Seraphina and Maya are friends attending Western Washington University. Seraphina is a Korean American studying special education with a dual elementary education endorsement. Maya is a Chinese American adoptee studying East Asian studies with a minor in sociology.
Where are you from?
My comfort food is kimchi fried rice. It is easy to make and there is not that much that goes into it. The ingredients are kimchi, rice, egg, and I like to put a slice of cheese on top. Sometimes my mom puts in pepper paste. A memory I have is how my mom would make it for me and my brother when we were hungry during the night or as a snack. It is one of those foods that is just filling and warm and can be made to how you want.
For me home is somewhere I feel safe—a warm place where my family and friends are.
Why did you choose your major?
Something that gets me excited is going out and doing something, being in nature and exploring.
An image that symbolizes being Asian American is being able to communicate with adults and others.
Why did you go to college?
I would describe myself as energetic and caring. I am very quiet at first but then start to open up to people when I feel comfortable.
I would want to tell my future self that I did well and that there is still a lot to do but I can do it.
Where are you from?
Although it’s not authentic I like how easy it is to create a bean and cheese burrito; refried beans and different types of shredded cheese all into a nice soft tortilla. I do not know how to explain the comfort portion of a burrito, but it makes me feel warm and cozy like a home.
Home is my magnet, wherever I go, I am always connected with that push and pull force.
Mini road trips that my friends and I go on fulfills our curiosity and excitement. It’s spontaneous.
I use my chopsticks like it’s my own weapon, swift and smooth, a symbol of my Chinese side.
I stand before people like a cactus, but I am a wise old owl at times too.
It is okay to love yourself as a Chinese American.
Veronica Anne: How did it feel to do this exercise? Did anything stand out to you?
Maya: My answers are definitely . . . I don’t know, I talked about a burrito kind of thing, and it’s not very deep stuff. But then metaphors and stuff are. So, it sounds kind of funny. It didn’t really answer what you said but I don’t really know.
Seraphina: I kind of had to, like, think more about each question, I guess. I read it and then I had an answer, but I had to rethink it to kind of make sure I’m on the right track.
Veronica Anne: If you feel comfortable, could you talk about what you wrote?
Maya: For the question of “Where are you from?” I put that with the comfort food, which was my non-authentic bean and cheese burrito. But the reason why I like that is because I said it’s easy to create and the outside is, like, this is a soft tortilla. And I don’t know how to explain why it’s so comforting to me but it’s warm and cozy and it feeds my cravings and that kind of is what home is like, which is the next part that we talked about. That’s like a nice, comforting place to be. So that’s, yeah, what I wrote about for that part.
I didn’t really have . . . I don’t really know how to use the other questions, but you said that it was fine. But I go into talking about these road trips with friends and stuff. And then I start talking about my chopsticks. And then I go into describing myself which some people may think that I’m this prick, or whatever. Some cactus thing. But I couldn’t think of a word, I just thought, well, kind of a wise old owl, if it’s the right stuff—sometimes I’m just kind of dumb, but I think more in depth than [I seem].
And then the last part, I told my future self that it’s okay to love myself as a Chinese American since I did struggle with that when I was younger, and kind of still do.
Seraphina: Well, from the first portion, “Where you’re from”—I kind of just talked about how I am from Federal Way, but I also am from Korea, even though I was born here. And then, like, I talked about my comfort food [being] kimchi fried rice, because it is something easy to make and my mom would make it for me and my brother a lot, and so it’s kind of just one of those foods that are kind of nostalgic in a way, I guess.
And then I said for me, home is somewhere, like, it’s not physically where I am, but who the people are around me, I would consider as home home, I guess. So, I don’t have—it doesn’t have to be a location or a place.
And the part of, like, “Why did I come to college?” It’s, like, because both my parents did go to school and college but it’s different for me, going to college in America versus going to college in Korea. And having to, like, be able to actually go to college is something that some of my family hasn’t done. So, it’s kind of also like I’m the first generation here actually going to college in America, and there’s meaning [in me going to college].