A Single Bicultural Identity

Posted in Uncategorized on May 14th, 2019 by Cherrita Thao


This story is relative to anyone who struggles with self-identity due to being bicultural. Much like Laddy’s story, I grew up the same way. The majority of my classmates were Caucasian. I’m Hmong. At first I didn’t notice a difference back in my elementary school years, since no one really cared what skin color you had. The only things that mattered were how fast you could run, how well you could dodge a ball, how quick you could read, and how good you were at catching a football. It felt good to feel like you were not socially different than the next person just because of physical features. We were family. However, as life went on, things became different. The concept of family became an illusion. People began branching off to their little clicks, so exclusion was becoming more apparent. It was in Middle School that I started experiencing bullies, racism and discrimination. It never occurred to me until then how much Hmong people were being put down, not because of their skin, but also because of their culture. People would snicker at us for speaking our native language, make fun of the foods we brought to lunch, and assume we were all lower class citizens with no brains. This lead me to stray away from my ethnic culture and adapted to the dominating one. Still, I was never able to truly connect with my Caucasian friends, as the experiences they had outside of school grounds was never the same as mine. Life at home was drastically different.Shouamee Yang, a Hmong student who works closely with International studies in UW-Whitewater, knows the past Laddy and I have been through. Although not personally experienced herself, she shares her observations she’s made with her peers growing up.

Being bicultural leads you four ways through life: assimilation, separation, integration or marginalization. Assimilation is what I first went through growing up. It’s an individual who does not want to maintain his/her ethnic culture and identity, but seeks to completely adapt with the dominating culture. Separation is rejecting the dominating culture and only sticking to his/her ethic culture and identity. Integration is where I’m at now, where you’re maintaining your ethic culture while interacting with the dominant culture. A balance of two, so to speak. Finally, marginalizing is rejecting both cultures. In the case for many, a lot reject their cultural roots, in order to assimilate with the dominating one. It seems to be the most common path to take while growing up in an area where you’re a minority.

Being bicultural has their own struggles, but what if you’re a mixture of just everything? Multiculturalism can be different when it comes to finding who you truly are. It may lead to not really going with any culture, but just basing yourself solely on the land in which you were born in and accepting that as who you are, despite your multiculturalism. Sometimes it becomes a little different finding the root of who you are. In this case, Mary Htoo, a girl who considers herself multicultural because her family has lived in many different countries, shares her story of how she came to find her identity.

Brandon Bliesner, half-Filipino and part Italian, had his own struggles growing up. His mother is a full-blooded Filipino and his father, an Italian with other unknown European mixtures. In the past, he was more inclined to say that he was half-Italian first before then commenting that he’s also half-Filipino, because he used to be almost ashamed of his Filipino heritage. Now, he fully embraces who he is and is proud to have finally found that integration of his two sides. He shares why identity is important to begin with.
Like Brandon expresses, figuring out who we are is extremely important, because it’s the foundation in which we build ourselves on. Our morals, values and character makes us who we are, and cultures usually have different ethical teachings. If the two cultures have clashing viewpoints on a topic, it becomes difficult to choose which side to take. This leads to the individual alternating behaviors based on their environment, which leads to confusion and consistency in their character. Not a healthy lifestyle to live by. Edgar Lozano, a Mexican-American, shares his pride with us as he’s found his identity. He’s truly proud of who he is and I think one day we’ll all achieve that same level. In Edgar’s case, he’s found the perfect balance, thus fully integrated both his Mexican culture with the dominating American culture.


Down below are pictures that display cultural students living in America. These students are all apart of UW-Whitewater Everyone fights their own struggles, but in the end, we all help one another to finding and appreciating who we really are. Marginalization is probably not the best choice, as it’s only denying yourself where your roots were from. People that have experienced integration or even accepted that they’re generally just multicultural or anything else for that matter, show to be the happiest and hold family or self pride. That confidence makes life a lot more happier, and lived with more purpose.

