Like many U.S. military brats, I struggle with the concept of “home.” When people ask me where I’m from, I usually answer depending on how I’m feeling that day. Sometimes it’s Japan, the Philippines, New Mexico, Washington D.C., Washington State, Maryland, or recently China ….More often than not, I just say that I’m from all over and leave it at that.
I’m a biracial, first generation American, which gets me in a lot of interesting conversations with people who think they know what I should or should not be (depending on what country I’m in). My mom is a native Pinay (Filipina) citizen and my Caucasian father was in the US Air Force. I was born in Misawa Air Force Base (AFB), Japan and consider myself to be a Third Culture Kid (TCK).
I have earned a Masters degree in International Affairs from American University and a dual bachelor’s in History and Government from New Mexico State University with a minor in International Relations. I was the first in my family to graduate from university!
I’m an avid reader (let’s be friends on goodreads!) and foodie. I love to cook and try new foods. I also am a huge fan of museums! I’m fortunate to currently be in a position where I can continue to travel and learn. I’m in my fifth year of teaching ESL in China. At the moment I’m based in Beijing at an international middle school as an English literature and drama teacher, gearing Chinese kids to study abroad for high school.
I believe that one of the main ways to bridge gaps in cross-cultural empathy and understanding is to journey out of one’s comfort zone, and I try to create personal connections everywhere I go. I am passionate about international education, women and children’s rights, identity politics, and how post-imperialism and colonialism shape the Asian diaspora.
One of my main goals when teaching is to incorporate lessons on having tolerance and respect for others. Another is to show others that it is possible to build connections with people from all over and find commonality. In not being bound to any one identity or culture, I’m always in the process of re-examining how to fully engage and identify with others amid our shared sense of space.
From time to time, I also post photography on my instagram. It’s a recent pastime I’ve picked up, and, so far, a lot of fun! Follow me at https://www.instagram.com/living.between.the.lines/
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”