Me and punctuality When my boss said to me, “You are not a late person. Let’s change the narrative on that,” it seemed an overdramatic way to talk about my tendency to arrive a few minutes after a meeting starts. Narrative is a word we use to talk about how we include or exclude Indigenous Australian perspectives from our country’s history. Or the shift from … Continue reading Changing my narrative
I’ve been reading the Psalms in Spanish. Scripture is my main connection to this language these days and I absolutely love how I can glean new insights from a text I’ve read countless times. A few years back, I wrote about the six Spanish words that changed my faith. Recently, I found two more to add to this set. Both are words I discovered on … Continue reading Tim Tams and wholemeal bread: more Spanish words that expand my faith
People are often surprised and curious that I am fluent in Spanish. It is a random language for an Australian – let alone an Asian Australian – to dedicate themselves to. We’re a multicultural but otherwise monolingual kinda nation and learning Spanish presents you with just the one job prospect: teaching Spanish. I enjoy surprising and impressing people with this. I enjoy that it’s a … Continue reading The real reason I speak Spanish: how trifles can transform your life
“That’s so gay” Back in my school days, everything was gay. Science class was gay, bumbags were gay, a chip packet missing a Tazo was gay. Of course, no one says that anymore. In this day and age, it’s frowned upon to use gay in a derogatory way. Or really to mean anything other than homosexual, even if the original meaning of the word was … Continue reading Is political correctness impoverishing or enriching our language?
The difference between a celebrity and an influencer I’m not sure when we stopped using the word celebrity in favour of the word influencer, but I feel like it happened around the time Instagram took off. It seems that once you have several thousand followers, you’re an influencer. Which means you’re kind of a celebrity. Which means you’re famous. Which means … what exactly? For … Continue reading Under (or over) the influence
My first name begins with a silent letter so alliteration exercises in primary school weren’t fun. “Happy Hsu-Ann” doesn’t alliterate and “super Hsu-Ann” looks like it doesn’t alliterate even though it does. Yet the silent H is a familiar and essential part of who I am. (So is the awkward pause and ensuing mispronunciation every time someone realises they’re going to have to read my … Continue reading The H is silent
I’ve always fancied being a tour guide for a time. Sure, it would get old pretty soon, but for 3-6 months it’d be awesome wearing the brightly coloured jacket, holding the umbrella, and taking groups of tourists around my hometown (or adopted city), providing snippets of history and local lore. The other day we put on a travel-themed digital event for some of our supporters … Continue reading I’m an anti-slavery tour guide. Sort of.
Australians boast the inglorious irony of being the best off people in this pandemic and yet we’re potentially the most resentful about travel restrictions. Gap years are standard before and after uni, many of us look forward to our annual overseas trip and retirement will often consist of cruise ship hopping. But before COVID-19 derailed everyone’s travel plans, I was already wrestling not so much … Continue reading Nomad no more
It’s one thing to love writing; it’s quite another to love editing. Editing is a passion I only discovered through a university job I picked up after my time in Ecuador and before my year in Bolivia. I always knew that I had decent spelling, punctuation and grammar but as a Research & Editorial Assistant at my alma mater, I found even fixing typos can … Continue reading How to edit your life
Early inspiration I suppose that every writer, whether professional or amateur, has work from their past that they’re seriously embarrassed to have brought into the world. One example in particular comes to mind. I wrote stories all through my childhood and adolescence and am generally proud of what I penned, but I did have woeful phase in Year 10 where I mimicked the style and … Continue reading Brutality and humanity: a book you won’t want to, but should, read