclusivity. Hollywood can keep its hypermasculine, white, racist, sexist shit. I’m just looking to support POC, especially, QTPOC and BI+WOC, created content. Also one thing that I got to practice more is enjoying forms of media while also critiquing it. It’s easy for me to write something off and not pay attention to it, like I started to do with¬†Better Luck Tomorrow. But in watching other films and reading some of the books, I practiced pointing out positives and criticisms.

And I have to include, how I had to establish boundaries on how much misogyny I can take. I think I’ll write more about that in the Paper post.

To end this off, I’m super glad I took this program. I’m proud of the personal growth I gained from it. I got to meet and work with some incredibly intelligent people who I learned a lot from and there were two great instructors who I also learned a lot from.

You will never learn about this again anywhere else

Week 8: What do you know about the Pacific Islands?

Well, I grew up in the U.S. and went to school here so NOT MUCH. Not because I didn’t think it was important. Not because I didn’t care or forgot about it. But this is where these “things” are bigger than me. Bear with me: because of my upbringing and education, because of United States exceptionalism and white hegemony, I know very little about Polynesia, Melanesia, and Micronesia. Because of¬†all that, I never had to think about the people who live there, the history they have endured, how the people and the land have been mistreated, and what the future holds. I never had to think about that, I never had to consider the land and lives of all the people who are from there. That alone shows my privilege of being born in the United States and for years being able to blissfully live in the ignorance of this “great” country. Ever since I started learning about feminism starting at age 19 and then enrolling in Highline College at age 21, I’ve been unlearning toxic beliefs I’ve been socialized to believe without question and I’ve learned about the axes of oppression and power dynamics. I’m aware of my privilege to an extent, I’m aware of the comfort my privilege has allowed me, the access, and the safety. But it’s so uncomfortable because I know a lot of people don’t have the privileges I do and how could I enjoy certain parts of my life knowing that other people are suffering because they are marginalized by the system of oppression I benefit from. I think it’s not a stretch or an extreme to say the Pacific Islands are not important to me and I do not care¬†because U.S. culture, society, and education have told me the Pacific Islands are not important and unworthy to care about.

It’s a lot to take in. But back to the presentation this past Tuesday. I greatly appreciated the hard work it took and the four students who took the time and dedication to present to us. There are so many layers and complexities we had no idea existed. I didn’t know about like 95% of the content they presented but I was able to relate on the level of I also fall under the APIA umbrella and can relate to many cultural struggles.

Because of the lack of education/awareness on the Pacific Islands, we are guilty of bunching all the islands together. Considering the more “well known” islands like Hawaii and Samoa (but not distinguishing between American and Western Samoa) and at the same time not considering the smaller, “lesser known” islands. The thing is, we are not going to receive this kind of content anywhere, we are not going to be presented with this information anywhere else. And if we do, here’s me hoping the presenters are compensated greatly for their work. For me personally, there’s a reason why most of the papers I’ve written and the things I’ve talked about have had to do with systems of oppression – because that is something I know and understand (to an extent because the learning never stops) and I don’t often allow myself to focus on the good that’s happening at the same time.

Like I said, it’s a lot to take in. But now, I’ll focus a bit on the pop culture side. It was pretty cool, on the slides of PI’s in the media, seeing The Rock, Roman Reigns, and Tamina. Like everyone knows The Rock (tbh, was never my favorite wrestler because I liked the bad guys) but what’s lesser known is how he comes from a long line of wrestlers (which we can analyze and it relate it to how PI individuals, especially men, are pushed toward military and sports) who have met varying degrees of success in the world of professional wrestling. Other wrestlers I’m aware of are The Usos and Nia Jax. I grew up watching wrestling, I barely follow it now, and it will always have a place in my life. Lately, I’ve been disengaged with it because of its displays of overt toxic masculinity, the way women are represented, the glass ceiling for wrestlers of color, the way the McMahons donated millions to the Trump campaign, it’s very thin dedication to social justice, and its history of racism and sexism. Oh what a mouthful.

Anyways, the lessons of this presentation will stay with me. Not just as a reminder of the privilege I hold but I got to incorporate it into learning I do everyday. Look up PI activists and writers, do what I can to become more aware about the issues and of the people.


Week 8: Constantly widening my worldview to include marginalized communities and culture that are more meaningful and rich than U.S. “culture.”

