Personal Stories

Stories from the lives of those involved with Asian Media Access.

In this program i have  learned how to keep communities safe and how to make them feel safe. Over thess past few days i have  met new people and learned abut things i didn’t know. Asian Media Access has also thought me how to stay away from dugs and what can happen if you use them or abuse them.

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My first memory was probably when I was in Texas at my dad’s house and I was about four or five years old. We just got back from getting my new Fila’s (tennis shoes).We were just hanging out at his house and he asked me what I wanted to eat and I said waffles and candy.  I thought he would say no right away, but I guess since I didn’t see him that often he said yeah to be nice.  I walked to the window and looked out.  Then I noticed the pretty view from up above.  I began to yell, “MOM! MOM!” Out of the window.  After I was done my dad asked me if I wanted to go home and I said no. I’m not really sure what happened after.

My most memorable birthday was in seventh grade on March 5th.  It was the last day of traveling basketball and our championship game against Jordan.  Our game was in Savage, Minnesota.  I woke up to my teammates in my house, waking me up.  They made me breakfast in bed.  My parents were at work and told me they couldn’t make my championship game.  I was kind of sad about it but at the same time I was still happy because it was my birthday.  Then it was time for the game and I was just in the zone like no other.  I scored 16 points that game and we won 33 to 29.  We celebrated after by taking silly string and spraying it at the coaches and me.  It turned out that my parents were at my game the whole time as a surprise.  We went to Red Lobster all together and had cake.  Then I got an iPod video which I’ve always wanted back then.  I got other things too.

My weekend was really good. On Friday I hung out with friends and we were talking about the party that was going to be on Saturday.  At the party everyone was just having fun and a good time.  There was alcohol, but no one was drinking.  That night my friend’s neighbor called the cops on us because I guess we were being too loud. The cops showed up and crashed everything.  The cops saw alcohol in the fridge and decided to give us breathalyzers because he thought we were drinking. Not too long before the cops showed up I just put some minty gum in my mouth, which makes you blow higher when you’re doing a breathalyzer even though you’re not drinking at all.  By the end of that night I got a minor and had to go to court.  The outcome of it all is that I got grounded and it shows up on my record.

I started playing basketball when I was a little kid but started playing on an actual team when I was in second grade.  I love it more then anything.  It was the greatest thing in the world to me when I was a kid and still is.  I enjoy being with friends and just learning new things about the game of basketball.  Currently I am a starting point guard on the varsity squad since freshman year.  I enjoy it a lot.  In the future I hope to pursue basketball in college. I am planning on attending the University of Tennessee.  They are the current state champs for women’s college basketball and have been for a while.  I plan on meeting their coach because I have read about her and she is one of the top coaches in women’s college basketball.

My friends and family mean the world to me!  I have two brothers and two sisters and I am the middle child.  My youngest brother is two, my youngest sister is nine, then its me, my older sister is nineteen and my oldest brother is twenty-six.  My mom is from Sacramento, CA and my dad was born in Congo, Kinshishia.  Out of 100% they are about 85% of my life.  Without them I don’t know what I’d do.  I enjoy sharing good times with them and making new memories.  Without my family and friends I wouldn’t have anyone to talk to about certain things or share personal things with.  I cherish every moment I am with them.  I am also up for meeting tons of new people and having plenty of fun!

I love traveling all over! I enjoy it so much because you’re not in your normal boring state.   You get to see and visit things you don’t see everyday.  I’ve been to 32 states so far in my life.  I was born in Houston, Texas and I’ve visited all of the states down south.  I love being down south because it’s always hot and they have extremely good food.  Also I enjoy their southern accents and their southern hospitality.  My other favorite place to go is to California.  I enjoy going there because I get to see tons of family, shop and I get to go to Eddie Murphy’s mansion.

I wanted to work this summer because I wanted some extra money and learn new experiences.  Something that I like so far, is learning new things on the computer and meeting new people.  Also I like being on the computer editing and making slogans. Things that I don’t like are writing and reading.  Things that I learned are improving on my verbal skills and editing skills.

In my future I plan on meeting tons of new people, having my dream job, having fun in college playing basketball, and living with roommates.

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Hello my name is Sheng Thor, I’m 15 years old and I go to Hmong

Academy Charter school…. I wanted to work this summer to earn some

money and get some new stuff for me…. Last summer I worked at HAMAA

which is the Hmong American Assistance Association and my friends and I

all planned to work together at HAMAA again this summer…. It didn’t work

out because I applied for a job too late, so I decided to come and work at

Asian Media Access….

