PATRIOT SURVEY SAYS: Korean-American: Unapologetically Mimi

I. . What's in your name?

  • Michelle means "Who is like the Lord." It has Hebrew and French origins.
  • Mitch- My Aunt liked a band back in the 70s that had a member named Mitch...
  • Mimi- shortened, sweeter version that I use now...Working in Retail, you want a name that people remember. So it stuck.
  • Chelle- for those who thought Michelle was a mouthful...lol

II. Country(ies) of Origin/Residence:

  • South Korea
  • U.S.A.

III. States/Regions Lived/Visited in the United States:

  • Lived in NC, SC, & GA.
  • I've visited States as far West as Nevada, and as far north as Maryland.

IV. Language(s) Spoken:

  • English
  • A little Korean
  • And a little Español.

V. Favorites:

A. DISHES:

  • Kimchi Chigae
  • Chap Chae
  • Kalbi
  • Bibimbap
  • Zuppa Toscana

B. PHRASES:

  • "Are you worthy of being emulated?" Dr. Pedro Nugera

C. SONGS/ARTISTS:

  • Whitney Houston
  • Prince
  • Michael Jackson
  • Yolanda Adams
  • Kirk Franklin
  • Erykah Badu
  • Jill Scott

D. BOOKS/AUTHORS:

  • Stephen King
  • Anne Rice
  • Amy Tan
  • and many others...

VI. Three words to describe each of the following

A. USA: Freedom, conflicting, contradiction

B. YOUR "OTHER" COUNTRY: Foreign, Motherland, Honor

VII. Which nationalities/cultures do you represent?: 

  • African American
  • Korean

VIII. Where do people assume/guess you are from?: 

  • Goodness! Hawaii, American Samoa, Puerto Rico, China, etc

IX. What is the most "creative" way (positive or negative) someone has expressed themselves to you with regard to your nationalities/cultures?

  •  Exotic...I must know Karate...You're not "AS Black (as the others)"

X. What are the biggest differences between your nationalities/cultures?: 

  • Honor and preserving culture seem to be very important to Korean people. America is freedom to do everything, respect is earned, every man for himself...Not all are like that.

XI. What are the biggest similarities between your nationalities/cultures?

  • Families are close-knit. Small town mentality...

XII. Share your experience/observations returning to your country after living in the U.S.: 

  • TBD

XIII. Share your experiences/observations returning to the U.S. after travelling/living abroad:

  • TBD

XIV. Share your experiences/observations travelling to different to different regions within the United States: 

  • Living in the South is different. People are very polite here, but are also racist.

XV. Share some accurate, inaccurate and lesser known stereotypes of "Americans" and your "other" nationalities/culture(s):

  • Koreans are exotic. We have some super sexual prowess. We're all very good at Math and Science. 
  • Americans are loud and rude.

XVI. How do you define patriot/patriotism?: 

  • Having a sense of pride and an abundance of love for your homeland.

XVII. What does it mean to be an "American" to you? Did you have a moment when you realized you were or weren't "American"? Did you have a parallel moment in your "other" country? Please share:

  • The older I get, the more muddled my definition become. Equal, but separate.

XVIII. How would elders in your "other" country define an "American"?

  • TBD

XIX. How would the youth in your "other" country define an "American"?: 

  • Lazy

XX. What "American" qualities/traits do you most admire?: 

  • A sense of community, coming together as One.

XXI. What "American" qualities/traits do you least admire?

  • Laziness, indifference, racist, close-minded people.

XXII. What makes a country exceptional?

  • An exceptional country takes care of its own, as well as the world.

XXIII. What is the "American Dream" to you? How has it changed? What should it be?

  • TBD

XXIV. When you watch international competitions like the Olympics or the World Cup, who do you root for?: 

  • America and Korea

XXV. In which countries have you visited a McDonalds or Starbucks? Any interesting observations?:

  • TBD

XXVI. Favorite country/place you have visited or lived or want to visit/live? And why?: 

  • I want to visit Tuscany. It seems so romantic. I've visited Texas and I loved the wide open spaces...

