Interview and Photo by Kevin Truong.
Barry. David Douglas High School. Portland, Oregon.
KT: Hey Barry, how do you feel about being thirty?
BC: Good. I never really subscribed to the whole idea of thirty as a milestone. I don’t know if that’s good or not. Maybe people who do subscribe accomplish a little bit more than me.
KT: Laughs. Well how were you twenties for you?
BC: Pretty good. Just learning more about myself and what I want.
KT: Any defining moments?
BC: Maybe graduating college. I was the first one in my family to do so.
KT: Yeah, congratulations. When you hear the word American, what does it mean to you?
BC: I don’t know, isn’t America defined by kind of this melting pot of people? I guess just believing in the American ideal of freedom.
KT: Well, as an immigrant—because you came here when you were twelve—how can you say life is for immigrants in America, from a first hand perspective?
BC: I think for the older generation it’s kind of tougher. They can’t really speak the language so they can’t do that much. And they work pretty crappy jobs usually. But I think they’re just making a sacrifice for the next generation, for people like me so I can go to college and have a better chance.
KT: Definitely. What do you think of the state of our country right now?
BC: It’s kind of a mess. I think over the long term, I’m pretty optimistic. I think eventually, gays will be allowed to marry everywhere, stem cell won’t be such a huge issue, and so on, but right now it’s kind of mess. We have a huge debt, fighting multiple wars.
KT: Well do you have any specific concerns? You mentioned the debt and some social issues, for you what really concerns you?
BC: I think the health care system should be completely revamped. I think because it’s such a huge mess right now. And I think eventually we need to stop borrowing so much and having such a low interest rate, it’s kind of devaluing the dollar quite a bit right now.
KT: But you are hopeful things will turn around?
BC: Over the long term, yeah, I have no idea how in the short-term things will work out. But I’m very optimistic for the long term.
KT: And finally, I guess you’ll probably say no because you moved to the states later, but do you remember us being called the Smoke Free Class of 2000?
BC: When was that? What grade was that?
KT: Third grade, I think.
BC: Third grade, yeah, I was not around for third grade. I remember DARE, but I never remembered the Smoke Free Class…
KT: Well, did you stay smoke free?