Sunday, May 7


The circumstances are not ideal, yet it seems to me that life's moments don't have to be right or not right anymore, so fraught and weighted with "value," but just of themselves, what they are...

from A Gesture Life by Chang-rae Lee

I've read these two books recently - the one above and another one by the same author called Native Speaker - that are basically about Asians fitting in to "normal" American life. I've been thinking that perhaps I'm on the opposite end of that picture, a white girl trying to fit in to Asian life, although it's certainly much easier for an Asian non-American to fit in to American life than it is for me to fit in here. Of course, I am also segregating myself in many ways, some necessary and some not so much so. I hang out with the teachers in the English conversation office, mostly stay on campus, etc. This happens because I'm really too busy not to do that, my students and my work requires me to, and so on. I spend as much time as possible in language study, but I don't make as much progress as I should because I'm not in an immersion environment. So, while I love what I do, I'm torn, because I think language study is actually the most important thing so that someday I won't have to live this segregated life.

None of what I just wrote has to do with the quote I copied above. I do love that quote, though, because of how I feel circumstances have been normal lately and yet not so. Circumstances aren't ideal and the moments haven't been so weighted with value lately, but yet they have been good.

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