XXVII. Please share a significant memory(ies) involving one/all of your nationalities/cultures:

  • The freedom the play outside all day in Korea, with no fear.

XXVIII. How as living in the United States impacted/influenced you?

  • It has allowed me the opportunity to adapt to many situations and meet people from all walks of life.

XXIX. If the United States was "reborn" today, how would you change the following:

Superpower of the Free World.

XXX: Which would you rather have named after you... a mountain or a theory? Why?: 

  • A theory, because it would cause people to think of a new way of doing things.

Follow Mimi on Twitter: @UrFavritDelta10 & her blog at www.ebbflowweb.wordpress.com !!!!


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PATRIOT SURVEY SAYS: Korean-American: Onjena Yo

I. Name/Meaning:

  • Karen - "Pure"

  • Lynn - Named after one of my aunts. Means "Pond, Waterfall, Pool, Lake."

  • Onjena Yo - "Onjena" means "always" in Korean; the "-yo" is a common ending in the Korean language; "Yo" is also the last name of a family of robots featured in a children's book series that's been brewing for sometime...

II. Nickname/Backstory:

  • Kare-bear - Some say because I am tender-hearted.

  • Hye Su - Given to me by my mother as my "Korean name;" named after a prominent Korean personality.

III. Country(ies) of Origin and Residence:

  • United States & South Korea

ONJENA YO ROCKIN' HER "BOSS" HAT (A GIFT FROM HER SISTER)

ONJENA YO ROCKIN' HER "BOSS" HAT (A GIFT FROM HER SISTER)

IV. States/Regions Lived/Visited in the United States:

  • Lived: Ohio, Texas, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Florida, California and, currently, New York.

  • Visited: Vermont, Maine, Louisiana, Maryland, D.C., New Mexico, Georgia, Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee

V. Languages Spoken:

  • English

VI. Favorite Dish:

  • My mother's spring rolls, seaweed soup, kalbi and sesame-fried chicken dishes.

  • Bacalao (traditional Portuguese dish made with codfish and heaven)

  • Sushi

VII. Favorite Phrase/Slang:

  • It is what it is.

VIII. Favorite Quote:

  • Every blade of grass has an angel that bends over it and whispers, "Grow! Grow!" (Talmud)

  • The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away. (Pablo Picasso)

  • Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. (Dalai Lama)

  • When will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it? (Eleanor Roosevelt)

IX. Favorite Song/Artist:

  • Most of the artists from the Motown era (thank you Daddy) and my mother. If I had to pick a more recent artist, it would be a tough choice between Whitney Houston, Prince, Maxwell, Bonnie Raitt, Carlos Santana, Massive Attack, Tracy Mothershed and Asen James.

X. Three words to describe each of the following:

  • USA: Bold, Strong, Arrogant

  • YOUR “OTHER” COUNTRY: Honorable, Competitive, Vain

  • YOUR EXPERIENCE IN THE UNITED STATES: Outsider, Exception, TBD  

  • HOME: Family & Friends, Brooklyn, My dogs

XI. Which cultures do you represent?

  • Black/American and Korean

ONJENA YO INSIDE " CASTLE GRAYSKULL IGLOO "

ONJENA YO INSIDE "CASTLE GRAYSKULL IGLOO"

XII. Where do people assume/guess you are from?

  • Many who have served in the military are fairly accurate at guessing my background (Black/Asian...even guessing the correct country). Most common: Filipino, Hawaiian, Samoan, Dominican, Jamaican/Chinese. Least common: Bangladesh. But the common theme was that I could not possibly be from the United States (this same sentiment carried over to my travels abroad and domestically). My height threw most people off (apparently there are not that many documented six foot Asian women...). The curious thing to me is why are people so curious...still?

  • For those who have concluded that I indeed was "American," many couldn't believe I grew up in a small town in the Midwest (Ohio). However, native New Yorkers always knew that I was a transplant to NYC. One New Yorker told me it was because I smiled too much. The others weren't so forthcoming with how they knew...

