In a time where differences are brought up more than ever, I have craved something new in my books: a recognition of where we are now. Lately, I've been seeking out books with authors whose names remind me of my own, names that are (often) mispronounced and mark us as different than the people around … Continue reading In the land of books and identity
New years hold some kind of promise, don't they? They whisper of new adventures, new escapes, new getaways. With a new year, we can learn something more, something new. Every year, I try to set a reading goal, books read or papers highlighted through. But this year, I want to make myself a promise of … Continue reading A New Year.
What does the past of Colombia mean every day? It means our students deal with the repercussions every day. In July, when I first began teaching here, I was shocked at the lengths students would go to conserve things. Things, like pieces of paper in a notebook (they'd prefer to write on their desks and … Continue reading The past of Colombia
The schedule changes when you don't expect it. Especially true down here in Colombia. Some times, things happen that are unexpectedly funny. Yesterday, I walked into a class with my shirt on inside out. My student asked me why the embroidery was on the inside, and I told her the truth...Well of course I put … Continue reading Embracing the unexpected surprises in teaching
Two weeks ago exactly, I embarked on a new adventure: teaching English. As an inbetween American and the daughter of immigrants whose education was influenced by their colonizer, I both love and detest the power language can signify. During the teaching orientation, I found myself speaking a LOT with the other teachers who learned British … Continue reading The complications of teaching English as an inbetween American
Every morning, I slide on two rings. When I wear them, I am on the receiving end of "ma'am," sly remarks about my husband, and intrusive questions (and yes, I include questions about the medication I am or am not on as intrusive). The number of children I must have or must be about to have … Continue reading So, I’m a woman who wears two rings.
Fresh Off the Boat: a term for a person who has just moved to America, and a show about an Asian-American family that I somehow relate to for its portrayal of a strict mother, a father always working, and kids jamming to grunge music. Redheads, characters with autism, and strong female characters who speak their mind … Continue reading Why American TV now is exciting
I've been thinking a lot about hometown pride today, and what that means. As an inbetween American, this term troubles me in a way it doesn't trouble others. I was born and raised in a big, big city, a place where people wear stilettos to the gym, and then moved to a place named after … Continue reading Hometown Pride.
Today's message is another from my parents. One day at the mosque back home, my mother and I noticed a huge mess in the ladies' room. Nobody else was cleaning up the strewn-about paper towels, or mopping up the stale water, but my mother started on her hands and knees, clearing out the mess. When … Continue reading Always leave a place a little better than you found it.
In time, you'll understand why parents say the things you do. You'll see the logic of the unknowns that govern their lives. Or you'll wrap your head around new ideas, beliefs, and myths. In time, you'll develop your voice. You'll listen to opinions that don't agree with yours. Or you'll be too stubborn to hear … Continue reading In time…
After 9/11, a big question I got a lot was, "why are you still a Muslim?" This was often followed by distaste, horror, or anger with my decision to remain in a religion that, until now, hadn't received much screen time. My religion for many, now, equates to American lives lost, and atrocities committed. It … Continue reading Why are you still a Muslim?
Hello all, It has been a tremendous amount of time since my last post...I am both sorry for that, and glad I took some time to think without writing. Since my last post, some things have changed: My roommate is now someone I plan to spend my life (but not every second) with My marital … Continue reading Using my words.
In September, I will marry someone with whom I, in many ways, epitomize this graphic. I like to point out that the only thing we have in common physically is that we are both left-handed (although he always reminds me we do also each have two feet and two hands). When I first met him, … Continue reading Think, and let think.
As we grow up, we turn into different versions of ourselves. We are still us, but we have experiences that shape us and shorten us and (sometimes) stretch us. When I was younger, I only slightly veered from the safe routes. I strayed, but not too far. I stepped, but I only tiptoed. (I know, I know, … Continue reading It’s time to stretch out your thoughts.
Canada, you got this right. (You also got Tim Horton's right but that's another story for another day!...Although, fun fact: Apparently Tim Horton's has actually been home to wedding pictures!) Let us promote a world of compassion. A world that tries to understand. A world of hearts that open, and stay open. ...In … Continue reading Meanwhile, Canada did something awesome.
