Do you believe in fate?
I mostly don’t. But sometimes, I must admit it feels like there’s an invisible hand putting me and some people together, only to later tearing us apart just for fun.
But again, I think it’s just because we choose our own destiny.
I first saw her when we were both in junior high. We were in a train station, waiting to go to a resort for a church’s 3-day-2-night activity. She was leaning against the wall, with her arms across her chest, smiling. That’s a pretty smile, I thought.
“This is Angie*,” someone told me.
September 21, 1999.
It was an ordinary night. Warm and humid, like any other typical September night in Taiwan. My wife Leah had just had surgery for her melanoma and needed absolute peace and quiet, so I slept with our almost-two-year-old son Mike in the next room. Our six-month-old boy Ben was at a friend’s house. She volunteered to babysit for us so both Leah and I could get a bit more rest.
It was a difficult time for us. Just graduated from college in Hawaii, we were planning to go right back to America for graduate school, but Leah’s…
I’m from Taiwan, a small island next to mainland China. With an area of a little more than half of West Virginia, we squeeze a population bigger than Florida. When I was a kid, to get into senior high schools or colleges, one should pass the annual entrance exams. Many had spent years taking them. I guess in our Asians’ minds, education is too precious a resource not to be shared by everyone.
When I entered junior high (7th grade in America), the whole grade was divided into 3 sections based on students’ “aptitude:” A, B, and C. Only students…
Graduate schools are expensive. According to this article in U.S. News, a two-year full-time graduate program can cost $100,000; more if you’re thinking about a Ph.D. Unless you have a rich dad or uncle, pursuing a graduate degree either is only a dream or leaves you in serious debt that you might not be able to pay off.
Assuming you’ve calculated and thought through the whole thing, and you’ve come to the conclusion that a graduate degree is your ultimate goal. Now, how can you pay for it?
First, let me briefly tell you about my personal journey to my Ph.D. Hopefully, it gives you an idea about what it takes, and what you might be able to do if you want a Ph.D. with a limited budget too.
When I arrived in Hawaii for college, I had a small bank account and barely knew enough English to communicate. Before coming to America, one of my best friends questioned me on the phone: “Do you have enough money? Do you have enough language skills?”
“That’s stupid. …
Many undergraduate students ask me about what career paths they should go, and many tell me they want to go to graduate schools. Some even tell me they want to be college professors. But they don’t really know what it takes, and if they really will like the life of being a professor.
I googled “how to become a college professor” and found this site: The 19 Steps to Becoming a College Professor. When I checked it out, I agreed with some but shook my head about others. I think I should give a review for those who are interested.
Yesterday I watched a TV series depicting a dilemma: an evil guy is about to kill someone, but the main character in a rage is able to break loose the chains (thanks to the evil guy) and disable him. Now the evil guy is at the mercy of the main character, and the main character is facing the choices of either handing him to the police or killing him. And of course, being a good person means “not lowering oneself to the evil guy’s level,” so the main character ends up sparing the evil guy’s life. …
The internet is a blessing and a curse. When I was a kid, playtime meant going out there making friends in the playgrounds or catching tadpoles in a creek. For my kids, however, it meant computer games. Or worse, social media.
Let’s not talk about its impact on physical health (for example, sleep pattern) or mental health (for example, self-esteem) for now. What I want to talk about briefly is the misinformation and their fact check mechanism. I’ll just focus on the vaccines for Covid and another incidence I had.
On September 3rd, Margaret Loughrey, who won £27 million in 2014, died in her house. She was 56. Police said “no suspicious circumstances” were found.
The news report states that after winning the money, she’d donated a lot of money to charities, and at the same time bought houses and expensive cars. One year after the winning, she was perceived by a hospital as a danger to herself and others; her mental and physical health deteriorated. She also got into some legal troubles and was ordered to community services and monetary compensation. …
A few weeks ago my wife made an appointment with a doctor in Phoenix. That was a 5-hour drive. The only available time slot was 12:30 pm. I suggested drive there the day before, but my wife wanted to save the hotel money, and I saw her point. So that meant we’d have to leave at 8 am that day at the latest (our time zone is one hour ahead).
It wasn’t a big deal; inconvenient, but not devastating. However, my sleep problem happened to visit me the night before: I went to bed as usual at around 11 pm…