My Asian American Outlook

Yes, I’m a Filipino-American and I’m determined to make sense of it all – but that’s not my life story. We all have stories to tell, no matter how mundane, enlightening, related or random they may be, and they happen everyday. These posts are my accounts of myself and the world today.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Cho: The Poster Child for the Asian Harry Potter Fan

Besides Thanksgiving Break, talk of anticipation and excitement over the premier of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows plagued the nation. Needless to say, hundreds viewers of every age and level of obsession flocked to the box offices for weeks in advance to purchase tickets to the midnight showing.

It was expected. Fans in the hundreds attended the midnight premier, myself included, dressed as various characters from the books. KBIA, The Missourian and KOMU were seen reporting on the crowds, showing the best outfits. I thought I was being somewhat original with my costume choice, playing up my ethnicity by dressing as Cho, the only Asian character in the series. I figured hardly anyone else in Columbia would choose Cho as their character of choice because you clearly need a certain look to pull it off, an ethnic look with only a small percentage of students and residents.

This got me thinking; Why would I put so much emphasis and pride in one character, not because of her character personality traits and strengths, but because of her ethnicity. Sure, her positivity, charm and sensitivity are relatable to me – maybe because they can be viewed as stereotypical characteristics of Asian-American or Asian girls. It’s more clear, however, that such traits speak to me because we are similar in the ethnic level.

The Harry Potter saga, as cheesy as it sounds, is relatable to nearly everyone and gives us a sense of commonality. We all, individually, have something we are fighting for: a relationship, a job, a football team, identity, equality, clarity, what have you. J.K Rowling has made it clear that Harry is fighting for justice and love, among other things – both of which everyone can find a commonality in.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

First-time Gambler

On Thanksgiving night, my parents and I strutted ourselves over to the AmeriStar Casino in Kansas City so that I could try a hand at gambling. Unexpectedly, I got nervous. My palms started sweating, my jacket seemed to constrict my body, I began second-guessing my outfit choice wondering if it looked ‘big girl’ enough to blatantly back up my driver’s license evidence that I, in fact, am 21. The moment we approached the guard who separated us from the shiny, beeping slot machines, he carded me. I expected it entirely, and came prepared, but once I stepped into the big kid land of lost money, I didn’t feel like I stuck out that much. I would have bet that my rookie stench would give me away, but my ethnicity actually subsided its effects. Everywhere I turned, there was a 2:1 ratio of Asians to clearly native Missourians. Sure, everyone was at least 10 years my elder, but my dark complexion and black hair kept me from seeming too out of place. Finally, a situation in which my ethnicity worked in my advantage. Why did I want to blend in so much? Well, I always considered casinos a place where we are essentially voluntary victims of theft. The slot machines, although playfully deceiving, take your money as well as the card tables. If anyone could sense my apprehension as a newby, I felt that I would leave the sparkling land of gold and flashing lights as an even more broke college student. I do not think my looks saved me from my imminent demise, but I do believe they softened the blow. With my head held high, walking past several similar-looking faces, I left with a hefty 15 cents in my pocket.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Christmas Spirit, Ice Cream – and Boxing?

Last year during the holiday season, my mother told me, “Home is where our family is.” This was after the decision my parents made to take a vacation to New York for Christmas and New Year’s Eve. I was quite reluctant, at first, to be away from home during this time – but like I said, this was only at first. The experience was incredible and the memories I made with my family were ones I will always look back on in delight.

We stood, miniscule little ants to the Rockafeller Plaza Christmas tree, together in an atmosphere that only one of us had ever experienced before. There were hundreds of nameless faces, the majority of them I’m sure could not call themselves native New Yorkers like us, a simple hot chocolate was far overpriced and the air was BIT-TER – but I felt home at that moment, mesmerized by the Christmas spirit with the two people whom I owe everything to. My mom was right, I felt at home – home was where we were, together, regardless of our physical location.

Right now (10:35 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 19, 2010) I am watching the recorded boxing match of Manny Pacquiao vs. Antonio Margarito. Besides the fact that I am, indeed, sitting at home on my couch with my parents as we grimace and yell at the TV screen, the atmosphere or TV program are not what make me feel  ‘home-y’. The strings of questions on my well-being; comments on my future; making it ABSOLUTELY clear that I am well-fed; seeing my mom resting her head on my dad’s shoulder as he uses his other arm to gesture at every uppercut shot; eating my dad’s favorite pistachio ice cream – these are the components of a situation that make me feel inherently comfortable and create my home at heart.

