My Life Story
I have divided my life in to chapters where I list all the major points of my life.
I got quite emotional too.
Chapter 1—The Beginning--Ages 0-5
Characters: Mother, sister
Event: I fell down the stairs (Age 3)
Overall affect: Mixed
Brief Description: My dad was away most of the time, so I was left with my sister and my mom. I remembered one day my mom went to work and told my sister to babysit me. My sister went to take a shower and mistakenly forgot to close the safety door on the stairs. I was on my toy bike cycling between the rooms on the second floor. At some point, I decided to bike down the stairs. That was certainly not a good idea as both I and the bike flew down the like a clip from an action movie. I still vividly remember the cold floor and the weight of the bike on top of my body as I laid on the ground. Even though my face was covered with blood, I was still conscious. Upon hearing about the incident, my mom rushed home and thought that I had a very serious head injury. She cried as she carried me in her arms. So I said to her, “Hey mommy, don’t cry, I’m ok.”
Chapter 2—Elemetary School—Ages 5-9
Characters: Mother, father, sister
Event: Father worked at home, entered school
Overall affect: Positive
Description: My dad started working at home when I was about 5 years old; hence, we were able to spend time together as a family. These years were probably of the best years of my life. Every Friday night, my dad would take us out for dinner in a restaurant. Then on every Sunday morning, we would play at the beach. When I turned 6, my parents sent me to a nearby elementary school. I was nervous on the first day of class. I remember the teacher asked me to read one page from “The Rabbit and the Turtle picture book.” I did not know how to read because I did not attend preschool; so I created my own story from looking at the picture. I could feel the teacher and other students’ gazing at me, but I did not care.
Chapter 3—Middle School—Age 9
Characters: Father, mother, sister, and aunt
Event: Dad was diagnosed with cancer (Age 9)
Overall Affect: Mixed
Description: When I was 9, my father was diagnosed with liver cancer. I knew that he was very sick but it did not cross my mind that he might die from it. At that time, my sister was enrolled in college away from home. My parents traveled to another city for better medical treatments, so I lived with my aunt most of the time. Prior to his illness, my father would buy me a lantern during the Mid Autumn Festival so that I could play with other kids in the neighborhood However, in the year of his illness, I was alone and watched the other kids play instead. Just when I thought that my parents forgot about me, my cousin showed up and gave me a lantern. Later I heard from my cousin that even though my father was sick and in pain, he still cared about me and told my cousin to buy me a lantern.
Chapter 4—Father’s Death---Age 10
Characters: Father, mother, and sister
Event: Father passed away
Overall Affect: Negative
Description: My father returned home after the surgery and several cancer treatments, but he lost almost all of his hair and looked like a skeleton. I was afraid to look at him. So I spent most of the time playing outside instead of staying at home to take care of him. During the spring of the following year, my dad’s health was deteriorating. Then on one afternoon when I was playing at the beach, my sister came to me and said, “Come home now, Dad needs you.” I got home and saw my father, as small as a child, was having his last moment. He was trying to cling onto life and waiting for my return. As soon as he saw me, he passed away. I ran outside and looked up to the gray sky and felt the cold raindrops on my face.
Chapter 5—Coming to America--Age 12-13
Characters: Mother, step-father
Event: My mother remarried and we came to America
Overall Affect: Positive
Description: After my father passed away, my mother took care of me and my sister. She later met a Vietnamese American man through her cousin. After a year, they got married and we moved to the United States. At first, I attended a middle school in a small town in Iowa. Because I did not understand English, I had a hard time assimilating to this new environment. One day during PE class, I and a few students were playing football. I was unfamiliar with the rules. When I caught the ball, I kept on running toward the opposite direction instead of the opponent’s end zone.
I remembered my English teachers were very warm and friendly. Even though I was the only Vietnamese in the entire school, I was still happy.
Chapter 6—Boston—Ages (13-17)
Characters: Mother, step-father, friends, and English high school teacher
Event: Moved to Boston (Age 13), entered high school
Overall Affect: Positive
Description: We moved from Iowa to Boston to live with my aunt. Since Boston has a large Vietnamese community, I met many Vietnamese students whom I could relate to. Also in high school, I participated in many school’s activities and community programs. My English improved significantly during this time. In my senior year of high school, I took more challenging classes such as AP English, calculus, and biology. I especially loved my English high school teacher because I was in her class for three consecutive years.
Chapter 7—College—Ages (18-Present (20))
Characters: New friends
Event: began College, major decision
Overall Affect: Positive
Description: This was a drastic transition for me. I went to a small high school where everyone knew each other, so going to college was a completely overwhelming experience. I started out as biology major but struggled with the classes. In my sophomore year, I decided to change my major. Since I have always been fascinated by art and psychology, I decided to be a psychology major and a visual art minor. Additionally, I had a group of close friends in college who always supported me.