Meme Presentation

Posted in Uncategorized on May 15th, 2018 by Cherrita Thao

In class we had to do meme presentations, where we look up the meaning of them and how they have affected social media. Though almost all of them are full of humor (dark or light), there’s always some truth to them that makes them stand out from the rest of the jokes. It’s usually something short, sweet and to the point with memes, which make them easy to make and easy to spread around the internet. People can interchange them into their own meaning or own version of the original creation, which allows them the power to spread their side of the story or share their humor with others.

Memes have been used for political purposes too, again with the humor and truth combination that is able to spread fast and get their message out there to the common person. Memes are usually easily appreciated or understood by younger millennial, which are the ones who are easily influenced and moved. So, many are targeted towards this kind of generation or age group. People really like to laugh, so it’s not that hard to get your point across through laughter.

Feature Story – Finished Product

Posted in Uncategorized on May 15th, 2018 by Cherrita Thao


Feature Story – Audio Blog

Posted in Uncategorized on May 15th, 2018 by Cherrita Thao

This was interesting because I was in a gaming class in which was all about working together to further develop a website either by adding content, organizing, managing, writing and/or drawing. Having that said, I had a lot of cool friends with me who I felt comfortable asking to audio record an interview. The goal of this interview was to see whether or not Twitch.TV was a website that regular everyday people watch during their free time. I learned that no matter where I was, I needed to pay attention to the environment around me, because the audio recorder will pick up all of the noise. Luckily for me I didn’t have to use any sort of wind protector for my audio recorder since I was indoors, but I made sure to point the mic directly at my interviewee to catch their voice directly and have some of the natural ambience in the background caught as well.

Feature Story – Video Blog

Posted in Uncategorized on May 15th, 2018 by Cherrita Thao

As I have mentioned before in my feature story overall summary in my earlier blogs, I was not good at reaching out to people. Had really bad anxiety and I’m super shy. However, I had good friends who helped me on my project (but they were all online!). I didn’t get the chance to use a traditional recording camera, so instead what I had used was a desktop recorder. I figured this was okay since, in a class talking about New Communication Technologies and the embracing/impact of them, it only makes sense that this was acceptable since online friends and people are a thing now-a-days. So, I asked and we found time to get online to video chat. It was nice to hear their responses, and though the quality wasn’t Grade-A, I felt like I handled the interview professionally and satisfactory.

After the interviews online, I quickly pulled things apart or put them together just so there’s not a lot of unnecessary pauses in between.

Feature Story – Photography

Posted in Uncategorized on May 15th, 2018 by Cherrita Thao

Photography work was very interesting for my Feature Story, because Twitch.TV is an online live-streaming website for people who want to look at others live-stream their gameplays essentially.  There really wasn’t a way for me to go out there a photograph Twitch.TV, besides knowing someone who streams their gameplays (streamers). But I had no connections with someone that I knew in real life who was a streamer (would have been cool though right?). Nor did taking pictures of people watching Twitch.TV sound like a good idea either due to reaching redundant content quick. So, my next best bet was to just take screenshots or snippets of specific things I wanted to showcase from the website itself from streamers to viewers chatting to how streamers layout their personal profile in trying to catch the eyes of the viewers for the sake of new subscribers/supporters. So this was all that I did for photographing my feature story on Twitch.TV.

Field Work Experience

Posted in Uncategorized on May 15th, 2018 by Cherrita Thao

I had a lot of fun going out working on my feature story about Twitch.TV. Video and audio recording was very educational as I had gotten to use different types of equipment and learned, not only how to use it, but how to import them into my computer for post editing.

I’m a very shy girl so going out to work with people and asking people to do my interviews was kind of a struggle. Thankfully I’m a gamer myself, so I had a lot of connections. It was just the reaching out part that took me a while (and trying to juggle a time that works for both parties). Despite all of that though, it was really nice to have the opportunity to learn from my fellow comrades and to edit these videos and audios and putting everything together to showcase the work. Learned a lot from how to adjust levels, finding the perfect environment, color/lighting correction and importing/exporting content.

