An American Idea of Love

When I was seven or eight, I remember sitting at the dinner table, glowering at the food in front of me. As my family got ready to eat, I accused my parents of neglecting me and my brother. You’re never around! And other such accusations flew out of my mouth. The moment they were uttered, I could see the raw hurt flash in my father’s eyes.

My parents have loved me and my brother more than anything else in the world. They weren’t home until dinnertime because they were working all the time. Growing up, my mom worked in a clothing factory, her back hunched over a sewing machine from dawn to dusk. Her eyes would go bleary as they watched the needle endlessly pierce cloth under harsh lights. My dad worked as a construction worker and contractor. He often came home with paint, dirt, or wood dust on his shirt and between his nails. He did everything from tearing out walls to reconstructing roofs. My parents were paid probably lower than minimum wage, and this was during the nineties. They slowly chipped away at a mortgage for a house in San Francisco while supporting my grandmother, my brother, and me. Their lives weren’t glamorous and they could barely afford the two gifts I got each year. You’ve probably heard it a million times, but the only reason they came to America was to give me and my brother a better life than they had in China – they had grown up during the communist era, starving through the Great Famine and lacking education beyond middle school.

So why did I think my parents didn’t love us back then, when they so clearly did?
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Lockdown, Manhunt, and Capture: What Happened in Boston

Because once again the past 24 hours have been so chaotic, with incredible news coverage (but perhaps, daresay, an overload?), I’m writing what happened in Boston on April 19th following the MIT shooting and Watertown shooting.

For the hours immediately following the MIT shooting, read my other post, “What Happened In Boston Last Night.” I’m going to begin with the morning. I was awaken around 5:43 AM with yet another Harvard emergency text message that read, “Due to search for dangerous suspect, HUPD advises people near Cambridge/Allston campus to remain indoors. Updates to follow.” I drifted back to a fitful sleep as more texts came. At 8:56 AM, I received another text, alerting that Harvard University was closed today and to stay indoors.

From Quartz

Finally getting up around 10 AM, I immediately checked the news, hoping to see progress on the previous night’s remaining suspect. Confirming my suspicions, I found that news sources had tied the MIT shooting to the Boston Marathon bombers.  To my surprise, they had succeeded in identifying both suspects and the media was rapidly searching for all the information they could get on the two: Dzhokar Tsarnaev and Tamerlan Tsarnaev. I was honestly shocked that they were brothers – but what immediately crossed my mind was that (and I could be wrong) made them less likely to be part of highly organized crime. Continue reading

Play-By-Play: What Happened In Boston Last Night

A lot of my relatives and friends (not from Boston) reached out to me today, asking “What is going on over there?” Because the internet is so jumbled with crazy and conflicting information, I’m writing a play-by-play of last night (April 18th-April 19th) from my perspective. For some background, I am a Harvard student and that plays into how I got my information throughout the night.

MIT Shooting

Police searching the MIT shooting scene.

Police searching the MIT shooting scene.

It started when a MIT campus policeman was shot. Harvard students got an emergency text and e-mail at 11:35 PM that read: “At 10:48 PM today gunshots were reported at MIT. The area is cordoned off. Please stay clear of area until further notice.” Three minutes later, there was another text, this time from the Harvard University Police Department that read, “Shooting with injuries near MIT campus at 10:45. Suspects at large. Police searching area. No impact on Harvard. Stay out of area.”

At first, it just appeared to be a random (school) shooting. It didn’t seem related to the bombing. I heard sirens outside my window as police rushed to the area. While chatting with my boyfriend, I began feeling nervous about Harvard because if it were related to the bombers and they had been headed for MIT, it’s not a far stretch for them to head to Harvard after (considering we are only about 2 miles away from MIT).

At around midnight, I found out with great sadness that the MIT policeman passed away. If not for him, who knows what the suspects would have attempted at MIT or the rest of Boston…

Harvard Network and Police Scanner

There were various emails being sent over Harvard lists. One reported to stay away from Central square (close of MIT), where there had been an armed 7-Eleven robbery that might be related to the shooting. News sources have now confirmed that the suspects had, in fact, first robbed the 7-Eleven before heading to MIT. Another email reported that police were concerned that the shooter was on the red line (and possibly headed toward Harvard Square). This information was received by students listening to the police scanner because both the university and news sources were not reporting on everything that was happening (presumably because the university didn’t want students to panic and because news sources needed to get everything straight).

Then there were shots heard at 109 Garden Street, which is close to Harvard’s quad, near 12:40 AM. Continue reading

Raising and Lowering the Bar: or, That Time I Almost Failed a Class

Before I delve into this post, I wanted to apologize for how long it’s been since I last updated! I’ve been busily applying to jobs (another post to be written). During this time, the topic of education, privilege, and race have caught my attention. This is the first of a series I’m writing in response to some of these issues.  Photo Credit: http://www.google.com/imgres?start=103&biw=1366&bih=643&tbm=isch&tbnid=hxIBq1Osr397aM:&imgrefurl=http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/26/fairfax-county-teachers-i_n_2765101.html&docid=yukHwWV3-yNSfM&imgurl=http://i.huffpost.com/gen/988506/thumbs/r-TEACHERS-LGBT-ISSUES-large570.jpg%253F6&w=570&h=238&ei=rnRrUZuiLdLh4APG2ICgCA&zoom=1&ved=1t:3588,r:3,s:100,i:13&iact=rc&dur=312&page=6&tbnh=145&tbnw=280&ndsp=22&tx=162&ty=7 In my magnet public high school, I always took a full honors and A.P. course load that prepared me for college-level classes. That’s why most might be surprised that the course I probably did the “worst” in my high school career was my regular economics class. That’s right, regular, not A.P. or honors. But here’s the kicker: the reason I did “poorly” was not because of the difficulty of regular econ, but ironically it was too easy. Truth be told, I was bored. Continue reading