III. What is the most "creative" way (positive or negative) someone has expressed themselves to you with regard to your cultures?

  • Often something offensive, assigning my various qualities to a specific culture or race (e.g., athletic because I was Black, scholarly because I was Asian). The worst was "Freaky like a Black girl, submissive like an Asian..."

  • My saddest experience was when a Black woman asked me why I didn't "choose" to pass as anything else besides Black since it would make my life easier.

XIV. What are the biggest differences between your cultures?

  • The expression of pride and beauty.

XV. What are the biggest similarities between your cultures?

  • Respect for elders/ancestors.

  • Love of odorous food... (kimchi & chitlins...)

XVI. Share your experience/observations returning to your "other" country after living in the U.S.:

  • Too young to really remember any real observations.

XVII. Share your experience/observations returning to the U.S. after travelling/living abroad:

  • My how loud and entitled Americans can be...

XVIII. Share your experience/observations traveling to different regions within the USA:

  • Mixture of curiosity, kindness, awkwardness and suspicion ("where are you from?' to "you ain't from around here")...

XIX. How do you define patriot/patriotism?

  • I used to associate patriotism with elitism and arrogance until I realized I was really thinking of White supremacy. Having pride in one's culture/country doesn't necessarily mean one thinks one's country is better than all others. Despite what some may think based on my answers to this survey, I am proud to be from this country.

XX. What does it mean to be an “American” to you?

  • I would like it to mean "using one's fortunes, strength and wisdom to care for others, regardless of borders." It's probably somewhere between this and "bullying sovereign nations under the guise of spreading democracy..."

XXI. How would elders in your "other" country define an “American”?

  • Fame-hungry, instant-gratification seeking narcissists.

XXII. How would the youth in your "other" country define an “American”?

  • Perhaps the same as the elders but in a more positive light.

O'BOTIFIED  VERSION OF ONJENA YO

O'BOTIFIED VERSION OF ONJENA YO

XXIII. What “American” qualities/traits do you most admire?

  • Perseverance and ability to reinvent itself.

XXIV. What “American” qualities/traits do you least admire?

  • Greed

  • Refusal to acknowledge the role free and discounted labor had in creating (one of) the biggest economies in the world.

  • General hyper-sensitivity to criticisms of "America." Criticism is not renunciation!

XXV. What makes a country exceptional?

  • How it cares for its most vulnerable.

XXVI. When you watch international competitions like the Olympics or the World Cup, who do you root for?

  • I almost always root for the USA teams. I get conflicted when they are competing against South Korea, Australia or one of the Caribbean countries.

XXVII. In what countries have you eaten McDonalds or Starbucks?

  • That would just be the U.S. and Mexico. I'll never forget ordering a "McPollo" sandwich...

XXVIII. Favorite country/place you have visited or lived or want to visit/live? And why?

  • I've loved Brooklyn before I arrived in this city. It will always be one of my homes.

  • I would love to visit Accra, Ghana as a starting point and make my way through the continent. Why? For love.

XXIX. Share a significant memory (or memories) involving both/all of your cultures.

NKOTB

NKOTB

  • As a child, I remember being pressured into being a fan of the boy band "New Kids on the Block (NKOTB)." It was never a question of whether I liked them. It was always "Which one is your favorite?" I attended a concert with some "friends" and sat very still throughout the event, trying to ignore their screams and glares at me for not participating in the mass hysteria. It wasn't until more than 25 years later that I recalled this experience during a conversation I had with a childhood friend who had come to visit me in NYC. He refused to purchase Bieber-related art for his young daughter during our stroll through Chinatown. We never discussed why...but I knew...

  • I was placed in speech class when I began elementary school. My parents then decided to forbid us from speaking Korean in the home. It is still a source of shame for me that I cannot speak my mother's tongue, but I still have time to learn... Repeat: "Can I borrow your roller blades?" The R's and L's still get me from time to time...

