spring 2005

LET’S TALK POLITICS

curr state wha hat The cur rent political state and what it means for Asian Americans

communicASIANS
spring 2005, v.iv, issue no.2
cover graphic by Tracy Li Cheung

FEATURE

3 8 14 20
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Another 4 Years..............................................................................................3
What George W. Bush’s re-election means for Asian Americans

Executive Order................................................................................5
Excerpts from Executive Order 13339

Is History Doomed to Repeat Itself?.................................................................6
The recently passed Patriot Act has many Americans wondering: will this be a repeat of Executive Order 9066?

CommunicASIANS is published quarterly by the Asian American Activities Center. Views expressed in CommunicASIANS are those of the writers and do not necessarily represent the opinions of the a³c. CommunicASIANS welcomes all signed letters of opinion, which are subject to editing for length, accuracy and grammar. contactcommunicasians@lists.stanford.edu Asian American Activities Center Old Union Clubhouse, Room 13 Stanford, CA 94305-3064

Why I Voted for Bush.............................................................................................7
A Stanford Republican reflects on what it is like to be one of the few

You Are Priceless................................................................................................8
Why every APIA vote DOES count

STAFF
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF STEPHANIE NGUYEN LAYOUT EDITORS TRACY LI CHEUNG JULIE KIM COPY EDITORS ASHNI MOHNOT JESSICA WANG CONTRIBUTERS STEPHEN BOR DENNIS JIANG STEFANIE KIM TING QIAN ALICE SIU BRYAN TAN JESSICA WANG JILLIAN WAHMEI WONG ROBBIE YAN CHRISTINE YANG JERRY ZEE

Separate Identities and Invisible Communities...........................................10
How the issue of gay marriage affects the Asian community on a variety of levels

Hot or Not................................................................................................12
The politics of outsourcing to Asia and its effects on the 2004 Election

THE NEWS
In Memory of James Hsu...........................................................................13
A tribute to the Graduate School of Business student lost in the tsunami disaster

Subordinating to the Integretity and Definition of a Nation........................14
The future of the Singaporean media

The Tale of a Country: China’s Accession to WTO...........................................16
Over the years, WTO has been criticized for only benefiting wealthy countries

VOICES
Poetry by Stephen Bor: English.......................................................................17 Ashni Mohnot: Three Months and Counting...................................................18 Stefanie Kim: Graduation and the Art of Denial....................................20

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EDITOR’ S L ETTER DITOR
Welcome to communicASIANS. To be honest, I am not entirely sure how this little gem of a magazine fell into your hands. Perhaps you found this in your mailbox and are looking for the phone number to cancel your subscription to this magazine that you don’t even remember subscribing to in the first place. Or, maybe you found it in your Asian roommate’s trashcan and were intrigued by the giant picture of George Bush’s face. Or, even better, perhaps you are an avid reader of communicASIANS and would rather skip all of your IHUM sections and PWR classes than miss reading our latest issue. That, my friend, is loyalty. Regardless of how you got a copy, as your new Editor-in-Chief, I am extremely glad that you are reading it. Why? The Editorial Board and I have worked hard to create a magazine that is relevant and interesting to you. As the recent national Election drew the highest percentage of young voters on record, we decided to explore the current Bush administration and its implications for Asian Americans. After all, these are the people that will be running the nation for the remainder of our college experiences. We also explore recently raised political controversies, such as gay marriage and the legitimacy of the U.S. Patriot Act. One of my personal favorites is an Op-Ed by Dennis Jiang about being the lone Republican on a campus overwhelmingly dominated by Democrats. His editorial almost makes me believe that Republicans can be rational, intellectual people. Almost. However, I have an even more important reason for why I am glad you are reading communicASIANS. Let’s be frank. I am quite vain. Many people, including me, have put in countless, exhausting hours into this publication and I want people to admire it. Are you admiring it? Great. And now, as any good Editor-In-Chief, I must end with a little bit of groveling to you, the reader: The one thing that I have learned in my last three years is that Stanford students have a lot to say. Yes, we can actually think for ourselves. *Gasp.* Yes, we can do more than just regurgitate facts and tell our professors what they want to hear. Yes, when we see something we agree with or something that we disagree with, but more often the latter, we sure make our voices are heard. My plea is that you to continue to do just that. communcASIANS is a great way to express your views to hundreds of students across campus. Unsure what you can write about? Anything. If you have an opinion, we want to hear it. That’s my bit. Enjoy!

DIRECTOR

A C TAFF A3C SSTAFF
3

CINDY NG

“That, my friend, is loyalty.”

S TEPHANIE N GUYEN , E DITOR - IN -C HIEF

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Look out for the Stanford Asian American Awards 2005, May 12, 2005. Deadline to nominate April 7. For more information visit the website at http://a3c.stanford.edu or email cindy.ng@stanford.edu. The Asian American Graduation Banquet will be June 11, from 5-7pm at Ricker Dining Hall. Seniors will be presented with a certificate and a gift honoring their time and service to Stanford and the AAPI community.

Correction to Fall 2004 issue: Steven Chu is the director of Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.
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SHELLEY TADAKI ADMINISTRATIVE AASSISTANTS CYNTHIA LEE FLORENCE LEE TIMMY LU MARC RILLERA AIM COORDINATOR JAMIE FUNAMURA ASIAN AMERICAN STUDIES JENNIFER KONG COMMUNICASIANS TRACY LI CHEUNG STEFANIE KIM JULIE KIM ASHNI MOHNOT STEPHANIE NGUYEN JESSICA WANG COMMUNITY BUILDING HAIBINH NGUYEN COMPUTER SERVICES COORDINATOR BRIAN NGUYEN CULTURAL PROGRAMMING SHALLENE CUA RATHUL NARAIN TIFFANY TENG FACILITIES COORDINATOR JENNIFER YANG FROSH INTERNS CATHRYN CHU JULIE KIM YANG VA LOR BEIJIA MA AMY YU GRAD STUDENT PROGRAMMING MICHELLE WON PROGRAMMING COORDINATORS CYNTHIA LEE FLORENCE LEE MARC RILLERA PUBLICITY COORDINATOR JULIA LEE SPEAKER SERIES TAMMY PHAN JEFF ERFE SPECIAL PROJECTS KEVIN GAO WEBMASTER AMY YU

ASSISTANT DIRECTOR

photo by Vic Gaur

a3c news

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What George W. Bush’s re-election means for Asian Americans

Another
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Years?

s President George W. Bush begins his second term in office, everyone in America – including the fourteen million Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) living in America – is watching closely to see how the Bush administration’s policies will affect them. There are several issues that are of specific concern to AAPIs, including hate crime, immigration laws, voting rights, and foreign policy.
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by Jessica Wang

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Last quarter the a3c, in conjunction with many other student groups, sponcored From 9066 to 9/11. This program sought to raise awareness about the horrors of the Japanese Internment and to speak out againt Bush’s current Homeland Security Act. (See Is History Doomed to Repeat Itself? on page 6).

