Please Support Strength in NUMBERS!

I mentioned the project in my last post. The lack of Asian American representation in the media is alarming. Here to break down barriers and destroy stereotypes is Strength in NUMBERS.

Strength in NUMBERS is a grassroots Asian American music project featuring over 30 Asian American and Asian artists. I’ve backed $10 and tweeting daily to raise awareness for this project. If you love good music and/or minority representation activism there is something here for you. The project has reached $10,000 but it still needs about $14,000 to become real. There’s 5 days to go!

I’ve never been into the hip hop scene but I always support the underdogs. There is some great hidden talent in this album. Yesterday all $10 and up backers received a preview version of the album and I’ve can attest to the talent, musicianship, and message of this music. This isn’t fluff. There is depth and meaning, what music should be.

If you aren’t convinced, here is a free preview. My favorite tracks are #1, 18, and 19.

Now that this is off my chest I can finally get to that homework I’ve been putting off.

 

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It’s Time

When I was twelve I dreamed of being a storyteller. I devoured words about queens and detectives. I lined the unused pages of my black and white school journals with bad comics and over-dramatic back stories. When I was twelve I created a character that I couldn’t find among the thousands of books that lined the library walls.

For some reason, I remembered that today.

She was a princess from a faraway land – but she didn’t know it. Trapped in suburban America, she one day stumbles upon secret documents that reveal her true identity and she realizes that the color of her hair and the shape of her eyes that always seemed out of place did not come from the mother she and her sister shared. Smuggled from her home on a fictional Pacific Island, her captivity was part of a plot to overthrow the the family that had led this tiny kingdom since the light of the sun hit the Earth. What happens next, I never got around to writing.

It was Princess Diaries meets colonization. It was about a girl who had always felt different and alone and was finally able to make sense of it all. It was about a disconnect from the past. It was about an Asian American.

Without even realizing it, at the age of twelve, I knew I couldn’t count on the media to represent my race, so I sought to do it myself.

This past weekend, I came across an article about Asian American identity that has become quite viral (The Asian American Awakening.) The author’s experiences virtually mirror mine. There comes a time in many Asian American youths’ lives when they realize, “I am not white” and then they seek to reconcile this feeling. In the hours past midnight I labored over the comments, becoming enraged at how some fellow Asian Americans could not see how American society has hurt our race because of subtle discrimination and “model minority” myths. Why don’t they understand!

The problem is in development. The Asian American experience is unique. It’s an identity crisis. We go through stages: ethnic awareness, white identification, awakening to social and political consciousness, redirection, and incorporation. Maybe those people haven’t awakened to these social and political issues yet. I believe it is my job and the job of others who have awakened to raise awareness of these problems and disparities.

All too often we are forgotten about in discourse about race. It is not well known that we walked alongside our Black brothers and sisters during the fight for civil rights. The media can glorify race in every case where a black boy’s life is taken away by a white man but when will they do the same for every Asian American that suffers the same fate? It’s not like it never happens. We are not problem-less. We are not perfect. We are not a model minority.

So even today I’m not sure if I can find a book or movie that features an Asian American lead character that I can identify with. But we are getting there. One by one we can make strides, but only if we’re in it together in solidarity. I only hope that we don’t need another Vincent Chin to make it happen.

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PLUG: On a related note, I’m backing this amazing Asian American music project on Kickstarter called Strength in NUMBERS so please check it out! I’ve never really been into rap/hip-hop but this project got me to change my mind. I want this project to happen so bad and there’s 10 days left as of now to make it work so go go go!

INTJ

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is a sort of personality test that measures a person on four dimensions: Extraversion/Introversion, Sensing/Intuition, Thinking/Feeling,  Judgment/Perception. It is often used to measure people’s career compatibility. The first time I heard of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator was in my PSYC 100 class and when I met with my mentor for the first time last month, she asked me to take it so I could identify my strengths and weaknesses. Well I finally got around with it and I ended up being labeled an INTJ – introverted, intuitive, thinking, judgment.

I’m Draco Malfoy. Appropriate seeing as Pottermore put me in the Slytherin House. (Source)

While many criticize the test’s validity, I could not help but agree with my result. I can absolutely identify with those four dimensions. I’ve taken the interpretation from this page and cannot find a point I disagree with. Here are a few that I would say describe me perfectly:

Their mind constantly gathers information and makes associations about it. They are tremendously insightful and usually are very quick to understand new ideas. However, their primary interest is not understanding a concept, but rather applying that concept in a useful way.

This is why I’m always looking for internships. I can’t just sit and read a textbook to learn something.

INTJs are natural leaders, although they usually choose to remain in the background until they see a real need to take over the lead.

When I was younger I was definitely a background person and I usually still am until someone proves to be incompetent and needs better leadership.

INTJs spend a lot of time inside their own minds, and may have little interest in the other people’s thoughts or feelings.

It hurts a little because it sounds negative and it’s true. I’m not the greatest with feelings and I think people can be a little over-sensitive sometimes.

INTJs are ambitious, self-confident, deliberate, long-range thinkers. Many INTJs end up in engineering or scientific pursuits, although some find enough challenge within the business world in areas which involve organizing and strategic planning. They dislike messiness and inefficiency, and anything that is muddled or unclear. They value clarity and efficiency, and will put enormous amounts of energy and time into consolidating their insights into structured patterns.

My career goal in a nutshell. This is why I study Operations Management which involves efficiency and strategic planning. There is no room for waste in my book.

Others may falsely perceive the INTJ as being rigid and set in their ways. Nothing could be further from the truth, because the INTJ is committed to always finding the objective best strategy to implement their ideas. The INTJ is usually quite open to hearing an alternative way of doing something.

I have experienced head-butting with people this way before and I never understood why people always think I’d be offended by their ideas! This has happened in many occasions in this semester alone. I am often in a position of leadership with my peers where we are sharing the responsibility. Because I like to stay in the background until I am needed, I usually do not run for the top dog positions and let someone with more charisma be the face of the organization. However, when I take a step back and leave them room to be a leader, they let me down! And sometimes, these peers look to me for guidance whereas I am expecting them to step up and bring new ideas to the table. It’s incredibly frustrating sometimes and makes me wish I would have more drive to just take that top position because I know I’d be good at it.

INTJs are most always highly competent people, and will not have a problem meeting their career or education goals. They have the capability to make great strides in these arenas.

And that is just the icing on the cake.

I’m a rare one. Only 2-4% of the population has a personality like mine. No wonder I have trouble finding people who can think on the same wavelength as me.

I’m interested in learning about how having this knowledge about myself can help me become a better business person. From what I’ve read, it’s going to be hard for me to get my ideas across and appeal to people who don’t think the same way I do. That’s not something you want to hear when all you want to do in life is sell your point of view as something that will better society.

Why don’t you take the MBTI yourself and tell me what you think about your personality? Do you agree and like what you see?