Consulting Fever

Photo by Alice Li

Photo by Alice Li

Recently there has been news of the flu pandemic. Apparently hospitals are being filled to the brim. While I advise people to wash their hands, I can’t help but note that there has been another raging pandemic going on at Harvard (and no doubt other colleges) for  some time now. Starting around junior year, consulting fever spreads like wildfire among undergraduates, and it continues to burn throughout their senior year. Continue reading

Food for Thought

I tend to share a lot of articles or links that I found really interesting on my Facebook, and I’d like to do the same on my blog. Sometimes they interest me so much that I feel compelled to write a full blog entry on. Other times, I will post them together with maybe some highlights and a couple of my thoughts. If anything, social media and the internet are really great the way we can share so much.

This article has been circling all over my Facebook, so I took a look at it. It is amazing, and clearly this is why everyone wishes to share it, as I hope to share it with you. Here’s a small gem from the article: “If anything, pure happiness is linked to not helping others in need…” There’s More to Life Than Being Happy – and I believe it. I think the generation of twentysomethings are continually battling with the pressing need of being happy, when they should be looking for what will make their lives meaningful. I am still figuring out what exactly makes my life meaningful, but I’m slowly getting there. Have you discovered what makes your life meaningful?

Who said you can’t put a dollar value on a life? Nadia Taha took a stab at it in The Cost, in Dollars, of Raising a Child. I’m sure many people disagree with what she attempts to do, since most people take having children as a given. Still, I thought it was worth a read since it does greatly impact one’s life. It does come off really cynically (if we all stop having children because of money, clearly humans would die out), but it does amaze me how expensive everything is today. Then again, this article can easily be read through the lens of the above article since it mentions that parenthood adds meaning to one’s life, but often is shown with a decreased happiness level.

China’s Great Shame – The Great Famine is still a forbidden topic in China — unless you want to say it’s because of the unrecorded natural disasters. I remember first really learning about this topic in a government class at Harvard. I had heard of Mao’s Great Famine before, but only in numbers. X amount starved. It was a tragedy. While the number in itself is ghastly, the true horror to me were the conditions that caused it. The ambition, the lying, the hoarding. Communist members hoarded the rice from the peasants. This truly was a man-made disaster that continues to break my heart. Admiration goes out to the author, Yang Jisheng, who is risking his life to spread the message of this horrible event.

If you weren’t aware, sex education in America is pretty damn shitty. I’m amazed we even know how to do it, all things considered.

Read anything good lately? Share it with me!

Photo by Alice Li

Perpetual Foreigners

The first Chinese immigrants built the foremost railroads to connect our country under harsh and sometimes inhumane conditions. Asian workers were massacred by union workers, and these murders were disregarded by authorities. From China, only men were allowed to sojourn to the Beautiful Country, the Chinese name for America. Women were excluded so that no Asian families would take root on U.S. soil. Chinese enclaves called Chinatowns, better known for their tourism today, segregated the Chinamen from the more civilized Americans. In 1882, the United States Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act, which banned immigration of these undesirables, until it was finally lifted in 1943. Despite the contributions of Asian migrant workers, they were seen as foreign, exotic, and ultimately seen as unable to assimilate. All of these efforts in the past were to ensure that Asians did not join the civilized melting pot of America.

This past summer, the Pew Research Center’s report, “The Rise of Asian Americans,” stated, “Asian Americans are the highest-income, best-educated and fastest-growing racial group in the United States.” The report shows that the Asian American community is flourishing…but a question continued to pester me. Why is that, despite Asian American prosperity, they are so alienated?  For a community that is so educated, Asians are still seen as an Other. People still praise me for my accent-less English, despite being a native-born American. We get asked “Do you speak English?” or “Where did you really come from?” We are still perceived as our ancestors were – perpetual foreigners.

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Forgetting and Forced Forgetting

A Book Review of “A Pale View of Hills” by Kazuo Ishiguro

(In which I inevitably show that I am an English major.)

If the name Kazuo Ishiguro sounds familiar, you are most likely associating his name to his more recent books, such as Never Let Me Go, which was made into a star-studded movie (the handsome Garfield, the pouty Keira Knightly, and the doe-like Carey Mulligan) in 2012. If you are familiar with Never Let Me Go, you will find A Pale View of Hills and Ishiguro’s earlier works remarkably different. Even if you have not heard of Ishiguro or his works, his style will draw you into his dream-like worlds.

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Navid Baraty - The City vendor

The Boring Brand of Asian

I was reading a good friend’s blog when I fell across the words “I was Chinese, which is like the boring brand of Asian.” These words struck me. I remember freshman year of college, there was a meeting of my dorm’s entryway. We were all in a circle, playing one of those annoying ice breaker games, where you had to say three (fun and fascinating) things about yourself. A lot included their ethnicity as a fact. “I’m Greek”, “I’m Japanese”, “I’m Italian.” All of these elicited an “ooo” or an “ahh.” That week, I began to notice that among the major Asian ethnicities, there is a hierarchy in American perception:  Japanese, Korean, and last, Chinese. There’s an “ooo” factor to the first two, but there’s an “eh, ok” response to the last in America.

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