Hey so this is extremely late, but I guess its better late then never. I have been wanting to write about my experience at a lecture I had to attend. Why did I have to attend? Because I was taking the St. Kate's first-year core class, "The Reflective Woman." This course requires us to go to this convocation held in the O'Shagnessy on campus. The woman we were going to see was of Hmong descent, an ethnic group I had only just began hearing about when I arrived to Minnesota. This woman, Kao Kalia Yang, wrote a novel called, "The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir," about her grandmothers experience in her forced transformation from Hmong to American.
When arriving at the O'Shag, I was worried because I didn't know what I was in for. But at the end I was heart broken and fascinated at the many stories I only briefly heard. I had felt so empowered, inspired, and motivated to share my stories. Here are some notes I took, which were taken only in the times I wasn't crying.
-A human story is more powerful that the places, language, and culture that shape it.
-American is no longer the answer to the questions.
-We do the best decision we know how to make.
-From the sky I will come again.
-When little she had to imagine what the inside of a movie theater looked like to fit in.
-There's a difference between whispering to get by and speaking to be heard.
-All we have to give in this world are stories.
-There is no reason to forget the people who make us better.
-The sun rises so I can get a 2nd chance.
-Power is nothing more than having followers of words.
-If we have more understanding in our hearts, the world would be a better place.
-Stories never end.
-We are here to say that history doesn't just happen, but that we stand against it right back.
-If your words are blowing in the right direction, our lives are not lost.
-(Her father said to her) The size of your hands and your feet will not dictate your life.
-(Her father said to her) You are not a child of war, of poverty, by your birth you are a future with hope.
-Write to those who understand, then to those who don't.
-(About her grandmother) She'll never read the story she wrote.
-A writer doesn't just come from a family, they emerge from a community.
-I do not need a definition of love, or of hope, or of belonging. For so long I wanted to belong. But I feel better when I can answer I am here for a reason with a smile on my face.
I hope you could find this as inspiring as I did =)