The Sympathizer

Themes and thoughts

  • What kind of communist are you?
  • Immigrant success story? Is it success if you’re unhappy? Immigrants vs refugees
  • “What is better than independence and freedom? Nothing.” Double entendre. No thing or nothingness
  • Secret ingredient in Kung Fu Panda’s noodles? Nothing.
  • Racism embedded in American culture, yet it’s also a land of opportunity
  • Love hate connection to America. The land of immigrants, yet no acknowledgement of America’s role in displacing Vietnamese
  • Origin of stereotypes: to have power over others

Synopsis

The narrative is a North Vietnamese spy embedded in the south’s military working for a general in the secret police.

Half French – father was a French priest. He’s a bastard. He spent time in LA, earned his degree in the U.S.

He communicates to an “aunt” in Paris and transmits information.

Saigon falls, he, his friends, and the general are relocated to LA. Takes a job as a cultural consultant to an “Apocolypse Now” movie – there’s a realization of how America and Hollywood is portraying the war. Hollywood plays a role in preparing Americans to … the tradgey only happens to Americans, not the Vietnamese. The Vietnamese were just props to enable the director’s vision.

He kills a member of his military group who is suspected of being a mole, and the major’s ghost comes back to haunt him.

For a mole working for the communists, he seems ambivalent about communism. 

The book is written from the point of the Sympathizer conveying his confession. There’s no aspect where the narrator is conveying his story to America.

Reconstruction the south’s army via Thailand. While in LA, they’re sending money to politicians and military troops in Thailand. Narrator’s friend, Bon, leaves for Thailand to fight, and the narrator follows to protect him. Bon and the narrator survive and attack. Narrator is captured by the ruling Vietnamese (communists) and is sent to a re-education camp. Because he’s spent so much time in the U.S., they suspect he enjoys capitalism and isn’t 100 percent into communism.

Narrator is tortured in the camp, the torture is his blood brother, Man. Man has been disillusioned with communism. Ho Chi Min-ism: “Nothing is higher than the common good.” What is better than independence and freedom? Nothing. Double entendre. He breaks. He’s sent off on a refugee program, and becomes a boat person.

Connection to Cascadia

This one was a bit of a stretch to connect to our Cascadia theme.

  • Seattle and Portland have large Vietnamese communities
  • Gov. Dan Evans was the first governor in the U.S. to open the doors to Vietnamese resettlement, Seattle’s population was dwindling
  • What’s the Pho per capita in Seattle? High. There is a Little Saigon in Seattle
  • Sarah and John are going to Vietnam next month
  • Connected to Night Dogs, which was about an American Vietnam vet who becomes a cop in Portland, OR

Community Attributes Inc. President & CEO Named King County’s Interim Economic Development Advisor

SEATTLE, WA - King County has retained the services of Community Attributes Inc. (CAI) and its president and CEO Chris Mefford to provide economic development advisory services as the county conducts a national search for a full-time Economic Development Policy Advisor for the King County Executive’s Office. Since June 2015, Mefford has served as a CEO on loan, on an on-call basis, to support the county’s economic development efforts through a contract with CAI.

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Community Attributes Inc. Celebrates its 10th Anniversary

We tell data-rich stories about communities that are important to decision-makers… since 2005

SEATTLE, WA — Community Attributes Inc. (CAI), a regional leader in data analytics and economic strategy, is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. Since 2005, CAI has promoted sound community growth and business strategies by informing decision makers with data-driven economic analyses that demonstrate impact.

President and CEO Chris Mefford started the company in July 2005, and has grown CAI to the 25-person firm it is today. Throughout the years he and his team of experts have developed a prolific network of clients, friends and partners that most recently includes the Washington State Department of Commerce; Puget Sound Regional Council; King County; City of Seattle; Washington State University; Swedish Medical Group and Providence Medical Centers; the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and numerous municipalities, businesses and statewide industry associations. With firm roots in the Puget Sound area, CAI has positioned itself as an on-the-ground partner in regional economic development.

