ITASA 2013

ITASA 2013

My life = hopping around the Great Lakes

In just a few hours, I’m going to travel south from Cleveland to Columbus to participate in the Intercollegiate Taiwanese American Student Association Midwest conference. The theme is called “Taiwan Taking Root”, and I have been asked to talk about “Learn to Love Your Rust Belt City.”

One amazing aspect of Asian American community is how networked we are. I’d like to propose that the greater community in the U.S. is linked by only 2 degrees. (For example, I have personally found multiple paths through which I am linked to Jeremy Lin by 2 degrees!) When such communities work together in cities like Cleveland, we don’t need to just survive by maintaining our population of young adults, but to thrive by using what resources we have to be creators and makers of businesses, artifacts, and systems. This is stirring in already in Cleveland!

I’m excited to join alongside other civically engaged workshop speakers (like my former Michigan classmate, Stephanie Gray Chang, an activist in Detroit, and my friend Julia Kuo, illustrator for “New to Cleveland”) to inspire a new generation of Taiwanese Americans to work for the greater, common good!

http://www.osu2013.itasa.org

The Sounds of Seasons

In the winter…

…the faint choruses of Christmas and Advent hymns on nearby church carillons…

…the whirling wind rattling the old windows of the apartment against the frames…

 

In the spring…

…the plopping rainfall against the pavement that soon contribute to the giant puddle in our back parking lot…

…the chirping of regional birds that remind us that spring is coming and their migration from the south is over…

 

In the summer…

…the cicadas buzzing at dusk and the children of the apartment complex yelling and beating little sticks against a large, fallen log…

…the distant jazz from local bands performing outdoors in shaker square…

 

In the fall…

… the wind rushing through the trees, pulling on the leaves until they cannot resist the tug any longer…

… the squealing brakes of the school bus that will pick up small children, the ethnically diverse progeny of immigrants and local people…

 

once,

two women who started fighting outside our window at 4am, maybe over an ex, and they wouldn’t stop until someone called the authorities

 

and always,

the distant toot of the freight train carting resources cross-country, or is it that they are carrying jobs out of cleveland?

the screeching brakes of “the rapid”, the local light rail, as it nears the shaker square stop one block away

the occasional ambulance siren bringing people to the nearest cleveland clinic satellite, maybe carting someone who had a heart attack, or perhaps a trauma injury

the loose electric meter cover on our apartment complex that always bangs against the side of our apartment whenever the wind blows

and the crazy dog that barks out of habit at 8am when he arrives at my building, right outside my room

sounds of my neighborhood, shaker square