  • In first grade, I was sent to the principal’s office because I had used the word “too” on a writing assignment. We had not been taught how to use “too” yet. I thought I was in trouble, but to the contrary, as a promising new student, my teacher wanted to introduce me to the school’s leadership. So much anxiety over a three letter word... Over thirty years later, I think of the “Black Lives Matter” and “Black Girls Rock” movements and the vitriol for the “exclusion” of this same three letter word from their message. To these haters, you really don’t want the shared experiences that lead us to this movement, do you? Black lives matter, too... Black girls rock, too... It ain't always about you, too.

  • Respect for all elders was absolute, but I will never forget that "talk" with my parents... trying to explain how some adults were wrong (e.g., the neighbors who told me I couldn't ride my bike on "their" sidewalk or use "their' hill to go sledding with the rest of the neighborhood kids). That day my neighbors chased me home, I defied them. As I ran home, my 8 year old self was in more fear of the repercussions of disobeying an adult than what would have happened if I had got caught...

  • My junior high school recognized ten students from each grade as "extraordinary" during an annual year-end awards ceremony. After they called the 9th student, my family and friends giggled as they said the school was saving the best for last (I was a straight A student, named "most valuable player" on many of my sports teams, active in various extracurriculars, blah, blah). I was devastated when they did not call me to the stage. The next day, I was called into the principal's office (where I was a student aide). "A mistake has been made," they said as they handed me a plaque, "but please don't tell anyone." I nodded enthusiastically as I hid my plaque in my backpack. I was thrilled to show my parents that I was indeed recognized for my efforts. They were furious. We had another "talk." I was 13 years old.

  • After watching a news clip about how some local police officers had shot a stray dog over 45 times, my dad glanced over at me and said, "Must have been a black dog."

  • One unforgettable day...spring break in the late 90's, while walking along the beach in Zihuatenejo, Mexico, two curious teens approached me and asked, "De dónde eres?" I replied, "Los Estados Unidos." They were puzzled. "Pero, cómo? Tú eres morena!" (Translation: "Where are you from? The United States. But how can that be? You are brown!"). Two elderly women, also on vacation, strolled by me just then, smiled and enthusiastically complimented me, "Bonita! Muy BO-ni-TA!"

  • Shortly after my Mexico trip, I traveled to Montreal with a few of my friends. On our way back from a dance club, we passed by a group of people who happened to be Black. We asked, "Where are you from?" When they responded, "Canada," we had to fight to keep from asking where they were REALLY from.

RICHARD PRYOR & GENE WILDER IN "SEE NO EVIL, HEAR NO EVIL"

RICHARD PRYOR & GENE WILDER IN "SEE NO EVIL, HEAR NO EVIL"

  • In college, I participated in a domestic exchange program with the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and got sick. I visited the student health center and asked the receptionist if my health insurance from my "home" college carried over to UCSD. She politely nodded her head and asked me to wait as she got some help. Shortly thereafter, another woman from the back office approached me, and speaking slowly and deliberately, asked me how she could help me. It took me about half a minute to realize that they thought I was a foreign exchange student and needed a translator. I grew up in the Midwest. But, apparently, my appearance affects my perceived "accent." I get it. When I don't have my glasses on, it's difficult for me to hear. I wasn't offended. Just tired.

  • I spent an "alternative spring break" volunteering on a Navajo reservation (affectionately referred to as "the res") in the late 90's. We were scheduled to host a traditional dinner for two "medicine men (hatáli)." However, we were running so late from our earlier excursions, that not only did we not have time to cook a traditional Navajo meal, we were late to the dinner itself. The two gentlemen were patiently waiting for us at the youth center where we were bunking. A decision was made to pick up some buckets of Kentucky Fried Chicken en route. I was mortified. When we finally arrived, I literally grabbed a bucket of chicken, sprinted into the youth center and began serving these men while profusely apologizing for our lateness and the inappropriate meal. They were silent. One of the two held up his hand, palm facing me and said, "We don't eat chicken." My.heart.stopped.beating as I just stood there clinging to my bucket of chicken. Then, they both cracked huge smiles and said, "Just kidding," and helped me serve the rest of the chicken. I once read that tragedy plus time equals comedy... and there it was...