While working at Asian Media Access, I have learned to become a

better person, to listen to others and pay more attention to work, especially

talking on the phone and what to say in a good manner…. Thanks to Kang,

Phanat, Ange, Steven, Tamalin, and my supervisor Loretta, if it wasn’t for

them I wouldn’t have learned this summer….

My whole summer working at AMA, we have been learning a lot about

logos and slogans…. We created slogans and made postcards for the slogans

that we came up with…. Phanat and the Step-Up students wanted to show

what we have made during the summer with the postcards that all of us


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Interview with Li Yang


At Broadway Community High School

By: Fartun Abukar

Li Yang was born in May 24, 1994. She is 16 years old. Her American name is Betty. She is the only child in her family and she feels special about that because her parents can put their full love on her. Sometimes she feels like she needs a brother but Li Yang says, “it’s ok”.  She has been in the United States for three days only.  Her school gave her and other Chinese students the opportunity to come to America.  It is an Educational Exchange.  They are going to be in the United States for only 15 days.  Afterwards they will go back to China.  After nine days in Minnesota, they are going to New York, Washington and Boston.  There are nine students and three teachers.

When asked what is the difference between China and America, Betty said, “China has 5,000 years of cultural history”.  The Beijing Opera has kind of a song that explains China’s history.  China is becoming an international country.   America has less history than China.  America developed very quickly.  America is open, the environmental is great, it’s better than China.  The weather is cool especially at 6:00pm.  Betty goes to high school.  Her school starts at 7:00am to 6:00pm, after 6:00pm she goes to evening school and she does her homework.  In China everything is about learning, practicing and studying.  When Betty grows up, she wants to be a lawyer.  Her parents want her to be a teacher or a doctor but she doesn’t want that.  Betty is planning to attend college in Europe or America.

Betty said people in America welcomed her very well.  People in America are open, friendly and happy to talk to them.  The family that hosted her are very nice.  “They become like my real family,” says Betty.  Betty and the group went to Mall Of America, the University Of Minnesota, and some Middle schools.  Betty learned English when she was in elementary school.  She studied English when she was 3rd grade.  “But this generation learns English earlier,” says Betty.  She studies from Monday to Saturday, morning to evening.  On Sunday she spends most of the time doing homework, sometimes shopping or playing sports. She likes to play tennis.

When there is a celebration or Holiday all the families gather and have a big family dinner.  After they are done with the dinner, they light fireworks with their grandparents.  They celebrate for seven days.  Girls stay home with their family on the first three days.  The other days they can hang out with friends and hold a party.  Betty climbed the Great Wall before but her mom didn’t because she got scared.  In China they have something called and MSN. It’s like face book. You can chat with anyone around the whole world.

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What You Think About Me is Wrong!

by Boleeria Jackson

What do you see when you look at me, a black

Girl with out knowledge?

A girl that would do any thing to succeed in life?

A girl without any goals or dreams?

A girl who don’t plan to do anything?

A girl with any hope?

Well you’re wrong I am a black girl who does have knowledge as you might not see it other people do. What’s that you sway a girl who will do anything 2 succeed in life? Well you’re wrong just because you might do it doesn’t mean I will I have respect 4 myself. What’s that you say a girl without any hopes or dreams, well listen close and clear I have dreams of being the first girl in my family to be a car expert and a Pediatrician. My hope is 2 own 2 cars and have a nice looking house. You sit here and talk about no I with plans you must don’t have and like me because all you do is sit and talk mess all this you see and think is wrong because I just told you what you need to know about me.

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My Dream

My Dream

My dream is to go to college and get a great career.  This activity will help me by looking at different types of colleges.  I want to see which one is best for me, and experience the different types of them.  I want to explore and try something new outside of St. Paul and Minnesota.

I wish to learn the different types of colleges.  I want something new for me.  I want to prove to everyone that I went and finished college.  This grant will help me a lot and will make many people in my life happy and proud of me. This is very important because my family will never have the money to do this for me and I’m wishing this do come true so I can follow my dad’s foot steps and graduate and attend at a college.

I have dreams and they are  the ones that you wake up and forget about, I am more then just a girl,  I am a hmong girl who has a dream that will come true.

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Past, Present, Future

Back in my grandmother’s day she lived in the mountains of Laos. Her family farmed on arable land and had a herd of cows. The mountains were awfully scary because no one really knew of the dangers it enclosed. She once told me about one of her close relatives buried in the mountains. When one dies, the family and the relatives gather around the deceased for a whole night to make sure no one disturbs the coffin and to watch over the dead. It was getting late so the family told a retarded guy around his twenties to watch over the coffin while the family returned home. As the sun fell and the moon rose, the dead in the coffin got out and stiffly walked into the woods close by. The guy watching saw the dead grow a long tail and sharp claws before walking off into the woods.

