Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I just got threatened by one of the online student who is sure I lost her homework from the first week of class. The benefit of having online classes is that all submissions are permanently stored, so I can't just lose someone's homework. I told her she could develop a civil tone and discuss this with me, or she could, as she threatened, go to the dean and get me fired. I am not going to lose much sleep over this. 
Speaking of sleeping, I called Suzanne on my way home from GV, and our little one was fighting going to sleep, screaming for Da Da, when she realized Nay Nay (her grandmother) wasn't going to step in and rescue her from nap time. 
We began Maxine Hong-Kingston's The Woman Warrior in my ENG 335 class tonight, and I cringed when I read Kingston's assertions about the Chinese saying its better to feed ducks than girls. I am not sure what to think of Kingston's book now that I am the parent of one of these girls--I worry it may perpetuate the myth that China hates baby girls... which is a gross oversimplification (that I hear, time and time again). I have spent a lot of time explaining to people that its illegal to abandon a baby in China. The fact that our daughter's birth parents did abandon her on the steps of the orphanage means that they DID value her. They probably had to conceal the pregnancy from most everyone and give birth to the baby at home, in secret, and abandon her in the dead of night, because they were trying to avoid prosecution. It would have been much easier for them to have an abortion or to kill her at birth--these birth parents valued her enough to put themselves at considerable risk to adopt her. After we read Hong-Kingston, we move on to the graphic novel American Born Chinese. In that novel, at one point, a Chinese character is so filled with contempt for his culture and heritage that he turns himself into a white blonde teenager. Our goal is to avoid fostering that self-hatred in our daughter--but the ignorance about China and baby girls that goes around doesn't help things.

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