Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Presentation #1: Politics

          First off, the articles that both Ricky and Michael used are quite long, but pretty relevant to your topic.  The two authors of the articles you both chose had some really insightful knowledge and ideas about the politics of Vietnam and its policies.  The only problem I had is that there seems to be no or little critique from both of your perspectives about these articles.  These articles present some arguments that can be challenged and analyzed which were missing from the presentation.  I think that if you two look at some of the points that these articles make and analyze or critique them, it would make your paper a lot more interesting.
            In terms of the presentation itself, there were a lot of information that were taken directly from the article.  It distracted students from listening to your presentation because they were either busy trying to copy the information as fast as they can or trying to read the whole writing.  This really made it hard for many of us to understand the presentation because there was either too much information given or too little (both powerpoint and presenting wise).  Another problem with having the information directly from the article is that it doesn’t necessarily show the audience how you feel about the claims on the articles.  For the research paper, your argument should be really obvious so that it is easier to understand why your ideas are important. 
            As for suggestions for your research paper, you both should definitely include more than one scholarly article pertaining to your topic.  I understand that for the presentation, you were only required to give two articles, but it is important that you use more than one person’s argument about politics in Vietnam.  This will not only give you two more to write about, but it will also make your argument and paper stronger if you can critique/analyze others who’s written about similar topics too. 
            Now on the bright side, I like how you both tried to try it into Vietnamese Americans and how it affects them.  Although there should have been a little more emphasis on why this topic is important to Vietnamese Americans, I felt that the examples that you both gave in class are pretty good.  And so, this leads to my question that I have for the two of you: How will understanding the politics of Vietnam benefit Vietnamese/ Vietnamese Americans here?  
            As for Tien, your article seemed long, but it was really interesting so that made it a fast read for me.  I thought that the article you chose tied in pretty well with your presentation.  Although I didn't specifically understand your position in the topic, I felt that the analysis you made about the topic and the article somewhat indicate your argument.  In the research paper, it would be very helpful if you specifically state your position just to make it easier to follow. 
            Based on your presentation style, I thought that it made things easier for us to write down important points because we didn’t have to stare at something and copy it.  By doing this, we all had to really listen to what you were saying which, in a sense, made your presentation more interesting. 
            As for suggestions, I think that you should emphasize more about the United Nations or other organizations have directed their attention to (or not directed) to these Amerasians or children of war.  This will really bring out more attention to your topic and also lead to how Southeast Asians here should be aware of this issue.  With this, you will need more than one article that shows the government’s attention (or lack of) to this political problem.  Another suggestion is trying to find stories of these Amerasians who have experienced conflicts of displacement and identity confusion.  I know that you brushed up on this in your presentation, but if you elaborate more on this, you can tie this in to why it is important for Southeast Asian Americans to become aware and address this problem to the government. With that being said,  my one question for you is: What are solutions that the SEA (Southeast Asian) communities have done or should do to help with this problem? 

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