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August 15, 2002
My ethnicity is an acculturated light switch; I can turn it on and off. There were scholarships which hinged on being Vietnamese. There’s that speech where I mentioned I was making “my people” proud. There’s that article in the Vietnamese press about an award. Then there’s the DC trip to accept an award where I told my parents to leave me alone, to stop speaking Vietnamese. I didn’t want to appear the immigrant, the boat person who’s good at math who can’t speak English. My mother mentions it whenever we argue. “Just like in D.C. when you yelled at me.”