Eric Deggans learned the hard way that saying “guys” wasn’t cool around some of his friends. What are your code-switching fail stories?
I hadn’t known there was a term for it, but I guess my dad code-switches. He talks one way up in Austin and another when he’s around the folks in the rural south Texas town he works in. He drawls a little more down there, and tends to drop his g’s. It’s always seemed a little “aw shucks” to me, and not his authentic self. But given the amount of time he’s spent down there, perhaps it is more a real part of him than I had thought.
This is just. Wow. Crying.
I’m always super-conscious of how whenever I go out into the world, whenever I get involved in a relationship, my idea of who I think I am utterly collides with the reality of who I actually am. And I continue to go out even though who I am always comes up short. I always prove myself to be less generous, less charming, less considerate, not as bold or energetic or intelligent or courageous as I imagined in my solitude. And I’m always being insulted, or snubbed, or disappointed. And I’m never in my pyjamas.
If Chan is to be taken as a metaphor for the Chinese American identity — and it very well should be — then it becomes clear that this perpetual conflict between discovery and synthesis results in a shift of priority within the film itself. What begins as a search for Chan’s whereabouts morphs into a quest to reconcile every single persona Chan comes to represent throughout the film.
Then there was his story “All Summer in a Day,” a perennial middle-school favorite. I remember reading that story very young, when I was still wrestling with English, when I was only beginning to understand that I loved stories more than anything, that books would be my calling. I read that short tale, and when I came to those ruthless final lines I was shattered by them. In the back of the Madison Park library I read that story and cried my little eyes out. I had never been moved like that by any piece of art. I had never known what I’d been experiencing as an immigrant, never had language for it until I read that story. In a few short pages, Bradbury gave me back to myself.
Although I consider myself an adult, I’ve realized that the way I use and interact with others on Tumblr is in the same vein as many of it’s [sic] teenage users. I don’t consider my use of it as juvenile, but rather, an extension of the exploration of self that begins as a teen and continues for years later. Paying for an apartment and working at a job provides money, but I am still figuring out what I want to be and who I actually am. The process is ongoing.
We are in a dangerous place when people can be told, to their faces, that they are not real—that their identities make no sense, and that they are impossible Americans.
We Wear the Mask, Paul Laurence Dunbar
We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,—
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
And mouth with myriad subtleties.
Why should the world be overwise,
In counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us, while
We wear the mask.
We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries
To thee from tortured souls arise.
We sing, but oh the clay is vile
Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
But let the world dream otherwise,
We wear the mask!
When your grandmothers were raised, being a woman meant being a housewife. But Mom and her generation seized new opportunities. As a prosecutor and attorney general, Mom developed extraordinary executive skills. I was proud, and learned to exult in her strengths. Her success freed me to see a man can be good—or great—without being a hero in war, sports, business, or politics. A strong man, Jack, is not threatened by others’ greatness. He’s comfortable with his own.
A recent post by Patrick on the blog for Vroman’s Bookstore in Los Angeles is a reminder of why anyone who reads a lot might want to keep a journal of each year’s books, preferably with notes. Even the truncated lists I’ve kept in the past seem more revealing to me now than any diary. What we tell ourselves about ourselves tends to be a bit of a performance; what interests — or bores — us is who we really are.