Showing posts from July, 2013

Feminism and parenting done right

Why does this post's title include parenting? I'm not a parent! But in truth, I love reading what intelligent parents have to say.

I've been following this blogger parent on Facebook, and here's his post recently:

Jef Withonef Against my better judgment I’ve been doing a lot of reading on the purity movement. It’s just bloody horrifying, this idea of “guarding your daughter’s heart” by keeping it yourself, not to mention this notion of making her define herself only how she is viewed either by her husband or her dad.

Lynda likes to joke I’m going to be “that dad,” the one who cleans a gun when Katy brings a boyfriend or girlfriend over. Truth is I’m not. I’m very prepared for what I want to instill in her when she begins to reach physical maturity.

1. That sex is beautiful and fun as hell. So is driving a car and a bunch of other things, and they come with responsibilities. You need to ask yourself if you can handle those. I knew I could be trusted with a car at 16, so I d…


I used to go to church every Sunday, but a habit that I have not lost is reading PostSecret every Sunday.
According to the website, PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard. PostSecret, 13345 Copper Ridge Road, Germantown, MD 20874 There are so many things about it that I enjoy - the artwork, the craftiness, the different emotions each secret evokes, the passiveness of reading someone else's secret and never sending in my own, the activeness of trying to decipher secrets in code or in another language, and the feeling that I'm not alone, so many people do this every Sunday and in one way or another, we all feel connected through the secrets we read.

I really like this postcard from this Sunday's post:

I know people who would prefer to have heterosexual children, for all kinds of reasons. But I very much agree with the sender of this postcard. Life might be harder for a homosexual child …

Week 6 - Midpoint Evaluation

Have you battled burn-out, disappointed expectations, exhaustion, or had trouble balancing your internship and personal life? If yes, do you find that these struggles influence any viewpoints? If you've not met any trouble in the internship, what are the positive and affirming changes you see occurring within yourself?

Have you achieved any progress in the goals you set at the beginning of your internship? Why or why not? Have any of your goals changed? How or why?

How has this internship challenged your beliefs about poverty, justice, and human capabilities?

Surfers Paradise

On Thursday, I visited another children's rehabilitation center that my supervisor told me about. She said she called to let them know I am visiting, but when I got there the president strangely had no idea what I was talking about. She then had her 13 year old daughter show me around the place. It was a hot and humid summer day not unlike those in Houston, and the place smelled faintly horrible. I got there a little later than I had wanted to, so it was afternoon nap time from 12 - 2pm. I visited a couple of rooms with 20+ cribs for children from ages 2 - probably 8 or 10.

I try to get to know the president's daughter better and we play with some of the toddlers. I wave and say hello to the youngest bunch of kids sleeping and half awake in their cribs. They had air conditioning and clean beds, a couple of older women as nannies, taking care of them and cleaning and washing. There are cuts, bites, and minor skin rashes on most of the children.

One little girl saw that I was st…

Week 5 Response

In Behind the Beautiful Forevers, Katherine Boo tells the stories of residents of a Mumbai slum and the hardships they endure. What is the infrastructure of opportunity in this society? Whose capabilities are given wing by the market and a government's economic and social policy? Whose capabilities are squandered, and how does this affect their well-being and agency? Use specific examples. What capabilities are supported or neglected in the community you are currently serving?

A Day at Work

What do I actually do when I go volunteer? Well it's hard to say because it changes from day to day. On Friday this is what I typed:

Right now I'm playing a game with one of the little kids from group yellow. He's sick today so he's upstairs and has to eat and sleep separately. He wanted me to play with him. I found him tin tin adventure books in Chinese but he didn't like them. He's only 9 I guess. Now we're listening to music and we're playing a typing game. he's letting me type alllll on my own right now. What a cutie.  Friday 7/12/13 - 3pm Here is a picture from paint after we've done layers of damage and art to it. I must warn you, though, it is quite beautiful.

Master piece, right?


On Monday, I got to work and found a surprise next to my desk. A boy named Carl (王小磊) was sick and so he is practicing typing pin yin on the computer next to me, away from the other children. Carl did not speak a lot but he could learn just as well as any other child. He pointed to all the letters and words on his screen to me. He is a little confused sometimes about the capital letters on the keyboard and the lower case letters that he is shown on the screen. I taught Carl how to close windows and turn off the computer. It was quite a struggle because with his motor difficulties, moving the mouse to the correct place and then clicking it without screwing up can be hard. But I encouraged Carl to keep trying, and he laughed a lot at his struggles. I told him it’s okay, just try again. He was resilient and was back at it in 10 seconds, after he finally finished laughing.

Carl wrote his name for me, in English and in Chinese, and I showed him mine. Carl was ready to step things up, so we’…

Assessment and development

Things got real today!
Ms. Ho is a teacher from Hong Kong who comes every year to do professional training and observations with CereCare in Shanghai. She observed group blue (my class) today. I bumped into Ms Lieu, the founder of CereCare, this morning and we observed the class together. Every kid had an adult working with them and Daisy was teaching this class. She was modeling directives like stretching arms from left to right and top-left to bottom-right, and the kids followed along as best as they could. Ms. Ho takes notes, sometimes briefly interrupting to help correct the class as she saw fits. At one point, she talked to Ms. Gao, the director in charge of the teachers, who then proceeded to ask one of the trainers to exit the classroom with her. Why, you ask? Well, he started dozing off, again. He does this every day, so I’m not surprised he got in trouble. I wonder why he’s always so tired, and how everyone has put up with him dozing off all the time. I was asked to fill in …

Week 4 Response

What do you know about the history of the agency you are serving? What do you believe is the long-term future of the agency and its work? Is it self-sustaining and if not, what might be changed to make it so?

What have you learned about the strategies and internal operations of your host organization? Are there aspects of the organization that work very well or that seem problematic?

I am helping CereCare revise the English translation of their chinese website (separately so I can still spend time with the children), so I have read and heard a lot about the history and goals of this organization. CereCare was started 10 years ago by an elderly chinese woman with cerebral palsy who developed her own acupressure/massage therapy method and wanted to open a rehabilitation center for children with cerebral palsy. They’ve always struggled financially, and the founder’s sister (Iris) travels quite often to countries such as the U.S. and Canada to fundraise and apply for grants to keep the cent…