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CityU Newsletter May 2015

40th Commencement Ceremony

imageCityU will hold its 40th Commencement Ceremony Saturday, June 20 at 1PM at the Key Arena. Join us to congratulate the Class of 2015 on all their hard work! This year’s graduation speaker will be Washington’s 15th Secretary of State, Kim Wyman, who is currently serving her first term. Elected in 2012, she is the second female Secretary of State in Washington history and the only woman currently holding statewide executive office. Following the ceremony, please also join us at the President’s Reception in the Seattle Center. Tickets or invitations are not needed for students’ guests. To find out more about Commencement, visit CityU’s Commencement page. Read more…

Residence Hall now Accepting Applications

imageLive and learn in Seattle! Join CityU at the Cornish Commons, a state-of-the-art, 20-story residence hall located in the vibrant South Lake Union neighborhood in downtown Seattle — just steps away from your classes at CityU, theaters, parks, restaurants shopping and much more! Construction of the Cornish Commons will be completed in August and ready for students this fall. Designed for you, the Commons offers single units, doubles, doubles with kitchens and triples, all fully furnished. Submit an application today! Read more…

Student Profile: Emily Dean, Bachelor of Science in Project Management

imageAlready working in project management and eager to grow her career, Emily Dean was excited to enroll at CityU to further her knowledge and get her degree. CityU’s flexibility made it all possible. With graduation right around the corner, Emily is happy to say she juggled the demands of her full-time job, the rigorous curriculum of CityU’s Bachelor of Science in Project Management and plans for her upcoming wedding. Congrats to Emily and the Class of 2015! Read more…

CityU Ranked by U.S. News & World Report for Having Best Online Programs for Veterans

imageCityU was again ranked among the top online education providers for veterans by U.S. News & World Report. This year CityU was highly ranked in four categories:

  • Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans -Ranked 23rd
  • Best Online Graduate Business Programs for Veterans (Excluding MBA) -Ranked 57th
  • Best Online MBA Programs for Veterans -Ranked 100th
  • Best Online Graduate Education Programs for Veterans -Ranked 137th

CityU is proud of its 40-year commitment to serving military personnel, and is honored to be recognized through these rankings. Read more…

Second Graduate from Doctoral Program

imageThe School of Applied Leadership is celebrating the second student to graduate from the newly-created Doctor of Education in Leadership program. Congratulations to Dr. David Khatib who successfully defended his dissertation on Friday, May 15. “My experience with the EdD program was very good,” Dr. Khatib said. “As it should be, this was the most challenging academic endeavor I have ever entered into.” Read more…
This monthly newsletter is for CityU’s alumni, students, and community. To find out more about what’s happening at CityU, join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ or visit our website at www.cityu.edu. If you have questions please email us at info@cityu.edu.
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CityU Ranks in 4 Categories for Best Online Programs for Veterans

City University of Seattle was again ranked among the top online education providers for veterans by U.S. News & World Report. In 2014, CityU was highly ranked for its online bachelor’s programs for veterans, and this year three additional rankings were achieved.

In all four categories, CityU was the highest ranked education provider based in Washington State.

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Residence Hall now Accepting Applications

Live and Learn in Seattle

Join CityU at the Cornish Commons, a state-of-the-art, 20-story residence hall located in the vibrant South Lake Union neighborhood in downtown Seattle – just steps away from your classes at CityU, theaters, parks, restaurants shopping and much more!

Construction of the Cornish Commons will be completed in August and ready for students this fall. Designed for you, the Commons offers single units, doubles, doubles with kitchens and triples, all fully furnished.

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CityU Newsletter April 2015

CityU Enactus Places Third in Quarterfinals at National Competition

imageCityU Enactus brought home two trophies this year, after placing third in the Quarterfinals at the Enactus National Exposition in St. Louis, Missouri. With 35 team members from 19 different countries, 11 members of CityU Enactus team participated in this year’s competition and was one of 183 teams from throughout the U.S. Each year, CityU Enactus students empower local communities and improve livelihoods through entrepreneurial projects. Together they work on sustainable projects and establishing partnerships with various nonprofit organizations in Washington State. more

Student Profile: Hichem Ben Ali, Master of Business Administration

imageHichem Ben Ali’s Master of Business Administration from CityU helped him land a job at IBM and he began working at the company shortly after graduating in 2010. Originally from Tunisia, Hichem appreciated Seattle’s diversity and the opportunity to participate in entrepreneurial projects through the student organization SIFE (now known as Enactus). As a CityU alumnus he wanted to share his experience with current MBA students or those considering the program. more

New Education Partner in China: Renai College

imageCityU is pleased to announce its new educational partner in Tianjin, China: Renai College of Tianjin University. CityU and Renai College signed an agreement that allows students from Renai College to transfer to CityU to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, a Bachelor of Science in General Studies or a Bachelor of Arts in Management. The Renai delegation met with CityU President Richard Carter this month in Seattle. more

Workshop: Working with Trauma Survivors – May 8

imageLearn the core components of trauma-informed care and how practitioners can address trauma and violence history in clients at City University of Seattle’s workshop on May 8 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at CityU’s Seattle Campus. This workshop is applicable to work in counseling, human services and healthcare, and will cover the primary components of trauma-informed care. For providers, having solid guiding principles and tools to assess, address and apply trauma-informed care is essential in creating systems-wide services that identify and meet clients’ needs at various levels of severity and readiness. more