The first memory I have was when my mom returned from California. I must have been two or two and a half that year. We were in the living room of our suburban, double wide house. My mom was sitting on the couch eating food set on top of a chair. My three year old sister was there too. She was playing, standing or sitting on the couch or floor talking to my mom about her trip to California. She was standing beside the food holding the chair and talking to my mom. I don’t remember, but I know it was one of the two. I, on the other hand, was crawling on my knees and hands between and around the chair. Or was it that I was sitting diagonally from my mom on the living room floor? My mom was eating rice, with hot pepper and watermelon. My mom asked us if we missed her while she was gone. I can’t remember my sister’s response, but I do remember mine. I didn’t give her a verbal response but shook my head “no” and turned away when I felt my eyes fill up with tears. I don’t know why I had that choking moment of crying or why my eyes filled up with tears. I honestly didn’t care or miss her because I had no memories of her except this one. Maybe it was my mom’s gentle voice or her teasing smile.

When I was younger my father would sometimes drink Budweiser or wine just to have something to do instead of sit all day. Not because he was addicted or anything of that nature. My oldest brother and a few of my sisters would form a semicircle around my father and watch him chug down a cup or two before putting it away. He would sometimes offer us a sip or two, not to get us addicted but to see the silly expression we made in response to the bitterness. My older brother, being the daring one, would sometimes take down half a can. My older sisters however, took a sip and pulled away as quickly as the bitterness got to their taste buds. I was trying to be as brave as my brother. Therefore, I took in at least a whole mouth full before I gave up.

As a child I was a brave and naughty warrior. I was spoiled so I was able to explore my curiosity without punishment. Like the saying goes, curiosity killed the cat. I didn’t actually die but a part of me did. I feared expressing my curiosity and chose to bottle it up, which led to my quiet and shyness. As I remember, we were in the garage hiding from the neighbors black dog in the front lawn. It was me, my oldest brother, and my three older sisters. The dog was in the middle of the lawn, holding us back from reaching the chicken-coop near the woods. My father had gone earlier in the morning and didn’t get to face the short ugly black dog. My older sister ran with her quick legs and reached the chicken-coop quickly and safely with only a few barks from the dog. I went half way and then pulled back for no reason. The dog sensed my fear and came after me. Afterwards I blacked out and couldn’t recall what happened that afternoon except the fear of the dog.

In my family we don’t throw big parties for someone’s birthday, instead my siblings or parents give us mini gifts such as a twenty dollar bill from my father, hand-me-downs or kind acts from my sisters, and the usual love, nurturing and care from my mother. My father was the only one in the house with a stable job so I was grateful and thankful for any money he was willing to give me. My sisters’ trash was my treasure so I didn’t really mind the hand me downs. Even though my father gave me money I never spent much because I felt that everything I needed I already had. That was how most of my birthdays went ever since I was five and could keep up with money. However, there was one birthday, MY GOLDEN BIRTHDAYthat I’ll never forget! My mom and dad had just cashed their checks and they were going to go to Aldis to buy us some groceries since they hadn’t gone to a grocery for two weeks. I ran up to the car and was about to get in when my oldest sister brushed passed me and stole my spot in the truck. I sat on the driveway and cried exhaustedly. The car drove up the road and my sister yelled out the rear window “Hey, I’ll get you some ice cream for your birthday.” Whoa, I was so-o-o ticked.

I have a photograph that was taken in my hometown. My father took this photo of all my sisters and my little brother along with his mother. We dressed up in our traditional Hmong clothing because my other grandmother from California had come to visit. We also took pictures with her because that was the last day she was with us before she returned home. The girls standing closer to my grandmother are my older sisters. Back then I was shorter. The one standing beside me is a year older than me. The girl on the other side is now a rising sophomore in college and is four years older than me. The girl on the other side of my oldest sister is two years older than me and the tallest in the family, but still acts like a kid. My younger brother is now in the sixth grade and is still a stubborn and spoiled brat. My little sister, on the other hand, didn’t get as spoiled, but is an idiot always seeking attention.