In light of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, let’s just say I am incredibly thankful for my family. Their unrelenting concern for me oftentimes seem to burden me, but they show their love for me. Give thanks to them and to He who gives us all the strength to go on.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Awkward Christian Fellowship (ACF’s unofficial title)

On a day to day basis, it is quite difficult – and most of the time uncomfortable – for most of us to bring up religion in a casual conversation. Even with friends and family members, the topic of faith may be a taboo idea, regardless of the level of faith for either individual. One person may be a practicing Catholic from birth, speaking with her best friend who happens to be atheist and religion may not come up – but that’s the same case for a church goer and a baby Christian, even. Discussing our religious beliefs is tough, no matter the circumstance. But imagine if you are an international student who wants to learn more about this God guy, but you’re surrounded by people whom you are having difficulty relating to, paired with your language barrier. That’s where ACF comes into play, the Asian Christian Fellowship.

ACF’s goal is to provide a loving, outreaching community to Asians and Asian-Americans on campus, introducing God and Christianity to them. This Bible study group gives all students an opportunity to learn more about Christianity and really dive into the word, while giving them a sense of familiarity. For international Asians, the Asian culture is an automatic connection, so maybe, their sense of comfort with Christianity will come easier.

What makes us awkward is somewhat unbeknown to any of us. Maybe, it’s because many of us have grown up with awkward Asian social skills – hesitant to make chime in and make a comment, and when we end up making a comment, it’s not that funny or witty, but all the while you have to laugh at the effort. Or, it could be that we’ve wholeheartedly embraced our awkwardness and use it as a mechanism to reel in others into our organization. It’s even difficult for me to call it an organization… because it’s best labeled a family.

Essentially, ACF has blessed me with a family away from home, full of friends that have become my backbone throughout college. I encourage anyone, especially if you are an Asian/Asian-American looking for involvement and friendship, to give ACF a shot.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Two Strikes

In Cross Cultural Journalism last year, we learned that female minorities have two strikes against them in American society. Our life chances for success are knocked down as the ‘weaker’ gender, then again for being in a minority group. It’s a sad understanding, but as I stated, it is an understanding. As an Asian-American woman, I cannot be bogged down by the idea of being so behind in society’s eyes because that will allow me to settle with a second-best mentality (or would it be third-best if we already have two strikes?).

Moreso this semester than any other time, I have been putting myself into situations where I feel like I have had to work a little harder due to my gender, race or both. Every time I make a contact for a story in Convergence Reporting, conduct an interview, take photographs, or whatever, I have often times had to present myself in a more professional or assertive manner to ensure the source that I am one to be taken seriously. For example, I was paired with a male classmate for one of my most recent team stories and we had to meet with and interview a few contacts from Missouri county jails. I noticed that the male half of the team was receiving much more eye contact and was generally spoken to more by the sources. Even when I asked a question, the male source would glance down to think of his answer and direct his response to my partner, only glancing at me. We got all information we needed, so I wouldn’t call this experience unsuccessful, but we left with mixed perceptions of the source.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Light Friends and Dark Friends

I’ve always known this, but never chose to truly acknowledge it. I knew the moment I heard about the first club I joined at Mizzou that this was going to be a different experience than I had ever been exposed to before – with a different set of people that I shouldn’t view as being that different. Over the past couple years at Mizzou, I have developed two sets of friends: my Asian friends and my white friends. I don’t mean to make a racist segregation connotation out of this, but this is just how my social groups ended up developing.

First, I joined a sorority that is primarily comprised of the Caucasian population. Needless to say, the Mizzou population is overwhelmingly Caucasian anyway, so my specific sorority was no different. I developed deep friendships with these girls and mutual guy friends that I still have today. I live with seven of these girls off campus now, a few of them have visited me at home in Kansas City, and I have always come to them first with any good or bad occasion that happens to me on a day to day basis. We go out together, we go to games together, we work out together and goof off together. They are my best friends here and I could not imagine college without them.

Then, I joined ACF, the Asian Christian Fellowship. This was my first Asian club that opened doors to two other minority clubs in which I have become quite active. Like the J-school mafia, I feel like Mizzou has an Asian mafia of its own. If you are an Asian-American on campus, you are probably involved in at least two of the Asian organizations and you must know pretty much everyone in each group. That’s how we all got to know each other. If you join one club, you make friends with the kids there, who invite you to a meeting of another group, you make friends with the kids there, and are influenced to join them all. I love this because this is one example of how my Asian friends express their care for you. They are my family at Mizzou. They keep me accountable on my classwork, provide countless activities that promote community service and cultural awareness – but most of all they are my spiritual and emotional backbone.

