Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Presentation 3 Reflection

This week, we went over Jason’s article on Cambodian Donut shops and Christina, Mimi and Tri Thien’s article on the invisibility of Asian students during a black and white high school conflict. I thoroughly enjoyed both presentations this week. I thought both were pretty thought provoking and I liked how they were pretty comprehensive in terms of presenting the material to the class. 

Jason’s presentation was pretty interesting especially because his choice of topic was very atypical and I mean, who wouldn’t want listen to presentation on donuts? I liked how he reflected upon how his mind was working when he was thinking about why donut shops are mostly owned by Cambodians and any and all correlations he could think of. It was almost like we were taken along on the journey to figure out why with him. I especially liked how he reflected with us because some of the questions that he thought of were definitely not what I would have thought of. It seemed like he didn’t just look at the immediate obvious cause and effect of a particular section. He took it upon himself to look deeper, for example, he said something along the lines of, “I noticed several donut shops in the local area all opened at 5am, is there a reason for this? Have they all communicated with each other and come to a mutual agreement to open at a certain time so that all would benefit from this?” Overall, I thought the presentation was great and I liked the Youtube video he shared with us on the lives of Cambodian donut shop owners. 

The reading itself was fairly easy to read (I liked that a lot) and I also liked how it talked about the beginning of Ngov’s life and his storybook romance that soured as well. I also thought it was amazing that he was able to own and lease out so many donut shops but also lose it all at the same time in a crash and burn ending. Overall, the reading was interesting and I hope more groups choose to present such readings. The question I would ask Jason is “Do you think that the Cambodian’s that own donut shops will be able to continue this kind of business ownership in the failing economy being that they only make a profit of 13 cents per donut?” 

For Mimi, Christina, and Tri-Thien’s presentation, I thought it was very thorough and very well prepared. I liked how they did a background on the racial conflict before starting off the presentation on the situation with the Asian American students. I liked how they presented on the article because I felt it was a good summation of what the article entailed.

I also liked this article because it included personal accounts from the Asian students on how they felt at the time of the riots and their fear of not completely understanding what was going on because of language barriers and the lack of SEA faculty to reach out to and a SAFE place they could go to. I would imagine this to be a very scary situation when you are indirectly involved in a conflict you don’t understand and be in a position where you don’t have too many in your group to help you feel secure enough in this situation. The best part of the presentation was the class reflection on the questions they provided us. I thought it was very fitting that they asked us questions they did because it was directly related to the topics in the article and it was something that the individuals in class could readily discuss since it drew on more personal experience and opinions. The question I would have for the group is, “Do you think this kind of situation of “Asian invisibility” still occurs today in say areas like the Midwest where racism is still quite prevalent and not as many Asians live there?”

-Melissa Cheng

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