Reflexive Essay – Sing!

Posted in Uncategorized on May 15th, 2018 by Cherrita Thao

Growing up, I’ve always been the type of person to love singing. I was in choir all throughout middle school and high school, causing me to develop my skills. When I was using the internet, I came across this karaoke app called Sing! produced by a company named Smule. It was there that I became addicted. I could sing and record my vocals to complete a cover with another random person, and then go back and listen to how I did afterwards. It was so amazing to me that I could sing with all kinds of talented people from all over the world ranging from my next door neighbor to people from China, India, Vietnam, and all the other countries in the world! I thought to myself, that I would pay money to Smule to obtain VIP status so that instead of only being able to join others in their pre-recorded cover, people could join me in my pre-recorded covers of songs that I wanted to sing. Doing this everyday, the money was well spent as it was a weekly subscription. After reaching one thousand followers, I left the community due to being bored of singing the same songs over and over again because of the limited songs the app provided at the time.

One day, the app was introduced to me again when I was surfing through Facebook four years later. A friend of my was using the app AND showcasing their face at the same time! It was mind-blowing. I re-downloaded the app, and still today, have it with me. Not only do they now have video features, they so provided users the ability to input their own instrumentals, add lyrics, and manipulate part 1 and part 2 for what lines people would be instructed to sing.  This meant that the song choices grew to whatever it was you wanted to it to have! I sang songs from Japanese cartoons all the way to old classics, disney music, and songs from video games. If a song wasn’t created and added onto Smule yet, I would do so myself. It was here that I found people were making Voice Acting scripts! My love for voice acting has bloomed ever since. Now I have a Voice Acting group that I am a leader to, with personally over two thousand and eight hundred followers.

This app has grown very, very important to me. It definitely won’t have any meaning or interest to those who do not like to sing, to voice act, or to create and write stories for others to perform. If you had no desire for any of those, you would definitely find that I’m, as well as many others, am way too overly obsessed. But I would disagree with those that think so, because this app is simply an app that allows me to do what it is that I love to do, which is singing and voice acting, and having the ability to share my work with others.

Due to having so much passion and love for a single app that I use daily, I definitely am a firm believer that there’s something out there that will interest you, and will allow you to connect to others who also have the same interests. I have made some amazing friends online through this app that I would have never met had I not re-download Sing!. It’s been life-changing. People have inspired me to improve myself and I have a ton of connections with people who are either in the actual profession or just simply do these things of things for fun like myself. I get critiques about my performance everyday, as well as encouragement and plenty of love. I can honestly say re-downloaded Sing! has been one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life because it’s impacted who I am and who I wish to be in the future. Being a leader of a Voice Acting group on this app has taught me management skills, social skills on how to handle tough situations, organizational skills, and just overall being someone that many others look up to and have respect for. It’s just overall impacted my life in such a positive way, I cannot but help to love this app and see myself using it for a long, long time.

Not only do I use Sing! to stay in touch with my friends that I’ve made through there, but the lack of chat boxes and messages on the app has caused many of the users to move to a third-party chatting app called Line, where it’s a lot like Facebook where you have walls, status, and chats you can have either individually or in a group. My group and I, as well as a lot of other friends, use this app as our primary way to communicate together. We get together and have meetings about what to do for our next group projects, and put together ideas and scripts as well as finished products to add onto Sing!’s songs list or voice acting list for the rest of the community to listen to and use for their own pleasure. This is the sole purpose of having a group in the first place for me: to have a group of friends who will voice act together and put things together to give back to the community. It’s really cool because this Line app allows us to make organizational notes and we can have group calls too so it benefits us and makes it easier for us to stay connected and up to date on what’s going on.