It hit me this week that I rarely merge the groups, if at all. I’ve introduced my roommates to a few Asian friends, I’ve had some Asian friends over while my white friends were hanging out, but we all have not truly spent much time together. My birthday party just two days before the first day of school was the first time that both groups were in the same room together for an extended period of time – and the groups were still segregated. I don’t think that my friends did this on purpose or for racist reasons, but because we all naturally drift toward the people we know best when put in a large group setting.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Not quite racism, but close enough

One night this week, I experienced the closest relation to racism during my time at Mizzou. Now before I proceed with this story, I want to remind to reiterate the purpose of this blog, based on a previous blog post: “…to express my views on being a Filipino-American because you can only base someone’s success on an individual basis… This is my method of expression.”

I live in an apartment complex just a few miles off campus and all of its limited parking spots are routinely filled on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, due to the most popular social activities for the college age group – parties. As a legal drinker, I had celebrated the induction of one of my fellow roommates into this esteemed age bracket on Wednesday night, so I was not planning on attending any of these parties the next night. One of my friends, whom I’ve gotten to know quite well through an Asian organization on campus and is Chinese-American, called me because she was at one of the house parties nearby. Needless to say, I was convinced to throw on some jeans and stop by her friend’s house to meet some new faces for a short while. There we went, two olive-tan-skinned girls with long, straight black hair and similar outfits, walking down the block to the home of a friend of a friend – whose house was packed with several other Mizzou students. It never crossed my mind that they were all white and my friend and I were both Asian-American, because these odds are not unusual.

The moment we were in sight of the dozens of guys standing on the porch leading to the front door, I could sense the judgement. It sounds dramatic, I know, but I didn’t even want to make eye contact because I felt like I knew what their eyes were doing already. They looked us, up and down, smirks on their faces, making under-the-breath comments that gave me bad vibes. We were barely given enough room to squeeze by the crowd of them to get inside the house. As we walked by, I heard a couple of them snicker to each other, “Damn Asians…”

I was speechless.

My actions probably contribute to the Asian/Asian-American stereotypes present in the United States. I did nothing. I didn’t even acknowledge the comment to my fellow Asian friend. I just let it go, as if it didn’t happen, and those guys will never know how they offended me and how wrong their actions were. We learned in Cross Cultural Journalism that Asians/Asian-Americans “are invisible to themselves and invisible to the media,” according to Dr. Perry, because we rarely speak up and are rarely seen in our media. I contributed to that generalization, a generalization that I’ve hated ever since Dr. Perry mentioned that in class.

Friday, October 15, 2010

FASA’s 2nd Annual Barrio Fiesta = comical success

“It’ll all be OK if we just have fun with it.” This was my rationale behind every mistake and wrong move made at our sweaty practices during the limited time before the cultural night hosted by Mizzou’s Filipino-American Student Association, Barrio Fiesta. Various performances ranged from cultural dances and modern hip-hop dances to singing, trivia and a professional yo-yo artist. I volunteered as one of the modern tinikling performers, which I was completely comfortable with until the big night. Tinikling is traditional dance of the Philippines that mimics the tinikling bird as it hops between bamboo branches in the native forests. Filipinos dress in colorful attire, often in pairs, and dance between bamboo sticks as they open and close in a rhythmic beat. Our modern interpretation kept the same beat, but used a hip-hop song to switch things up… it all worked out well, except that the beat seemed to be a tad too fast for me on the night of the performance. I completely messed it up, while my partner continued on with little struggle. Despite the embarrassment, we were all laughing the entire time – Jordan, I and the crowd. They understood what we were attempting to do, and in the end, they enjoyed the entertainment factor of my fumbles. That’s something that my mom told me after the performance: it’s a typical characteristic of Filipinos to embrace the efforts of others, even if the execution of the task was sub-par. Thanks mom. =)

Barrio Fiesta was held in Stotler Lounge of Memorial Union this year, a great venue that attracted a lot of random traffic into the window-enclosed room. We had more than 75 attendees, a number that shocked and intimidated me as a performer, but softened my heart as a member of FASA. I remember scanning the room and thinking that, for every Asian face I recognized, there was at least one other ethnically different face mixed into the crowd. This night was all about sharing our culture as Filipino-Americans and celebrating it, so I truly believe that those who attended were able to walk away with a snippet of Filipino understanding.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Cross Cultural and Principles of American Journalism are out to get me!

