Reviewing for a Test

There’s not enough time or humility for me to share my teaching fails, but here’s a test review routine that worked well with my students.

I pass out the review questions near the end of class and say:

Chapter 3 Test is scheduled for _____. To review for it, I need you to look through the ten problems on this paper. You’re more than welcome to work on the questions, but you don’t have to, not for me anyway. I need you to just examine them enough to identify two questions on there that you feel confident about, that you have no problem solving them.

Then, I need you to identify two questions that you would like to get help on most. That’s it.

If you have human students as I do, they will ask questions and you’ll have your answers ready.

  • What if I’m confident I can do more than just two?
    • Possible Answer (PA): That’s fantastic! But, nobody cares. I just need you to tell me two.
  • What if I need help with more than two questions?
    • PA: That’s why I said most… two questions that you would like to get help on most.
  • What if I can do the whole test? I mean I don’t need help with anything.
    • PA: Then don’t mark anything down when I ask tomorrow. Or, if you just have one question that you need help with, then identify just that one. Also, you’ll get to make the test key for us.
  • What if I’m not confident with any of the questions?
    • PA: Thank you for that question! I hope you’ll find time this evening to see if you can attempt two of them. Then, please send me an email letting me know if you were successful. Remember, the answers are on the back of the review questions.
  • You said we don’t have to actually do the problems. But can we do them for extra credit?
    • PA: No.
  • How many questions will there be on the test?
    • PA: Ten. Or maybe thirty-five. I don’t know. It’ll depend on what you tell me about these review questions.

The next day, the whiteboard already has two columns drawn, and students know to give two tally marks per side.

If I were to do this again, I’d also send my students home with these two questions in Desmos instead. When you ask for a checklist in Desmos, you get an auto tally of how many students marked that choice in the teacher dashboard.

I focus on the right column and say:

I want to make sure we go through all the questions on the right column. We’ll start with question 4. There are at least four of you here who marked that you are confident with this question, I need one of you to please show us how to do question 4.

And we continue down the list. Notice that I ask students to work on the problems. They learn better from their peers, especially during review time. I get to check for understanding as there are occasions when the “confident” student has done the problem incorrectly. We spend class time on more targeted problems, including admitting which concept needs a serious revisit. I have them do this — looking over the questions — at home rather than in class because I need them to focus, without peer pressure and distractions. I want them to feel free to look back in their notes, in their textbook, search online, ask for help. I want honest feedback.

After we’ve gone over all the questions on the right column, that evening I create the test with four questions already done by choosing two from the left column that had the most tally marks, in this example, questions 1 and 2, verbatim. It’s my selfish way of not having to see a test with a score of 0 which leads me to self-loathing. Then, I pick two questions from the right column that we’d gone over, also verbatim. I can actually hear the sighs of relief when students see the same questions from the review sheet.

This routine works well for regular homework too. Assign the homework without actually have them do the homework: ask for two “easy” questions and two “tough” questions. Let’s not have them work on problems that they already know how to do, instead, let’s spend time together in class to work on the ones they need help with. Promise me you’ll only step in to show how to do the problem when no other student in the class is able to. :) But even then, I’d say, “How about someone starts out this problem, help us with that, just take it as far as you can, and then I’ll take over from there.”

Posted in Teaching | Tagged , | 1 Response

Changing Up Popular Warm-Up Routines

As with any task, whether it’s a warm-up or a curricular task, I try to think of ways to get more student engagement, tap a different thinking modality, and just to change things up.

WODB has become a common acronym in classrooms for good reasons. (Actually, does it qualify as an acronym like NATO since I’ve never heard it pronounced as a word? Y’all are still saying Which One Doesn’t Belong, right?)

Take this first one I see on the site. (I added the numbers 1-4.)

I do my homework first, in the order that the shapes come to my brain:

  • #2 doesn’t belong because it’s the only non-triangle.
  • #4 doesn’t belong because it’s the only shaded shape.
  • #1 doesn’t belong because it’s the only one with exactly one line of symmetry.
  • #3 doesn’t belong because it’s the only obtuse triangle.

With students, I ask them to give me a blank grid and get ready to draw in each box as they listen to my clues. I tell them to make quick sketches as they may need to make changes when they hear new clues. I can give them the clues in any order I choose. But, we’ll stick with the order above.

  • #2 doesn’t belong because it’s the only non-triangle.