NATIVE AMERICAN SYMBOL:  WHIRLING LOG

NATIVE AMERICAN SYMBOL: WHIRLING LOG

  • The whirling log symbol (the swastika) appeared in many of the textiles and art on the reservation. Makes one question who's history matters when determining the cultural significance of a symbol...or a flag...

  • It was during this time that I discovered "Native American" CDs were filed under the "International" section at the music store... (Maybe this has changed since then. If you check, I highly recommend R. Carlos Nakai).

  • Jaw-drop. The reaction of my environmental studies professor to a student's response to her question on what levels are "safe enough" (e.g., parts per million, # of deaths) when developing environmentally-friendly policies: "It doesn't matter because it will never happen in my backyard." Glimpse into the minds of our some of congressional leaders when sending someone's children to war...?

  • Because I didn't appear "Black" to some, I've overheard things like, "Black people are good to taste, but not to marry."

  • A few years ago, after a bad snowstorm nicknamed "Snowmageddon," we "built" an igloo in the shape of Heman's Castle Grayskull in the front yard of our brownstone. We received a lot of love from the community (cameras flashed all day and night) and from a few local publications. A theme emerged in the comments section of some of these online articles.... when readers found out that the "Castle Grayskull Igloo" was in Brooklyn, the assumption was that it must have been in Park Slope.... (it was in Bed-Stuy). It was a fringe element, nevertheless, it was a reminder of something toxic...and familiar...

  • Why do I feel compelled to hide my love of watermelon...still? (Please watch Wanda Sykes' comedy clip "Dignified Black People." If you are short on time, start at the 2 minute mark and enjoy!)

  • Years ago, I commented on a friend's behavior as being "typically American." To which she responded, "Weren't you born and raised here?" I was immediately struck by how I had unknowingly internalized this into my own identity as an "atypical American." Ironically, for me, being "American" was feeling like I was not an "American..."

  • When the USA flag fell during Serena William's gold medal ceremony during the 2012 Olympics, I felt a slight twinge of anxiety for how some would interpret it as an omen... But, like the champion that she is, Ms. William's won with her response:

 
...it was probably flying to come hug me because the flag was so happy.
— Serena Williams
 

XXX. How has living in the United States impacted/influenced you?

  • I do believe in the American dream....it may be easier for some to achieve than others, and it may not be a true meritocracy and public schools may be failing to truly educate, but I am filled with hope and tenacity and believe there is enough for us all. Is that uniquely "American"? No. But it is my story.

BONUS: Which would you rather have named after you... a mountain or a theory? Why?

  • A theory. Even if it were disproved, at least I would have contributed to thought leadership that in some way, advanced our civilization.


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PATRIOT SURVEY SAYS: Korean-American: Kimbo, Kimdolion

kimberly aka kimbo aka kimdolion MODELING A  KOREAN-AMERICAN T-SHIRT

kimberly aka kimbo aka kimdolion MODELING A KOREAN-AMERICAN T-SHIRT

I. Name/Meaning:

  • Kimberly – Royal Fortress Meadow

II. Nickname/Backstory:

  • Kimbo – friends and family started calling me that when I was in middle school, maybe younger.
  • Kimdolion – My best friend was naming a game monster after me and wanted to combine Kimbo with lion with because of my thick mane but mistyped Kimbo with a D, thus was born Kimdolion

III. Country(ies) of Origin and Residence:

  • USA and S.Korea

IV. States/Regions Lived/Visited in the United States:

  • Lived: OH and MA;
  • Visited: CA, NY, FL, PA, KY, IN, IL, VT, NH, ME, RI, TX, and CT.

V. Languages Spoken:

  • English fluently and dabbled in Korean, Spanish, and French

 

VI. Favorite Dish: 

  • Almost any Korean dish, highest on the list might be Soontobu Jigae (Silkie Tofu Soup)

VII. Favorite Phrase/Slang:

  • “You do you!”