My first trip to Minnesota was because my parents had another one of those arguments about money and relatives. My dad had left North Carolina for Minnesota alone without notifying my mom. This wasn’t the only reason why my mom decided to go; there are more details that I’d rather not mention. After my dad returned for a couple of weeks, my mom bought plane tickets and flew us to St. Paul, Minnesota where my uncles lived. We were picked up by my Uncle Chue who once lived with us along with his wife and kids. This was the uncle we were closer to since he was the only one we had met from my mom’s side. He took us to his home, an apartment on the second floor, small but livable. Since his apartment was small and he had many children of his own, some of us were divided and went to my mom’s oldest brother’s home, which was bigger and made it seem like he had less children, even though they each have the same number of children. I stayed with the oldest uncle who took us to parks and other places to have fun.

My second visit to Minnesota was at the start of school. This time it wasn’t a visit like the first. I was going to start my first year in middle school as a seventh grader and be reunited with my friends from the second grade, first grade and kindergarten. We moved after two weeks of school because of the issues between my parents. My mom took the whole family except for my dad to Minnesota after he left for work. We were moving away from him because he was a bad influence.  When we reached Minnesota we stayed with my Uncle for a while and then started searching for a home. It took a long time before we were able to find a home with a low rent.  We stayed there for a year and then left for another new home. When we first settled up here I complained about anything and everything that I came into contact with. Life in Minnesota is getting better and I’m starting to adapt to it. The schools, streets and even teachers are very different from where I used to live. However, it’s been three years and I see now that I won’t regret moving up here because of everything I’ve been through and experienced. This is the place for me to start my dreams.

Naturally, we (my family) would have moved to Minnesota and lived in St. Paul, but because my mom had a closer bond to my Uncle Chue we decided to stay with them for a few months and then decide where we would settle down next. Our first home in Minnesota was Mary’s place where we stayed for a month and then had to move back with my Uncle Chue because our promised time was out. We stayed with them for a couple more months and then found another home in Minneapolis over at Oliver. A year passed and my mom’s car was dying and my Uncle and Aunt from California were going to move in. Since my mom’s car was our only transportation and we knew more people in Minneapolis we decided to stay in Minneapolis.

My weekend was packed. I couldn’t wait to get time to myself. On Friday night I came home and went directly to bed. I went to bed early because that week I had woken up between six and seven in the morning and not gotten the sleep my head and body yearned for. The next morning I woke up at six without actually intending to get up so early. I went to the bathroom to brush my teeth and take a quick shower/bath. Excited about the weekend I ran all over the house trying to get my chores done so I’d get time to myself. Unluckily, I was too quick or perhaps to slow to have finished my chores just as my auntie called from downstairs requesting a babysitter. I eventually had to go down and babysit for about four or five hours before returning upstairs. I fell asleep on a comfortable couch during the first few hours and then woke up after remembering I was downstairs babysitting. The children weren’t crying or causing a riot so I decided to read “The Latehomecomer” by Kao Kalia until I noticed a stench coming from the baby. I cleaned her up and rocked the baby to sleep. Afterwards I continued reading my book until my Uncle and Aunt came home. I had a little time on my hands so I messed with the computers and then ran out to the backyard to chase and play with my little brother. Finally, Sunday came. It wasn’t as I expected, because I didn’t get to spend my time doing everything I wanted. This was to exercise and straighten out my room and belongings. Other than that I enjoyed reading through most of “The Latehomecomer” and talking with my grandmother and I wouldn’t take it back. As a matter of fact“The Late Homecomer” was what encouraged me to finally have the conversation I wanted with her. To talk about her past like Kao Kalia did with her family.

My first intentions of finding a job were to gain work experience and earn money. Before beginning this job I didn’t know how to begin the conversation for selling an ad or soliciting donations. After I practiced and was given a few pointers, I learned how to communicate on the phone about ads and donations to business owners. I was still nervous in the first few weeks of starting, but later found the job easy despite a few rude replies. The rude replies knocked down my hope of making a sale or receiving donations which made me dislike the job, but I became more confident in voicing my opinions, which is a useful tool since I’ll be presenting numerous speeches and interviewing for more jobs in the future. This experience also helped me eliminate the choice of wanting to become a secretary, because I dislike answering phone calls and dealing with customers. In addition to sales over the phone, my job required many topic researches and creativity. The research I did pertained to drugs, HIV/AIDS and issues teens my age face. Since my job required many topic researches I got the chance to exercise my researching skills and learn some facts about the subjects. In addition, I can apply the experience and skills I’ve mastered to my schoolwork and in my search for jobs. Once I’ve gathered up all the information necessary, I use the data I gathered to come up with slogans. After a few days of editing the slogans, I combine the slogan with the images I created to make a postcard. Putting a postcard together was a bit difficult for me since I lacked creativity and computer skills. However, my colleagues and supervisors made my work easier because they showed me how to use the Apple software and gave me suggestions on how to make my postcard so it would send the message I intended it too. What I like most about working in Asian Media Access was the kind colleagues and supervisors. Thanks to the help of my co-workers my job became easier and I was able to slowly develop my computer skills and creativity skills.

