This afternoon, I’ll be…

This afternoon, I'll be helping to host the inaugural kick-off even for the Asian American Studies Program at UIC (for which I serve as Assistant Coordinator.) To give you a sense of what it means to the students, I just wanted to point you to this moving blog post by student Joyce Yin.

I can't even imagine what it would have been like, to have been a part of a S. Asian American community in college. I was mostly afraid to engage with others of S. Asian descent at the time, afraid that they would be very traditional, conservative, and the sort who would report my activities back to their parents, and by extension, to mine. So I avoided them, and I think I missed out on a lot as a result.

3 thoughts on “This afternoon, I’ll be…”

  1. Interesting that you’ve changed your stance on it. From what I know about the Indian clique at the local university, your hunches were dead on. There is no drama like Indian drama, as I’ve warned younger relatives. Of course, I felt much the same about the grad math dept, and it was a white man who decided to freak out about my artsy, lgbt friends and cause problems in my professional career.

  2. I suspect these things are very different today than when we were young. I’m trying to figure out how to phrase this… when we were younger, there was still a certain amount of inflexibility about this kind of stuff…and there REALLY is much less today.

  3. Yes to both — but I’d also say that while there were certainly some folks who would have gotten me in trouble, there were also some other liberal types like me. And I didn’t get to know them until a decade later, when I’d relaxed enough to be willing to trust other S. Asians.

    Which was my loss — I missed out on ten years of possible friendships, out of fear. Somewhat justified fear, but still.

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