Leadership Breakfast: High Performance Teams

imageEffective teamwork is critical to the success of any organization, and fostering an environment of collaboration and communication can be complex. To examine these topics, CityU’s School of Applied Leadership will host a Leadership Breakfast, High-performance Teams: Building cohesion. Empowering innovation. Driving results. Through debate and deep exploration, eight dynamic speakers from diverse industries will share specific ways to build cohesion, empower innovation and drive results. more
This monthly newsletter is for CityU’s alumni, students, and community. To find out more about what’s happening at CityU, join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ or visit our website at www.cityu.edu. If you have questions please email us at info@cityu.edu.
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From Afghanistan to Amazon

C2C_Richard-Carter_March-2015_2This month, Army Staff Sergeant Kurt Erickson will begin leading a new team – one outside the military – at his new job at Amazon. Erickson found his position through a program run by Camo2Commerce that provides service members business training and internships at area companies.

As the education partner for Camo2Commerce’s Heroes Corporate Fellowship Academy, City University of Seattle taught business fundamentals like leadership skills and project management to service men and women transitioning from Joint Base Lewis McChord.

In the military, Erickson gained plenty of experience leading a team, but what he learned through CityU was how to empower the individuals he works with.

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Student Profile: Swati Swaminathan, Project Management Graduate Certificate

Swati-Swaminathan_2015Seattle, known for its tech-obsessed, coffee-drinking, rain-tolerant residents, is a prime destination for international students who want to immerse themselves in a culture of innovation that gave way to companies like Microsoft, Amazon, Starbucks and Boeing.

City University of Seattle makes that experience possible for many students from all over the world. CityU’s International Student Office has decades of experience in helping with unique admissions requirements of international students who want to study in the U.S.

“I would definitely recommend City University to everybody because it’s very versatile, the degree programs are great and the faculty is very understanding,” said Swati Swaminathan, a student from India who came to study the U.S. “And I would especially recommend CityU to international students. If you are an international student, you’ll understand how CityU makes life so much easier while getting a degree in the United States.”

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CityU Newsletter March 2015

CityU’s Online Master’s in Information & Technology Management Rank in Top 50

imageWith a nationally-recognized Technology Institute that offers cutting edge degree programs like the Master of Science in Information Security, City University of Seattle is excited to serve professionals who contribute to the growing field of technology. In recognition of CityU’s technology programs, Top Management Degrees recently ranked CityU in its list of the top 50 online master’s degrees in information and technology management. more

Sean Barnhill, Bachelor of Science in General Studies

imageSean Barnhill, a military officer and father of twin boys, knew online courses would give him the flexibility he needed to complete his bachelor’s degree. As an Officer in the U.S. Coast Guard, Sean heard about CityU at a college fair and decided to pursue a Bachelor of Science in General Studies. In this Q&A he talks about how the versatile degree program taught him a range of skills, from leadership, to marketing, and even a little astronomy. more

Former CityU Professor Honored by Tacoma School District

imageFor more than 30 years, Willie Stewart dedicated himself to the Tacoma school system, and continued to help educators in the area as a field supervisor for CityU. Recognizing his lifetime of commitment and service to Tacoma, the school district recently honored Mr. Stewart by naming the re-engagement center after him. During his tenure as principal of Lincoln High School, Mr. Stewart devoted himself to helping students graduate and realize their full potential – a legacy the Willie Stewart Academy will continue. more

Learning Russian, Italian and Arabic through CityU’s Washington Academy of Languages

imageLearning to speak another language is a challenge. What about learning five languages? Dr. Gloster speaks French, German, Russian, Italian, and Arabic and spent many years studying these languages, most of them through the Washington Academy of Languages. Beginning with French in grammar school, he later learned Russian, Italian and Arabic after he retired from his position as an emergency physician. more

Project Management Networking Mixers – April 1 & 22

imageWhether you’re a project, program or product manager — or want to move into these professions — you’re invited to two networking career mixers happening at CityU. The Puget Sound chapter of the Project Management Institute will host its signature networking event on April 1, and ProLango will hold a Project Management Career Mixer on April 22. Those in the project management community are invited to share best practices, network with hiring companies and form lasting relationships! more
This CityU newsletter is for our alumni, students, and community. To find out more about what’s happening at CityU, join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ or visit our website at www.cityu.edu. If you have questions please email us at info@cityu.edu.
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