According to www.johnkerry.com, AAPIs have been worse off since Bush took office. AAPI’s family income has dropped by $3,635; 240,000 more AAPIs have fallen into poverty in the last year; and 96,000 more Asian American and Pacific Islanders went without health insurance. Hate crimes against AAPI have risen since 9/11, but Bush has not come out in support of the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which would expand the number of hate crimes covered by federal law in addition to providing local law enforcement agencies with more resources to investigate and prosecute hate crimes. Another issue of concern for AAPIs is Bush’s War on Terror and the Homeland Security Act. The Justice Department has detained and deported thousands of Muslims who had no connection to terrorism through special liberties granted by the Patriot Act. John Ashcroft asserted that illegal immigrants can be detained indefinitely if they posed a threat to national security.

The implications of the administration’s treatment of Muslims and other immigrants are of concern to AAPIs whose relatives may be in the process of immigrating to the U.S. On the issue of immigration, under the Bush immigration plan, undocumented immigrants who register as guest workers have to return home if they do not have continual employment or if they do not renew their visas in the program. The plan also does not provide any new means of directing immigrants who are currently living and working in the U.S. to the path to legal residency. And finally, AAPIs are concerned about U.S. policy toward nations in Asia, a hot spot that has received a lot of attention the past few years. Particularly with North Korea’s nuclear policy in its current state of uncertainty, Korean Americans are concerned with how the Bush administration will respond, especially if it responds in the same way it did towards Iraq. U.S. policy towards China and Taiwan remains an issue of consideration as well, as the U.S. continues to sell military

defense equipment to Taiwan despite China’s warnings against Taiwanese independence. On the other hand, Bush has taken steps and action to cater to the AAPI community, particularly with the creation of a commission devoted exclusively to AAPI issues. On May 13, 2004, President George W. Bush signed Executive Order 13339, renewing a previous Executive Order which established the President’s Advisory Commission and a federal Interagency Working Group on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. The Commission is composed of fourteen individuals who have historically been involved in AAPI communities from fields such as health, economic and community development, and business. The Commission is chaired by Mrs. Betty Wu of New York City. The stated purpose of the commission is to increase economic opportunities for and improve the quality of life of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders living in the United States. The Commission provides recommendations to the President on the mandates of the executive Order to:

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“ According to www.johnkerry.com, AAPIs have been worse off since Bush took office... ”

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1. Develop, monitor and coordinate federal efforts to improve Asian American and Pacific Islander participation in government programs; 2. Foster research and data collection for Asian Americans and Pacific Islander businesses and communities; and 3. Increase AAPI participation in the national economy and community development. So far, the commission has released a few major reports. In January of 2001, the first Bush Commission released an Interim Report to the President and the Nation: Asian Americans and

Pacific Islanders, A People Looking Forward. The report detailed the preliminary findings and recommendations of the Commission based on town hall meetings, community roundtables, literature reviews and information provided by federal agencies. In 2003, the Commission released another report outlining major health issues among AAPIs and recommended policy steps to

address AAPI health disparities. Now, the Commission is focused on the need for economic and community development within the AAPI population. Thus the Commission is a reflection of how Bush is taking steps toward addressing concerns of the AAPI community; however, whether their recommendations are put into policy remains to be seen.

EXECUTIVE ORDER
Increasing Economic Opportunity and Business Participation of AAPI
On May 13, 2004, President George W. Bush signed Executive Order 13339 to increase economic opportunities and improve the quality of life of approximately fourteen million Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders living in the United States and the U.S.- and Pacific Island jurisdictions. Below is an excerpt from the Executive Order: By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and for the purpose of providing equal economic opportunities for full participation of Asian American and Pacific Islander businesses in our free market economy where they may be underserved and thus improving the quality of life for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, it is hereby ordered as follows: Section 1. There is established in the Department of Commerce the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific
President George W. Bush signs an executive order renewing the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders as the Executive Assistant to the Senior Advisor, the Director of the White House Initiative on APIA, and the Associate Director of the Office of Minority Business Development Agency look on.

Islanders (Commission). The Commission shall consist of not more than 15 members appointed by the President, one of whom shall be designated by the President as Chair. Section 2. The Commission shall provide advice to the President, through the Secretary, on: (a) the development, monitoring, and coordination of executive branch efforts to improve the economic and community development of Asian American and Pa-

cific Islander businesses through ensuring equal opportunity to participate in Federal programs, and public-sector, private-sector partnerships, and through the collection of data related to Asian American and Pacific Islander businesses; and (b) ways to increase the business diversification of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, including ways to foster research and data on Asian American and Pacific Islander businesses including their level of participation

in the national economy and their economic and community development. Section 10. For the purposes of this order, the term: (a) “Asian” includes persons having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent; and the term (b) “Pacific Islander” includes persons having origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands.
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Just as America is finally coming to terms with the repercussions of Executive Order 9066, the recent Pariot Act is has caused many to wonder:

