Musings on literature in translation and a quest to see the Super Moon in London

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Behind the scenes to the most recent feature I wrote.

One of the things that makes me feel grounded and connected to all parts of my identity (and just generally feel human ) is gazing at the moon. It’s something that’s simple and universal, but has special significance to me because it’s referenced so frequently in Chinese poetry, including the Tang poet Li Bai’s famed work “Quiet Night Thinking.” This week I wrote about it in relation to my quest to see the Super Moon.

I hadn’t done written translations since college, and started to consider it again this summer when my English vocabulary fell short in trying to describe my affection for my childhood best friend in a speech. It worked out so well I decided to try it again. Continue reading “Musings on literature in translation and a quest to see the Super Moon in London”

Kyungso Park and Andy Sheppard at the Royal Albert Hall, London

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I’ve been away from home for quite some time. This statement then begs the question, where, exactly, is home? For now, I content myself with the idea that my home is wherever I happen to be at a given moment, in this case, London. It’s rather difficult to conduct oral histories based in the Mountain West here or the other nine countries I’ve since visited, so I’ve been occupying my time in myriad other ways, including other sorts of research and writing. Continue reading “Kyungso Park and Andy Sheppard at the Royal Albert Hall, London”

Let’s Talk Story: The Company We Meet, the Family We Keep

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Who’s your family? Sometimes it’s the people we choose, and sometimes it’s those we’re born to. In the case of two Colorado State University students, these relationships are works in progress. Myvy Ngo talks about the evolution of her relationship with her parents who immigrated from Vietnam, and another discusses the familial roles different family members and friends have played at various times in her life. Listen to their conversation above, or read on for a full transcript. Continue reading “Let’s Talk Story: The Company We Meet, the Family We Keep”

How do I do an oral history?

Recently I’ve had the enormous joy of spending time with people I love, connecting and/or reconnecting.

I’ve logged hours of oral histories in the process. In some ways it comes naturally to me as a journalist, but in others it feels very foreign to do so with people so intimate to me, so I’m always looking for ways to improve or adapt my process. It’s never perfect. No two interviews go exactly the same way. I suppose the only common way to go is forward.

As I tell people what I’m up to a common response is, “I’ve always wanted to do that but wouldn’t know where to begin!”

If you find yourself saying this, here are some useful guidelines… Continue reading “How do I do an oral history?”

Reading on the Radio

I find several things especially life affirming. These include the butterfly rush from a somersault, when a curtain rises on a stage production, and when a story goes to press. Also when I get to the grocery store and find avocados or good chocolate on sale. Now I can add one more. Recording for radio! Continue reading “Reading on the Radio”

Let’s Talk Story: Our Town

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We may leave the places we’re from, but they often have lasting impacts on the people we become. Allie Hoog, a Human Development and Family Studies major, and Anna Porter, majoring in Political Science and International Studies, reflect on what it was like to grow up in small towns in New Mexico and Ohio respectively before becoming students at Colorado State University. Listen to their conversation above, or read on for the full transcript. Continue reading “Let’s Talk Story: Our Town”

My Unbreakable Faith in Kimmy Schmidt is Broken

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“That’s where all of Kimmy’s mole strength comes from!” Their words, not mine. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Facebook fan page.

Last week’s revelation: After ruthlessly defending it, I’ve since come to the uncomfortable conclusion that”Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” is much more fragile than I’d like.

I believed in Santa Claus even longer than my little sister, though for years I’d suspected there was something odd about a magical man coming into your home (through a chimney no less) and eating your cookies. Even when she started to question his existence, I defended it. I loved Santa Claus, wanted to believe in him, and did so until that awkward conversation around the dinner table when my parents confirmed my sister’s suspicions to be true. “He lives in your heart,” they consoled me.

Now, as an adult, I get it. Nobody’s perfect, and the people we idolize, we idolize for what we hope they represent at their best. Continue reading “My Unbreakable Faith in Kimmy Schmidt is Broken”