cynematic

I'm a writer-filmmaker and recovering academic.

I've been active in Asian Pacific American issues and culture since college; currently I'm on the board of directors of the Coalition for Asian Pacifics in Entertainment (CAPE), which works to diversify Hollywood in all forms of entertainment media, even the web. My academic specializations were (not necessarily in order of importance): 19th and 20th century American literature, comparative multi-ethnic literature, APA literature and film, and women of color feminisms. I hold a PhD in English and an MA in creative writing from UC Berkeley. I've taught classes or guest-lectured at Berkeley, UCLA, Stanford, San Francisco State, RISD, UC Irvine, and UC Riverside.

You can find my writing here

  • my own personal blog, P i l l o w b o o k
  • MOMocrats, the amazingly brilliant and funny group of bon vivants/political progressives who let me run with the women who run with wolves
  • my documentary film-in-progress (and accompanying non-fiction book-in-progress), WORLD ON A STRING
If asked to say which was hardest, giving birth, filing a dissertation, or funding and finishing a documentary film, I'd have to say the film. Nine months' gestation is a cakewalk compared to years of sitting on that egg, waiting for it to hatch!

No Teachers or Police With Guns In Schools

On December 30, 2012, President Obama said he doubted arming school police with guns will prevent future school shootings, but then January 11, 2013's EdWeek hinted that he may yield to local law enforcement offi...more
I think it is a bad, bad idea to arm teachers. There should be an increase of security at ...more

Call Me Wildly Optimistic, But I Think Education is Going to Survive the Fiscal Cliff

Now that the 2012 election has ended, the news beast has decided we'll get all crazed over the upcoming "fiscal cliff." There must be NEWSMAGEDDON!!!!!! at all times, so the debt ceiling gridlock that never got dealt with in 2011 is now here in the shape of across-the-board federal budget cuts to defense and domestic spending. ...more
I share your optimism, and even if no initial deal is reached, one would be retroactive. It's ...more

No Child Left Behind Waivers and the Future of U.S. Education

Three main variables in education policy -- all recently in flux and one still in need of details -- will affect how the nation's neighborhood schools are run within the next several months. President Obama has framed investment in education as having the potential to power a renaissance in American cultural and technological pre-eminence -- or, if we miss this opportunity, to toss aside decades of innovation as other nations out-achieve us. ...more
Most teachers hate the NO Child Left Behind Legislation and feel it is irrelevant to the needs ...more

2010 Election: Ballot Initiative Results -- Marijuana, Personhood, Healthcare & More

Hot ballot initiatives from around the country that we'll be tracking for you: ...more

2010 Election: California Governor (Whitman vs. Brown)

BlogHer's been covering the California gubernatorial race between Meg Whitman and Jerry Brown from both sides of the aisle. What, if anything, does this race have to tell us about women CEOs making the leap from business to public life? What about Whitman's campaign and her connection, or lack thereof, to women voters? We'll keep you posted: ...more

Whitman finally conceded.more

CA Women's Conference, Awkward But Good: Men on Work/Life Balance

Among the 15,000 women at Maria Shriver's The Women's Conference, "Men Who Get It" were featured in their own roundtable hosted by news anchor Brian Williams. It may have been the first time four high-powered men awkwardly talked work-life issues while live-streamed over the internet. Williams self-consciously cracked, "Spanx are for when dad comes home at night"; missing were the usual complaints about menstrual pain. ...more

I was very curious to know how this went - I appreciate you taking the time to write about it, ...more

BREAKING: At The California Women's Conference -- Stick a Fork In Meg Whitman (Done)?

What started off as a lightweight chat among seasoned politicos (current California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and gubernatorial candidates Republican Meg Whitman and Democrat Jerry Brown) at the Women's Conference in Long Beach developed unexpected heat when Matt Lauer asked Whitman and Brown if they'd remove all negative ads from the airwaves -- and the crowd jeered Whitman. ...more

Am so glad you got a tingle from Michelle Obama's highlighting of the BSF 2010 Survey.

I ...more

Final Brown-Whitman Gubernatorial Debate: Did We Learn Anything New?

Partisans for each will tell you Brown or Whitman "won" last night's third and final debate between the California gubernatorial candidates. (There's a good summary of the debate plus video at the LA Times.) But I look at it this way: did we learn anything new about the candidates in their most heated and personal exchange yet? ...more

Thanks for this thoughtful analysis. If I were a CA voter, I would definitely be voting for ...more

Community College Summit: the Answer to Unemployment Frustration?

Today, Dr. Jill Biden, Vice Presidential First Lady, and President Obama hosted the White House Summit on Community College to highlight the importance of two-year colleges as a stepping stone to a college degree and a way for mid-career adults to retool or retrain. ...more

Any step toward higher education is a good step!

I attended a very large community college in ...more

Small Business Jobs Act: What Businesses and Bloggers Need to Know

If, like me, you're a sole proprietor or otherwise one-woman shop whose business is either based in social media, freelance writing, or marketing that makes use of social media for some other good or service you provide, you might experience all the struggles of a small business but feel left out of the jump-starts available for "bigger" small businesses. I like to think of us as micro-entrepreneurs -- too small to take on venture capital, not likely to get a bank loan for small businesses, but nevertheless hustling for paid work. ...more

The more you know the better prepared you are to deal with potential problems. Thanks for your ...more