A possible sketch:

  • #4 doesn’t belong because it’s the only shaded shape.

 

  • #1 doesn’t belong because it’s the only one with exactly one line of symmetry.

  • #3 doesn’t belong because it’s the only obtuse triangle.

Students can then share their sketches and critique each other’s work. The reveal is fantastically fun.

Notice that if the first thing that came to my brain was “#3 doesn’t belong because it’s the only hexagon,” and I gave this clue to my students, then I may expect to see lots of different sketches.

Or, if I were the student, I’d wait for more clues.

———–

[Added 10/17/2020]

I meant to include a numerical WODB example because there are a lot of possible solutions, it’s always fun to see what the kids come up with. Here’s the first numerical one on the site. (I added the letters A-D.)

I work on it first.

  • D is the only non-square number.
  • A is the only single-digit number.
  • C is the only number divisible by 5.
  • B is the only even number.

I give the students the above clues in the same order. However, students may not erase a number as they revise, they may only cross it off so that I may see what they had originally.

———–

Estimation 180 is another popular one. From the site’s Day 6:

Instead of asking students for an estimation, I ask:

One of the four numbers below is the correct number of almonds in the 1/4 cup pictured. Which one is it and why did you choose it? Which number do you believe is way off?

    • 8
    • 15
    • 28
    • 40

I find their reasoning and conversations are tighter this way — more focused. I’m also one of those people who dread having to guess at something, even with a visual clue. With younger students, I’d give them 3 choices instead of 4.

Open Middle is another well-loved routine. This one is filed under Grade 4, Equivalent Fractions. (I added the digits A-G.)

Directions: Use the digits 1 to 9, at most one time each, to make three equivalent fractions.

I mark the digits 1 through 9 on red/yellow counters and put them into a baggie.

I reach into the bag and randomly pull one out. Say, I pull out a 5. I call on a student [randomly] and ask, “Which space (A-G) can the number 5 not be in?”

There is a big difference between asking the above question versus, “Where do you think the number 5 goes?” The chance of answering this question correctly, if 5 is used at all, is 1 out of 7. The former question is much safer to tackle. This routine engages the whole class on one number at a time — we get deeper thinking when we can focus on one thing and while building on each other’s thinking. And I very much love it when students are given opportunities to honor and build on their classmates’ reasoning. After a few suggestions, a student might conclude that the number 5 can go into the discard pile. (It’s also common for students to use a number more than once or use a number not allowed, so the counters alleviate this mistake.)

Also, I need to share that this problem was posed in an online workshop I attended yesterday, and I didn’t even attempt it because these are my constant truths:

  1. Someone else will come up with the answer before I do.
  2. The answer will be revealed before I get to solve it, so no point in me ever working on it.

How many of our students also hold these truths? I understand this was a workshop for teachers and time is limited and sharing is good and all that. I’m just thinking about best practices with students though.

 

Posted in Course 1 (6th Grade Math), Course 2 (7th Grade Math), General, Math 8, Problem Solving, Teaching | Tagged , | 1 Response

MoMath

That sign is for ALL of us!!… Fucker!

I heard the angry man yell around eight this morning. Our house sits at the corner of 4-way stops. Glad he was out there to give the driver a piece of our collective neighborhood mind.

At our core, we sense when something is not equitable, not right. We want to speak up when someone is not abiding by the guidelines that are meant for all of us.

I saw the tweet below from Sam Shah yesterday, which I retweeted without comment after reading his post. Nothing I could add to the tweet to make it less upsetting. I had always wanted to visit MoMath when I could make it back to New York City.

Something is not equitable, not right. I spent most of my teaching at Title 1 schools: 11 years at George Middle School in Portland, Oregon, and 17 years at Mesa Union Junior High here in the same county where I live. Good bad and indifferent, these children are mine. When I read that MoMath treated students from Title 1 schools less favorably and dismissed the voices of those who brought this fact to light, I’m made to distrust those in power, those who can do so much more to improve our children’s livelihoods, instead they further marginalize them.

@MoMath1 is responsible for making itself worthy of all our students’ learning and enjoyment of mathematics. That museum is for all of us.

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Gardening and Teaching

To change a community, you have to change the composition of the soil…
We are the soil.

