Yeah..that’s me on the left having my “Elle Woods” Harvard Law School moment (“Legally Blonde” reference)! This weekend…the Asian Pacific American Law Student Association (APALSA)–Harvard Chapter graciously invited me to speak on a panel regarding Asians in Media, Entertainment, and Journalism. I could almost feel my dad smiling at me from above:) I never applied to Harvard. I was a good student…but my grades and test scores were not Ivy League caliber. My parents moved back to Korea when I was 15…so for me…high school wasn’t about getting into the top school. It was about surviving. In hindsight…I’m somewhat thankful for my none “Tiger parent” upbringing…because it forced me to sharpen my EQ…versus the overemphasized IQ. It’s my emotional and social intelligence that got me to the #1 television market (New York) …which then in turn is how a fine institution like Harvard even noticed me….a state schooled girl…to then speak to their elite law students. Cool beans. I’ve been a Feature/Entertainment reporter for almost 8 years in New York City so I guess I forget what I do and who I am is anything but…just what I do and who I am. But…the panel brought to light that I’m practically the only Asian reporter in the country who’s niche is entertainment. And because of my rare scenario…the students wanted to know just how I was able to break the barriers. The simple answer is the aforementioned honey badger-esque EQ. One definition of EQ is this: the ability to identify, assess, and control the emotions of oneself, of others, and of groups. If that’s the case…then it makes sense why My sister Grace says to me all the time…”only you can make Tom Cruise hip hop dance with you…only you can serenade Beyonce on the red carpet and not get kicked off..”, etc. I think this panel couldn’t have happened at a more fitting time. With the rise of Linsanity…where the Knicks’ Jeremy Lin is transcending the game of basketball…and redefining how our culture views Asian Americans…I feel a current in the air…where we can zap the past stereotypes and bask in the spotlight.
Truly Julie in front of Harvard Lampoon’s colorful door. The Lampoon is the undergraduate satire publication…Conan O’Brien was a writer here!