When you're not heard, there is a major misalignment in the universe. But when you choose not to be heard, does that mean you're purposely tilting the world on its head? There should be more people who use their voices to raise awareness of an issue. Kristen Bell has a history of teaching through example. You … Continue reading Make a difference with your difference
For those of you who don't know, I recently started a new position. It stretches and challenges me in many ways (including a 40-min commute each way, which luckily has not caused any dizzy spells yet, but does lead me to worry about it on occasion). It also means sitting at a new desk. Within … Continue reading New job, new adjustments
My parents moved here before my sister and I were born to follow an American dream. I feel lucky every day that my American story begins in love. But I want it to continue that way, too. Modern media has finally caught up with the fact that not all American families fit one mold. There are finally … Continue reading The Language of Loving a Difference
Hi All, I published a piece to my fiancé's blog. I wanted to share it with all of you, and gain your thoughts as well. I hope you take a look! There's a chance this could be water Also, he is an incredibly witty and inspiring writer. Check him out. Lots of love, and that's all … Continue reading Cross-post plug
My lovely roommate and I ride the bus together occasionally. On such occasions, we like to tuck ourselves into two adjacent seats, but here's the key: If it's an inconvenience to the others on the bus, we don't do it. However, we are evidently some of the few in that category. This morning, we experienced it … Continue reading Move over, please.
Music runs a fervent stream in my head all day long. It ranges in genres (teenage me will never let me forget punk/indie/rock), styles (boy bands are always a staple), and origin (mysterious, or otherwise). But music, unfortunately, knows no bounds when it comes to sexism or racism. Sexism in the music industry has been around … Continue reading Musical realism
We have officially crossed into August 14 (if you go by Pakistan time)... Which is Independence Day in Pakistan! Celebrations today range in ferocity, effort, and beauty. Going to Pakistan to see family meant I was able to partake in some celebrations. But one of my dearest friends is Indian. In her country, Independence Day is celebrated … Continue reading How did independence forget about similarity?
How do you categorize yourself? Are you inclined to pick a label for yourself based more on what you think or feel? Or is it about your relationship to others? Or is it what you look like? I have been lucky. I have never questioned my faith or its practices, or felt embarrassment of where … Continue reading How do you categorize yourself?
In my world, family comes first. My world is where my parents' pictures sit right beside my phone at work, even though they are the first thing I see when I turn my phone on. I wouldn't be lying if I said my parents' words often come out of my mouth. If you haven't seen Gilmore Girls yet (or … Continue reading Families, and what we like about them.
There are few things in the world scarier than change we don't see coming. [Image description: Image of Veronica Mars, TV character and hero of my life, with text underneath: "You know those people who can predict when change is coming in their life? I'm not one of them. Change has a way of just … Continue reading How to re-set your mindset
If you haven't seen this video, please take a few minutes and watch. It's the best Ramadan video I've seen yet. As someone without a "mainstream" holiday in the United States, I have learned that my holiday is treated a bit differently. For instance, I have had multiple supervisors/teachers/professors/instructors refuse to make accommodations for my … Continue reading It’s Eid! Let the feasting begin. But first…
Women are pretty amazing. There is a lot of evidence to this statement. There are these women, who perform countless good deeds, just because they think it's the right thing to do. Remember when Emmett tells Elle to use her powers for good? What about when Misty Copeland entered history? And what about these moves, … Continue reading What can you do with your power today?
On the metro this week, I caught myself looking at the women around me. One had gorgeous hair, the kind that is naturally thick without being annoying or triangle shaped. (Side note: Remember when Anne Hathaway had to have triangle shaped hair for this role?) One had J. Crew-esque features; a matching dress, delicate pearl necklace, … Continue reading What else is a comparison but a let-down for ourselves?
Yesterday, I had the apartment to myself, which meant... Binge-watching The Royals, consuming everything in sight... and a dash of Sex and the City thrown in for good measure. As I watched a Sex and the City episode I have watched more times than there are days in a workweek, I reflected on why exactly this show resonated with … Continue reading Trashy tv sometimes leads to good reflections.
There are times when it's nice to be taken care of. Then there are times that parents don't trust you enough to take care of yourself. Desi parents are especially good at this. (Disclosure to this post: my parents are the best friends I've ever had, and probably will ever have.) They think you haven't … Continue reading More trust would be nice.
http://mic.com/articles/120033/jon-stewart-made-a-brilliant-point-about-caitlyn-jenner-that-nobody-s-talking-about Sorry, but...This says it all.
As a South Asian American, I feel a bit predisposed to pressure. I know I should be a certain size, especially because the only people who look like me in film are a certain size. I know I should represent my family in a certain way, because my family either lives with me, or is just … Continue reading 20-year olds, please get married when you’re ready to get married, not when you should.
"Where are you from?" "No, but really...where are you frooooooooooom?" Ah, the dreaded question of anyone who is not: 1. The same color as the person asking. 2. Free of accent. 3. Sure what they should claim. 4. All of the above. Viewers of Mean Girls will likely remember this moment. While a funny moment for film, a … Continue reading Where are you from?
Life is an in-between. None of us (or, okay, maybe only a minute fraction of us) are born with an absolute truth. I am an American born to two Pakistani parents. My check mark lies permanently next to the Asian – though I only look like some of that continent and nothing like most of … Continue reading inbetween American