LimeLight Art Showcase

Join LimeLight for an art exhibit showcasing the work of:

Elizabeth Kim ’11
Emily Chen ’11
Lucy Chen ’14
Nikki Endsley ’13
Michelle Ho ’11
James Kim ’11
Peter Lu ’11
Hana Omiya ’13
Julie Zhu ’12
Jean Zhuang ’13
Yoonjoo Lee ’12

The art forms represented here vary from photography, to paintings, to prose. Follow LimeLight at

KASY Cultural Show Video – Watch these KASY Boys Dance!

Featuring Paul Han CC ’14, Paul Han CC ’14, Brian Lee CC ’14, and Brandon Wang JE ’14. ‘Watch these clips and more on KASY YouTube Channel! (Videos to uploaded soon!)

Dearest Yale Prefrosh of 2015

Dearest Yale Pre-frosh of the class of 2015,

As you walk around Yale’s campus today and meet some of the undergraduates who define campus-life here, you should find solace in the fact that we were all in your shoes once.

Many of us struggled to figure out whether Yale was right for us, whether the experiences that this campus offered would enable us to mature and grow over the next four, crucial years. We thought about the residential college system, the professors, the majors, the alumni, the support-network and the risks associated with New Haven. Although I was in your shoes exactly four years ago, which seems like forever-ago, I am sure that these same issues are floating around in your mind today.

This blog post is my attempt to help you make that college decision, but it has little to do with Yale, except for my one digression about the risks associated with New Haven. If this New Haven’s crime rate issue is an important factor to you, then your decision has already been made. If you are too scared to live in a city that mind you, is like most cities in America, where you are required to take precaution against street crimes—then New Haven is not for you and neither is Yale.

For those who are still considering Yale despite its location, I hope to offer some general advice.

There is this general wisdom of “following your heart” that has probably reached your ears by now. This wisdom probably told you that these issues like student life, academics, and networks are not going to help you decide. The logic goes, if you are unsure of whether to go to Yale or another school, then you are probably facing a choice between two schools of equally high quality, schools that can boast equally great statistics and anecdotes on student life, academics, and networks. As a result, if you want to decide on your college, you just have to wait for that quintessential moment of clarity when a school just “feels right.” That is when you will know.

This is nonsense.

You should be approaching this college decision with strategic questions and honesty, instead of waiting for an A-ha moment to hit you. This is the time to be honest with yourself about who you are, what is important to you and what your interests are. You should be asking yourself a lot of questions. What kind of weather and culture do you thrive in? What kind of social circles do you prefer? What kind of people can you just not stand? Most important of all, seek out those upperclassmen, professors, advisors, and programs that are related to your interests and judge them. Visit each campus. Seek out the communities on those campuses that are the hubs of your interests. You will spend the next four years incubating in these hubs. Their quality and fit should be the tipping point of your college decision.

You can find solace in the fact that we have all survived the decision you are about to make, but I am not going to lie to you: the pressure’s on. I just hope you will find your hubs at Yale. =)


Reach Out Vietnam

It’s been almost three weeks since Spring Break. I’m still answering some questions about my Reach Out trip to Vietnam with friends that I run into, and it’s interesting what I remember after three weeks.

I remember certain scenes vividly, imprinted in my mind after all this time, maybe because they were strange and new to me.

I remember walking through clay-like, orange mud, past houses where clothes hung out to dry and chickens waddled on the front lawns.

I remember the outhouse by the library – a white basin on the floor, an enormous monarch butterfly perched on it, making it difficult to pee, if having to squat didn’t already.

I remember the classrooms of the middle school we taught at – the shabby walls, the rows of rectangular tables, and the rules of good citizen-students under “Father Ho Chi Minh” posted in the front.

I remember in particular a teacher who served on the board of the college we visited.  He was an elderly man, with squinting eyes and pockmarked tan skin. He had dyed his hair black, in the way that some aging Vietnamese men do.  He said our group’s visit to the college was a diplomacy trip, one that helped bridge the gap between the US and Vietnam. I was skeptical that our mere visit was all that important, but then I realized by the fiercely proud look on his face that our presence was anything but mere to them.

