Friday, August 10, 2007
I hope to use this picture (resized a la flickr) as my profile picture (I'm sure there's an easier way, but I'll do what I know), and I might as well tell you the story. This is my wai-po, my maternal grandmother who raised me from birth to age 7 in Taiwan. Needless to say, we were very close. My parents lived in the US and (finally) sent for me to live with them a month before my 7th birthday. Wai-po brought me to NYC and thought about staying, but decided to go home, much to my dismay at the time. Certainly distance (time, space, culture) separated us for most of the rest of my life, and she passed away from illness last October.
I'll make the simple "teaching connection" that I have written about wai-po when I demonstrate writing assignments (memoir, poem) in class. Sometimes I struggle to find interesting personal common ground with students (I have no siblings, I didn't play sports, I'm Chinese, etc.), but students have no trouble connecting with my wai-po stories. They're captivated.