I’ll be hosting The Graduate Roundtable at the FIGT Research Network this month. It’s the inaugural session. For more info click here.
I’m thrilled because Richard Pearce, PhD, who has supported my work for many years without having even met me, has agreed to act as a Guest Advisor. We’ll also be joined by Mari Korpela who was doing her postdoctoral work back when I was doing my PhD and Heather Meyer who was doing a PhD as the same time as me. Mari, Heather and I, along with my examiner Anne-Meike Fechter, met at the EASA conference back in 2014 in Estonia (folks, did you know that that’s where Skype was invented). The Graduate Roundtable will be like a mini, semi-reunion.
Of course, the main course will be served by the graduate students who will be sharing about their current research. One of whom is Preeti Samuel Rajendran, a fellow TCK who not long ago reached out to me about her research because she had read my book and liked it. She has such a fascinating upbringing and I find her research topic fascinating. It’s so different from what I’m used to hearing.
News & Stuff is where I will be posting about various events that I am organizing or any news, info or events that I find interesting or just random musings and thoughts and commentaries.
Honestly, I don’t have a clear plan for this section, so join me for the ride and let’s see how it goes!
But whatever it is, I’ll need coffee to do it—that’s for sure!
(And yes, I do like The Sound of Music. Who doesn’t? … Well, okay, we tried making my dad watch it but he fell asleep within the first 15 minutes all three times that we tried. Ha. As for those who missed the reference, the title of this post is taken from the scene where Julie Andrews gets the kids to sing the Do Re Mi song up on a hill.)
Have you ever felt uncomfortable that people around you perceived you as superior for speaking a certain language or inferior for speaking it with the ‘wrong’ accent? Have you ever heard someone at school accusingly ask, ‘Why are all the Korean kids sitting together in the cafeteria?’ Or have you ever wondered why your mom didn’t know how to make brownies when everyone else’s did? And why all the characters in the novels your English teachers made you read had blond, brown or red hair but not black? Or perhaps you changed your name to, say, ‘Jay’ or ‘Erika’ to make it easier for your teachers and classmates to remember?
As children, we start life without any understanding of why things are the way they are or why things like language, culture and race matter. But it doesn’t take long before we begin to internalize the messages we receive from the cultural hierarchies we see around us, which can have a lasting impact and take a long time to unlearn. Even those with an international upbringing are not immune to it.
In this forum, we will and talk about the experiences of Third Culture Kids who went to schools where the dominant language and culture were different from home and how it affected them.
Danau Tanu will be interviewing Isabelle Min, a coach and former radio host and television broadcaster for KBS who speaks five languages and grew up as a diplomat kid.