Last week, when I went to the Speaking Science 2.0 talk in Minneapolis, I skipped the after party to go see Quynh Nguyen. She’s a friend of mine from Davis, who I met through the Chemistry Club @ UC Davis, and who also wrote for The Aggie for a year. While I was watching one of PZ eight arms getting hacked off by Matt Nisbet, and Greg Laden drilling holes in Chris Mooney’s head (and other mayhem – post coming soon), Ariela was hanging out with Quynh and her boyfriend Jeff, and they swung by to pick me up afterwards.

Quynh in her old Aggie mugFor those that aren’t familiar with Quynh Nguyen yet, she wrote a great column in The California Aggie for a year, in which she tackled issues of nightlife in a dead college town, to social issues and the overabundance of garbage in our daily routines (Read them all here).

She also had the distinction of publicly criticizing the (in)famous Dr. Darrell Hamamoto, an Asian-American studies professor who thought that making pornography would help the sexual image of Asian-American males and keep white males from marrying, or “colonizing” Asian-American females. What was his response when she asked him if she should feel guilty about having a white boyfriend? A lengthy diatribe about “White Rice Kings” and “Yella womenz” and how males from dominant racial groups can’t be with females of subordinate groups – because that’s “colonizing their womb.”
Can someone please remind him that members of a race don’t “own” each other? And fighting racism with sexism (and more racism) just doesn’t seem right. Anyway, if you want to read her marvelous take-down, that made him curl up and cry “harassment!” if she contacted him again, read: Does race matter in love?

I was saddened when I learned that Quynh decided to stop writing for The Aggie after one year, which makes me very happy to report that she’s now writing for The Minnesota Daily, and you can read her new columns here. Her Livejournal profile is accessible here.

Jeff had to sleep which is why he’s not in this picture she sent us. (See my octopus T-shirt just in time for Cephalopod Awareness Day.) We were up late, talking about, well everything. She’s on to study Nursing, and has become rather interested in adding that topic to her regular column topics. Unfortunately, we had to leave early in the morning so Ariela could make it to work on Saturday, so a round or two of Nerd Magic The Gathering will have to wait until next time. (Ariela was pleased.)

It actually looks like we got sleep!

Funny thing how being 4.5 hours apart, 2,000 miles away from everything you ever knew, makes you want to hang out all the much more than when it was just across town in a place of familiarity. I’m also starting to like the idea of knowing people around the country (the world?) who I can visit in my travels. Be seeing you!

Published by

Karl Haro von Mogel

Karl Haro von Mogel serves as BFI’s Director of Science and Media and as Co-Executive Editor of the Biofortified Blog. He has a PhD in Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics from UW-Madison with a minor in Life Sciences Communication. He is currently a Postdoctoral Scholar researching citrus genetics at UC Riverside.