Thursday, September 20, 2007

Random Thoughts

I'm sitting in Joe's cubicle at the Mission Community Response Network (CRN)in San Francisco typing this. I'm waiting for him to get his street outreach team ready so we can hit the streets of Mission where gangs are a fixture. I'll be riding with the Mission CRN team to observe how it serve its neighbor in this fight to reduce violence in the community. It's one way for me to learn and collaborate with other street outreach worker so I can maximize my potential to help the Asian Pacific Islander community.

The more I get into my work the more I notice how busy I can be. I want to keep up with writing my blog daily, but somehow I can't seem to find time to sit down and write. There's so much I want to share with everyone about my experiences and observations as a return member to this "free world."

Though I've only been out here for a little over 6 months, I feel like I've been out here for along time - staying busy all the time is a factor.

I live in Oakland and work in San Francisco so I have to commute to work daily. However, I don't have a licence to drive. But I've gotten my driving permit and is learning how to drive. Yes, I knew how to drive when I was a kid - driving recklessly. I did get scared when I was got behind the wheel. I was afraid that I would hit the parked cars or the cars coming toward me. I didn't have a feel for the road. I didn't have that problem when I was a kid. I was fearless. As an adult, I'm more cautious and aware of the potential danger comes with driving.

I was on the panel in the Public Defender's second annual Safe Community Reentry Summit yesterday in San Francisco State University. Though there was a lack of API presence, I was able to highlight the issues dealing with API prisoners who are incarcerated in California's 33 prisons. There's a dire need for education and providing resources that are cater to the API population.

The Cliff House restaurant at Ocean Beach serves delicious food with a million dollar view.

Ishle Yi Park says, "Work is love." I love my work.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Just another day

September 11 is almost over. Everyone has a different way to embrace this historical date. One thing remains the same is people are still dying. For me 9/11 is just another day, like a birthday. It's all in the mind. All of a sudden the words of Bob Dylan comes to mind, "How many people must die before you will hear people cry?"

Sunday, September 09, 2007

How little I know

Have you ever had moments when you ask yourself how little you know about life or your work? I had one of those moments today when I was sitting among a group of scholars, community activists, and educators who was brainstorming a symposium on Asian Pacific Islanders celebrating community organizing against injustice and raising awareness on taboo issues. As I was listening to this young Asian American queer woman activist spoke about the process of a desired outcome in measuring the success of a symposium, I realize there's so much I need to learn about organizing and activism. Wisdom and knowledge are not confined by age. That's why learning is endless. It is humbling and inspiring for me to be in the presence of people who can help me reflect and question - what is it that I am not doing to improve myself?

Thursday, September 06, 2007

APA Five Inspires

I'm not a gambler, but for charity I participated in the APA Five Charity Poker Tournament hosted by Asian American Donor Program & Asians for Miracle Marrow Matches. Of course, sitting next to Miss San Jose and the Mayor of Sunnyvale helped increase the interest.

It's also cool to watch Glenn Fajardo slapping the bass guitar during the jam session with Lumaya. That brother got down.

It's an honor for me to be included in the leadership conference put together by APA Five over the Labor Day weekend. I was on the Overcoming Cultural Taboos panel and conducted a Mentorship session. It was exciting to meet some awesome folks who are making a positive difference in the community. I also had the opportunity to connect with some talented people from Hyphen magazine.

Networking is an important way to increase human connection and extend our social circles. I love it.