Feb 27 Reflection

The picture that resembles my Thanksgiving the most is John Holyfield’s painting.  The reason why is because like in the picture my family often makes turkey for Thanksgiving because it is a symbol of a Thanksgiving meal.  But we sometimes put food from our own culture in it.  For example we often have vegetables cooked in a Chinese style.  Sometimes we have rice.  We also join as a family to eat the delicious food that is in front of us.  Just like in Holyfield and Rockwell paintings.  Like in Holyfield’s portrait the family members I eat Thanksgiving with are minorities who want to keep their traditions alive but also want to integrate to American culture.  The portrait that I relate the least is probably is the satyrical comic.  The reason why is because I have been fortunate enough to not have been effected by the bird flu.  I never was afraid of eating turkey in Thanksgiving.  I have never lived through an epidemic or pandemic.  The closest thing to me experiencing the culture of fear around an epidemic or pandemic is probably the coronavirus.   Though I suspect the only reason why I am able to relate to this culture of fear is because I am not more aware of getting the news than I was in back during the bird flu outbreak.

Feb 25 Reflection

The food that are most common in my family is mainly Chinese and Filipino food.  The Chinese food I eat are the typical fried rice, steamed bok choy, dim sum food and etc.  The Filipino food I eat are sinigang, puchero, milk fish, tilapia, and etc. These food represent aspects of my cultural and social status norms.  Food is part of my cultural norm since although I live in America and am very Americanize I still eat food that you would find in Hong Kong or the Philippines.  I am part of a group that with people  across the world, that I don’t even know, and I show that I am apart of this culture by eating the same food they eat.  Despite how traditional languages may be forgotten the food won’t as long as someone knows how to make it.  Eating habits and food contribute to formation of social norms and identities to my culture by creating bonds between people we know.  The best way to bond with people is to share a meal.  For example as my family eats singang we create a connection with the culture and with each other.  As my family eat our cultural we continue the tradition that has been passed on throughout many years by people we do not really know.  Eating Chinese and Filipino food helps you confirm/show that we are part of culture shared by many people across the world.

Feb 25 In class writing

Caitlin Tan and Mariam Jebari

1.  Gebhard, J.(2010). What do international students think and feel? Adapting to U. S. college life and culture. University of Michigan Press, located in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

“Reaching out to faculty and peers for academic and cultural
support and regular participation at social events become key factors to help international students mitigate culture shock in U.S. colleges and universities”(Gebhard, 2010, p.23).
2. (H. Mar, personal communication, 2011, June 30).
3. Mack, T. (1997 May). Culture shock. Forbes, (188-90).
4. Simpson, J.(2006, May 8). Chronicler of culture shock. Times. Retrieved from: Academic Search Premier.
5. Wright, R. (2005, March) Going to teach in prisons: Culture shock. Journal of Correctional Education. Retrieved from: Academic Search Premier.



Feb 20 In class writing


Almond’s critique of football violence is quite far.  The reason why men watch football is that it represents what masculinity is in a cultural sense.  According to society, men are supposed to be tough and nothing says tough than tackling another man to the ground.  This masculinity comes at a price as Almond mentions.  Sometimes too much masculinity can lead to blinding us from hard truths.  The hard truths for Almond were that in a football, a very masculine sport often leads to players getting life-threating injuries.  As people keep watching football for masculinity this incentifies more men to get into football for the money and the glory.    Personally, I’m not a sportsperson but I do understand the appeal.  I believe in the case of football culture most people who watch it do not want anyone to have a life-threating injury but still get a thrill from watching people get hurt.(though not to the point of life-threatening).   I feel football promotes the idea that men should be masculine just because other men are.  I do agree that men should general have certain aspects of masculinity.  For example, its good for a man to be tough, but know that it’s okay if your not.  That men who aren’t as tough as others are still “true men.”   Culture pushes people to conform to certain stereotypes established by society.  For example, men are expected to be sports fans and like action movies.  While women are expected to watch rom-coms. Often the media plays to these stereotypes.

Feb 18 In Class writing


Keane: mention how first-person writing gave enlighting because it gave incite to Johnson’s thought process.

Parker: Mention his experience working with special needs students.

Parker: Talked about how he felt when reading the article.

Keane: mention needs to break stereotypes of disable people.


Keane: the thing that got a challenge was how to disable people are viewed in society.

Keane: Johnson is successful.

Parker: Talked about how both Singer and Johnson though disagree on a very important issue they were still respectful of each other.


I have felt tokenized because of my physical appearance.  Being Asian and looking relatively reserved some people thought I the typical Asian girl whose really good at math, overall really smart but is quiet.  I often felt pressured not just by those people but by my own thoughts to do really good at school.  Which is a good thing since having good grades and good studying ethics is important.  But I did not like the perception of being seen as the quiet kid in the room since I felt this wasn’t who I was.  I personally am not the most talkative person but am also not a total shut-in.  I am a person who does try to pursue interactions with others.  Most people would probably classify me as an ambivert.