Is History Doomed to Repeat Itself?
Asian American Activities Center, Muslim Student Awareness Network, Okada House, Persian Students Association, Sanskriti, Stanford Asian American Activism Coalition, and Stanford University Nikkei, co-sponsored the event: From 9066 to 9/11: Community and Identity in Wartime America. The program featured cultural performances and had four keynote speakers: Banafsheh Akhlaghi, Narinder Singh, a Muslim attorney representing detainees; a representative of the Sikh Coalition; Ms. Kiku Funabiki, a former detainee of the Japanese camps; and Sylvia Yanagisako from the Department of Cultural and Social Anthropology. The Justice Department is currently discussing what they have dubbed the “Patriot Act II.” If it passes, the new bill will exempt the government from having to reveal detainees as a part of a terror investigation until charges are filed; give local police greater freedom in spying on religious/political activity; allow the government to obtain credit reports/ library records without a warrant; allow wiretaps to be used for up to 15 days after a terror attack without a court order; leave individuals engaging in civil disobedience vulnerable to losing their citizenship; and allow Americans to be extradited, searched, and wiretapped at the request of foreign nations without a Congress-ratified treaty. Executive Order 9066 was repealed a few years after it was signed into effect, and attempts for compensation were made. America learned its lesson then. Unfortunately, a mere half-century later, this mistake and the sorrows it caused seems to have been forgotten. The Patriot Act has caused thousands of individuals, including American citizens, to be detained and deprived of their rights under the pretense of protecting this country. It relies on a false premise that doing away with checks and balances will make this country safer. But instead of directing its attack at real dangers, both the Patriot Act and the Patriot Act II are attacking the foundations of this country’s democracy. This mistake has been made before, and the results were tragic. Hopefully this lesson will not have to be repeated.

O

by Christine Yang

n December 7th, 1941, the Japanese launched a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. Two months later, on February 19th, 1942, President Franklin Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, authorizing the relocation and incarceration of Japanese Americans. The order went into effect as soon as the United States declared war on Japan, uprooting thousands of Japanese–mostly American citizens– and sending them to internment camps. It took two years before the act was revoked and the Japanese Americans were released. But it wasn’t until 1988, when President Ronald Reagan issued an apology and offered restitution, that the government offered any meaningful compensation. By this time, however, half of those incarcerated had already died. Executive Order 9066 permitted the military to bypass the constitutional protection given to all citizens in the name of national defense. However, not one Japanese American spy was found. The only result of Executive Order 9066 was the mass betrayal of thousands of loyal citizens,

who suddenly had their constitutional rights violated simply because of their ethnicity. It was a terrible, shameful event in American history, one that should never be forgotten, and certainly never repeated. However, it seems history is doomed to repeat itself. On October 26th, 45 days after the September 11 attacks of 2001, Congress passed the U.S. Patriot Act. Just like Executive Order 9066, the Patriot Act also allows the bypassing of constitutional protection. Among these include the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments. Since the enactment of the Patriot Act, about 8000 Arab and South Asian immigrants have been interrogated because of their religion/ethnic background. Thousands of these men have been detained for weeks to months, many without charges leveled against them. American citizens suspected of terrorism are being held indefinitely in military custody, with no charges filed against them and given no access to lawyers. The FBI has also been given greater authority to procure records of American citizens without probable cause, and those subjected to surveillance are never notified of their compromised privacy. The parallels between Executive Order 9066 and the USA Patriot Act are frightening. Both deny the basic rights of U.S. citizens, and without any evidence or probable cause. Both have roots in ethnic discrimination, and both have had tragic consequences. Thousands of Americans remain in detainment, their whereabouts a complete mystery. Fortunately, many have been protesting this violation of constitutional rights. On February 10th, several campus organizations, including the Asian American Studies Program,

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Why I Voted for I
by Dennis Jiang remember eating in the dining hall with my dorm friends one day soon after the election. Most of them were moping about the election’s outcome, and sometime during the conversation I mentioned that I voted for Bush. A friend of mine, with a shocked look on his face, immediately responded “What? You’re a Republican? But you seemed like such a reasonable guy!” Although I had received all sorts of reactions to my political views from my peers around that time, this incident was particularly memorable. Is it really impossible to be a rational human being and also a conservative, as my friend implied in his comment? Of course, I certainly do not think so. However, I’ve discovered that this sentiment may be more common among Stanford students, and Democrats in general, than most people would like to admit. It’s not that I think Democrats are all highminded about their views; it’s usually the opposite. But at a place like Stanford, I find that it’s really easy to become out of touch with the views of the average American. When I talk to friends from places like California or New England, it almost seems like the concepts of being pro-life or for the war in Iraq are so foreign to them that they feel no reasonable and educated human being could ever feel that way. Being a church-going Asian American that grew up in the relatively conservative suburbs of Cincinnati, I can’t exactly say that my upbringing and environment didn’t play a role in the development of my political leanings. Many of my moral beliefs stem from the way I was raised, and those moral beliefs are certainly a factor in my political affiliation – but they aren’t the only factor. For instance, I believe that free markets are our best long-term solution to the problem of global

poverty and that nationalized healthcare is a very bad idea. I base those beliefs on what I think to be the most effective and most efficient solutions to intractable social problems, not because I’m a greedy capitalist that dislikes helping poor people and hates paying taxes. In fact, I really don’t think average liberals and average conservatives are that different in terms of what they want. Very few people want children to receive a sub-par education or for the United States to invade one country after another. Even fewer want to see the environment destroyed or see poor people starve on the street. The difference between liberals and conservatives lies in their approach to solving problems. I personally voted for Bush because I agree broadly with many of his policy aims. I believe strongly that our public school system needs to be reformed, like with No Child Left Behind, and that our immigration policy needs to be revamped, like with Bush’s immigration reform proposal. I believe that abortion is an immoral solution to a much larger, societal problem and I believe that the United States needs to be proactive in countering the threat of terrorism, even if we encounter setbacks and act without the support of our traditional European allies. It isn’t that I support the Bush Administration on everything. For instance, I don’t agree with its approach on environmental issues or gun control. But by and large, I believe that George W. Bush is the best person to lead our country for the next four years, however unpopul a r that decision may be here at Stanford. Many of you might not agree with the outcome of the election, but understand that the majority of the country is not somehow intellectually inferior to you because it doesn’t agree with your reasoning. I can assure you that having that attitude won’t win you very many future elections.

“ What? You’re a Republican? But you seemed like such a reasonable guy! ”
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NOVEMBER 2 was a national campaign aimed at increasing voter registration for the 2004 election.

