I went to San Francisco for CAAMFest because I was chosen to represent a video project that other students and I made about Asian American stereotypes over the summer of 2013. AALEAD was part of a collaborative project called “Young Historians, Living Histories” between CAAM and the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center. I was very honored and glad to be able to travel from D.C. to somewhere that I had never been before.
The first day my chaperone, Francine, and I went and explored so many cool places. We checked into Hotel Tomo, which was beautiful, and didn’t waste any time. We went sight-seeing right away. We went to the Golden Gate Bridge and it was the most beautiful view I had ever seen! Then we went to eat Boudin’s at Fisherman’s Wharf and dessert at Ghirardelli Square. It was all so delicious and fun!
The next morning we had breakfast with Hardeep, Momo, other representatives from CAAM, and other students from all around the country. To prepare for our film screening, we went over practice questions and discussed our video projects with everyone. It was nice learning about other projects and meeting the other students.
Afterwards we changed and went to our film screening. It felt good to see that strangers not only cared to come, but bought tickets to see what we made. It was exciting to see our film on screen and that people enjoyed it so much. Later we were asked to go up and answer questions. I was a little nervous at first, but then felt very comfortable answering the questions. When they asked us to talk about our our film, I told the crowd that my group members and I wanted to focus on stereotypes because we felt like it was a main issue in the Asian community. We wanted a way to share how members in our community experienced stereotypes and how they dealt with it. It felt great to be able to answer questions and it made me a lot more confident!
After the event we explored San Francisco some more and rode on the trolley. That was one of the best ways to see the city and it was so much fun! After our fun ride, we went back to Fisherman’s Wharf to see the sea lions. They were very adorable! As the sun set, we said goodbye to the sea lions to catch the screening of Brahmin Bulls. That film was amazing and I felt like I could connect to it. The main actor was Sendhil Ramamurthy, and he’s one of my favorite actors! I was very excited to meet him and to take a picture with him. The trip was life-changing. I had a fun time going everywhere in San Francisco and participating in CAAMFest. I even learned a few geography lessons flying over different states. I really liked everything and am beginning to think I could get into film one day! Thank you to CAAM for welcoming us and to the Smithsonian for helping to coordinate this trip and to everyone else who made this possible for AALEAD and I!