What I like most about my life is being taught and learning morals, learning about myself, learning about my background, learning about life, how to be and what to do. What I dislike most about my life is being clueless all the time, being helpless, having no creativity and not being able to help my mother, my father, my sisters, my brothers and myself.

My purpose in life is to help my family be logical and successful instead of turn into evil criminals. My purpose is to be hope for my mom. To be my mother’s motivation, only reason to live everyday instead of disappointing her like my older brother did, leaving her with a bad reputation. My purpose in life is to benefit from the opportunities that my parents weren’t offered. My purpose is to lead a successful life. My purpose is to keep the tradition alive.

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I remember when I was in first or second grade and my friend gave me a dog. It was a Rottweiler and I named her Roxanne. One day my friend and I were outside playing fetch with the dogs. A woman came by in a big truck and took my dog away. I can’t remember why she took it, but I know I was really sad and confused about what had happened and I really didn’t want a pet after that. I still have a pet now just not a dog though.

Now I have four cats, one named Frac the mother cat of the other two cats I have named NV, LC, and Sox a kitten from a different litter. They each have different personalities. Frac, the mother cat, with pretty big green eyes is a sly cat and will do mean things if something is not clean and she talks back to my mom, when my mom yells at her. NV and LC have the same personality except that NV, with the golden eyes, is way more needy and wants a lot of attention no matter how much you give her, like hitting her but of course not to hard.  She is a little clumsy too. LC, the light green eyed cat, is needy too but she doesn’t want as much attention as NV.  She is a little moody though. Sox, the brown eyed cat, is the most active cat out of the four and has lots of energy especially at night when everyone is trying to go to sleep. One time Sox and NV were running around chasing each other.  Sox jumped into the bathtub a quarter full of water to escape from NV and scared herself half to death.

I have two brothers and two sisters and I’m the youngest out of all of them. My mom had only two children, my oldest brother and I.  We live in Minnesota and my dad, his wife, and my other siblings live in Illinois. My mom’s side of the family also lives in Illinois. My mom has two sisters and three brothers and she is the youngest of her family too. The same with my oldest brother on his dad’s side, among his other siblings he is also the youngest. My brother has four kids, one step son from his wife’s previous relationship, two boys and one girl. My brother and I hangout with each other once in a while and we play videogames or do other things.

My mom told me lots of stories about herself and about others in our family. I can’t really remember much of what she told me over the years but mainly the fact that I have it easy compared to when she was younger. When my mom graduated from high school, my grandfather gave my mom a choice to make. The next day she could either keep going to school and live at home for free or get a job and help pay for things around the house. She chose school. I did the same thing and chose school, yet I still have to help around the house. So in a way I think she had it better then me.

Somewhere between the seventh and ninth grade, my mom and I were living with my brother and his wife and their one child in Blaine, Minnesota. My cat Pikachu had her first batch of kittens one day. She had one male and four females. Everyone was very excited about the kittens and what we had got for Christmas and presents. For some reason, my brother and I started to play fight over something. I ran into my mom’s room for help and she didn’t do much, but my brother and I almost knocked the television out the window. My mom started to chase us out of her room and told us not to come back in there, but of course we did minutes later.

On my eighteenth birthday, I went to a play at the Children’s Theater with my mom. Later that day, I went over to my brother’s house to celebrate the rest of the day with him and his family. I got some video games, clothes, money, and other knick knacks as presents. Two days later, I went to Chicago to celebrate with other family members. My mom and I went to my auntie’s house and my cousin’s house too. I got more money from them and some birthday cards. For some reason instead of just having cake and ice-cream, we also had KFC chicken, mac & cheese, mashed potatoes and pop to drink.

