Becoming American

Sixth grade, our Americanization was through the Standard School Broadcast sent to each classroom via a wired speaker. Listening to the speaker on the wall meant we didn’t have to do any work for half an hour. Most times Alfred fell asleep and snored quietly. Mrs. Chong took the broadcast as an opportunity to rest…

Intermediate School: stink, innocence, and fear

After-school basketball was humiliating: choose up sides with whomever wanted to play. Could have eight or nine players to each side. Pushing, bumping and hacking. No ref. I was usually last, way after the good guys, the medium guys, and the girls. The junk guys had to play defense. Shirts versus skins, except for the…

Boy and Uncle: Test

–Uncle, I had test today. –Oh? What kine test? –Math and English. Da standardized test, everybody gotta take um at da same time. Two hours. –You worried? –Litto bit. –Me too, I had test today. –What kine test? You no go school. –All kine test. Erryting. All da tests combine erryting into one blood test….

On Election Day

Boy and Uncle: Election   –Gonfonnit! Damn pen leak all over. –What you doing? –My mail vote. I vote erry single election since I was 16! –Ah, you couldn’t vote when you was 16, Uncle. –I know, I know. But my mother ask me who take care da Chinese people. So I tell her what…

Boy and Uncle: Fountain of Youth (June 5 prompt – Whoo Hoo)

Boy and Uncle: Fountain of Youth –Uncle, how come you always drinking beer? –Beer. Das my fountain of yout’. You know like Pants de Leon. –Ponce de Leon. –Yeah, yeah. He went look fo da Fountain of Yout’. Someplace Florida, la dat. –But he nevah find um, Uncle. –Nevah find um? Florida, get plenny old…

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