VIII. Favorite Quote:

  • “Some people are like shit. They just stink and when they touch you, then you smell like shit too.” – My mom

IX. Favorite Song/Artist:

  • Revolution by The Used; pretty much anything by The Used, Bad Rabbits, Marina and the Diamonds, and Disney are easily my go to jams.

X. Three words to describe each of the following:

  • USA: opportunistic, self-indulgent, greatest?

  • YOUR “OTHER” COUNTRY: motivated, respect, patriarchal

  • YOUR EXPERIENCE IN THE UNITED STATES: lucky, frustrating, enlightening  

  • HOME: mom, food, loving

XI. Which cultures do you represent?

  • Korean and African American

XII. Where do people assume/guess you are from?

  • Samoa, Mexico, Cape Verde, Native American tribes, and any other “exotic” place they can think of.

XIII. What is the most "creative" way (positive or negative) someone has expressed themselves to you with regard to your cultures?

  • A white person in Ohio, “ARE YOU FULL BLOODED CHEROKEE?!”

XIV. What are the biggest differences between your cultures?

  • I think both societies have a high regard for elders but I definitely feel it much more strongly in Korean culture than my American side if I’m reflecting on the cultures. Within my family, elders were respected no matter what culture they came from.

XV. What are the biggest similarities between your cultures?

  • The desire to improve one’s position. “The American Dream” doesn’t quite feel so American as just a fact of human life. That being said, I feel that there may be more people taking the initiative and working hard towards the opportunities when they are presented.
kimdolion at new york comic con (nycc)

kimdolion at new york comic con (nycc)

XVI. Share your experience/observations returning to your country after living in the U.S.:

  • I traveled all over S.Korea and felt incredibly peaceful even when I visited the cities. The cities were bristling with activity and celebration of a variety of skills that would easily lend themselves to pop stardom. There was a profound sense of history as I walked around, especially whenever I would see the giant towering gates that so frequently denote the Asian areas of major cities.

XVII. Share your experience/observations returning to the U.S. after travelling/living abroad:

  • The US seems to take a lot of effort in maintaining privacy of all things, especially the bathroom, which I did not really sense in other countries, particularly China. I also became much more appreciative of the diversity in the US where I am not as much of an exotic attraction although the extra attention outside of the US does not always feel as judgmental. I also cannot ignore the simple fact that the sheer size of many Americans can make up two or more people in other countries.

XVIII. Share your experience/observations traveling to different regions within the USA:

  • I often feel some degree of shame whenever I reflect on my hometown given its rather homogenous demographics and the seeming lack of initiative towards self-improvement that I perceived amongst my high school classmates. Having visited major cities that stand in stark comparison with my suburban, arguably rural, hometown, has made me appreciate nature and the freedom I had to truly run around in the dirt as a kid. Moving to MA has allowed me to converse with people on a completely different intellectual level with respect to issues of gender, race, and sexuality that I do not think I would have achieved back in my hometown. People seem to be far more progressive and self-aware in the city I now call home than my actual hometown. I think I also feel more at home and more comfortable particularly in the dating scene as I would like to believe that there’s less risk of encountering people who suffer from jungle/yellow fever.

XIX. How do you define patriot/patriotism?

  • The immense pride one has for various aspects of their country.

XX. What does it mean to be an “American”?

  • White nuclear family with a working dad and stay at home mom. For me, it is to be successful, for other countries it is to be an ignorant (fat) jerk who polices others.

XXI. How would elders in your "other" country define an “American”?

  • White people.

XXII. How would the youth in your "other" country define an “American”?

  • (Fat) white people, maybe black people.

XXIII. What “American” qualities/traits do you most admire?

  • Americans’ resiliency, desire to fight for what’s right, and our ability to create the most devastatingly delicious and unhealthy foods. The last trait really speaks to our creativity while also making me worry about our increasingly bad health problems and lack of truly affordable/universal health care to support those problems.

