My First Tutoring Gig… in the Age of Zoom

My First Tutoring Gig… in the Age of Zoom

The first week of shelter-in-place, an old friend of mine who lives in Beijing reached out to me and asked if I was interested in a part-time gig teaching English. A friend of hers was looking for an online English instructor for her 7-year-old son, who was out of school for the rest of the year.

At the time, I had no idea how my life in quarantine would be shaped. I was supposed to be working on a grant and a paper as part of my day job as a scientist, but I’d already wasted a few days lying on my porch staring at the clouds. I remembered a theme from one of my favorite books, Gao Xingjian’s Soul Mountain : even when living under a cruel, authoritarian regime, the oppression of loneliness often outweighs the oppression of society. In quarantine, all the excitement I previously had for the PhD I was going to start in August had faded, simply–I don’t know–because I was alone?

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New Op-Ed: To Fight the Diseases of the Spirit, Asian Americans Must Reject “Whitening”

New Op-Ed: To Fight the Diseases of the Spirit, Asian Americans Must Reject “Whitening”

Here’s a new op-ed I wrote for NYT Chinese. The title roughly translates to, “To Fight the Diseases of the Spirit, Asian Americans Must Reject ‘Whitening’.”

In short, I discuss the pandemic of the spirit (i.e. racism), which arrived in the US long before the coronavirus pandemic did, and which will be a lot harder to cure. Further, I talk about Asian American complicity with the “model minority” stereotype, how anti-Asian racism during the coronavirus pandemic is forcing the Asian American community to reconsider their head-down-work-hard attitude, and why going forward we need to instead show solidarity with other US minorities instead of trying to “whiten.”

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