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Again, we end the year by asking our exalted seniors (there are some in every year!) some questions about their time, Asian Americana, and memories of organizing at Columbia. Since sending them out, our eager fellow Blaaager Ryan Fukumori was the first to respond! May we take wisdom from his words. Also, if you're a senior who got this - DO YOUR PROFILE I COMMAND YOU. That's all.

Name, School
Ryan Heiroku Fukumori, CC

Northwest Aztlán, a.k.a. Berkeley, CA

Greatest achievement
Clocking in nearly 100 hours in the first Party Room without smelling like I was decomposing (or so I hope). Or 50 Yen.

Most hilarious anecdote from student organizing
At the 2008 New York City Asian American Student Conference, I attempted to stave off the effects of sleep deprivation by drinking a few of those 6-hour energy shots . They did the job, but they also made me really weak in the knees, which Nhu-Y claimed was polio. She was also throwing things at me all day. And I'm not sure this is hilarious to anyone beyond ourselves...

Favorite yearly/semesterly tradition
Pacing nervously and drinking six cups of water right before cultureSHOCK performances

Fondest memory of AAA/PC
April 21, 2007, eating gravy & cheese fries with Geologic of Blue Scholars in EC1412, after they performed their first show (ever!) in NYC. Blue Scholars played drinking games (with Street Fighter, of course) and bought us food from Hamilton Deli, and their manager passed out on an air mattress at 5am while Geo smoked cigarettes out the window and waxed poetics & politics with us. For a bunch of the '09ers it was the end of our tenures on the AAA board--elections were that following afternoon--so it was a great parting gift.

Favorite neighborhood haunt
The Intercultural Resource Center--I never lived there, but I've spent innumerable hours there in meetings and made connections to a lot of amazing people doing great progressive work in their organizations, peer circles, and communities. Also, Saji's has the best Japanese food in the area, hands down (I may not speak the mother tongue, but I do know the cuisine)

Your weakness or poison, five words or less
Poison: I plead the fifth, Weakness: Funyuns

The name of your future dissertation
Get back to me in five years, when I'm actually writing one (aaaahhh!)

What you'll miss most and least about Barnard/Columbia, post-grad
Will: Having the time, space and energy to explore new things, starting my day at 2pm, and the people with whom I've been fortunate enough to spend my time here.
Won't: the folks (and there are a lot of them) who filter everything through middle-class politics and don't consider their own class privilege in what they say, think, or do. And the, uh, aftereffects of eating at John Jay, to put it politely.

Where we can find you in ten years
Struggling to win tenure at some nondescript institution of higher learning in California. And, raising kids? What a scary thought.

Where we can find you in thirty years
Coming to the inevitable and horrendous conclusion that I've become technologically illiterate, as my kids look on embarrassingly.

Dream occupation(s) other than the one you're pursuing?
If I had Jeff Chang's job, but I also got to drive an ice cream truck.

Three words of advice for incoming AAA/PC'ers in the 2013 class
1. Asian Americans are people of color! Building bridges with Latino/a, African American, and Native American students, and critically engaging the issues common to multiple communities of color, were huge sources of inspiration and empowerment for me and definitely helped break down the (mis)conception that Asian Americans have to be an isolated student population on campus. And hell hath no fury like a multiracial alliance fighting for institutional change.

2. I came here with a lot of problematic attitudes about gender and sexuality. It hurts to admit that, but I owe everything to my sistas who (whether they know it or not) helped me break down my own sexism and promote gender equality in my everyday actions, not just my words. So, to my fellow APA men: really take the time to learn from the women around you, and don't be afraid to be wrong. And--the notion that Asian men are effeminate really does suck, but if we start upholding sexist and homophobic ideas to combat that stereotype, we're part of the problem and not the solution.

3. This isn't original, but: HAVE FUN! It's not worth the time if it's all chores and obligations. Make friends, and make the most of the opportunity and learn new things.


  1. Nhu-Y said...

    awww brother ryan <3  

  2. Anonymous said...

    ryan = baller  

  3. David said...

    ryan has a secret admirer! (and many nonsecret admirers!)  

  4. kzhai said...

    haha...just got a mental picture of little ryans and CCs running around...  


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