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YOU
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Why every
by Alice Siu

sian cultures particularly value loyalty and commitment. And, I truly believe, it is these strong values that make Asian civic participation priceless. If you are young and Asian, your political involvement is especially priceless. Here’s why. Political participation among Asians is priceless because once Asian Pacific Islander Americans (APIAs) are registered voters; they are the most likely voters to vote on Election Day. If you are young and Asian, you are even more likely to vote on Election Day. Out of the 2 million youth (ages 18-24) in the US, only one-third are actually registered to vote. But, get this, two-thirds of registered youth actually vote! Once registered, youth have the highest rate of voting.1 While I have not done field experiments or surveys to determine whether the values of loyalty and commitment in cultures actually yield higher
1 Statistics from Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote, http://www.apiavote.org

y APIA vote DOES count
voter turnout, I have a strong feeling about this. There must be something there. So, the big question is, if civic participation among Asians and youth are priceless, why are they not voting? I bet you’ve got about several reasons rolling off your tongue right now. Here are a few reasons: “my vote doesn’t count,” “I’m too busy,” “I’m not into politics,” and perhaps, “I just don’t care.” If any of these are your reasons, or excuses rather, I truly hope that you do not complain when you drive over annoying pot holes on the road, do not have the right to choose, or in the future, when your child’s classroom is overcrowded. Many of us are privileged to attend a private university like Stanford and we often neglect to look outside our bubble. Public universities, especially in California, are suffering financially. When universities have difficulties making ends meet, imagine what the students have to deal with. Politics not only is about the major issues such as social security, the first amendment and national security, but it also is about your daily commute, your investment in education and many small aspects of your life that you perhaps take for granted. When thinking about Asian issues in politics or youth issues in politics, not many Asian-specific or youth-specific issues actually come to mind. If I had to choose, I would say education is an important youth issue and the economy and immigration are important Asian issues. But the bigger question remains: why aren’t there more specific issues for these groups? My answer is that the APIA community and the youth community have yet to create a voting bloc. A voting bloc is a group of voters with common interests who have a tendency to vote alike on issues. For example, many women are Pro-Choice; therefore they formed a voting bloc. When candidates are seeking office, they will attempt to capture this voting bloc by campaigning on a ProChoice platform and promising to further ProChoice issues. If the APIA or youth community had specific issues, candidates would work to seek our votes. Unfortunately, we do not have a voting bloc and therefore, candidates, will often, brush our votes aside. Solution? We must form a voting bloc by registering people to vote! When candidates see that there are a significant number of

PRICELESS

ARE

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with twelve Asianinterest Greek organizations to create the APIAVote Greek Alliance for the 2004 Election. All three of Stanford’s national Asianinterest Greek organizations participated in the Alliance. During the month of October, as a part of the national campaign, alpha Kappa Delta Phi Sorority (kdPhi), Lambda Phi Epsilon Fraternity and Sigma Psi Zeta Sorority (SYZ) collaboratively canvassed in White Plaza to increase voter registration on the Stanford campus. As a member of SYZ and the campus coordinator for the Alliance, I believe that the Alliance made a difference

Senior citizens comprise one of the most influential voting blocs in the nation, while youth (ages 18-24) are one of the least influential.

Asians and/or youth registered to vote, they will begin to address our issues. Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote a.k.a. APIA Vote is one of the many nationwide campaigns that are seeking to increase APIA political involvement. For the 2004 Election, APIA Vote actively campaigned various API communities including the APIA youth to vote. In particular, this organization worked

on the Stanford campus. While we may not have registered all APIAs on the campus, we did effectively raise awareness and increased APIAs civic participation. I do not know why Asians and youth have such high voter turnout once they are registered voters. But regardless of what the reason may be, we should take advantage of it. After all, we have nothing to lose.
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Separate Identities and Invisible Communities

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Queer Asians?
T
by Jerry Zee

and the failure of queer rights groups to react to it, implicitly denies the validity of the he much-publicized gay marriage issue is cited by many as demonstration. The neglect of the mass being a decisive factor in a hard-fought and close election. media has rendered Asian American populations voiceless in any This we know. The issue of same-sex marriage may seem foreign. meaningful broader scale. The silence of queer groups only supports Perhaps it seems like it does not belong with other “Asian American this, as the only rationale for a failure to respond is the belief that an issues,” beyond a loose parallel in comparing two marginalized Asian American demonstration would have no impact, that Asian communities striving for some kind of social justice. However, the Americans are not a threat, regardless of how many gather to protest. issue of gay marriage, as it relates to the Asian American communities A protest of the same magnitude, but carried on by white Americans highlights several crucial issues within these communities, from which would have received huge media attention. However, the same event, by Asian Americans, is both sides can learn. ignored, rendering the Many Asian Photo courtesy of Rick Yuen community voiceless Americans have and powerless. This is never heard about the nothing short of racism largest anti-same-sex on the part of mass m a r r i a g e media and the demonstration that mainstream queer was held in San organizations, and Francisco last April. reflects a historical The majority of trend of the demonstrators were devaluation and Chinese and Chinese silencing of Asian American Christians. American voices. We do not know Moreover, the about this because protest reveals the we have not been s i g n i f i c a n t told. Despite the size homophobia within of the march, many Asian American major news outlets communities. There is failed to cover the more gay Asians than event, and beyond you think. But in Asian that, the mainstream A m e r i c a n LGBT organizations communities, they are in America failed to overlooked due to provide any Dean of Judicial Affairs Rick Yuen helps a gay couple tie the knot at San Francisco’s City Hall culturally-sanctioned response, effectively homophobia. In queer making it as if the communities, they are protest never ignored by the white mainstream. The system as it stands forces occurred in the first place. The failure by mass media to cover such a momentous event, one people to make a choice: in Asian American groups, deal with the which was particularly Asian American in character and demographic, default heterosexuality and suppression of sexual identity, or in the

“ The neglect of the mass media has rendered Asian American populations voiceless in any meaningful broader scale. ”
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photo courtesy of Dean Rick Yuen

