Lucien Dao

March 13, 2020 – the President of the United States announced that the COVID-19 outbreak was officially declared a national emergency. With Donald Trump’s announcement also came many remarks about the virus, including calling it the “Chinese Virus” and “Kung Flu.” This announcement planted seeds of doubt, uncertainty, and mistrust into the minds of people all over the world. Flash forward two years, more than 10,000 confirmed anti-Asian incidents have happened, not even counting all the crimes that were not reported. Covid-19 was first found in Wuhan, China, and quickly spread across the world; however, particularly in America, the virus itself has been directly associated with Asian Americans and anti-virus sentiment mixed with political views of China, resulting in a rise in anti-Asian violence. In a survey done by over 5,000 adults of every race, 32% of Asian adults feared threats or physical assault, a greater amount than any other racial and ethnic group (Ruiz et al.). Furthermore, around four out of five people also say that violence against them is increasing, eclipsing the national value of 56%. When asked about the reasons why anti-Asian violence was rising, one in five answered Donald Trump. Due to the media and government’s portrayal of the virus as something inherently tied to Asians, the U.S. mixes its views of countries like China and their hate of the virus. 

Aaron Chang

On May 25, 2020, a police officer kneeled on a man’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds with the belief that the man used a counterfeit $20 bill. Consequently, the man died of asphyxiation from sustained pressure. The man, George Floyd, has since become a symbol to fight against racial injustice and police reform, while the police officer who murdered Floyd, Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin, put a target on the back of every police officer across the country.

Stella (Xingchen) Liu

It was right after spring break. The sleep routine I wrecked during spring break made me listless. The sunny day of the amber bosom seemed to be the only thing that could sustain me through the rest of the day, but I was also anticipating the site visit with nervous excitement. I ran straight to the cab right after school. Sitting in the car, the R&B from my headphones did not smooth my restlessness. I practiced the question I wrote down on a sticky note. The rush hour made the car get stuck in a traffic jam on the way to downtown Portland. After 15 minutes late to the scheduled time, the car finally crawled its way out from the bad traffic. The notification tone from GPS dragged me back from my own world I immersed myself in. The advertising board gave me a sense that the building I was looking at was a church. Passing by that building, my eye were caught by a high yellow building. This was my destination: Asian Health Care Center. The building was enclosed by a citrine steel skeleton with a small proportion of glass unveiled outside. The modern style and the bright color made it stand out from all buildings abreast of it. The office was locked when I tried to push it, and the cleaner inside seemed to be surprised by my arrival. I dialed the number that I contacted a couple of days before. A young lady with shoulder-length cut immediately came down the stairs and opened the door for me. Jennie Shen, the community health worker at Asian Health Care Center. Due to her proficiency in Chinese, English, and Cantonese, she assisted and supported clients in navigating community resources and receiving resources in their native language, mainly Chinese immigrants.

Pun Siripun

Riding on the back of the Trimet 56 into Beaverton, I scroll through my mind for dishes that I have had in Thailand in an attempt to decide on one that I could order. Walking into the Thai restaurant for the first time after being back in Portland, my mind still slid between a concoction of dishes that I could faintly smell in its sophisticated atmosphere. In Thailand, it is perfectly normal for a restaurant to focus on one dish – and do it really well. The concept of an extended menu still continues to baffle me to this day.

Nina Frias

On November 26, 2018, I walked down the two flights of stairs between my room and the kitchen to find my parents in fervent discussion over an open computer. For an 8:00am conversation, the energy was unexpectedly intense and excited. As I trudged over the bamboo floorboards to the island counter they stood at, my dad turned the computer to face me. My vision swept over a New York Times article, titled,  “World’s First Gene-Edited Babies Born This Month, Researcher Says.” Articles like this marked the front lines of countless news sources, from Nature to NPR. Unbeknownst to me, this news was about to send a shock wave through the entire medical community, all over the world. For the first time in the history of medicine (the first time in history at all) someone had brought gene-edited human embryos to term, a highly illegal and controversial act. Through the rest of my week, I watched as more and more media spawned with bold titles questioning every facet of the scientist who had conducted this experiment. And not only questions, but cries of outrage and condemnation from scientists around the world: dangerous, irresponsible, premature, selfish, crazy, unethical. Stationed in his lab in China, scientist He Jiankui had taken a leap that no scientist had made before: experimenting with germline gene therapy on human embryos that were brought to term. 

Nicole (Pui Ching) Yiu

Hacking off branches and trampling the shrubbery beneath their feet, a party of weary adventurers trudged along a dilapidated path deep in the forest.  They have been traveling for a few days, and the strain of the journey could be felt in each and every one of them.  Finally, after another long stretch of walking, they arrived at a stop.  The sun had set into the trees, leaving only scattered fragments of sunlight dotting the forest floor, distant squawks could be heard as the birds returned to their home to nest.  Setting up camp and making a fire, they prepared to rest off the bone-deep exhaustion, with all but one of them curled up in their bed rolls and exited the waking world.  As the night wore on, the lone adventurer, a rogue, standing watch started nodding off, the fire had long extinguished, and the dense canopy allowed only shreds of moonlight to grace the forest.  Crickets chirped lazily and fireflies flitted about, filling the forest with an air of wonder.  Just as the rogue was lulled into the fog between wake and sleep, they heard rustling all around them.  Suddenly, the air around them gained a biting chill and the crickets ceased their cacophony of cries, the dead air descended on the sleeping party like a murder of crows.  Shaken awake, the rogue awake spun around, readying their weapon.  Eyes darting and peering into the darkness, they could barely make out ever-shifting shadows.  Silence.  Then, like panthers leaping out at their unsuspecting prey, bandits burst out of the undergrowth, the treetops, the shrubbery.  

Matthew Chan

Classical music: traditional, outdated, white, elitist, dull, boring. These are some of the terms that a typical American teenager probably associates with classical music. As a musician who loves the beauty and sound of classical music and wants to pursue music in college, I am especially disheartened that classical music has these negative connotations. Classical music needs to attract musicians and listeners from all backgrounds to retain cultural relevance in today’s diverse society. If classical music is not inclusive, it will become a dying art.