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View Diary: Groundswell of asian american opposition to affimative action (48 comments)

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  •  pinyin people's story (0+ / 0-)

    My father grew up in a poor farmer's family. My grandfather died even before my grandmother reached age 35.  As a young single mother, my grandmother raised the 5 kids including my father.  He would go along with my grandmother to help in the landlord's field during the harvest season as even 8-year old, where the landlord would provide these helpers the lunch,
    and that was actually the only meal my father and grandmother would have for that day.  My father once described to me how they would fill the first bowl of rice loose and finish it fast so that they could get to fill up tight with the 2nd bowl, otherwise when they finished the first bowl late, there would be no more left in the barrel and they would feel starve for the rest of day.  Till this day, he's still eating so fast as if someone is chasing after him.

    Even my grandmother didn't know how to write, she still encouraged my father to study well, and fortunately my father was good enough to be admitted into a very good boarding middle school, and later a very good college.

    Since my father started to make money, he would
    sent part of his salary back to my grandmother every month. He continued to do so even after he got married and have kids.

    This is the kind of "middle class" family I grew up in.
    Four members of our family lived in a 100 square feet room with shared kitchen and restroom with other families till I entered 10th grade.  My mom hand made all the clothes we worn in the family.  I had been wearing clothes used by my older brother with patches on elbows and kneels till I entered 9th grade.

    We had 2 field trips each year at school.  Since there was no clean tap water there, my mom would gave me one dime, to buy the Popsicle which costs 3 cents.  However, at age of 7, I already knew that we were poor, so I would always save that money no matter how thirsty and tempted I was, and handed back that one dime to my mom when I got back home.

    Food were scarce and capped with a quota for each person. The maximum amount of meat we could have was 3.5 oz for whole family each day.  The hard fruit candies were luxury items for us, and for chocolate? I can only eat them in my dreams.

    I love music and dreamed about playing violin someday after I saw a kid played it in the school.  My mom knew it and managed to save 2 months of salary and bought me one, and wished that I perhaps could learn from a neighbor who knows how to play.  Unfortunately I really needed a teacher and we couldn't afford one.

    Later, our financial conditions got better after I entered high school, but my mom was diagnosed with cancer and had big operations, so it was still difficult at some points. Fortunately I had been a good student through hard work and was able to get in a top university, and then applied for the graduate school in the US.

    When I came to US, I had literally nothing but 2 big suitcases and the brain.  My older brother sponsored me the flight ticket with his 1 year salary.  There, I was on my own, a female graduate student in science and engineering with a teaching assistant position.
    With the help from some older students, I was able to find an apartment to share with other students.  

    We really had nothing but the bare wall when we moved in.  Fortunately we were so happy that we can find so many useful things from the dump site. After every dinner we would "take a walk", except the route is usually
    along the big garbage bins. So, we picked up mattresses, a very small table, a small chair and a shaky entertainment center which was used as a bookshelf.
    There we began our graduate study.

    Things are not always as fortunate as those though. Besides we had to study hard to keep good grades in order to maintain the assistantship, there were something we could not control.  Such as, the college lacked funding and couldn't offer us enough assistantship during the summer.

    I started to search for opportunities to work outside of the campus, and was only able to find a restaurant that would let me try.  I was accepted as a receptionist in the end and began the life of standing from 10am to 10pm
    in the restaurant to earn the 4.35/hr wages with just a little bit lunch/dinner break time.  It was tiring, but I didn't pity myself, because there were other students who underwent much harsh experiences.  Some worked during the winter and would walked 40 minutes in the snow to home after work just to save a little bit bus fare.

    You see, life could be harsh sometimes, but it's also full of hopes as long as you have the clear goal and would be willing to work hard to achieve it.

    All the alcoholic and drug addiction stuffs seem to be the spoiled rich kids' ailment to me, cause I wouldn't even have the money to be addicted to those, and I wouldn't even have the time to pity myself.  Being poor can not be an excuse for a person to give up on oneself, can not be an excuse to blame on all other people and the society, can not be an excuse to not standing up tall by oneself without special treatments.

    I'm not smart or gifted. All I have is just the goal and the determination to make it.  This kind of goal and determination is not bounded by race.  I believe
    all black/Hispanic students are as smart as I am, and would make to the top if they have this kind of determination.  However, by lowering the standard for
    them based on the race is like giving them the bread without teaching them how to make it.  They will have the bread in the short term, but they will never be able to make it on their own.  

    To fix the problem, it actually should start from the Kindergarten.  A person's mentality and determination is cultivated since the childhood.

    Furthermore, why should Senator Hernandez's children have more privilege than the children of Mr. Ngygen who is working as a gardener for a living?

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