I remember… not a lot. See, I’d been to Vietnam three years before. I didn’t want to write about the trip through the lens of someone who couldn’t see the country with fresh eyes, so I’ll include perspectives from some of the 11 other Yalies on this trip.  One told me that he remembered most vividly the experience of crossing the chaotic streets of Đông Hà, the rural Central Vietnam city where we spent most of our trip, something that had shocked me the first time visiting the country as well.

Another trip member was awed by the shops of the open markets, how merchandise spilled out on the streets and lined every wall, piled up to the ceilings.  Behind these storefronts, were homes.  We were all awed by the unusually tall houses. Some were on stilts and some had several stories.  Families build on each other, so that when children grew up and married, another floor was added.  It’s a small country with a dense population. That makes sense.

People asked me before and after my trip whether I felt any strong emotional connection upon returning to the country of my birth, the site of my heritage.

If there was one connection I felt to my homeland, it was through the language.  I remember singing a Vietnamese children’s song, “Ngày Đầu Tiên Đi Học” (“The First Day of School”), one day with a kind, local man.  I conversed with the young man who worked on a bus that transported us from Đông Hà to Huế.  He clung to the door like a monkey, swinging and sliding across the seats, bending himself to fit into the car when the bus filled to almost twice its capacity.  The entire time, he wore an impish smile.

Remembrance also came in a different way, in remembering the Vietnam War, and its impact on the locals.

It is the living who suffer the most.  On the first day of service, we talked to landmine victims, two adults and two teenage boys who had lost limbs when they accidentally detonated the bombs leftover from the war. I had heard of these bombs, had been flashed with pictures of these sad, handicapped victims in Church-sponsored videos asking for donations from America that my mother often made me watch. The most chilling fact, I recall, is that these bombs were designed to maim.  It took two additional soldiers to help an injured one, whereas if the bomb killed it would only take out one soldier, the guide explained. Now the innocent would have their lives changed forever.

The Vietnamese do not seem resentful against America, but they are scarred.   They desire peace and fear war so much that they are willing to put up with a government most are not happy with.

Looking back on the trip, the days of service do not stand out the most to me.  The experience is not really coherent in my mind. I think I remember most bonding with the incredible people on the trip, the jokes, the laughter, the communal silences on the bus ride home.  The trip, for me, is made of images. The last image I remember are the narrow, rain-soaked streets of Hà Nội, where we spent the last three days of the trip, so beautifully silent and empty the morning we said goodbye to Vietnam. Maybe I did go to another world after all.



Bulldog Buzz week of 4/6 — Events Galore

Author of the critically-acclaimed novel Ode to Lata Ghalib Shiraz Dhalla will be visiting Yale tomorrow to speak at a master’s tea about the intersection of the Asian-American and LGBTQ communities, as well as his career as a writer, director, and producer. Join us on Thursday, April 7th, at 4:00pm in the Berkeley College Master’s House.

China Care‘s semesterly fundraiser at Great Wall Restaurant will be this Friday, April 8th during the YHHAP fast. 20% of proceeds will go towards raising money and awareness for Chinese orphans with special medical needs. Print out this coupon for all-you-can-eat hotpot and free bubble tea!

The annual AASA Spring Semiformal will take place this Saturday, April 9th, from 10:30pm – 1:30am at Thali Too! Admission is $5, and presales are available from any AASA board member or president of a member group. Semiformal attire is requested

This year, AASA is taking part in the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life at Yale, being held April 15th-16th. The event is a great chance to celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, remember the lives lost, and fight back against this disease.You can make a donation to AASA’s team here.

Doors of Old Campus

In the conference room where my lab has our weekly meetings (Mason 321 what up), there’s a poster called “Doors of Yale” with pictures of a dozen or so different doors, gates, and entryways, showcasing the rich variety of architecture on campus. It’s not the most well-designed poster, but I really liked the concept. So this morning, I decided to go out and do a little photo shoot of my own, focusing specifically on Old Campus, since it is home to 83% of Yale freshmen.

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Bulldog Buzz week of 3/30– Films, Cultural Shows, and a Jumpsuit?