This week we saw¬†Kumu Hina. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It shows the importance of telling the stories of people in their native culture, teaching that culture to the younger generation, and the personal lives and struggles of those people. I got to learn more about native Hawaiian culture, which is something no one gets to learn about. It makes me think about misrepresentations of Hawaiian culture and the things I heard about Hawaii when I was younger: it’s a vacation spot, it’s paradise, it’s where people go for honeymoons, for getaways, and to surf. It’s not a big mystery why we don’t know about native Hawaiian culture. I think of colonization, capitalism, different types of oppression, and US exceptionalism. But I always tend to focus on the oppression side of things, thinking back to previous seminars I’ve been in and the papers I’ve written last year. Most of my comments and paper topics were about colonization, white supremacy, and forms of oppression. So right now I want to focus on more positive stuff, just for this post. Although in the back of my mind I do think about how I know nothing of Pilipinx culture and that is also something no one gets to learn about. But anyway…¬†Kumu Hina reinforced the notion that there are many ways indigenous communities are continuing their culture and fighting back against colonization by reaching out to the younger generations and teaching them about the meaning and pride of their culture. The film also focused on gender identity, which is so so sooo important. It gives us all an education on what mahu is and hopefully as more and more people watch this film, can let go of their obsession with the gender binary and focus more on people’s spirits, energies, and freedom to express their authentic selves.

In other life news: I’m so ready for the break. See you in Week 9.

Work From Home

Week 8: Working Through the Break (inside cringing when people say “thanksgiving” but I understand why they call it that *cringe face*)

It’s sure something to be able to make it through a very tough week and be able to really see how bad things were. A couple of days removed from writing the previous Rock post, the “badness” of my feelings died down and I was able to work on my paper on and off this week. The focus shifted a little bit to better fit APIA pop culture. And it feels like I’m back in the beginning where I’m touching upon the body. I will be writing more about representations of Asian women in the media and how it affected my worldview growing up. The affect will connect with my idea of HOME and how negative and very little portrayals did not allow me to establish a strong relationship with my ethnic identity. And of course I will to include my upbringing and that crucial family stuff because that’s important in it too. The disconnection family-wise has to do with being a U.S. born child of immigrant parents, both of us navigating a world that doesn’t really want and respect us.

I worked on it this morning and wrote down a bit of commentary and more anecdotes. I started writing more intentionally rather than just writing the words straight from my mind. I think I’m over the bad feelings of the weekend and am seriously ready to just finish strong. Also, knowing that we’re just days away from a week long break helps so much too. Also knowing that I felt exactly this same way last year helps too.

I’ve never really explored my ethnicity in this way. So I understand why it was hard for me in the first place. But I think right now after working on my paper for like two hours this morning I think I’m in a good place. Thinking that if I go back tomorrow and work on it then I would be so much more closer to having a finished draft.

I met with Kris and decided to send her a finished draft around week 9 for her to read over. This works out great for me to have this extended time to work on it. I think that’s what I needed. While it would have been cool to have the whole break without any schoolwork, maybe working on the thing little by little throughout the next week would fit me better. Now that I have more written and now that I feel better about myself as a whole.

Home Right Here

Week 7: four day weekend spent at home

I wrote a bit about what was going on with me and my… paper in my Scissors post (titled The Mountain of Stress, written Saturday night after a day of feeling awful – feeling like the stress buildup of the past couple of months has finally hit me hard) and now I guess here is where I have to put in active steps on how to move forward.

I spent most of the early afternoon crying and sunken in bed next to Jackson who was watching his show. Before that, he asked me what was wrong and I was like Idon’tknow(?)everything(?) and he asked me to lay down with him for a while. So when I got there I started crying on and off for the three or four episodes of that new show he was watching. I even took a little nap. It was hard. I don’t remember a time where I felt so down on myself and everything that I just cried. And in that crying and throughout the day where I allowed myself to think about it, I thought about home. I thought about that feeling of being self aware and connected and grounded and engaged. I thought that these past four days not doing much and getting that sleep would be good for me. I just ended up staying in that miserable stage.

So I thought of home and I avoided it because I wasn’t ready to be in a positive place yet. In my paper (in its current version) I describe a counseling session where I came in distraught and was practically yelling at my counselor. We worked through those feelings and in the end he said “you landed your own helicopter, I didn’t do it for you,” essentially telling me he didn’t tell me what to do to feel better, to move forward. I worked my way around what was wrong and he was just there to be a soundboard, to ask me the hard questions to get my real thoughts through. The home I chose for this project is not always an easy and comforting place. I understand that a lot of reflection and honesty needs to happen in order to get to those connected, engaged feelings. I understand how these feelings were not accessible to me when I was younger for many reasons. So to get there I need to burst/walk/talk/shove through the walls to get to the other side.

