Wednesday, October 21, 2009

An Eagle in Chicago?

Alright, so maybe it wasn't an eagle... but I'm telling you, this thing was the largest bird of prey I've ever seen up close in the wild (if you can call Chicago "the wild"). I took this picture with my crappy point-and-shoot, so that should give you an idea of how close it was to my apartment. And don't forget to note the little mousy it's ripping to shreds with it's massive eagle talons (I still think it was an eagle).

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


I've never given it much thought, but lately I've been learning just how privileged I am in my American context. I suppose I've just taken it all for granted, but now it just seems so clear to me that I am incredibly privileged. By virtue of my race, gender, education, citizenship, native language, etc., I have more privileges than I know what to do with...

This became very apparent to me today when I was in the DMV registering a new (10 year old) car (yup, I sold Subie Rojo) and acquiring an Illinois drivers license. The whole experience was rather dreadful. As I moved from line to line I could sense my anxiety level rising. To obtain the new drivers license I had to take a exam. Although I took drivers education and have since been confidently behind the wheel since age sixteen, I was surprised when I missed several of the answers.

The women of Asian decent next to me argued in her broken English with the exam proctor about failing the exam by one point. But he said that she would need to retake the exam.

I couldn't wait to get out of the DMV; I can only imagine what this Asia woman's experience was like. It just doesn't seem fair. Here I am, a confident English speaker who has lived in the U.S. for almost his entire life receiving a Master's level education taking the same test as this transplanted Asian women. Something doesn't add up.

On a lighter note, I got to stand on stage with the Rev. Jesse Jackson and get my picture taken. Don't know if I'll ever see that picture, but I can display a fuzzy one I took from my seat during the live TV broadcasting.