Ron Finley, The Gangsta Gardener

With nothing more than a hand trowel — and hours of stabbing and digging at the hard earth — my mother turned her front yard into a garden. She planted vegetables and flowers, herbs and climbers. Her neighbor, a tall burly man, liked to tell me, “Your mother, she’s something else. If you gave me a shovel, I still couldn’t do what she does with her own hands.” She’s gangsta alright. Mom negotiated just the right ratio of determination and desperation for mint and squash.

When a form asks what my hobbies are, I write down “cooking, gardening, and traveling.” Cooking requires other people though, I need someone else to enjoy the food with me. By myself, dinner means a bowl of popcorn and a glass of wine. Traveling is a lie — I lack the necessary funds, and I lack even more patience for airports and long flights. But I can garden all day every day. Working the soil with my bare hands is quite luxurious, like kneading dough, only better because you get snow peas and Walla Walla onions. Gardening is so much more than a hobby though. It’s the most generous act — for oneself, others, the planet.

Teaching is not quite a hobby, unless you get to train a dragon, but I believe it’s also the most generous act — for oneself, others, the planet.

We’re all teachers, by the way, because my definition of teaching simply means to share something. There’s value placed on what we share and how we share. I see young children as the most wonderful teachers. They are more direct, more creative, more willing to give you another chance. What’s wondrous about children is while they may not be able to do something, they can tell you how it should be done. A child will squarely critique your cooking of a cheese omelet or your attempt at tying shoelaces, “No, not like that. Like this!” When I’m confronted with such harsh criticism, children are the only species that can transform my thinking, Do it yourself then you little shit, into my saying, I’m so sorry, let me try again. You’re soooo cute! 

Reading to someone is teaching. While the content might belong to another author, but how you read — your intonation, inflection, breath — conveys the nuanced ways that content can be delivered. Playing a game with someone is teaching. It’s a symbiotic dance of what next-moves to make and not to make.

***

I got this far on the post, then the next day, watching the video of George Floyd’s horrific suffering that resulted in his senseless death leaves me limp. This “Gardening and Teaching” post becomes stupid, my blog pointless. Zoom is unbearable, even with mic and camera off. A bowl of oatmeal in the morning is all I can manage to make and swallow until I repeat 24 hours later. I was afraid I couldn’t hold it together with the students yesterday because I’ve been weeping steadily like a garden hose left on slow trickle.

If I may wrap up this post to say that to garden is to cultivate: to nurture and to tend. How we sow and cultivate a plant matters in the kind of fruits it bears. How we teach children matters, and it really should be the only thing on this planet that matters.

Teach well. Teach like you’re so very afraid of what will bear if you didn’t.

Posted in Teaching | 1 Response

One-Word Writing Prompts

Years ago at George Middle School (Portland, Oregon), the teachers were allowed to teach something we were passionate about. The class would be twice a week, right after lunch, for just 20 minutes. I was a science teacher at the school and asked if I may teach “writing for writing.” My principal reacted with slightly more enthusiasm than my [male] colleague’s “The Simpsons.”

I had a simple plan:

  1. Given a prompt, we write for 5 minutes. It’s imperative that I write along with my students.
  2. We share aloud what we’d written, only if we choose to.
  3. We also share what we’d like to do next with our 5-minute piece:
    • scrap it
    • add it to an existing piece of writing
    • save it for whatever whenever
    • get feedback on it

Typically, writing prompts come in the form of questions. Here are the first three of “34 Quick Writing Prompts for Middle School Students” from Journal Buddies:

  1. What does the city sound like at night?
  2. What is the coolest thing that can be found in nature?
  3. How can you tell whether or not someone will be a good friend?

These are fine, of course. But personally, I either don’t have a lot to say about the prompt or I don’t care. And it’s hard to think of a question that everyone cares about or have copious thoughts on. Let me try the above prompts right now, as if I were a middle schooler.

What does the city sound like at night?

The city is quiet at night. Though I’m not sure why I’m in the city at night when I should really be in bed at home. I’m a kid. Sure, there are times when I can’t fall asleep or I wake up in the middle of the night. But it’s still pretty quiet at night. Sometimes I can hear my Dad snore. (Or is that my Mom?) If only it would rain each night because that’s the best sound to fall asleep to. But then I think about the homeless people. It sucks to be homeless, so for them, night rain is probably the worst…

What is the coolest thing that can be found in nature?