In the process of completing my latest Convergence Reporting 4804 project, I felt like I was going through a live, in-the-action test over concepts covered in previous MU pre-journalism courses.

My reporting partner and I tackled the Boonville, Mo., controversy over the construction of the new Kemper Village Homes subsidized housing development. The opposing sides discovered mainly covered the residents versus the city government, however a last-minute trip to Boonville brought the rift between higher and lower class citizens to my attention. I visited the town on Wednesday evening in attempt to interview low-income citizens or residents of the city’s current subsidized housing developments to see if they were supportive of the Kemper Village Homes. Luckily, the handful of sources I found were extremely helpful and very open in sharing their opinions, but I discovered that they almost took the opposition to the Kemper homes as a personal strike against them. When I explained why the over 500 residents signed a petition to prevent the Homes construction, they typically responded by questioning why anyone would want to prevent low-income families from finding a home. One resident emphasized, “I don’t see the harm in it.” Quickly, I found myself repeating the lessons of my Cross Cultural Professor Perry as I interaction with the residents of the current subsidized housing developments. I spoke more casually and didn’t try to make my project seem too important. I even took off a frilly scarf I had worn all day to make my dress more plain so that the sources could focus more on my questions than anything.

Another source we spoke with earlier in the week was the president of the Boonslick Area Landlords Association who frequently challenged the questions we posed to him. Jim Edwards seemed like a very down-to-earth, wholesome man who was simply trying to ensure that the citizens of Boonville were not being suckered into a new housing development that was unneeded. When he got heated, however, his demeanor became somewhat accusatory and judgmental on Boonville City Council. We would ask him simple questions for clarification and reaction like, “So what should the Council do next,” “How did you feel about that,” or “Why would the Council do that.” Jim’s generic response: “Well, what do you think?” We knew, based on the ethical principles presented in the Principles of American Journalism course we’d both taken, that including our personal views on a matter when accomplishing a story would be inserting the journalists into the story. Anything we say may influence what the sources say and how they react. Jim’s demeanor made the interview a little awkward for us at times, however we were able to acquire all our needed information and made the interview a bit longer than most so that he would be able to get all of his frustration out – and get to the points we needed from him.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Hate Wall – Breaking down discrimination and building up respect

Mizzou’s MCI committee added another level to their annual Hate Wall event on Tuesday, Sept. 28. Traditionally, the MCI would set up a wooden wall in Speaker’s Circle on which students could write discriminatory phrases. This would put such hateful words on a more permanent, blatant canvas in demonstration that these words are hurtful to the MU student body.

Starting last year, the Hate Wall was moved indoors and made into a discussion forum, more-so than a display. Representatives from university diversity organizations are invited to write the same phrases or terminology on cardboard boxes that would be stacked into a wall. At the end of the forum, after all representatives have shared and explained the terms, the wall is broken/destroyed – symbolizing the breaking down of stereotypes by this event.

I attended the event last year and really enjoyed the positive manner that all participants seemed to have during the event. Attending this year’s event, there was more of a sense of frustration and anger, which I was unsure how to approach or comment over. Each representative stood in front of the crowd with the hateful bricks acting as a background to his or her ‘presentation.’ It was as if the negative verbiage on the ‘wall’ behind them were emphasizing the sadness and disappointment in their explanations. Other comments made even made the sharing section of the event seem like a mother’s disciplinary lecture, shaking her finger at us all. “Just don’t say that. Why would you even think of saying stuff like that?”

What pulled this event out of the negativity was the added small group resolution discussions. The MCI stressed that educating everyone about what is OK and not OK to say is one step, however discussing what can be done to resolve these issues is what is going to make a difference.

I stand firm in my belief that racism, discrimination and stereotypes are inevitable in society and it is impossible to eliminate these from human psyche. It is nearly ridiculous to find a solution to an unsolvable problem, but reducing negative and unjust beliefs and actions is possible through education. That is the one lesson I could take home from the Hate Wall event – that nothing will change unless we lead by example and help communicate our cultures, history and lifestyles to everyone.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Amish, Mormons and me

If I ever feel this cultured in Missouri again, that would truly be the day that the nation’s melting pot has made its way into the heart of America. I found myself hanging out with the Amish in Brashear, Mo., two hours north of good ol’ Columbia, Mo., and studying Fundamental Mormon practices on polygamy this week — and found myself in a place of judgement.