Two protesters in SF marching in the name of love

SF Mayor Gavin Newsom poses with two brides shortly after gay marriages had been legalized in mid-winter 2004

queer community, leave ethnicity behind. This is disorientation to the greatest degree: having to value one part of identity more than another, having to leave one community to have a voice in either, and even then, being rendered invisible. Queer Asian Americans are almost invisible, and neither community fully acknowledges their existence or addresses their particular issues. At Stanford, the Asian American community is the only one without an ethnic queer organization, even though it is the largest minority. In individuals, the expressions of identity do not fall so neatly into categories. Having Asian American groups and queer groups, but no queer Asian American groups denies the existence of queer Asian Americans, relegating them to some third space, part of but separate from both identities, and A puppet version of City Hall parades at a San Francisco protest largely overlooked by both communities. Dealing with such issues is difficult because of cultural homophobia. In Taiwan, there are no gays, only men who have sex with men. If Asia is homophobic, why should Asian America be accepting? But it is our duty to be an accepting community, an open community, an inclusive community, and above all, a safe community, one that embraces free expression of identity, whether it be ethnic, cultural, political, or sexual. If anything, the issue of gay marriage has brought to the surface a subgroup that until now has been quiet. Same-sex marriage is not merely a queer issue, but an Asian American one as well. Only by deconstruction, challenging, and reform of these old traditions can we come to progress, and this includes not only changing one’s own community or cooperation with other communities, but the understanding that other communities and our own overlap in ways Seventeen years and still waiting... that we do not see, because no one has listened to us, and because no one will show us.

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Hot or Not:
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by Ting Qian all customer service at American Express, and you’re speaking with a representative in India. Ask for medical transcripts, and you’re speaking with someone in the Philippines. The blue chips used in technology in America are manufactured mainly in Taiwan and China. In this time of worldwide globalization, outsourcing labor and manufacturing is becoming the norm. It is estimated that 3.3 million jobs will move abroad by the year 2015. Many bewail the loss of “white collar” jobs in information technology and customer services such as medical transcription, tax preparation, and financial services. However, this backlash hasn’t discouraged the practice, not even in the last election. Before we begin our discussion, we need to unravel certain myths about outsourcing to Asia. Ask anyone and they’ll point the trend to cheaper wages rates – but Asian companies can also offer superior performance. For example, by providing vastly shorter time to handle incoming calls, eTelecare – a customer service company based in the Philippines – generated three times as many sales than the average company in its third week running. Services offered in Asia are also distinctive. Aisan companies focus on different aspects of manufacturing – such as production efficiency – whereas American or European companies tend to focus more on production features.

Outsourcing’s effects on the 2004 Election and the Current Administration
While corporations are excited about the prospect of expanding overseas, many Americans do not share in their glee. About 100,000 “white collar” jobs are lost each year, with the technology sector being the hardest hit from outsourcing. Considering America already suffered from the high tech boom and bust of the 90s, outsourcing must have been a bitter reality to face for many. Election of 2004 In theory, jobs overseas should generate more jobs and higher incomes within the United States. However, the effect has not been visible because of the current sluggish economic growth. Thus, many use this opportunity to argue that outsourcing is a direct cause of high unemployment. By 2004, the economic recovery still did not generate as many jobs as expected, and polls showed that the public was increasingly wary of the jobs lost abroad. Aware of these fears, policy makers supported laws to restrict government’s ability to sign contracts with foreign firms. During the election, most believed that the key issue for the swing states was the rising unemployment rate, and consequently outsourcing. Both parties wanted to make their stance. Early in the campaign, John Kerry promised to create curbs on outsourcing. He was cheered on by many labor unions.

The Politics of Outsourcing to Asia
Bush took a different stance, and did not back any federal anti-outsourcing proposals. In the end, however, the outsourcing issue played a small role in the 2004 election. Perhaps it is a sign of acceptance of the changing economy; acceptance that this trend of outsourcing will continue whether Americans liked it or not. Current Administration Some members of the Bush administration have made attempts to mitigate outsourcing. However, because outsourcing means better profit margins for corporations, it is unlikely that the administration as a whole will move to stop this trend. Also, the administration hopes that by engaging countries like China in America’s economy, it will encourage them to shift to a capitalist system – and subsequently, a more democratic system. Outsourcing might be here to stay; but what is the best way to guide and control the practice without hurting too many American workers? The answer is currently unknown. Contrary to myths, outsourcing is not an issue overblown by the media and a few interests groups. This concern is a passionate one for tech workers. This concern is also an important one for Asian American politics, as we sympathize both with the need to help the significant number of our population in the high tech business as well as the need for stronger economic ties to Asia.

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the news

In Memory of James Hsu
A farewell to the GSB student lost in the tsunami disaster
After graduating in 2001, Hsu pursued opportunities in business, working for a variety of companies. Among these companies, he worked at Kick.com, a burgeoning music technology company. He also helped raise $6.5 million from Utah Ventures and Sony. After gaining work experience in the business realm, Hsu decided to attend the Stanford Graduate School of Business to further his education and earn an MBA degree. As a student, he shared the position of cofinancial officer for the Stanford Business School Student Association. Although he was a full-time student with a very busy schedule, Hsu augmented his business expertise by working for companies including Yahoo!, Sun Microsystems, and D.I.M.S. where he worked with the touch-screen voting by Jill Wahmei Wong machine. Hsu also found time to begin his own import company last year with his sister, Peggy. They founded Tray6, a firm focused on product design. In his second year at Stanford, Hsu planned a trip to Thailand. With his career goals firmly established and exciting prospects for his life ahead, Hsu decided to take this trip to Southeast Asia to search for new business opportunities related to manufacturing and technology. However, in December of 2004, Hsu became one of the over fifty thousand victims of the horrific tsunami that struck the Koh Phi Phi island in Thailand, among other places in the Indian Ocean.Though other Stanford Business School students found each other in the aftermath, Hsu remained missing. After an unsuccessful attempt by his sister to find him, his family planned a memorial service in his honor. Students in the Stanford Graduate School of Business have since raised funds in honor of their fellow classmate. (For more information see below.) As the Stanford community mourns the loss of James Hsu to the tragic tsunami, the Stanford staff and students are continuously reminded of his achievements and dreams that have helped shape his experiences at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and contribute to the intellectual life on campus. For the Asian American community at Stanford University, James Hsu is a role model and a legacy. Donations are welcome in honor of James Hsu in order to aid those in South Asia that have been afflicted by the disaster. For more information on how to donate to Red Cross in Honor of James Hsu, go to the GSB website http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/news/headlines/ hsu_howto_donate.shtml. The goal, as a community, is to raise $50,000.