The coolest thing that can be found in nature is… I don’t really know. I’m not sure if it’s the “coolest” thing or even just “cool,” but I like flowers and plants. I pay attention to them whenever I’m walking around outside. My favorite house is always the one with lots of flowers, especially when they are overflowing in window boxes. They don’t require a lot to grow, not like what my two cats and dog require. I like flowers that smell good.

How can you tell whether or not someone will be a good friend?

I can tell that someone will be a good friend because they are not bad. But I’ve been wrong lots of times before. They start out all nice and friendly, they say the right words and do the right things, then they just turn. Sometimes they turn so quickly that I have no clue what happened. It’s like they have an “R” gear for “reverse” and they just shifted into that gear and ran you over. I guess there are no guarantees whether or not a person will be a good friend. Look at all the divorces and breakups! It’s best to just take one day at a time.

Weary that a question prompt might not elicit interest or intrigue and having to hear them whine pitch perfect, “But I don’t know anything about that,” I give only one-word prompts.

  • tiny
  • red
  • outside
  • wax
  • intelligence
  • breakfast
  • sand
  • scream
  • pale
  • rain

My goal was writing for writing. I wanted the pen or pencil to move across the page for five minutes. I wanted the shitty first drafts. Any more than that one-word prompt might inadvertently restrict, if not constrict, their thoughts. I wanted them to feel free to write freely about the color “ecru,” the noun “home,” the verb “shrink,” the adjective, “dull.” They wrote wildly, ferociously, thoughtfully. So did I.

Mainly, I didn’t want any student of mine to feel the way this perennial prompt made me feel through all the school years, “What did you do last summer?”

Eventually, I got tired of lying about the trips that my family couldn’t afford to take and left my paper blank.

Posted in Misc, Teaching | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Fried Rice

I suspect that half of this story is made up because I don’t remember everything. And why would I want to remember growing up. It’s best not to go there, pretend it never happened, like tearing up a bad photo of yourself.

Someone wakes me up each morning, or I wake up by myself. Thank God, I didn’t wet my bed last night! I don’t know how I’m supposed to prevent something that seems to happen naturally and frequently. I walk into the stall, pull down my pants, squat, and begin to pee. Instantly I feel the warm urine and wake up. I don’t remember being reprimanded as I just clean myself up and change. I have to wipe down the straw mat that I sleep on. I  wonder if this particular pee stain will already be visible from downstairs. Other kids play spot-the-clouds-formation: I see an elephant, a castle, a dog’s face. I play [by myself] spot-the-pee-stains-formation on our ceiling: I see a hammer, a unicorn, a boat.

We always have fried rice for breakfast. It’s what you do with the leftover rice from last night’s dinner. I should be grateful that there’s food to eat, but with every bite of the fried rice, I swallow down our poorness. I remember lying more than once to my friends that I had xoi for breakfast. There are many stalls at the market that sell all sorts of the sweet sticky rice. My favorite is probably xoi gac. But I never have any money.

We line up with our class in the school yard. It’s our neighborhood Catholic school. The principal, a priest,  announces at the podium that there will be a random check of our school uniform this morning. Our school name and logo are not embroidered onto the uniform. Instead, they’re printed on a small rectangular piece of corded fabric that we’re supposed to have sewn onto the left breast of our shirt. Mine is held in place with a safety-pin, and that’s a no-no. The nun who checks my uniform gives me two whips on the palm of my hand with a bamboo cane. I normally give them my left hand so I can still write with my right hand. 

I’m a good student, but far from being the best student in the class. My teachers who have already taught my two older sisters take measured pity on me. I know this from their heavy sigh and head shaking when my written work or oral response is sub par. They are especially disheartened when they learn who my father is. I already know I will never be good enough. I figure it’s a good enough day for me if I can wake up without wetting myself and leave school without getting hit by the stick. 

Dad hit me just this one time. I’m sitting with my younger sister at the table, and our Dad is standing nearby. At the center of the table is a beautiful calligraphy pen that our father treasures, and we know we are not allowed to even touch it. I whisper to my sister, “Grab the pen.” She doesn’t move. I lean in and whisper again but slower this time, “Grab the pen. Just take it. Now.” My eyes dart between her eyeballs and the pen. The instant that her little hand makes contact with the prized pen, I yell out, “Dad!! She took your pen!!” Dad nonchalantly responds, “Because you told her to.” I don’t remember anything else he may have said. He gives me one solid strike on my palm with a ruler. The only pain I feel is the shame that I have disappointed my favorite person in the entire world.

