My fingers can reach out to grasp tendrils of identity. Defining Asian, Asian-American, and/or/nor/of American does not have to be oppositional. Though Sueyeun Juliette Lee's speculative poetry from "I am a Hammerhead Shark. I Make no Sounds," she "slides across the page" in "a nation's rhetorical rain." I think of the Kānaka Maoli, native Hawaiians, where sharks could have been a family's aumakua, guiding spirit. However, the Kānaka Maoli believe that nā `aumakua could take on any form: rock, animal, place.
This is how I begin to navigate the brisk channels of identity. That it need not be oppositional or binary. That it not need permanent nor only about one's ethnicity.
I've discovered that identity can be an intentional choosing of one's traditions. And we're not just talking food and clothes here.
How can I navigate the the sticky waters of identity, social class, and ethnicity while preparing my high school students for standardized testing? The following pages fall under the general umbrella of preparing for questions geared toward the International Baccalaureate Program's Literature Exam questions and/or Advanced Literature Open Response questions.