I felt this perception of me often wrote me off as an awkward Asian kid and sometimes pushed certain people away or in some cases came to me out of pity but once talking to me realize I was not that kind of person.  Once they realize their assumption was inaccurate they usually mention how they didn’t expect me to talk that much.  I don’t take offense to this I just see it as a result of how I present myself.  I do want to break from this stigma because that is not a good representation of who I am.






Feb 11 In class writing

My audio essay is about my first time going to the Philippines. Even though I am part Filipino I sometimes feel a disconnect since I’m not as immersed in the culture and the language as the other part of myself, Chinese.  Of course, I’ve eaten the food and heard and spoken a bit of Tagalog but I never to the degree of what I did with my Chinese part.  So I felt this trip to the Philippines, to my mom and dad’s home town of Manila was a good chance for me to become more immersed in the Filipino culture.

But as an America, of course, I had stereotypes of the country before I ever set foot in the Philippines.  These stereotypes/prejudices were, of course, had no ill-intend.  Like most stereotypes, they came from the environment I grew up in and the news.  My mom often told stories of the Philippines, the good and the bad stories.  The news often told stories of negative aspects of the Philippines since that’s what gets the most clicks.   During my time in the Philippines, I learned how certain stereotypes such as the Philippines not being that technologically advance were not 100% accurate yet held some truth to it.  Overall my audio essay gives a unique American-Filipino-Chinese perspective on the Philippines where I had to come face to face with how certain stereotypes were not completely wrong but of course held some ignorance in it and what I learned from encountering the inaccuracy of those stereotypes.



Feb 6 Freewrite

My trip to Hong Kong, Japan, and the Philippines was a trip that I’ve been looking forward to ever since I was very young.  I often found myself daydreaming of what it would be like to finally go to those places.  Hong Kong was the place where my mom’s cousins grew up.  It was the place where my mom had many fond memories of.  It was the place she would often go to during her 20s and 30s since she was not able to come to America along with my family.  As for Japan, I was always fascinated by the culture.  It was a place that I thought preserved its culture very well.  Japan was often built up in my head so much that Japan would have to be a near utopia to surpass my expectations.  As for the Philippines, it was the place where both sides of my family lived for a good portion of their lives.  I’ve heard so many stories from my mom about the Philippines ranging from what they did on the holidays to how my grandma survived WW2.  Often my mom painted quite a painting of her experience in the Philippines but as for my aunt, it was definitely a bit murky.  I often questioned which painting was the more accurate of what the Philippines was.

Finally, after so long I was able to go to these three places.  My experience in the Philippines was a mixture.  For one I did not see it as a vacation by the end of it.  This is because it was mixed with a lot of family drama.  But despite these pains, I was able to learn more about the culture of the Philippines.  For one the driving.  I thought the driving in NYC was bad.  The Philippines is ama



  1. Intro

– Talk about how I wanted to go to these places for a long time, talk about my family background


2. initials thoughts of the Philippines

  • Philippines: expectation mixed,
    • think it would be definitely least advance in technology compared to the others,
    • don’t talk English cuz you kidnap you – led me to keep my hand on my bag the whole entire time
    • mosquitos as big as my fist
    • driving is very reckless- bad driving
    • crime rate pretty rampant

3. Thoughts of the Philippines as I spent my time there

– didn’t realize the problem with drugs. kids doing drugs

– didn’t matter if I didn’t speak English I was seen as a foreigner

– Driving there is really something but the drivers are not bad cuz I only saw one accident in my time in the Philippines

– There are many young children who spent there days wondering the streets but there are many who are with their parents shopping in a modern supermarket- economic divide.

– shows signs of a developed country-technology wise, big fancy hotels, fancy houses

-then shows signs of a developing country- people on the streets, high crime rate and poorly made houses most likely made from scraps.

–  They take crime more seriously than I thought- Police holding big guns, police checking everyone bags as they come into anything including supermarkets





Thoughts on Hong Kong

– really enjoyed the food their

-best dim sums there

-Asian buses are amazing-  so clean and their air conditioning

-realized there is a great divide between the young and old in Hong Kong


Thoughts of Japan:

-didn’t entirely live up to expectations

-expected to see a bunch of anime stuff in Japan

-very clean

-people were nice

-buses were confusing

-subways were always fully booked


Feb 4 In Class Writing

Challenges that I may face when doing this project are:

  • Creating effective audio to use in my presentation.
  • Using more fine techniques to make the video essay seem more polish
  • finding the right story to tell keeping a boundary from what may be too personal.

I will address these challenges by:

  • Looking up tutorials on how to edit more effectively.
  • Start early so that I have amply time to rerecord audio and re-edit the video if it does not meet expectations.