XXIV. What “American” qualities/traits do you least admire?

  • Everything I admire can also be used for unsavory pursuits that make being an American less than ideal. We can be gluttons and woefully forgetful of our incredibly dark past that continues to influence many major institutions in our society.

XXV. What makes a country exceptional?

  • Their respect and the way they uphold human rights in terms of race, gender, sexuality, and religion.

XXVI. When you watch international competitions like the Olympics or the World Cup, who do you root for?

  • If I catch the Olympics, then I am fairly neutral and just appreciate the efforts of the athletes. If I am actively watching, then the US, S. Korea, and usually a country from the Black Diaspora.

XXVII. In which countries have you eaten McDonalds or Starbucks?

  • China, S.Korea, Germany, France, and Italy. S.Korea provided the more interesting options as they seemed to try to assimilate the food to their own tastes.

XXVIII. Favorite country/place you have visited or lived or want to visit/live? And why?

  • I’ve loved every country I’ve visited and have difficulty picking a favorite since each offered so much unique history, art, and culture. I think visiting Asian countries was the best because I’m submerged in a completely different world with respect to language.

XXIX. Share a significant memory (or memories) involving both/all of your cultures.

  • In 3rd grade, I remember some kids teasing me saying that I had Chinese eyes. I was offended not because they were saying I had weird eyes, but because I knew I was Korean. I will also never forget any moment where a person stares me down hard before finally asking, “What are you?” As if I was an alien that just landed.
KIMDOLION DRESSSED AS " PRINCESS D'ZINNE " AT THE URBAN ACTION SHOWCASE

KIMDOLION DRESSSED AS "PRINCESS D'ZINNE" AT THE URBAN ACTION SHOWCASE

XXX. How has living in the United States impacted/influenced you?

  • It has made me incredibly appreciative of the many cultures that often make contact with each other. We are becoming increasingly multi-racial and showing greater sensitivity and respect to the many cultures that truly represent Americans. That being said, there is so much room for growth with how we value human life of Americans and non-Americans.

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PATRIOT SURVEY SAYS: Korean-American: Reese, TT, Pocket, Mokja, Miss Piggy

Teressa jean aka reese, tt, pocket, mokja, miss piggy

Teressa jean aka reese, tt, pocket, mokja, miss piggy

I. Name/Meaning:

  • Teressa - Harvester
  • Jean - Gift from god

II. Nickname/Backstory:

  • Reese - Dad gave it to me

  • TT - college friends

  • Pocket - I like clothes & bags with strategic pockets or I won’t consider buying it.

  • Mokja - I enjoy food and drinks.

  • Miss Piggy - I ate well as a child and had big cheeks.

III. Country(ies) of Origin and Residence:

  • USA & South Korea

IV. States/Regions Lived/Visited in the United States:

  • I’ve visited 38 out of 50 states plus D.C.

V. Languages Spoken:

  • English, Spanish

POCKET REVISITING AN OLD MEMORY..TWEET US YOURS  @CARBONFIBREME

POCKET REVISITING AN OLD MEMORY..TWEET US YOURS @CARBONFIBREME

VI. Favorite Dish:

  • Are you ready??? Soul Food & Korean food (mac&cheese, greens, dressin, fried chicken like grandma style,fried catfish,  jamaican oxtails, fufu & goat & moi moi (nigerian), Kalbi, tegigogi, mackeral, kimchi, buchu kimchi, dukguk aka ricecake soup, mee ok guk aka seaweed soup, Busken cookies, Tates cookies, sweet potatoe pie and peach cobbler with a crispy flaky crust.

VII. Favorite Phrase/Slang:

  • “Big ol’ nasty..” (It’s a positive precursor)

VIII. Favorite Quote:

  • "It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men." ~ Frederick Douglass

  • "Never look down on anybody unless you're helping them up." 

IX. Favorite Song/Artist:

  • Marvin Gaye and Whitney Houston. You can’t make me choose.