The Amish

Maybe it’s my career choice that has created my issues with the Amish community. I spoke with Bishop Clarence Miller, a former member of the overpopulated Clark settlement who packed up his buggy and moved 75 miles north to establish a new settlement. My convergence partner and I spontaneously drove the two hours up Hwy 63 to interview Miller for our current project, hoping that we would: 1) run into him because we could not call him before commuting, and 2) be allowed to record his voice to accomplish our pitched KBIA story on his move. So here’s the crux of the problem a — Miller does not allow himself to be recorded or photographed in accordance with traditional Amish practices, which forbid idolatry.

After speaking with Miller, we became quite comfortable with him and his witty sense of humor — even taking a joy ride on his horse and buggy — and developed a strong respect for his peaceful lifestyle. He was very content and probably the most confident people that I have met. I am sure confidence and pride are looked down upon in their culture, but I mean these characteristics as having no want or desire for more than what they have. It’s refreshing.

Still, I could not get over their complete rejection of technology. No phones, internet, electricity, gasoline, etc. This completely goes against the very essence of convergence journalism. Telling a story with multiple mediums was quite difficult to accomplish with our sources, but we made it work. We wrote a text piece regarding Miller’s move due to population increases in Clark, took photos of his new property, and included an audio story covering how local businesses who cater to the Amish are dealing with these increases. Only our grade will tell, just how well we worked with our loop hole.

The Mormons

Polygamy and their practices on “celestial marriage” completely baffle me. I can understand their beliefs that there can be a hierarchy in Heaven, based on the number of wives they acquire on Earth because this would provide the men a larger base of people he can preside over after death. Sure, I can understand it, but cannot in any way, shape or form agree with it. This patriarchal form of society views love, sex and family in an incredibly abstract form.

As a minority myself, I am almost ashamed that I have judged these cultures this week. But, how better can we prevent these judgments than educating ourselves.

Friday, September 17, 2010

What this blog is NOT about…

The purpose of this blog is not to complain about every time someone asks me, “Where are you from?”

The purpose of this blog is not to rant about white supremacy.

The purpose of this blog is not to point out that I, being an asian woman, am subject to double standards for success.

The purpose of this blog is not to further seclude asian or asian-american minorities from the rest of society.

The purpose of this blog is not to make a big deal out of every instance when I am reminded that I do not look like the majority of my friends.

Too many times do great people in minority organizations use their numbers to advance their regressive efforts. If anyone intends on reducing stereotypical views of their race/gender/orientation/(insert discriminatory category here), then they should project a more outwardly educational and positive message that promotes the expression of culture.

Today in my Sociology of Sport class, we participated in an active lesson on minority success in America’s society. You’ve probably played the game. Everyone stands in a line, side-by-side, facing the instructor. She then directs the crowd with a categorical statement, “Anyone who is white, step forward.” It proceeded, “Anyone who is a male, step forward.” You can guess where this exercise goes from here. Basically, as the instructions progressed, we were visual pons in the social graphic that the white male typically has the most chances for success, based on our society’s definition on inherent class. My friends and I in the class joked around about how distraught I was upon the realization that I stood approximately fifth to the back, stepping forward less times than more than 95% of the class. Honestly, I felt embarrassed during the majority of this activity, yet knew the lesson throughout the process.

Essentially, the point of this blog is to express my views on being a Filipino-American because you can only base someone’s success on an individual basis. Generalizations are made based on quantitative knowledge acquired from majorities who experience similar situations/struggles and are categorized together. Truly understanding minorities in America and sharing their culture is best learned when you take the time to investigate the daily lives, obstacles, talents and various qualities of an individual’s life – doing this with multiple people – and developing your own opinion. It’s life and it’s a constant learning process. This is my method of expression.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

FASA makes new friends on the playground

Conveniently located at the columns, probably one of the hottest spots to be on MU’s campus when the weather isn’t being bipolar, FASA (Filipino-American Student Association) held its first general body meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 7. We acquired a handful of fresh faces who are interested in learning more about our culture and creating new friendships, but it was not the meeting’s agenda that made my day, but the games that we played.