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photos from The Stanford Daily

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t’s difficult to imagine accomplishing as much as James Hsu in only twenty-five years. Yet, the motivation, courage, and intellect that Hsu possessed allowed him to strive for success beyond the ordinary endeavors of a young adult of our time. James Hsu was born in Merced, California. He attended Golden Valley High School, and excelled in both academics and tennis. Remarkably, James graduated in only three years and was valedictorian of his high school’s first graduating class in 1996. James continued his education at the University of California Berkeley where he studied political science. At UC Berkeley, Hsu was a member of the Venture Capital Club and the Entrepreneurship Club among other prestigious business organizations.

his career goals firmly established. Hsu decided to take this “ With to Southeast Asia, searching for new. .business opportunities. trip ”
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SUBORDINATING TO THE DEFINITION AND INTEGRITY OF A NATION:
THE FUTURE OF THE SINGAPOREAN MEDIA
by Bryan Tan

“S

ingaporean, you say? Well, what was the biggest cultural shock for you upon arriving in America?” If I had a dime for every time I was asked that question, I’d probably be tanning myself on a yacht in Monte Carlo, smoking a Cuban. There came a point in time when, as a result of sheer repetition, I had my answer to that question down to a science. Each time, I’d suddenly stiffen my body, warily cocking my head, and glance alertly all around me, before whispering cautiously, “T-t-that whole… f-f-freedom of ss-speech thing… I g-guess.” The belief in the fundamental right of people to express themselves without fear of sanction—one of the core tenets of American liberty—wasn’t something I was intuitively used to. Singaporean media censorship is perhaps one of the biggest social paradoxes of the First World. In no other developed nation will you experience the ludicrous extent of influence the Singaporean

government maintains over its media contrasted alongside a workforce of such unquestionable caliber. It has been said that the rapid advancement of technology in Singapore, coupled with the rising awareness of her citizens, dictates that the future of media in this small island-state will be stunted, and the country will lose its competitive edge because of the government’s stifling influence. However, this proliferation of technology and information to Singaporeans will over time result in a natural and inevitable liberalization of the media. The history, and to a great extent, the current state, of Singaporean media censorship was carved in large part by Singapore’s first Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew. When Singapore was still a British colony, Lee, at the time an outspoken political activist who headed the People’s Action Party (PAP), criticized the colonial controls on the press and the people. Ironically, since the PAP took power in 1959, Lee has

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Curre nt Pri me M cerem inister Le e ony o f a Sin Hsien Loo n gapo rean g Prim

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himself refined and applied the same tactics to dealing with his political adversaries and in trying to moderate his citizens’ exposure to unwholesome influences. At the beginning, this was a methodological and very practical means of combating internal dissent. Singapore’s legislation was amended periodically to accommodate laws which meted out severe punishments for those who used the media to defy or even speak up against the administration. Today, Singapore is officially recognized as a democratic republic, but the PAP is still the dominant force in Singaporean politics and continues to own and control the Singapore Press Holdings, which has a monopoly on the nation’s press. The problem with censorship in Singapore is one of anachronism. Simply cutting explicit scenes out of a television show were simple enough back in the day, but with the exponentially increasing importance of the internet, it is becoming difficult for the Singaporean government to regulate content accessibility. For every Singaporean banned from owning a personal satellite TV dish, a thousand other Singaporeans are legally subscribing to mind-bogglingly quick broadband internet connections. It’s simply a matter of time before the Singaporean government realizes that it is fighting a losing battle for a cause which is of debatably stale importance, and starts to relax some of its censorship laws. For the past thirty years, the Lee Kuan Yew-led PAP had placed a heavy emphasis on education, recognizing that this was an effective way to quickly lift the fledgling nation out of the cesspool of poverty. Economic prosperity resulted, but with an interesting side-effect: the emergence of a new breed of intelligent, sophisticated Singaporeans who dared to question the system. Soon after Lee Kuan Yew’s son, Lee Hsien Loong, was sworn into office as the new Prime Minister of Singapore in July 2004, he delivered a speech in which he underlined his new government’s intention to slowly but surely allow more freedom of expression: “I have no doubt that our society must open up further... Nanny should not look after everything all the time.” If the PAP does not start heeding popular feedback, they will see themselves being elected out of power. The internet’s increasing sphere of influence as part of the tumescent advent of digitization and the gradual awareness of invigorated Singaporeans to their own plight will surely play their parts in helping the leaders of Singapore realize that freedom of speech and a reasonable censorship standard, suited to the ever-changing personality of the population, are the constructive paths forward for the future of the Singaporean media. Sources Hughes, Owen. Singapore System Makes an Uncommon Splash, Multichannel News. v16 n28 p14(2). 10 July 1995. Wrage, Stephen D., supra note 2. Lee, Hsien Loong. Building a Civic Society (Speech at The Harvard Club of Singapore’s 35th Anniversary Dinner). United Nations Online Network in Public Administration and Finance (UNPAN). 1 August 2004.

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g atte nd mary s the ope ning Scho ol

communicasians 15

The Tale of a Country:

China’s Accession to the
are many benefits that China would attain by joining the international trading community: For one, China would receive “most favored nation” status (also known as “normal trade relations”) from all WTO members. This would clear tariff barriers between China and these other countries, allowing higher volume of export out of China. By relaxing its own tariff and other quantitative restrictions, China would see a surge of foreign investments into the country, which would further invigorate its economy. In terms of specific industries, traditionally weak industries heavily subsidized by the government such as telecommunication and financial services would get an adrenalin shot from foreign investment. With quotas and duties slashed, many product manufacturing and distribution centers would move from neighbor countries in Southeast Asia into China. In addition, China would also speed up on its legal and political reforms to cater to the marketoriented economy. After all, having a political party (Chinese Communist Party) heavily influence the country’s economic policies is not something that other WTO members would like to see. During negotiations between China and the U.S. prior to China’s accession to the WTO, China also agreed to crack down on the country’s rampant intellectual property violations in order to protect the interests of many foreigninvestment-backed corporations in China.