We’ve been friends for almost a year now (it’ll be a one-year anniversary in May), and we plan to all visit each other in a week-long summer retreat type thing in August this summer. I’m super excited. For me, these people have my utmost respect. They are like celebrities to me! We’re like a huge family, and it’s just so cool to have become this close to people I’ve never even met before in real-life. Being together with them for this long, I fully trust them and their intentions, and feel safe enough to visit them. Heck, I’ve felt that way for the past seven months now. They’re just amazing, talented people and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Feature Story – Twitch.TV

Posted in Uncategorized on May 15th, 2018 by Cherrita Thao

If you’re looking for a place to, not only watch people play games, but to actively be involved in their show and have a chance to talk to them right there and then, then Twitch.TV is the number one live-streaming site for gamers often called the ESPN of online gaming. It’s the place for anyone to live-stream their content whenever they wish to from playing games to drawing, to having news shows and discussions, or to be apart of an active, contributing audience. With over 15 million daily active users,  2.2 million monthly broadcasters and over 241 billion minutes of gaming content that has been live-streamed on Twitch.TV, one would ask how live-streaming has turned Justin Kan’s, co-founder, “terrible idea” into a billion-dollar company and how this gained the attention of millions of people.

Justin Kan is an American Internet entrepreneur, investor and Yale graduate. When Kan came out with Justin.TV back in 2007, the idea was for it to be a place where people stream live-vlog videos. However, the attraction it had was half and half. People hated the reality show concept, but they were interested in creating their own online video streams. So, Justin.TV decided to give people the ability to live-stream their own stuff for others to watch. Gaming was one of the many ideas that people wanted to do on Justin.TV and it started off as a small community. Justin.TV though wasn’t getting any bigger over the next few years, so Kan and his partner asked each other if they had to focus on one category that a lot of people like to watch on Justin.TV, and if they could invest in that, which category would it be? Turns out gaming was the biggest category and so Kan and his partner started asking the people who live stream their gaming content ways the both of them can help them improve their content and streaming videos. People wanted to make money for it, have better resolution for video and to be able to do it full-time. So, this was how Kan and his partner created Twitch.TV in order to specialize in video game live streams.

Once Twitch.TV launched in 2011, it’s grown immensely. Because of Twitch.TV, it’s as if gaming can now be considered a “sport” as people are granted the access to watch tournaments live-streamed and have specific schedules, depending on the live-streamer themselves, to go online just watch their favorite streamers. Nearly half of the Twitch users spend more than 20 hours a week watching live-streamers. In 2014, of all the share of live-streaming traffic, Twitch.TV took up 43%, showing that Twitch.TV dominated the video streaming space online according to a Business Insider report. People are making a living off of just streaming their gameplay on Twitch.TV through subscriptions, ads, and donations. Some of the celebrities, whom have thousands of followers, earn up to $100,000 annually from their streams. In the end, the company shut down Justin.TV in order to put their focus into Twitch. Who would have thought that watching other people playing games would be the highest amount of internet traffic today.


Class Summary

Posted in Uncategorized on May 1st, 2018 by Cherrita Thao

Before coming into this class, I had no idea what it was to expect or what it was that I was going to be learning about. It was actually really interesting to see how the class was led and where it went. Starting off with understanding what communication technology was and how that impacted society helped set a strong base for the rest of the semester. It was cool to learn how new communication technologies have impacted our lives by the changes in the society norms and how we communicate to everyone all over the world. The idea that people could instantly message anyone from anywhere with connection was something that blew people away. This created endless opportunities from being able to express oneself to the world, online relationships, the spreading of ideas and many more. Rather than looking at new communication technologies as a way of changing people’s behavior, it more or less emphasised human connection and communication. With the ability to spread news and information around like wildfire and doing so anonymously, people weren’t afraid to show who they really are online and how they really felt about topics or situations. However, because of these new communication technologies, it was debated on whether or not people are becoming more lonelier as they spend more and more of their time online rather than interacting face to face. It also was interesting to learn how new communication technologies are integrated into society and how it becomes the norm, much like iphones and phone apps. The internet and the technologies that have come along with it have proved to physically connect everyone together, but emotionally is still questionable.