The main expectations of the assignment are:

  • Have a clear and compelling narrative of the personal story I want to convey through video format and oral.   The narrative I create must have some insight to me personally and the characters in the story.
  •  Have smooth transitions between ideas so that each idea feels connected to the narrative.
  • Use effective audio techniques in the video essay.  Examples include vocal variational(naturally and through technological manipulation), tone, pace, rhythm, accent and etc.
  • Use relevant, specific examples when trying to convey the story I want to tell.
  • Attempted to edit the audio so that it can be best listened to.
  • Put in music and sound in the editing process.
  • Mixed at least one sound from my voice.
  • If I use things such as pictures, music and etc. that I do not own, I must credit those owners in a credible way through citation.

Reflection of experiences of Cadogan and how it parallels my own.

The rules that Cadogan has made for himself in order to avoid troubles with police and others who may be biased against him, I somewhat relate to.  Some of the rules that he had constructed have to follow is not to run during the night, not hang out with Black friends at street corners, don’t wear hoodies, and etc.  As for me rules that I was told by my mom were to always keep a hand on your purse, be alert when you are walking alone(especially when it gets dark) do not wear very revealing clothes, and etc.  Like Cadogan, these rules were made because of the inherent danger that I face being a woman living in the USA.  In a perfect society, neither Cadogan nor I would have to make these rules since that would mean we would be treated equally in American society but this is not a case because of prejudice and in some instances racist and sexist tendencies of some people that make others treat us different.

Social scripts.

Social scripts we often see in racial diverse backgrounds often but minorities as the assumed “bad guy” in many scenarios even though there may be no evidence of minorities being the bad guy.  These responses towards the African-American community show how they are view by some as the other.

Cadogan is attempting to rewrite these scripts by exposing the bias that is society towards Black people.  He states how unfair it is and how dangerous these social scripts are towards those targeted.  He exposes the danger of this by comparing walking in Jamacia as a Black man and walking in the USA as a Black man.  He was often treated differently by white people when walking on the streets.  By exposing this injustice to the public through writing this article he lets others know of this injustice in order to help get good-hearted people of all races to try to rectify these injustices.




Jan 30 In Class Writing


The similarities Cencere Baker had with my response are that we both:

-acknowledge the political divide in that it is prevalent in the United States.  We both talk about how democrats mostly associate with democrats and the same is with republicans.  For example, San Francisco has been a deep blue since 1984.

-have some hope that things will become more diverse.  We both want things to be more diverse.

– came to a better understanding of life in Appalachia by reading John Vance’s Hillibilly Elegy. We didn’t know much coming in but we learned a lot coming out of reading Hillibilly Elegy.  

The differences Cencere Baker had with my response are:

-That I personally see a bit more signs that things will become more diverse

-I put more of my personal experiences when writing responses.

-I also criticize Vance’s viewpoint of the welfare system while Baker does not dwell on the topic too much

Individuals have unique views/responses to culture, race, identity and etc.  because everyone grew up with different experiences.  A person who lives across the block from you won’t have the same experience as you.  This is because they grew up in a different culture.  Even if the culture may not be that different from yours, a small difference matters.  Culture often shapes how a person who grew up because it instills foundational values into the person.  These foundation values are often hard to get rid of therefore it will follow you around for a long time.  These foundational values are often the bedrock to everything to everything we stand for.  For example, if someone grew up in a place where they were often scared to say what they think politically because it might go against what the government deems right then this person might carry a degree of this fear if they were to immigrate to a place that values free speech.


Cultural Bloopers:

-People think I’m good at math because I’m Asians.

-People assume I’m a nerd because I’m Asian.

-Some think all Asians are Chinese.

We respect the elders very highly. We always set up food for our ancestors when it is his/her birthday.

-pointing at people or portraits of the dead in a cemetery is disrespectful even if you just want to bring attention to something.

-in specific restaurants in the Philippines, there are places where you are heavily encouraged to eat with your hands so they have a bowel of water for you to wash your hands.  Some people mistake this for a soup and therefore drink it.

-The Asian fail is not an F its a C.  A is for average.





Hi! I’m Caitlin Tan. I am a freshmen nursing major.  Although I was born in San Francisco I lived a pretty good portion of my life in Daily City.  I lived there until I was 11.  Then I moved to San Francisco where I attended Lowell High School.

I’m interested in many things.  I like video games, politics, anime, playing the piano, reading and many more.  I’m really into Fire Emblem Three Houses right now.  It kinda took over my life during winter break.  I’m almost done with the church route. Only a few more chapters to go!  Right now I’m trying to dial back the video games since I’m at school now.  I’ve tried to get back into politics a bit more.  Try to see what happens in the world by going on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.  As for anime, I watched quite a bit over the winter break.  I watched a lot of One Piece.  I’m up to the part where the crew sets sail to the new world after defeating the New Fishmen Pirates.

I am also working a part-time job now.  I’m working at the front desk along with my other two co-workers in an optometry office.  It’s been really interesting.  I’ve never worked an actual job before.  I feel that this experience will help me with time management and talking to people in general, which I will need if I would want to become a nurse.

© 2020 Caitlin Tan

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