My continuing foray into the world of social media


     

UPDATE: PLEASE EXCUSE THE MANY INEXCUSABLE TYPOGRAPHICAL, GRAMMATICAL AND STYLISTIC ERRORS IN THE FIRST POST, PUBLISHED JUST AFTER I FINISHED COMPOSING IT, BLEARY EYED, AND FATIQUED AFTER 2:00 AM.

This is a “quickie” post, one in which a better human would not have troubled himself, or even worse, I pity those unfortunate souls who may happen upon the post inadvertently. After building a fairly large Twitter following (at least by my standards, a bar set much lower than my teenage’s daughters). Next, I began this blog and though I wish my health would cooperate a bit more, I find writing on any subject that I find new or refreshing to be quite good for my soul . . . and I especially enjoy discussing the concepts discussed in my posts with people who may have had a very different take on a subject than me OR even downright dispised the sight of my name for coming to a particular opinion in a post.

 
     The point of this brief (and shamefully self-serving post) is to boast that I bought a new camera and a suite of video-editing software and posted (though I couldn’t for the life of me remember how I was able to do so) my first videos on YouTube. Of course, I had the perfect subject for creating a video– my daughter (the best one on the planet I regret to advise you readers and fellow-bloggers, who, yourself have daughters-no doubt fine, upstanding daughters, just not quite as good as mine, I’m sure you would agree). I apologize for your misfortune in raising a daughter not quite as perfect as mine, but I must have at least something in my life which brings me supreme joy and unconditional love. 
 
     In any event, my daughter fits the Asian American “model minority” stereotype in that she excels in academics, but veers far from it in a Linsanity kind of way when it comes to basketball. Though she is just 15, she has heard from or taken unofficial visits (for basketball recruiting purposes) to teams from the Big East, SEC, Pac 10, and as one of the very few Asian American post players we see while playing in tournaments throughout the Midwest and Southeast, she has also heard from several Ivy League women’s basketball programs (a perfect marriage of her athleticism and her model minority approach to academics). 
 
     Back to my original point: My successful creation and uploading of  rudimentary video clips on YouTube. Please check out the videos and let me know what you think, unless, of course, you are compelled in any way to critique my daughter. She is obviously easy to spot on the court for reasons that are self apparent. I am including a few pictures of her just above the YouTube links to my videos in which she was cast in the leading role. In order for you to get an idea of  just how tall she is (5′ 11″), I’ll include a picture of her posing with me (the ugly old guy, just shy of 6′ 2″).
 
     The links to my infamous uploaded videos on YouTube are as pasted below: http://youtu.be/_6jK2Tx0Nzo and http://youtu.be/7Kl6epY5s44 .
 
     Before closing, I must say as an Ethnic Kazakh growing up in rural Kentucky, my daughter is quite an anomaly, speaking three languages: English, Russian (her first language-a combination which profoundly confuses people in our area who can identify the Russian language but cannot reconcile hearing the Russian language coming from an Asian’s mouth) and her final language, “Appalachian Hillbilly,” which betrays her even more than her use of the Russian language.

The Post-Soviet Union Countries: An Update


 I have a very keen interest in the state of affairs of the post Soviet countries, as described below, but I recently came across a very good article in The Guardian that lists the current state of affairs of the 15 post-Soviet countries, and am providing the link below.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/09/-sp-profiles-post-soviet-states

Map showing the former countries of the Soviet Union

 

My daughter was adopted from Kazakhstan nearly 14 years ago–not that long after the Soviet Union collapsed, relatively speaking. Because I have tried very hard to keep my daughter connected to her motherland (with whom she holds a dual citizenship), I have befriended many hundreds of Kazakhs on Facebook, LinkedIn and through Skype and simply word of mouth. My daughter Milena (Tulegenova) Clarke is from the Middle Horde (Orta Zhuhz) and the Naiman  tribe (ru) and she and I have visited Kazakhs throughout the USA during my business trips over the years and spoken with many over Skype or Goggle’s Hangouts. Accordingly, I know much better how Kazakhstan has faired (extremely well, despite the crude, inaccurate portral in Boraдt) than the other former Soviet countries since the collapse of the USSR.

I am constantly amazed by the Kazakhs’ closeness to and concern for one another, even including their great concern for my daughter, who has not yet returned to her mother country (though I plan to take her “home” for an extended holiday for her 16th birthday next year). I continuously receive articles and music related to Kazakhstan to show Milena, though at her age, they oftentimes send information directly to her.  Milena continues to list Almaty, Kazakhstan as her hometown at every opportunity and tries diligently to celebrate her Kazakh culture as much as she does her American culture (whatever that is).

 

Milena maintains pride in the heritage of both countries in which she has dual citizenship.

 

When the national media reported on the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) filing of complaints with the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Education against Milena’s former school system for their deliberate indifference in allowing her to be harassed and the subject of discrimination (and accompanying retaliation) based on her ethnicity, national origin and race, well over a thousand Kazakhs came to her defense on Facebook, creating a page dedicated to Milena and offering her support in both English and Russian. Most of our Kazakh friends know that I have raised Milena to be bilingual (English, out of necessity, and Russian, her first language–though she is determined to learn Kazakh, which, though it currently uses the same Cyrillic alphabet as Russian, is a Turkic, not a Slavonic language).

 

The Kazakh Facebook community’s show of support for Milena

 I have had more contact with Central Asians because of the similarty of their cultures with Kazakhstan, maintaining friendships with people of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Also, because my daughter and I practice the Russian Orthodox faith, we have a greater understanding of the non-secular issues of Russia.

If anyone has any information they would like to share on any of the 15 post-Soviet states, please be sure to add your thoughts, ideas or information in the comments section.