WTO

How has it been since 2001? China is now the fifth largest export market of the U.S., up from eleventh in 2001. The volume of export has grown by 80% since then. China has implemented extensive tariff reductions and legal reforms to cater to WTO’s requirements. The country has not made much improvement in certain other fronts, however. The most serious problem seems to be the Chinese administration’s inability to significantly reduce the rate of piracy and counterfeiting. We are hopeful, however, that progress is in sight and that the world’s most populous country’s leadership will fulfill its WTO obligations. How does China’s accession to the WTO impact the U.S. and global economy at large? The top five categories of commodities that the U.S. exports to China are transportation equipment, fertilizers, electrical equipment, office machines and computers, and general industrial machinery and equipment. The U.S. will see more exports into China, especially in farming products and equipment in the coming years. As foreign capital pours into China, the country’s vast and cheap labor will attract investments away from other East and Southeast Asian countries such as South Korea and Taiwan. On the other hand, however, as its foreign-backed domesticbased industries grow, China will likely import a massive amount of machinery and vehicles from neighboring Asian countries, driving their economic growth. China will become the dominant economic player in the world in this century. The World Bank projects that China will become the second largest trading economy in 2020. Let’s wait and see.

hat is WTO? WTO stands for World Trade Organization. Created in 1995 to replace GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade), the WTO aims to promote economic globalization and free trade. The organization defines trading rules and settles trading disputes between its 148 member countries and states. Over the years, however, the organization has received criticism that many decisions it has reached only stand to benefit multi-national corporations and wealthy states like U.S., Japan, and the European Union. When and why did China join the WTO? After its 15-year quest, China officially became a member of the WTO in December 2001. There

W

by Robbie Yan

“ China is now the fifth largest export market of the US . . . ”
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A selected work from Rice University Spoken Word Poet Stephen Bor:

English

Stephen Bor is a Sociology and Public Policy major at Rice University in Houston, Texas. He first performed spoken word poetry to avoid flunking out of Chinese school (he flunked out), and began performing spoken word (in English) in March of 2002. Earlier this year, Stephen published On History, Grapefruit, and Crickets, a chapbook of his poetry. For more information or to order the chapbook, visit www.stephenbor.net.

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he first week of elementary, the school board labeled me mentally retarded. the principal wrote a letter to my parents:

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Bor We are placing your son in the special education program, in classes with students closer to his level. Your son’s behavior indicates that he would benefit more in classes taught for children who need more attention in aiding their skills of communication. I understand we may not speak the same language, but it is best if we spoke English. Sincerely, Mike Murphy Principal, McCormick Elementary Or was that it, Principal Murphy? Was it because I did not speak English, Principal Murphy? So yes, I got in trouble, for making faces at my teacher because all the Down syndrome kids did it, and I wanted to fit in. So my mother and my father taught me to read at home, in fifth grade, a book called “The Last One In is a Rotten Egg.” I read every word of that book out loud, words wriggling like crickets in my mouth. I wrote every word of that book, copied after my father’s military handwriting, so I went to school, hand in mama’s hand, to the Green reading class. “My son can read,” she said, so Mrs. Brantley sat me down with a bookmuch thinner than “The Last One in is a Rotten Egg.” She told me to read one paragraph, so I read in my head, I finished, and I closed the book. She looked at me, little Asian boy with a Dutch last name, and said, “You didn’t finish yet.” I looked at her, petrified, and she said again, “No, you can’t read that fast, you have to read it out loud.”

I desperately wrestled with the words, I wanted to tell her that my tongue does not bend in that direction and that these impossible inflections left me drowning in my saliva and all I could spit out was, “No!” But see now, ten years later, and I have become the wrath of my mother’s womb. I speak, because every time my father was asked, “Yoo speaka ingleeesh, meester chung kung pao!?” I hid my face from him because I was afraid to see his shame. I speak because I have been stolen by this language of trained submissiveness, these words towel around my vowels, crunches into copper penny consonants, this language has conquered me, slapped me good and declared triumphantly, “Stephen, you my bitch!” And I turned to English and said, “Yo, word!” But now there’s a difference: I refuse to be a man trapped inside my name, and even though I may be the Last. One. In., the only thing rotting is the forgotten memory of my father’s shame. So I break into the deep end of the English Channel, walk upside down on the underside of my tongue, breathing water and treading freely beneath my skin, I king my own freedom, and I rose, and I rise, and I curl the sky under my elbow sing, so I teach English that my thoughts are the flesh of its words, and one day, I’m going to take my mother’s hand, go back to McCormick Elementary, and tell Mr. Murphy, “We speak English, you and I, but not the same language.”
communicasians 17

photo by David Huang

voices
photos courtesy of Ashni Mohnot

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Three Months Counting:

&

I wish I could go back to college. . .
Last week, I met with John Pearson, Director of Bechtel International Center, to talk about international financial aid. Since my previous article on this issue, much has happened – Ashni Mohnot the next Capital Campaign of Stanford University will raise money from a donor to fund need-blind aid for international students. This issue has finally become a priority. It is a thrilling moment in University history; it will rewrite the composition of the student body for years to come. Despite my busy schedule, I threw myself into the student end of this campaign – the International Financial Aid Committee, an affiliate of the ASSU. I couldn’t resist the pull of contributing to a movement that has brewed quietly and fruitlessly for years but has finally gained momentum in the past few weeks. International need-blind financial aid won’t happen in my lifetime at Stanford, but perhaps it will by the time my brother applies to college,
18 communicasians

perhaps even by the time the Class of 2010 is financial aid, freshmen programs and chosen. I’ve inherited the tradition of Undergraduate Research Opportunities generations of impassioned international (URO). We were here for the last year the Oadvocates before me who’ve worked for an show was held in gorgeous MemChu, for the unforeseeable, undefined future. It’s last year of “Branner sucks” before the largest happening now, I said to Mr. Pearson, and freshman dorm on campus started looking like we’re ecstatic because there is no more a hotel, before Meyer was infested with sleek uncertainty. white Macs and adjustable monitors. Mr. Pearson told me, “You were here at the We were here when people actually used right time; the class of ’05 was here at the right the paper Facebook to stalk their crushes, time.” We were here before we had to rely when freshmen and on an online sophomore seminars community to “It is a thrilling moment in were in their element. remember each other’s University history; Uni v er sity histor y; it will We were here when birthdays. We are here OSP started at the incipience of rewrite the composition of programs in Australia international financial the student body for and Beijing. We were aid. We were here here to see the advent during the worst years y ear s to come . ” come. of wireless on of the economy and campus and rejoice in we will leave when it the removal of the coin-operated laundry is no longer as hard to find jobs. machines. We arrived in September 2001 right after We were here when diversity reached an the worst attack on U.S. soil; we arrived one all time high in admissions; we were here at week after a momentous point in history. We’ve the conclusion of the Campaign for been here through a war started on tenuous Undergraduate Education that refurbished evidence, through a polarized election,

