Jason’s article on Cambodian and doughnut shop is very interesting. While rarely eating doughnuts, I find it compelling how Cambodians use something “American” as a path to their dreams. There are some problems and suggestion while I was looking at the presentation. First, Jason shows a wide array of interesting information, but I find it hard to determine his goal for the paper. Does he want to show the doughnut legacy within Cambodian community and asking why they choose doughnut shop? I get that sense through the data and his actual sitting in donut shop daily to look at their activities and his initial motive when he first started this project in high school. Does he want to talk about system of oppression that make Cambodian chose the doughnut shop, and how media portray of “successful” doughnut shop hurt these businesses while masking their sufferings? The movie “Got doughnut?” explain this view as well as the later part of his presentation. Second, his findings are from observations and documents. It is very hard to approach the owners to ask questions, but it might be necessary on this topic. Interview is a way to find actual data and see how it might or might not contrast with the readings and observations. It may answer, for example, the same price set for four shops or what do they think about doughnut shop and American’s dream in contrast with popular media. Last but not least, I’m interested in the different between younger and older generation. In the movie, the parents see the shop as a way to keep their family afloat. They have the children helping out at the shop as well. The daughter “loves doughnut”, but there is no sigh of her helping out the shop. The son is helping his parents, but he wants to be in the business and not wanting to have a doughnut shop in the future. I get a sense of obligation, by taking turn helping out the store, and depression, watching their parents work hard and recall the riot memories. What is the younger generation really think of their parents and the doughnut shop? Regardless, it is an interesting topic to follow.As for the group working on “Where do we stand?” article, I enjoy discussing and listening to different opinions and personal experiences that they and the classmates provide. However, it is as the group mentioned, the article is outdated and not necessary reflect the real experiences of later immigrant groups, especially the newer immigrants living in California or other Asian American cluster zones. The experiences of the classmates are vivid examples of that. In this new system of education, I feel more oppressed by the school regulations and authorities than by other students, such as the example of how I were targeted by the teachers and stopped by the police several time walking home because Vietnamese American students were the main group that causes troubles in school. Perhaps what make me feel “invisible” is the different between my old friends, the new immigrants, and other Vietnamese, those who came way before us. There is still this unspoken division between the “F.O.B” and the older, or American born Vietnamese to this day. It is clearly visible in both James Lick and Andrew Hill high schools that I went to.
By Tien Mai