i don wan 2 talk 2 u. U no y

While I was in Chicago last week on a business trip, here's the communication that happened between me and a child throughout Tuesday:1 p.m.Child (on cell phone):  Hi Mom, I got a D+ on my history exam.Me:  You need to talk to your teacher.(Much argument while I'm standing in the hallway about to go into the meeting so I can lead worship)3:57 p.m.  My phone rings during someone's talk--I hastily scramble in my briefcase, looking for the phone so I can turn it off.Me (text): … [Read more...]

The Proof of My Love

Last week Thursday, the day before my biggest work weekend of the year, the day before 201 students traveled up to NH for our gigantic Fall Retreat that I direct, the hours I should have been figuring out how to stuff 30 extra students into housing and supporting my staff as they bombarded me with questions and emails, what was I doing?Driving 20 minutes to the Burlington Barnes and Nobles to buy 3 copies of The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan.Here's the backstory:4 summers ago, Ling … [Read more...]

Boy Parts vs. Girl Parts–More on Gender and Justice

All right, I know what you thought I was going to write on. . . but. . .On Thursday, Kai-Kai called me at 5:30 with the great news, "Ren got Little Jake!"  Little Jake is Annie (in Annie Get Your Gun)'s little brother.  It's probably the best role he, as a 6th grader, could have gotten."Wow!" I said.  "What did you get?""Frieda, Wilson's wife, it's an OK part, but Ren got Little Jake!"Later, when they got home, Ren was exultant.  "I've got 23 lines!  Kai has 17."My two … [Read more...]

Mike Chang, Glee and The Asian “F”

Tonight was a good night for Asian-Americans and Gleeks. Thousands of us heaved a big sigh as Mike Chang, played by Harry Shum Jr., aka as "The Asian Guy"  finally not only got his own story line, but sang two whole solos including the whole song "Cool" from West Side Story--one of my most favorite songs!Boy, boy, crazy boy, Get cool, boy! Got a rocket in your pocket, Keep coolly cool, boy! I admit it, my whole life I've always looked out for whatever Asian actor or … [Read more...]

Toilet Paper Distribution, or how Equality and Justice aren’t the Same Thing

At our church, once a month, I get to serve on the set-up team.  One of the most important tasks for set-up is examining the toilet paper in the ladies room. When Kathy (a brilliant financial analyst with graduate degrees) trained me in toilet paper inspection, I was amazed at the thoroughness with which she had thought through this challenge.  In each stall, a large industrial toilet paper dispenser sits attached to the wall and holds 2 rolls of toilet paper, each about a foot in … [Read more...]

The Chinese Problem with Hugs

I am not a touchy sort of person.  Physical affection is most definitely NOT one of my languages of love.As with so many things, I blame this all on being Chinese.In my family, we didn't really hug, kiss or say "I love you."  That was the American way of showing love, like the Brady bunch or the Cosby family.  I didn't think there was anything strange because growing up in very Asian Hawaii, most of my friend's families seemed even less affectionate than mine. I realized my … [Read more...]

A Guest Blog by Kai-Kai: My Agitating Kinfolks

 For the first time ever, I'm featuring a guest blogger, my daughter Kai-Kai, who wrote this essay based on "The Outsiders" for school.  I thought it was hilarious and an apt picture of our family.  I also don't remember the chicken drumstick incident.  Enjoy!            My Agitating KinfolkMany times in life, humans encounter events that they believe unfair, bothersome, and angering. I have felt this way many times in my life. One of the … [Read more...]

Fierce Conversations

Back in February, I borrowed Fierce Conversations, written by Susan Scott,  from my friends Jeff and Tara.  They used the book at their church's marriage retreat, and to prepare, had engaged in their own fierce conversation about their marriage.  Because I'm Jeff's supervisor as well as friend, they sent me their notes from their conversation. Whew!And "Whew!" was what folks at their retreat said as well after they shared from their experience. A week ago, I went through … [Read more...]