X. Three words to describe each of the following:

  • USAOpportunity, individualistic, arrogant
  • YOUR “OTHER” COUNTRYTBD

  • YOUR EXPERIENCE IN THE UNITED STATES: Diverse, fortunate, segregated  
  • HOMEMom, Dallas, Brooklyn

XI. Which cultures do you represent?

  • Black and Korean

XII. Where do people assume/guess you are from?

  • Hawaii in the summer. Mexico when they find out I teach Spanish. 

III. What is the most "creative" way (positive or negative) someone has expressed themselves to you with regard to your cultures?

  • "Ni hao ma."

XIV. What are the biggest differences between your cultures?

  • Genotype, language, food

XV. What are the biggest similarities between your cultures?

  • Hardworking, family oriented

XVI. Share your experience/observations returning to your country after living in the U.S.:

  • Food is how I remembered...delish. I was welcomed but I did not feel like I belonged in Korea. It stems from a combination of my shame of not speaking Korean and of people staring.

XVII. Share your experience/observations returning to the U.S. after travelling/living abroad:

  • I have been conscientious of representing two distinct cultures since before I can set an age (at least 5) because people have made a point to either call me names 01+++or ask curious and ignorant questions about my mixed family. Upon returning from Ecuador to study Spanish or Jamaica & Korea to vacay, my perspective regarding ethnic differences had broadened and my humility increased. I became more appreciative of some basic opportunities of education and extracurriculars that many young girls would never consider.

XVIII. Share your experience/observations traveling to different regions within the USA:

  • Even though there is prejudice everywhere you go, it is interesting to hear the difference of perception of hospitality and courtesy versus someone who is being frank. 

XIX. How do you define a patriot/patriotism?

  • A person who is proud of, fights for and promotes the ideals of their country

XX. What does it mean to be an “American”?

  • To live in the Western hemisphere. To be U.S. American is simply to have citizenship. The American dream is a loaded and relative term because there are many cultures and subcultures that have different ideals, values and expectations

XXI. How would elders in your "other" country define an “American”?

  • White

XXII. How would the youth in your "other" country define an “American”?

  • White

XXIII. What “American” qualities/traits do you most admire?

  • The possibilities of economic prosperity

XXIV. What “American” qualities/traits do you least admire?

  • The process/negative effects of the pursuit of economic prosperity.

XXV. What makes a country exceptional?

  • It’s ability to create a just, safe nation in which to live and prosper.

XXVI. When you watch international competitions like the Olympics or World Cup, who do you root for?

  • I become Switzerland.

XXVII. In what countries have you eaten McDonalds or Starbucks?

  • Ecuador & USA

XXVIII. Favorite country/place you have visited or lived or want to visit/live? And why?

  • There are too many that I have yet to visit and I don’t have a favorite. I loved Ecuador, Jamaica, Korea, Mexico, Puerto Rico and I have touched/traveled to 38 of 50 states.

loca for cola?

loca for cola?

XXIX. Share a significant memory (or memories) two involving both/all of your cultures.

  • National holidays like Thanksgiving always had soul food and kimchi.

  • When I was seven during a fourth of July parade, my brownie troop was invited to sit on a float with an international theme and I wanted to wear a Korean hanbok dress. My troop leader said I had to wear this beautifully adorned burgundy sombrero. (but my 7yr old mind could not appreciate or see past it’s large round brim). My culturally insensitive troop leader touched my arm and said I had to wear it because of my brown skin. Regardless of her intentions, I cried as I walked home with my big hat.

  • Listening to this talkback from my students as a Spanish teacher: 

    • "I'm Black, I don't speak Mexican."

    • "I'm White. I speak American."

    • I'm Mexican. This ain't Spanish."

XXX. How has living in the United States impacted/influenced you?

  • I bought the dream that anyone can be “successful” if they work hard and then as I matured, I realized how imbalanced opportunities truly are presently and historically. There is superficial equity and systemic injustice throughout most organizations. I fight for the underdog and the miseducated. Living in the U.S. has made me humble, appreciative and conscientious of these socio-economic and gender inequalities in education and opportunity.


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