New Year, New Changes and a Baby Picture of Me

The New Year brings with it new changes that I’m incredibly excited about.

The first is a new job.  Before I go into details, I’d like to share a little background information.  For 13 years, I worked as a television news producer.  Nine of those years at KARE 11, the NBC affiliate in the Twin Cities.  I left in August of 2016 when my contract ended to pursue new challenges.  I’ve had the opportunity to volunteer more, meet new people, and check some items off of my bucket list like working in a flower shop.  (In case you’re wondering, yes, Hollywood does glamorize the florist industry.  No, you are not prancing around in cute dresses and sky-high heels arranging flowers every day.  There are a lot of buckets, bleach and sweeping.  Rubber-soled shoes are a must unless the thought of slipping on wet floors and flower stems appeal to you.  That said, the flowers.  Oh the flowers.  Going in every day was a feast for the senses.  Plus, it gave me a creative outlet.)  During this time, I did try to find a full-time gig.  Despite numerous comments about how intriguing my resume is and tons of interviews, nothing materialized.

After talking with the fella last fall, I decided to give television news another try.  I honestly miss news.  I miss being in the know.  I miss the buzz of the newsroom on a big news day.  I miss the writing.  I miss the excitement.

This coming Monday, I start at FOX 9 as a morning show producer and I cannot be more thrilled.  The people I’ve met there so far are great and I love their commitment to the community.

And that’s not all.  A week from today, I start teaching again at my alma mater, St. Cloud State University.  News Producing 101.  Well, technically, it’s COMM 379, but I’ll be teaching a room of students what I did for 13 years.  I taught for a semester in 2016 after I left KARE 11, but it was a temporary position.  I was filling in for my old college professor while he was on sabbatical.  This time around I’m filling in for him while he’s on leave.  It’s a shorter gig this time — just 9 weeks or so — but I’m really looking forward to it.

Another milestone I hope to hit in 2018 is to become a U.S. citizen.  People are surprised when I tell them that I am a legal resident, but not a U.S. citizen.  My parents and I immigrated to the United States when I was 16 months old.  We are Hmong.  During the Vietnam War, the Hmong helped the U.S. fight communism.  After the war, communist soldiers in Laos started targeting Hmong people.  Many Hmong, like my parents, made the dangerous escape to Thailand, where they lived in refugee camps.  That’s where my parents met, married and had me.

baby panhia
Baby Me

By this time, many Hmong people were being sponsored to the United States.  My parents and I arrived in 1982 after relatives in the U.S. sponsored us.

Since our arrival, five more biological and four adopted siblings joined our family.  My parents eventually became U.S. citizens.  The sad thing is, I am the only person in my immediate family who is not a citizen.  I just never got around to it.  The big reasons, it’s expensive and I just never made it a priority, until now.  That changes this year.  I plan to become a U.S. citizen so I can be like other Americans and get called up for jury duty and vote.

Other plans for 2018 include opening an Etsy shop, devoting more time to this blog, and being the best me I can be.  Read: no slacking in 2018.  Are you excited?  I sure am!

Here’s to 2018!

2 thoughts on “New Year, New Changes and a Baby Picture of Me

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