I think what really impacted me was Pa Houa and her language skills. As someone who is working on a foreign language, I think that it is EXTREMELY difficult to speak it, even if I can write it or read it well. Pa Houa said she has been in the US since she was in 7th grade, so she has been here a few years, but she clearly is not completely fluent in English yet. I thought it was incredibly courageous of her not only to speak the language when she needed to, but to get up in front of a class and pretty much make a speech. I am pretty sure I would never be that brave.
The other thing that really impacted me was something that Dr. Schuler commented on. The girls were the ones who were raised more strictly, given less freedom, etc., but in the end, they were the ones who want to raise their own children in this way. I think that says a lot about tradition--they are used to their situations, and so they want to keep their lives that way and promote their culture. It kind of makes me think about egocentrism, which is something we talk about a lot in sociology. Who are we to say that our culture is "normal?"
I really enjoyed Monday's discussion, because I feel that it was a lot more light-hearted than some that we have had. I felt that we kind of got to know each of the individuals, and they all seem like really neat people--Xang seems really funny, Xia seems like someone who is ready to change the world, and Pa Houa seems like one of the most determined people I have met. I think that's what a lot of people forget about in the immigration/refugee debate--the people themselves. The people are what really matter, not the economy, politics, etc. Maybe that's just my opinion though. And who says that my opinion is the correct one?