Before the Linsanity…

Yes, I know I’ve been posting a lot about JLIN these past three weeks, but c’mon, how could I resist? I wanted to share with you this great article I came across via my friend Alvin who is a true hardcore pre-NBA Lin supporter and has been flooding my facebook newsfeed with everything Lin this past month (forget the Linsanity app, just add Alvin as a friend for updates, lol). Anyways, the article entitled “Understanding Jeremy Lin” was written by Annie Wang, a classmate of Jeremy’s who was in the same Asian-American Christian fellowship at Harvard. She does an absolutely fantastic job at delivering a sincere and personal look into the man behind Linsanity (a real breath of fresh air, given all these reiterated media slices).

I really love this section of the piece:

The truth is, Jeremy does represent movements much bigger than himself. He is at once the timely savior of a struggling franchise, a profitable posterboy for a rejuvenated league, a champion for the often-overlooked Asian-American population, and a provocative agent of change within a conflicted China. And, of course, he is making the biggest splash as outspoken flagbearer for the cause he has steadfastly and intentionally pursued – the advancement of the Christian faith. But though much of our initial interest in Jeremy stemmed from a basic shared commonality in one of these aspects of his identity, or his appeal as the protagonist of a Cinderella story to which we might aspire, we have since nearly forgotten that Jeremy is just a man after all.

Check out the full article HERE

After reading, I couldn’t help but wish I had known Jeremy in college – what a charismatic and humble dude. I am not at all religious, however, if I were interested, I wouldn’t mind learning about faith through someone like Lin. GOOD GUY JEREMY.

Also, check out this DOPE shirt I got from MYNINJA!

FIERCE!

Also, THIS HAD ME DYING:

 

Lastly, if you need a crash course on Linsanity, check out this awesome infographic depicting Jeremy’s rise to fame. Ok, I’ve posted enough about him this week, lol.

John

p.s. I got tickets to see the Bulls vs. Knicks at the United Center in Chicago on March 12th! My first NBA game! Drop a comment if you’re going; I’m rockin’ nosebleeds in section 330, woot!

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Jeremy Lin, FTA!!!

I admit it, I am not a huge basketball fan. Or a big sports fan in general. But c’mon, with 23 year-old Jeremy Lin‘s performance over the past two games at MSG (lol, I just realized that unfortunate abbreviation), I think I may start paying more attention to the NBA. Now, before my b-ball enthusiast friends get all bandwagon-hater on me, let me just say it really does take a lot for me to become invested in a national sport. I really have never been interested in watching ESPN or following athletes. But this guy is inspiring. Reading about his story, watching his humorous youtube vids and seeing him go from benchwarmer to MVP these past couple days has seriously made me proud to be an ABC.

Jeremy Shu-How Lin (林書豪)

If you aren’t familiar with Lin, he is the first ever American of Chinese or Taiwanese descent to play for the National Basketball Association. Originally from Palo Alto, CA, he captained his high school team and ended up shining as first-team All-State and Northern California Division II Player of the Year. Despite wanting to play college basketball for UCLA, he opted going to Harvard, where he was guaranteed a spot on their team (but with no athletic scholarship, as Ivys do not offer them). He excelled at the game all throughout his time there, setting Ivy League scoring records, majoring in economics, maintaining a 3.1 GPA and being an all around BOSS. After graduation, he went from going undrafted, to playing for the Golden State Warriors and then finally being pulled by the Knicks this past season.

He's 6' 3". Both his parents are 5'6''. WTF.

Despite possessing great talent, Jeremy’s journey to play professionally wasn’t easy. As you can imagine, Lin faced a lot of prejudice because of his race – it’s obvious our demographic doesn’t provide many basketball superstars, and as a result, coaches and managers just didn’t see the potential. But Jeremy has been able to persevere and transcend all that; becoming a role model for countless Asian-Americans across the country as a result. He has joined a growing crowd of individuals who are breaking out of the stereotypical Asian norm in modern America; I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for him. Not only is he well educated (insert Asian dad meme here, lol), his incredible skills and humble demeanor have honored and will continue to honor the league of ABCs. Mr. Lin, YOU MY NINJA!

And in cased you missed it, part 1 of the Jeremy Lin show:

And part 2!

AND PART 3!

JEREMY LIN, FOR THE ASIANS!!!

I’ve always sucked at Chinese tones…

If you’re a redditor, you probably saw this on the front page a couple days ago:

Here’s what it sounds like:

If you weren’t already aware, Mandarin Chinese is tonal language; the way in which you speak certain ‘words’ changes the meaning. The classic example: 妈, 麻, 马, and 骂 are four different characters with completely different meanings (mother, hemp, horse, and scold, respectively) yet they are all pronounced ‘ma’. What distinguishes them is their differing intonation; this video does a pretty good job explaining it.

For non-native speakers, this is probably the hardest thing to master when you are trying to learn the language. And as you can imagine, inability to distinguish tones can often cause awkward, lost-in-translation type situations  (I can personal attest to this – more stories to come).

Chinese is hard -__-

Tiger Mom Swag

Yo!

So I recently started reading the infamous “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother,” a memoir-style book by Yale Law professor Amy Chua that talks about the her experiences raising her two daughters in the traditional -and in her case, extreme- “Chinese way”. I know I am kind of late to the party (I believe this book was all the rage about a year ago) but I recall reading the original WSJ article a while back and thinking how insanely strict this lady was -and how lucky I was to have a not-so-intense tiger mom. She seemed so over-the-top and almost borderline abusive that I didn’t want to read her book b/c I figured I’d end up just feeling sorry for her kids. But then I read later that the WSJ article actually placed the excepts out of context and misconstrued her true motivations and behavior. I think it was unfortunate that much of the criticism over Chua was delivered from people who had just read the initial article and not the actual book. Nevertheless, I have heard a lot of mixed reviews and I am excited to give it a read and develop my own opinion on it. From what it looks like in interviews and articles, her daughters seemed to have turned out to be very intelligent, polite, sociable and accomplished individuals. Regardless of the crazy, Chua must have been doing something right.

tiger mom don't play

After reading a few chapters, I find that her writing style is rather blunt, which may be is why it is so amusing. Many of her stories remind me of some of my own childhood experiences and I realized that that this book is the a perfect resource to help spur ideas for this blog. Not only that, I learned that Chua is coming to St. Louis this semester to give a talk. I wonder if she’d to sign my MCAT prep book.

Speaking of “tiger moms,” I wanna share a link to the comical blog of a fellow banana and good friend of mine, Stacey. Her tumblr, aptly titled, “My Tiger Mom: Gems of Misunderstood Wisdom,” is a collection of quotes and conversations she’s had with her sharp-tongued and unknowingly hilarious matriarch. Do yourself a favor and follow her!

Lastly, because it is awesome, here is a pic of my grandma in her favorite jacket:

TIGER GRANDMA SWAG!

Until next time,
John