Friday, June 8, 2012

Dear 7th Grade of 2012...


What a year we've had!  Among other things, you have written 27 blog posts - quite an accomplishment!  Now, for blog #28: your final post of the year.  Your last blog assignment is to leave words of wisdom, advice, and general parting reflections on your seventh grade experience for next year's rising class.  Your thoughts will be the first thing my new students read next year when I introduce them to the blog.   

Here are some guidelines to keep in mind for your final commentary:
  • What valuable lessons did you learn along the way that you can pass on to others?
  • What are “the essentials” that every seventh grader should know?
  • What books should every 7th grader read?
Topics of discussions can be related to academics, stress, adjustment from sixth grade, clubs and extracurricular activities, time management, homework, assessments and projects, reading logs and 100 Book Challenge, friendships, Heifer, Take Flight, etc.

Just make sure that your advice is, well, actually good information.

**As always, please use complete sentences and proofread for CUPS before posting.  Compose your commentary in a google doc to make sure you do not lose your work and have ample room to edit!

If you discuss particular classes and teachers, please do so with respect, humor, and goodwill.  If your commentary is not respectful, I will not post it.

I've enjoyed getting to know each and every one of you this year.  Reading your writing on this blog, as well as your formal essays and assignments, was often the best part of my week. 

Have a wonderful summer full of adventure and visits to the library. I will miss you next year -- so come visit me!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Who is Chin Kee and where does he come from?


American Born Chinese deals with Asian stereotyping in popular culture. Since the first American and British contact with China in the 1800's, there have existed many racist stereotypes about Asians in general. Many originated with the simple fact that east Asian cultures appeared and operated differently than western ones. East Asia was seen as a place of great strangeness and described as "the Orient" and figured to be a a fantastical, strange place.

Stereotypes, especially prejudicial ones can be extremely hurtful, even as jokes. American Born Chinese attempts to examine some of these stereotypes, to see how they still stick around today, and how dealing with them and transcending them is often part of being an Asian-American. 
When Chin-Kee shows up in Chapter 3, he is a walking stereotype. Let's explore below what stereotypes he embodies:
1-  One of the oldest Asian stereotypes involves the form of dress worn by poor Chinese farmers and laborers in the 1800's.

• This is a Chinese farmer in traditional 1800s garb.

• These are immigrant Chinese workers working on the San Francisco Railroad in the 1800s.

Compare the above two photos to this racist political cartoon from the 1800s:

But, Asian Stereotypes didn't die off in the 1800s

2- Chin-Kee is a racist stereotype. Below, check out some footage from blockbuster 1980's film "Sixteen Candles" featuring another outrageous Asian stereotype, Long Duk Dong. 

3– Now that you've viewed those videos, please read this Blogpost analyzing the harmful stereotypes that Long Duk Dong embodies.


Reflection: After reading and viewing the above, please respond to the following questions in complete sentences with evidence and details.  

1.  Compare the real photo of Chinese men working to the 1800s political cartoon.

2.  What is stereotypical about the Long Duk Dong character from Sixteen Candles?

3.  What are two key points the NPR article raises about Long Duk Dong and Chinese stereotypes?

Bonus Question: Do any of these sources remind you of Chin Kee?  How?  What is Yang doing with his creation of the character Chin Kee?