Angry Reader of the Week: Der Vang

"I love what I do. Like seriously love it. My students will tell you that. I love them too."

Hello, good people of the internet! It is time again to meet the Angry Reader of the Week, spotlighting you, the very special readers of this website. Over the years, I've been able to connect with a lot of cool folks, and this is a way of showing some appreciation and attention to the people who help make this blog what it is. This week's Angry Reader is Der Vang.

Who are you?

Nyob zoo! Hello! I'm Der Vang

What are you?

I am a Hmong-American woman, daughter of refugees, extrovert who loves introverted things (like how small talk is irrelevant and too much effort). By trade and education, I am a student affairs professional with a Masters of Education in Student Affairs. I'm a social justice educator, lover of all things "higher education," and unapologetic advocate for students of color.

Where are you?

Quietly sipping on coffee at 2 p.m. in my office, on a university campus that will soon reawaken with students returning from summer break.

Where are you from?

Forever displaced, with too many homes in too many chapters of my life to count. Born in California, with childhood memories in Wisconsin, and young adulthood adventures in North Carolina. Currently calling Des Moines, Iowa home.

What do you do?

Currently, I work at Iowa State University, which is a large, public land-grant institution that serves over 36,000 students. My role is to support the success of undergraduate students of color majoring in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. On any given day, I meet 1:1 with students to talk about how classes are going, which leadership roles to take on, financial aid questions, and personal life updates.

Also, I created and direct an academic success learning community for first-year students of color, which also incorporates peer mentors and student leaders. The highlight of my job: building strong relationships with students. I love what I do. Like seriously love it. My students will tell you that. I love them too.

What are you all about?

I am all about "reclaiming my time" and labor (thank you, Maxine Waters, 2017). My knowledge, skills, insight, and time to teach you about all the "–isms" that you're perpetuating isn't free. I'm also about MAKING time for personal passion projects. Projects like photography and editing brings joy to my creative soul. There's also something enriching about planting a seed into the earth, nurturing its growth, and harvesting it weeks later -- totally loving this farm-to-table lifestyle. At the moment, I'm all about excellent TV like This Is Us, Insecure, Game of Thrones, and Stranger Things.

What makes you angry?

Mediocre folks with a multitude of privileged identities speaking as the experts on the experiences of marginalized communities... for the work that marginalized communities have always, and continue, to do. Also known as (insert privileged identity group)-'splainers.

I'm also angered by TV shows that kill off its only complex, multidimensional, and loved Asian American/Pacific Islander character... Ahem, I'm looking at you, The Walking Dead.

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