I was very happy to learn that a class of students at San Francisco State University were reading my book, Hapa Girl, this semester. English Department instructor Sheryl Fairchild invited me to her class this week to meet with her students and discuss the book.
The students had prepared great questions and observations about Hapa Girl, and we discussed the impact of fear mongering in the media on communities and individual lives, ongoing fear of interracial marriage (including the case of the Kentucky church that recently voted to ban interracial couples!), the current atmosphere of hostility against Muslims and Mexican immigrants compared with the anti-Japanese fears of the 1980s, and the need to speak up in the face of injustice.
I was impressed with all the students’ intelligent comments, questions, and conversation. Whenever I meet a great class, I know I’m also witnessing the work of a great teacher who has taken a lot of time and thought to put together her curriculum (in this case students read literature on social justice themes), and then teaches it well. Brava to Sheryl Fairchild!
(You can see Sheryl in this photo–she’s second from the right, leaning forward:)