Before I was 10, I lived with my grand parents in a what was once a beautiful town called sh-chi and unlike today, the town was truly beautiful and peaceful. There is literally a river in front of where I lived and mountains behind it. It was beautiful. I spent much time swim in the river and play in the farm and mountain. I lived in what someone would called a perfect little world and my childhood was nothing but full of happiness. I was truly blessed.
Things started to change when I started to attend the elementary school. It was like dark cloud moved in on a beautiful sun shining day. I did poorly in school and I was always the last one in my class. I didn't know what I was doing and I hate the school. It makes no sense to me. I was told to memorize thing without reasons. Just memorize it and you will do well on exam, everyone was said to me. I soon became a problematic students. My grandma receive phone calls from school consistently and teachers always humiliate me in front of the whole class. I lost all interest in learning in school. I was constantly told that I will fail thru out my life.
It didn't take long befor my parents to step in and moved me back with them in Tao Yuan when I was 10. My parents sent me to cram school and pushed me hard. It was the dark age of my life. I still don't know what I was doing. I went to school everyday from 8:30 ~ 4:30 and after that, I still had to go to cram school from 6:00 pm ~ 9:00 pm. To save my parents face, I managed to push myself into the top 10 of my class but I was not happy. I had no idea what my life is about. I had a clear direction (which is to study) but I was lost. This dark age of my life went on for 5 years. I guess my mother must have saw the problems in Taiwanese education system and made her mind to send me to America, that decision of her have fundamentally changed my life.
I landed in Chicago on 10/20/1990. The O'Hare airport was expanding and the airplane didn't duck against a terminal We had to went out side of the airplane and walk down on a stair into a bus. Here is the story I always told my friends about, when I step out of that 747, I was immediately impressive by the advance of American technology and this was exactly what I said to myself: Oh my GOD, America has OUTDOOR air conditioning technology! How can they do it? As it turn out, it was just the weather. October is still warm or even maybe hot in Taiwan but in Chicago, it is about time to snow. Before that point of my life, my view of the world is just Taiwan and everywhere is just like Taiwan. After that point, my perspective started to change and I was starting to open my eyes.