It’s hard to focus and I know why that is. It’s hard writing about my family, sometimes it feels like I’m trying to explain their actions when I have no idea what they were and only have my sources to try to explain them. It’s hard writing about my family in relation to my ethnic identity because there isn’t much there. It’s hard writing about my ethnicity when this is literally the first time writing about it and thinking extensively about it. So. Where do we go from here.

Like I got caught up in all the emotions I’m so missing out on the how does it connect to APIA pop culture. So I was thinking about not so much writing about my family and all that drama and instead highlighting more about being a Pilipina both as a younger and then a bit older person. Bringing up representations in media, stereotypes, expectations and a bit of history. All of which I have sources for. Plus it’s a bit embarrassing to be at this stage when it’s week 7 and I’m soooo behind. But I’m not going to feel bad about it right now because I strongly feel that I needed to go through all the emotions of this week and to do all the crying. I needed this. It gets me to really think about what has helped me move through these feelings and to be conscious of the amount of energy I put into them. Of course, I can write more about this but… we got to get mentally prepared for tomorrow.

Mississippi Masala: Love in Many Forms

Week 7: Interracial Relationships

First of all, I had no idea the British ~brought~ people from India to Uganda to build the railway. It’s a piece of history that we just don’t hear about. The movie started and I was like woah slow down give me the whole summary of events here. But of course… we saw little Mina next and suddenly I was like omg protect this child don’t let anything bad happen to her. Until, of course, we get the flash forward in the next scene – the Milk Run – and we see how much Mina has grown and where her family ends up. Then I was like yesss Mina be all baad with your wild driving self.

How amazingly cliche is it to develop a relationship with the person whose vehicle you smash your car into? I say “amazingly” because I watch Days of our Lives. Some of the way characters meet and end up in a relationship are super cliche. And also, it’s amazing because you never know what could happen in situations like that one. How life changes. Mina and Demetrius seemingly get their end of the movie happily ever after. They achieve their own sense of independence away from their town and their family, free to be and free to explore.

When their relationship gets exposed and Mina is “forbidden” to see Demetrius (Mina, who is 23 in the movie, I should add), this is where other things get exposed. Both Mina and Demetrius get accused, either outright or assumed, of “ruining everything” and they both realize something needs to change. Demetrius’s business got affected and Mina sees how trapped she is living with her parents in the motel. At the end, I really thought she was going to go home when her mom was pleading her to on the phone but I hoped she wouldn’t. I feel like I know how hard it is to leave home and not come back when they are literally telling you to come back. But like she was 23 and longing for more out of life. Not going back to Uganda with her family was that big step away from the safety and predictability of family life. That’s what she needed to do. Demetrius was her way out, it’s always seems to be easy to move when there’s a lover right by your side.

Anyway, their relationship caused a lot of strife with the two family sides. The father tells Mina something along the lines of “their side always sticks together,” referring to the pain he felt when Okelo told him Uganda is for Black Africans. It was the father’s way of trying to protect his daughter while generalizing all black people for not being loyal to the people they care about. Parents’ protection over their daughters is strong and at times, vicious. It’s often mistaken for “love” and then more accurately understood as control.

When I was 23 I began my first relationship and obviously my parents were not thrilled. For many reasons you know, and Jackson and I both understand why. He’s 23 years older than me, he’s previously been incarcerated, and he’s black. He thinks him being black was one of the big things while I think it’s his “criminal” background history. My parents were scared for my life, telling me I was going to end up dead. Looking back of course they were scared. I totally understand it but I also know of the anti-blackness a lot of Asians internalize. But I also gotta factor in how Jackson was 46 at the time and he got out of prison a year and a half before we got together. From a general parent perspective, I get it. But adding in our family dynamic, how sheltered I was as a child, our ethnic background, and my gender, it makes it more complex.

It demonstrates the importance of that conversation Mina had with her father where he told her what happened before they left Uganda and how that led to him acting the way he did.

Anyways, interracial relationships can come in so loaded with history, stereotypes, perceived expectations, prejudices, internalized biases and other things really based on not only the racial identities of the people in the relationship but of their gender identity, class and other identities the people hold. I specify with interracial relationships because we’re partnered with someone whose ethnic background is uniquely different than our own. It’s a loaded topic and it’s very complex so like I don’t want to put myself in a hole trying to come up with sweeping statements. I know that in my own relationship, there’s had to be many learning moments of understanding each other, knowing where each other is coming from and really listening to each other when it comes to our identities. In being Pilipina I’ve had to ask myself if why some of the behavior I exhibit is due to my own background. Some of the things I picked up in how my parents interacted with each other and some of the stereotypes I read in my sources.