I went over my brother’s house to watch his children. At first he was trying to have them spend a night at my mom’s house, but of course my mom said no. So, I went to my brother’s house. He and his wife were trying to go out without their kids. The next day I was suppose to go home to help pack boxes, because my mom and I may be moving in August. We are planning to move closer to Northeast Minneapolis instead of being in Columbia Heights. We are moving because we don’t like the small space we’re in now and it is far from people we know and programs we would like to be in. My brother didn’t feel like driving me back home after babysitting so I stayed over. Later that day my niece and nephew and I played with our silly string in a can, spraying each other. My brother didn’t know that I had a can of silly string. He started picking on me and then I told him don’t touch or else I’m going to do something he’ll regret and of course he hit me with the string. Then I turned around and sprayed him with the silly string and he ran away and closed the door. He tried to come back to hit me but I was still standing there with the can waiting for him. Well, he got me while I was sleeping and sprayed me with a water gun. The next day my mom called really early in the morning to have someone drop me back at home.  My mom needed to get into the bathroom because my cats somehow locked the door from the inside, so my mom couldn’t get in for over a half hour until my brother and I got there. She and the cats were both happy that my brother could open up the door.

I will be my mom’s first child to go to college since my brother didn’t. She would like at least one of her two kids to go to college. On August 25 thru December 25 I will be going to college at Minneapolis Community Technical College. Originally I was going to start school next year so I could get a job and save up money for school, but my mom made a good point. She said that I should continue on to college after graduating because, knowing me, I will forget all the important stuff for school and start my first year badly. So I’m starting right away even though I already don’t remember much now. I’m going to MCTC to get my generals out of the way and then transfer to a different college with courses that are more involved with my interests like Japanese translation, veterinary, zoology, the study different animals and their habitats and study abroad. I can’t wait to go and be in a different environment and/or setting than high school and be more responsible for myself which is not all that great. I already know two people who are going there from high school. They might not be in my class; at least it is a start for me. In the future hope to have my dream job, a veterinarian, with my own place with four different pets, a dog, a cat, a ferret, and a water dragon (lizard).

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What It Was Like

The first memory I probably have was the first time in school. I remember seeing my teacher for the first time, her name was Ms.Happe. I didn’t really know how to talk in English so it was hard for me to know what was going on in class. I thought the teacher was nice, but at the end she was really mean to me. That is how I started to hate her. I think she’s probably one of the worse teachers I‘ve ever had. Even now I still hate her. I think when I had her she was about the age of forty or fifty. The thing about her is that she always brought in a guy everyday that looked younger than her. So I and my siblings called her a “SLUT.” She was so mean. I still remember on Valentine’s Day she came up to me and said that I had to write all my classmates names on each card and put it in their bag tomorrow.  I thought that was mean, because she didn’t ask anyone to do that but me. I also remember what she said after I went into first grade. My younger brother went into her room and she said that my brother was smarter than me. I didn’t care because I hated her SO much and she wasn’t even my favorite teacher. It sucks how she had to be my first teacher and I hope she’s fired by now. At that time I went to Kenwood. I also hated that school because the school had racism and it’s stupid.

I don’t actually have a favorite birthday. Most of the year when my birthday comes we don’t do anything. Sometimes my family goes to eat at a buffet. The buffet is called Panda Buffet. We go to eat there often, but there are different locations. For me the food at the Panda Buffet is really good. YUM YUM!!! They have fried rice, noodles, all kinds of mixed vegetables, and meat. I would always get ice cream after I’m done eating and fortune cookies. Last time my parents celebrated me and my older brother’s birthday together with a big cake. I wanted an ice cream cake, but we didn’t get the ice cream cake. Even though I don’t have a favorite birthday, I still enjoyed most of my birthday years.

The last year in middle school was fun. I knew that my friends were going to a different school, so I tried to have as much fun as I could with them!  I also had some problems in eighth grade because there was a seventh grade girl who talked a lot of smack and started rumors about me. That’s why the “First time I cussed at a teacher because of a student” happened. I had the most fun, but because of her, it wasn’t that fun. I hope she would get her a* * beat up some day which she did and I was happy the rest of the day. I’m not always mean, and think mean things for people, but she‘s just someone I hate so much. Anyway I have four close friends; they are Shoua Yang, Linda Vang, Mai Lor Yang, and Pa Ying Xiong. I’ve known them for a long time, but I don’t really talk to them anymore, just only sometimes. I’ve know Shoua since sixth grade, Linda and Mai Lor since fifth grade and Pa Ying since seventh grade. Me, Shoua, Mai Lor and Pa Ying were going to go take pictures, but then we spent our money at Valley Fair. The closest guy friend I had back in middle school was Jesse Yang, Jacob Russell, and Dee Xiong. We always play fought and argued about things, but that was the fun part about it, because we were always bored. I still talk to Jesse and Dee, but I don’t talk to Jacob any more. Jesse, Dee, Shoua, Mai Lor, Linda, and Pa Ying are still my close friends. On the last day of school I went to Mai Lor’s house and we just had fun over there, like dancing. I didn’t realize it was already four o-clock, which was time for me to go home. I still miss the old times with them, but life goes on.