I have never ordered fried rice for myself at a restaurant. Don’t think I ever will.

Posted in Shallow Thoughts | 1 Response

Common Denominator

I already wrote about dividing fractions here and here.

I use the explanation of “dividing by one” to explain why 5/6 divided by 2/3 is the same as 5/6 times 3/2.

But when I was asked recently about how the “common denominator” strategy worked, my muted response was, “Because it does.” I didn’t mean to be a jerk, rather I just hoped she’d go along with me.

I grabbed a piece of paper and wrote 5 ÷ 3 = 5/3. She was already bored with me. Then I added 1s under the numbers to show 5/1 ÷ 3/1 = 5/3. Right, right? I then changed the problem to 10/2 ÷ 6/2 = 10/6… = 5/3. Still okay, right?

Before I could give another example, she took the paper and rubbed it on my head. Rude.

***

The real common denominator is we’re all in this together to #flattenthecurve. This tweet is like rainbow.

Posted in Course 1 (6th Grade Math) | Tagged , | 1 Response

Math Worksheets

I often create worksheets for my students, even though every district-adopted math curriculum we’ve had has worksheets for students. I do this for two reasons:

  1. I teach differently — sometimes slightly, sometimes quite a bit — than what the curriculum writing team was thinking.
  2. There’s a particular structure/scaffold that reflects how I see the content can unfold for learners.

Here’s a sequence of practice questions for my 8th graders on rigid transformations.

Everything about this is intentional.

  • Item #1 is a completed sample of what’s to come. This is a practice worksheet, not a problem-solving task, so I will be clear about what is expected.
  • I remove certain parts in item #2, while keeping it similar to item #1.
  • Item #3 comes before item #4 because I think it’s easier to follow the stated transformations than to say what they are.
  • Item #6 asks for more flexibility but with an ending constraint.
  • Item #7 opens up the problem and allows for peer exchange.

It’s esthetically easier for me to create the questions on Google Slides. I then do screenshots to toss them onto a Google Doc.

Here’s a screenshot of questions for 7th graders on percent change.

Here’s a screenshot of questions for 6th graders on ratios and rates.

If you’d like copies of these:

Yes, each of these takes one unit of shit-ton of time, especially when I have to look up real products with real numbers. But it’s an OCD thing too, as in If-I-can-make-it-better-I-will.

Stay safe, everyone.

Posted in Course 1 (6th Grade Math), Course 2 (7th Grade Math), Geometry, Math 8 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Response

Meet Me Here

I snapped this photo on my walk — the beautiful trail is just behind where I live. K.D. Lang was singing Hallelujah in my ears. My worries softened, my anger slipped. Then I thought about my thirty minutes or so with him and smiled. I needed to focus on the small blessings, and there are so many.

…..

He jiggles the locked door handle, eager to come in. I stand and extend my hand to shake his and introduce myself. His teacher had warned me of his puppy eyes and that he liked to talk. After some chitchat, I ask him as I write on a piece of paper, “You go to the store and there’s a sign that says three apples for two dollars. Say you want to get six apples, how much would that cost?” I slide the pen and paper toward him.

Me: What’s your favorite kind of apple?

Him: The green kind.

Me: Like Granny Smith? That’s a bit tart for me. I like Fuji apples.

He looks at the paper, his mind is thinking, his head bounces a little, his fingers count. He’s taking his time. I say, “Let me know when you’re ready to share. You can think out loud too.” I repeat the problem, but immediately I wish I would just shut up.

Him: Nine

Me: Is that how much it would cost… to buy six apples?

Him: Yeah. Nine.

Me: Show me how you got that. How you got nine dollars.

Him: I added six and three.

Me: Okay. Why did you choose addition?

Him: Because it’s the easiest. Easier than division.

Me: Oh, division is harder for me too… Is nine dollars a reasonable answer? Does that sound about right? Three apples for two dollars…

He nods his head reluctantly.

Me: I notice that you did not use all the information in the problem.

He does not know what I mean. I refer to the paper and explain that the problem has three pieces of information, “You told me that you added the three and six. Is there something else in the problem that you did not use?” He admits that he did not use the $2.00.

Him: Eleven.

Me: How did you get eleven?

