Homecoming

She said our meeting was 命運, fate. And I believed her. Words from the young woman I met at the airport, in transit from one country to another. I had been on the road now for more than six months. I had started to yearn for home. Where was home, any way? She reminded me it was with good people. Continue reading “Homecoming”

Let’s Talk Story: A Need for Speed

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Growing up, Alexander Larson had a need for speed. Make that Speed — the 1994 action film. It was the cars that drew him to the film (a subject he’s still passionate about as he pursues his degree in Mechanical Engineering as a senior at Colorado State University) but it was also something else. It starred someone who looked like him. Keanu Reeves is one of the best known Hollywood actors who happens to be part Asian, significant when only one out of 20 speaking roles goes to Asians and only one percent land leading roles. Alexander writes about these memories and more in his essay here.  Continue reading “Let’s Talk Story: A Need for Speed”

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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myvy and anonymous

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?”