Of course, we could not stay on topic for long and the ice breaker games seemed to morph into the games we used to avoid doing homework. After jedi-tag, the name game and ‘no-limbs’ tag (the new name of the game because I cannot remember it), we were stuck on Ultimate Ninja. This intense single-elimination modification of martial arts tag kept us busy for upwards of 30 minutes – and caught the attention of some onlookers and fellow students on the quad.

It was quite entertaining to see a group of roughly 15 “asian” students slicing at each other in awkward positions, posing in pathetic excuses for ninja stances, however I couldn’t help but feel like the eyes of judgement were there, too. Regardless, four youngsters approached me when I stole a moment to grab a drink of water and were wide-eyed in the fact that we have also been their entertainment for the last 20 minutes. “We’ve been videotaping you guys for a while! We can’t believe you guys know how to play Ultimate Ninja, too… but you guys are actually ninjas,” exclaimed a girl, clad in all pink. I couldn’t help but laugh and invite them over to play a few rounds with us, but it was a perfect example of how sheltered even the quad could be. Was it that blatant in the observations of the onlookers that Asian-Americans were playing a fun game, as opposed to a fun game was being played by MU students?

I’m not one to rant about stereotyping, discrimination or inequality, so I’m not going to. The point of the matter is, FASA is a group of MU students who are interested in the Filipino culture and want to share it with Columbia, Mo. Filipino heritage is not a requirement and is not what embodies this organization and I am so proud of it. Here’s to the rest of the school year!

KOMU, look what I can do!

My first convergence shift began immediately with the story meeting, each reporter pitching at least three ideas to get started on instantly after the meeting. The ideas varied from investigative dayside pieces focusing on a current bacterial turf study, to sewage leakage in Callaway County, to MU’s crowded buses. I paired up with Ciara Corley to cover the crowded buses because Jenn Reeves and I dubbed this idea with the most potential for visual appeal.

With that, Ciara and I jet off to the bus stops along Old 63 Hwy where I began snapping pictures of groggy students, time check: 8:10 a.m. My duty as a convergence reporter was to, essentially, shadow a broadcast reporter and take photos to create my own photo slideshow that would supplement the ACC (text web story). The photos at the 8:10 a.m. bus stop were turning out decently, however Ciara’s camera was overexposed and neither of us could fix the technical difficulty. We then sped back to the station to switch out cameras and catch the 9:10 a.m. buses.

We began acquiring interviews with students and I convinced one of the bus drivers to agree to an on-camera interview, as well. Information and opinions were streaming in about the inconvenience of overcrowding and how the Columbia Transit buses were doing the best they could. The story was unraveling and we covered all the bases by interviewing a Columbia Transit official before noon.

Focusing on my photos specifically, they seemed to develop and improve as the story and day advanced. Like a college student slowly getting back into the groove of a new school year, I gradually got the hang of finding angles and framing photos through the eye of the D70 lens.

At the end of the day, I am pretty proud of my photos on my first day as a convergence reporter. I particularly liked my photo captions because I feel like they, paired with the photos, have effectively told a story about overflowing buses and how students and the Columbia Transit buses are coping. Sure, the pictures are not perfect in the least bit, I could have gotten a lot more tight shots, I could have done this, I could have done that.

Photo slideshow

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Could I do this everyday?

After a long 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. convergence reporting shift at KOMU today, my thoughts on my future in journalism are unchanged – and unclear. I went into the newsroom doubting my ability to produce a quality package in one dayside shift and I still feel the same way. I am, however, really excited to be able to finally do work at a broadcast station and feel like I could put together some decent packages under deadline in the near future. I suppose, if I concluded on anything today, it’s that I wouldn’t be satisfied just taking pictures and writing captions. I’d love to get more involved in the story, really dig deep into the gist of the piece, interview the sources, shoot, edit and produce it all. There’s a certain level of gratification and connection with the story that I missed, by attending to the Nikon alone. I have to thank Ciara Corley, the dayside reporter whom I tagged along with today, for letting me help shoot her standup and a few broll shots. Her standup even got some praise for doing it on a moving Columbia Transit bus.

Please check out my photo slideshow from my shift today!

Defining Asian and Asian American

Too many times has the ethnicity of Asian been so generalized to cover all Asian nationalities that many cultures, especially that of the melting pot of the United States, have come to accept that all are one in the same. My hope is to educate the vast cultural differences for Asian nationalities and identify the contrasts to Asian Americans by: sharing my personal experiences, interviewing as many people who can provide helpful insight in the Columbia, Mo., area, as well as those already speaking out across the nation.

Blogs: My Asian American Outlook and What They Say