Him: Nine plus two is eleven.

Me: I see. Ha! You do like to add! So, if the store sells three apples for two dollars, then for six apples, it would cost eleven dollars? Does that sound about right?

He shakes his head more convincingly, “No… That’s not right.”

I scan the teacher’s small office. On her desk is a cup of thin colored markers. I grab her yellow pad of post-it notes too and tear each one into fourths. I mark $1 on six of these and slide them over to him. I also stick a post-it note on the cup that says 3 apples for $2.00.

Me: Sorry I don’t have real apples. Let’s pretend these markers are apples, and I’m the store owner. How much money do you have there?

Him: Six dollars.

Me: Cool. Okay, buy some apples from me.

He chooses three markers carefully, picking his favorite colors apparently. I ask him for payment, and he hands me two $1 notes. Pointing to the paper still in front of him, I say, “Remember the original problem. Tell me about the problem again.” He looks at the paper and the markers and money notes in front of him, “I need three more apples.”

He again carefully selects three more markers from the cup. Without prompting, he gives me two more $1 notes.

He bounces more visibly in his seat, “Four dollars. Six apples cost four dollars!”

I ask for a fist bump, “You’re awesome. I’d love to see you again.” He smiles wider and nods.

…..

Before meeting him, his teacher had shared that last year when he was in sixth grade, he’d met his goal of “multiplying multi-digit numbers.” I didn’t really know what this meant. I had no context and did not have the student in front of me. So I asked if I could meet him.

I thanked her for inviting me in and said the only thing that came to mind, “Please meet him where he’s at.”

Posted in Teaching | 1 Response

What’s in a name?

I’m one of four daughters, and we have such ordinary names: Loan, Nga, Phuong, Chau. By ordinary, I liken them to Bob, Alan, Laura, Ann. I asked my mother about this — knowing that my father didn’t have a say — begging for an explanation of why in sweet Jesus’s name that she’d neglected to give us prettier names. She said it would be vain to do so, and God would punish such vanity by giving you an ugly daughter. She cited several girls in our neighborhood who had pretty names but had faces that were “bored to death” to look at.

Phương vs. Phượng

Phuong means “direction.” At least Kanye West and Kim Kardashian named their daughter North to specify a particular direction. And Phuong without the dot under the name is more of a boy’s name. If I just got that extra dot, my name would mean phoenix, a pretty big deal bird. So, I grew up wishing I had a real girl’s name. I wanted one of my girlfriends’ names which were of exotic flowers and birds and of cardinal virtues.

Then I arrived in America, and it got a lot worse.

I had to tell people how to say my name. Most folks put emphasis on the “o” sound, and upon hearing me say it, they would overcorrect and emphasize the “u” sound. I was always flattered that they even bothered to try. (I also had my last name Nguyen to contend with: Newan, Negyan, Wen, Noogen, Noowen, Um-no.)

Phuong was usually misspelled as Phoung. I get it, most English words have –ou instead of –uo, like pound, ground, loud. And mousse — not the chocolate kind that you eat, but the copious amounts that went into my perpetual perms.

Whenever I ordered food at a counter and was asked for a name so they could call me when my order was ready, I would give some random name, like Julie or Amy. That only worked if I remembered what random name I’d used. One time I forgot what name I’d used — because it was a long wait, okay? — so when no one came up to the counter to get the brown to-go bag when the server beckoned, Julie, your order is ready, I walked up and asked, “What exactly did… Julie… order?” This charade went on for longer than necessary.

Then, freshman year at Centennial High School in Gresham, Oregon, my classmate Tim — tall, brilliant, handsome — scribbled something next to my name on a piece of paper. I had to look at it closely. He added –us at the end of Phuong. Tim smiled as if he’d invented recess, “Fungus!” Phuong-us. Of course.

That marked the end of Phuong for me. I don’t remember exactly how I came up with Fawn. I knew I wanted to replace the Ph– with F– because why use two letters when one suffices. I wanted to drop the “u” because I never wanted to be referred to as a yeast or mold again, and it was probably wise that the letters f and u shouldn’t be together in a name.

I made the official name change when I became a U.S. citizen. I didn’t have the campaign My Name, My Identity to dissuade me some thirty years ago. My mother is one of the few people who still call me Phuong. It is a pretty name now that I hear it.

Posted in Shallow Thoughts | Tagged , | Leave a comment