AASA’s Politics Over Pizza discussion series continues today, 3/30, co-sponsored by CASA. Come to the Calhoun buttery at 6:30 pm to learn and talk about how Chinese-American politicians are portrayed in the media over delicious Domino’s pizza. In particular, the discussion will be based on the recent scandal involving David Wu, a Chinese-American politician, and a tiger jumpsuit costume that raised doubts about his mental stability.

A screening of “The Ode,” (trailer here) a film adaptation of the novel Ode to Lata by Ghalib Shiraz Dhalla will be held on Thursday, 3/31 at 8 pm in LC 102. This is an exclusive opportunity to see a film not yet in wide release and gear up for the Master’s Tea with the novelist, screenwriter and producer on 4/7. Presented by AASA, in conjunction with the South Asian Film Society, the LGBTQ Co-op, SAS and Prism.

An article on CNN today tells the story of a 14-year old girl in Bangladesh who was beaten to death on charges of adultery. “Bangladesh is considered a democratic and moderate Muslim country, and national law forbids the practice of sharia; [yet it] is still very much in use in villages and towns aided by the lack of education and strong judicial systems.”

CASA is looking for member to act in their annual Cultural Show! For this year’s play, they are looking to cast four main roles and a number of smaller parts with less than ten lines. If interested, you can fill out this form and contact Alex or Ray for more information.

Asian Acapella Mashup

Hear our very own Paul Han CC’14, Gene Kim CC’14, Sarah Kang BK’14, Brandon Wang JE’14, with John Gonzalez ES’14 on accompaniment as they do a mashup of “Teenage Dream” by Katy Perry and “Hey Soul Sister” by Train.

And … we’re back! Bulldog Buzz

With a quick response to the crisis in Japan, the Japanese American Students Union (JASU) held “Hope for Japan” on Mar. 24 to raise money for disaster relief efforts. The event featured student performance groups, raffles for gift certificates from local businesses, all-you-can-eat food from New Haven restaurants, and even origami. The packed Berkeley dining hall certainly showed strong support from the New Haven and Yale community for Japan in light of the crisis.

The Yale Institute of Sacred Music will also hold a benefit concert on Sat., Mar. 26 featuring the Bach Collegium Japan performing Johann Sebastian Bach’s “B-Minor Mass.” The concert, conducted by the founder of the Collegium, Masaaki Suzuki, will take place at 8 p.m. at Woolsey Hall. Tickets are $15, $8 for students and can be ordered by calling 203-432-4158 or online at the Yale School of Music website; tickets will also be sold the night of the performance.

Two individuals, 29-year-old Fitzroy Ford and 20-year-old Antonio Streater, were wounded by gunfire at Toad’s on Wednesday night. According to police, a group of people jumped onto the stage during a performance by the rap group C.M.S., ensuing a fight. According to the YDN, several Yalies expressed avoiding Toad’s in light of the incident.

The response videos just keep coming for Alexandra Wallace’s infamous Youtube video, Asians in the Library. The third-year UCLA student has already withdrawn from the school after receiving death threats for her online rant about Asians talking too loudly on cell phones in the library, among other bigoted complaints. However, the video has inspired some creative juices, including Jimmy Wong’s “Ching Chong! Asians in the Library Song”.

Digital Racism?

Excerpt from article “Beware Social Media’s Dark Side, Scholars Warn Companies“:

Lisa Nakamura, a professor of Asian-American studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign who studies virtual communities, argued that new forms of racism are emerging amid the bits and bytes of video games.

For instance, in China large numbers of users began earning actual money playing the fantasy role-playing game Lineage II. They did so by playing for many hours and selling their online loot to people in the United States who did not play as long. Many of the Chinese chose the online role of a female dwarf, a character class in the game that can more easily win treasure on solo missions. Rival players began killing off female dwarfs in the game on sight, often adding anti-Chinese slurs in the chat section of the game as they did, said Ms. Nakamura.

“What happened was that female dwarfs become an unplayable race” in the game, she said. “They basically became a racial minority.”

She also noted a study that found what she called “plain old racism” cropping up in online marketplaces like Craigslist. The study found that when people posted listings on the free classifieds site that showed a black hand holding a product, the final selling price was lower than in an ad for the same product held by a white hand.