Below and Bottom Right: Hammarskjold Special Wine and Cheese Top Right: The first Bing Dinner at Corpus Christi College, Oxford

5K Run/Walk to raise money for the fight against hepatitis B and liver cancer

April 30, 2005 Golden Gate Park, San Francisco Food, entertainment, raffle prizes, gifts for pledge-raisers & participants … And above all, a great cause!
photo courtesy of Ashni Mohnot

Register online at http:// liver.stanford.edu/liveright or pick up a registration brochure at the a 3c NOW.

through mistreatment of Sikhs and Muslims professor, perhaps the last you ever will. Work in post-9/11 America, through INS detentions really hard for the last class you’ll ever take as eerily reminiscent of Japanese internment an undergraduate at Stanford. Check out camps. Through all this we have been books you’ll never read after graduation. Use sheltered and we have lived in a university your library card; it won’t work after June 2005. where freedom of Ask out the guy speech was revered, down the hall that where idealism still you’ve been “This was our 60s, our raged strong at one of crushing on all year. str ug gle and this will be our Go to the Stanford strug ugg the lowest points in American history. This theatre. Have the chai memory leg acy memor y and our le g ac y. ” was our 60s, our latte at Moonbean’s; struggle and this will it’s the best I’ve ever be our memory and our legacy. tasted. For each of us that made it to Stanford, Befriend freshmen and tell them how lucky about eight people didn’t. It has been a they are to be here, how 2008 will be here before privilege to be in a place where the intellectual they know it. Go to the Mausoleum, the cactus life of the mind is prized above all else, where garden, the Herrin butterfly greenhouses, academics form only a small portion of the real Hanna house at the end of Mayfield. Check learning that takes place, where everyone will out the Thursday night concerts at the CoHo. happily admit that they were nerds in high Go to Pub Night. Thank your parents. school. We’ll never again be in a community And when you leave Stanford, make a where everyone is smart, opinionated, contribution to the world because you can, motivated and intellectually interesting. It’s because you have tasted privilege and our year to leave but we still have three months because with privilege comes a great for those last opportunities, those last rites. responsibility to use its gifts wisely. Go to office hours and get to know a

You hear about 5K runs and walks taking place across the nation every day to support all sorts of worthy causes. However, LIVERIGHT is the first and only 5K run/walk to raise awareness about hepatitis B and liver cancer for the API community. Did you know that as many as 1 in 10 Asian Americans are chronically infected with hepatitis B? Most are not even aware that they are infected. Hepatitis B causes 80% of all liver cancer cases and has been labeled the greatest health disparity between Asian and Caucasian Americans. Although hepatitis B is entirely preventable through vaccination, lack of awareness has made it a silent killer in the Asian community. Our mission is to educate the public. YOU can help us. For more information, visit http:// liver.stanford.edu or call the Asian Liver Center at (650)724-2923.

voices

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Graduation and the Art of Denial:
Reflections of a Jobless Senior
When I think about graduating from replies, saying she understands, it happens to everyone. She Stanford in a mere couple of months, I am laughs, I laugh, and I stumble downstairs for a bagel. I can’t imagine filled with a sense of nausea. My heart that this behavior would be appropriate with any sort of legitimate beats erratically, my eyelashes ache, and off-campus employer. I’m assuming showing up to work in footie the gag reflex begins to kick in. Therefore, pajamas is probably also not kosher. I try not to think about it. I have been I spent the last two years of my undergraduate career pretty successful in my denial so far but complaining about the “lame” frat parties which I used to anticipate now that I have been commissioned to with great eagerness, and escaping to the city every chance I write an actual article all about goodbyes could in an attempt to liberate the hipster within. Yet now as I a n d leave, I have to Stefanie Kim farewells, I admit I’ve started Top and Bottom Left: Casa Italiana Progressive am forced to bring my thoughts to appreciate the Bottom Right: Getting ready for a night in the city toward the reality of impending Stanford social doom. scene. It has Perhaps the most depressing part toughened me about leaving Stanford is the part up, thickened my where I’m supposed to contribute skin. Watered something meaningful to society down, overpriced while at the same time contributing drinks? Bring my money to pay for things. I’m them on. Yuppy pretty sure that this will require a v e n t u r e deus ex machina of capitalists? Yes, some sort, whether those too. The it be winning the sweet is never as lottery or honing sweet without the the ability to sour, and I manipulate the rich have known and powerful. And the sour. that little Latin M o s t phrase which I deeply and learned just last f o n d l y week brings to mind nestled in my another reason nostalgia why I am reluctant however, are to leave. For as memories of much as I complain my friends. to anyone who will Whether it’s listen about the m a k i n g academic woes that homemade befall me toppings to bring to Yogurt Stop, commiserating about our constantly, buried respective theses, or having full access to multiple wardrobes, deep inside my cold little heart is a glowing ember of intellectual these are things I will never be able to experience again. In one fell curiosity. To put it directly, I’m really going to miss learning. I’m swoop, my shoe options will decrease by 300 percent. going to miss reading poems about goats and fields and obsessing For now, I will stubbornly remain in a sea of blissful ignorance, over the period versus the semi-colon. Sure, the accumulation of dependent on the notion that things have always worked out, and knowledge continues beyond the classroom, but the classroom is therefore they will continue to. While my peers rush around in one of the very things I’ll miss the most. their fancy button down shirts and resumes, I will remain still, like Sometimes, when I set my alarm for p.m. instead of a.m. and a wise and patient cow, lowing dumbly. I should be moving forward, sleep through the first two hours of work, I simply send off an but I’m enjoying looking back, if only for a precious few pre-graduate email to my boss, explaining my predicament and apologizing. She months.
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photos courtesy of Stefanie Kim

communicASIANS spring 2005

Non Profit Org. U.S. Postage Paid Palo Alto, CA Permit No. 187

***TIME VALUE PLEASE EXPEDITE***
Published by the Asian American Activities Center, Old Union Clubhouse, Room 13, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305 (650) 723-3681 http://www.stanford.edu/group/a3c

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