Dear Alumni, Whom I Love:

‘Thank you so much for your support’ — which has, today, granted me a polite one or overstepping two cider donuts. These donuts are essential. When I bite into one and get lost in its somehow both fluffy and dense center, I forget for an instant that I am placing myself as indebted to you in order to obtain a plain gray tank top.

I read no literature by a white male author for one year, and it was beautiful. It was relatively easy to do, given that the English courses I enrolled in were Global Women’s Literature, Postcolonial Archipelagos and Transnational Literatures of the Chinese Diaspora. Through these classes, I learned the role of imperialist histories in personal and collective identity (re)formation. I learned how literary forms could both give voice to the subaltern and also contribute to its silencing.

When I left Bryce Monroe’s production “The Lower Frequencies,” I was angry. I felt attacked, marginalized and stereotyped. I somehow felt simultaneously invisible and horribly, garishly visible. I felt muted by the inadequacy of language in speaking my reaction and trapped by the in trusion of others who did so for me. The irony of what I, a member of the “model minority,” felt does not escape me. It was not the play that made me react this way, but the question-and-answer session that followed.

A physicist and a writer walk into a bar. The writer sits and reads a flimsy paperback novel while the physicist pores over several large volumes of physics textbooks. The physics enthusiast then says to the novelist, “I knew a physicist who became a writer because of his lack of imagination.”