My favorite year in school was in seventh and eighth grade. Seventh grade was really fun because that time I had a lot of friends and we’re always noisy in the room, so it was fun. That was also the first year I skipped school. My other friend kept skipping and so they got caught. Eighth grade was also fun, because it was our last year together. That year I skipped with my two friends into another class and we did that a couple of times, but this one time they went without me and they got caught. That year there was this one new guy in my class that everyone thought was cute. I thought he was okay. There was also another new guy and I thought he was better looking than the one in my class. My friend didn’t agree with me though. That was the first year I went to Valley Fair. I didn’t want to ride the scary rides.

My weekend was alright. On Saturday I stayed home most of the time and then later I went to Brookdale Mall with my sister. When I got over there I met Jeffrey, William and those other guys over there. The rest of the day I just stay home and babysat my siblings. My sisters and brother were outside playing with water and I have to watch them. I have to put water into the little pool we have, but I kept on spraying them with it. They started chasing me with water and trying to spill water on me, but they couldn’t. My youngest sister got mad at me. I got bored after awhile so I wanted to go to Cityview’s playground. My mom said me and my sister, Salina, have to clean the basement and do our chores first before we go. I cleaned and did my chores, but my sister was too lazy so I mostly did everything. My two sisters, Lisa and Salina, my two brothers, Leng and Tome went to Cityview with me. We went to So Low first. Over there we played tag until it got dark then we went home. It wasn’t that much fun, but that was how my weekend went.

Okay, I think this was like the second to the last week of school and this one girl in seventh grade started asking why my sister and I were saying bad stuff about her. I asked who’s been saying those stupid things and she said it was her cousin that goes to school with my sister. I didn’t want to get pissed off right away so I asked, actually I was yelling, at my sister asking if she was saying those things to her cousin and she said no. The next day, in the morning I went to her side with my friend, Jacob Russell and I was yelling at her because she kept ignoring the fact that she was also saying stupid things about me and my sister. She couldn’t do anything, but let me yell at her and then let her stupid friend talk back to me. It got me more pissed off because I wasn’t talking to her friend. I was about to swing, but then her bald headed teacher came and told her to go to class, which she did and he told me to go back to my side of the school. It looked as though I was following her and as I remember it, it seemed like he was pushing me and I started cussing at him nonstop because I went wild with my mouth. When I got back to my class he was still following me and I was still cussing at him and then he cussed at me and that was the end of it. My teachers were in shock, because they never heard me cuss before. I was too angry to do anything, so I just sat there doing nothing. Later on I had to go say sorry to him, which I never meant and I will NEVER, EVER, EVER.  My brother, Fong said that he was a cool teacher after I cussed at him and I was like, “What the f**k, he’s not a cool teacher, he’s a stupid f**ken a** hole!!”  That’s how everything went and I guess the teachers kept a close eye on me from that day on.

There are a lot of new experiences on the first day in a new school. The most difficult experience I had was when I went into my first year in high school at Roosevelt. The first time I saw the inside of Roosevelt, it was big. My older brother showed me my first class before school started, but then later I forgot where my class was and I got lost! Ha… ha… ha. It was funny.

The only class that was easy to find was my algebra class. It was on the third floor. In every class I had I knew no one and I was really lonely, which sucks because there’s no one to talk to. Later on I met some new people so I started talking to them. I hated passing time, because I had to walk around the place to find my class. Getting lost is something I do not like, because then I have to ask someone if they know which direction the room is and I feel embarrassed about it. The good thing is that the first day most of the students in my room had to ask people if they knew where their room was too. I was so glad that school was ending, until I went outside. I didn’t know which way I should go first. I was suppose ride bus #1 home, but I didn’t know which way it started. I didn’t ride the bus in the morning, so I didn’t know who rode bus #1. I don’t remember the way I went first, but I ended up going the right way. Me and my brother didn’t know which bus stop to get off, so we took the one before the one we were suppose to get off at. My brother’s friend said that we should get off at the next stop and we did. It was the correct bus stop. I thought it was going to be at least fun on the first day, but it was super boring and hot.