Okay that’s enough, still wondering how I can write so much in these posts but get mentally blocked when it comes to my paper. Though it’s no wonder, I know exactly why: I don’t have to worry about sounding academic-y when it comes to here. But then again… Rock post to come next.

The Mountain of Stress

Week 7: There’s no room in the education system for students to take care of their academics, health (whatever that means to them) and everything¬†everything else going on in their lives. It’s like we’re expected to be scholarly robots, able to handle anything and everything – we’re reading and writing machines, consistently capable of turning everything in on time, not expected to be perfect but fulfilling every guideline, and creating creative content each week. How can I write more in these weekly blog posts than the actual current draft of my paper? How does that even work? LOL

All my blog entries have been extensions of my journal, just with more content about this program. It’s Week 7 and I’m completely exhausted and completely not okay. This week has been super tough. I didn’t even finish my second draft and right now feel like I have to change a lot of it. With my topic so close to me, so personal and tied to my identity, it’s been hard to keep focused. It’s been hard to keep going when I’m thinking about being a woman and being Pilipina and reading sources about gender and ethnic stereotypes, the “Comfort Women” of WWII, family obligations/expectations, and how US colonization essentially fucked “”everything”” up (ugh I know that can be written off as an exaggeration even though it’s really fucking not but I really don’t want to go into detail about it). It’s draining, it’s pretty traumatic for me. I read this really well written, brilliant source I want to use and a couple of times while reading it, I had to stop and just take a breather. Some of this content is preventing me from staying focused and it’s hard to separate processing this content personally and academically. And that’s what happens when you choose to write about something really personal, something I have never explored before. I guess I should have known that writing about my ethnicity was going to be difficult. But that’s why I did it.

Also I’ve been going through some other stressors like the tiredness thing and some body stuff. We don’t have class on Thursdays so we had a four day break. I took three of those days just laying around and that still doesn’t feel sufficient but I know that a lot of this has to do with what I just wrote. There’s a part of me that’s like I don’t know how I’m going to finish this paper the way I want it to and there’s another part that knows what I need in order to hone in and focus and that’s the hard part. Because like I’ve been crying over this and sometimes I just don’t want to cry anymore. But because I know what it’s like to be home, I know that crying has always brought me closer to it.

You know those times when you just want to finish something but mentally you just can’t do it when you want to and you just gotta wait for the feeling or the time to pass to actually do it… I mean, I hope that this is what it is. I don’t think I realized how tired and drained I’ve been. Starting all the way at the end of summer when things started getting difficult. It’s so easy to minimize the pain and stress you’ve been through because the passage of time can bring the illusion that we’ve gone past it. *shrugs*


Week 6: How reading can change lives

This week I had to read¬†We Should Never Meet by Aimee Phanbefore Wednesday to turn into Kris because I wasn’t going to be in class on Friday. I read about 80 pages throughout four days. This was a phenomenal book. It didn’t have the crying-reach-out-to-my-estranged-siblings power¬†Forgotten Country did but it was so powerful in other ways. How the different stories connected together, how imagery and dialogue were used to enhance the stories made it so SO powerful. I had to read up on Operation Babylift and I had to ask Jackson for some backstory on the Vietnam war which filled in some of the gaps for me since I don’t know this history (for obvious reasons tbh because I grew up in the US going to public eurocentric white people school lolz).

One of my goals was to read and think critically so that I can make more thorough annotations. Since I turned in the book, I don’t really remember what I annotated… I do remember how I tried to link the stories together, I wrote about how every character in the book was suffering under white supremacy and impacts of the Vietnam war which made their personalities and actions very complex and loaded with this historical and present trauma. The character Vihn, on the surface, is a very unforgiving character because of the way he treated Kim and then how he played Bac Nguyen. But I wrote that Vihn was suffering too. Just like the other characters he is struggling to survive, being entangled in his past and living in the US. How he mistreats Kim and seeks out Bac Nguyen, pretending to be a friend, robbing his family and his house and then attacking him shows how vicious impacts of war is… to hate and rob your own people, knowing how to do it, knowing how to get away with it – shows how entangled he is in internalized hatred and the system of racism. That was probably my favorite chapter because it evoked so much emotion from me.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and if I had it with me or took notes for me to keep I could write more. But because of these past couple of days and losing the original Rock post, I’m going to sign off.