I don’t really know why I want to live life, maybe because dying is something scary and it’s frightening, most of the time you can feel pain. I guess dying isn’t something I want until I grow old. I want to have grandchildren too before I die. Also there is so much to do in life that you will never finish all of it at once. Living life and learning about life makes you see things beyond yourself. I want to live life because I want to experience so many things and feel happy at the end. It will feel really awesome that I did so much in life. I’ve always want to ride “The Wild Thing,” but I’m too scared to ride it now. That means I still have along way to go before I go away and hopefully I will enjoy my life by then.  I don’t really care, because there’s always something good or bad about life. The good thing is that I have family and friends who are there for me. Even though sometimes I can be really annoying they’re still standing by my side. Of course everybody goes through disagreements in their life with someone. The bad part about my life is having an untrue friend or having people around you that will backstab you. I just hate it so much because then it’ll be hard to tell which one will be there for me and which one will not. It makes life harder, but who is to say life is easy? Sometimes I can tell who is a friend that I can’t trust just by the way they act around me or how they act around me with other people. Is it a good thing I notice those little things? I hate the fact that some people get on my nerves.

This is a funny story that happened to me. It wasn’t that long ago that it happened. I and my youngest sister, Lisa, were riding my bother’s bike. The truth is that, I really suck at riding a bike. That’s how I got my sister hurt. I was riding the bike up and down the block and our block was kind of like a hill. I was about to ride it down the hill and Lisa said to me, “Lets race” and she took off running. I had the feeling that I shouldn’t do this but then I just took off. Lisa took off first and I went next. At first Lisa was ahead of me, but then I got closer to her so I told her to run faster. She took off running faster and I was relieved for a second but then I came closer to her, so I told her to run faster again. A moment later I went crashing into her. That was the sad part. She got hurt badly on her knees and feet. I only got hurt a little on my right hand. My brother said that I ran on top of her leg, but I don’t remember that though. I felt super bad about it, so I took her inside and cleaned her up. My two younger brothers were laughing at me. We didn’t tell my mom, but a couple of days later my mom found out about it and started asking question. My sister lied and said that she fell in the school playground.

Why do I want to work this summer? Well, the first reason is I’m trying to work to get some money this summer and to go buy new things. I also wanted to work because I know it’ll be boring staying home the whole summer and doing nothing, so I wanted to do something during the summer. This summer I worked at AMA. This program is alright, because I learned many things. What I don’t enjoy is the time I have to get up. It is too early for me during the summer, but I got used to it. Sometimes the work or the people I work with get me mad. The good part about this is that I learned how to use the camera, also how to import pictures and footage into the computer. I learned how to go talk to people when our group needs to interview them. I also read more this summer and wrote more, even though I write and read at home. I like to read children’s book at home. I get to read interesting books and not just the boring ones.

There’s a lot of work out there that can be interesting to do. For me, I don’t to sit all day by myself doing nothing I like, it would be boring. I like to work with younger kids or with people. We can use our hands and feet. If the work is during the summer, I would like to work indoors with air conditioning; because it would too hot or too warm and sometimes I get cranky. An example of work I would like would be children’s day care or cooking. I like to work with younger kids because they’re active and they also talk a lot, so that I’m doing something each day and not just sitting around.

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Moments of My Life

When my parents went to Thailand my grandma came and baby-sat my sister, little brothers and I in California. They were gone for a couple months. We were home the whole time when my parents were gone. My little brothers and I slept by the fireplace. My grandma slept in the bedroom. I woke up and went bird hunting with my uncle. He came and picked me up, and then we went to the hunting shops for bullets. I had a lot of fun, then my parents got home and I got new clothes.  My sister was at my aunt’s house playing games. My brother Vang was riding a bike around the neighborhood. My youngest brother Shoua, he was chasing the chickens at my grandpa’s farm.

My family was having a little problem. A week later, my dad didn’t come home. My mom couldn’t call him and one day he came home and hit my mom.  At that time I couldn’t do anything so I called my grandpa. He said, “Let them fight and don’t bother them.” The whole neighborhood came and stopped the fight. Then my dad ran away again.  That night we moved to Minnesota from California. We took the bus here. My uncle picked us up from the bus station. When I got here it was snowing and cold.

On my first day of school I was not doing what I was suppose to do. I got in trouble. At lunch this one kid threw a chicken wing at me. I got up and threw away my food, but I kept the tray and hit the kid in his face. I couldn’t go to school for two days. My mom hit me because I got in a fight.

On my road trip to half of the U.S. it was fun. We saw nature, animals and fishes. In South Dakota there were a lot of Native Americans.  My uncle and I went to their gift shops and bought a Native American flute, arrow, and a carved flute. It was made by hand with an eagle standing on a big rock carved into it.  We then went to Yellowstone in Wyoming. My cousins and I slept in one of the cabins.

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