An Affinity that Started in the Cram Schools

How, sharing the same goals of getting into college, had made these two individuals closer to each other, and eventually, marrying one another, translated…

Before I entered into community college, I’d studied in the cram schools for a year.

One day, a male classmate stopped me, asked, “Are you good in accounting?”, “I’m okay, do you need something?”  “Teach me, I’m not an accounting major, but I wanted to be in the information management majors”, he’d stated, uncourteously to me.

And just like that, I’d, met CH.

CH worked as a delivery man at a lunch shop, worked in supermarkets, fried chicken stores, and restaurant, he was, very experienced in the services industries, but, none of his jobs lasted long.  Later, after the lunch shop he worked in closed, he’d lacked self-confidence for the less popular majors of technical high school, and came to the cram school sessions, hoped, that he could, successfully test into a better school, so his job hunting can go more smoothly.

And because CH’s home couldn’t support his life, so he’d saved the money for living as well as the cram school sessions for a whole year, and, lived with very little and the bare necessities.  After we became more familiar with one another, I’d often heard him tell me, “I must get in!  Because there’s, NO other options for me.”  During that time, we’d studied together, and, his attitude had, rubbed off on me, and, it’d made me studied harder, hoped, that we can both, do well.

Finally, the day the grades were posted came.

I’d clearly recalled that afternoon, the setting sun shone into the office I was part-timing in, my coworker received a call from CH to me, he’d excitedly yelled to me, “We got in, we both, got in!  And, in the same school too!”

Not only were we admitted into the same public university, we also became, partners for life too!

So, this, is a connection that started, from when the two of you were in school together, and, you two shared the same goals, to get into college, and, you two became, study buddies, giving each other encouragements and boosts, and support, and, you two became, husband and wife at the end of the road, even AFTER the testing days were, long over!


Passing Through the Valleys of Life & Finally Tasting the Sweet Fruits of Her Labors

A woman who worked hard, to achieve her goals and dreams, translated…

Whatever You Do, Do it from the Heart

Yen-Hong Liao, this beautiful woman, with that flair about her, was from Chibi, Hubei, at the age of two, when she hadn’t learned to read yet, she’d started, acting out the stories in the pictures, and before school age, she’d told her mother she wanted to go to school, and followed her mother who’s a school instructor to class—as her mother taught the classes, Yen-Hong sat in the last row, on the high chairs, and, as the classes are off, she’d needed her mother to carry her down; after she started going to school officially, she’d become her mother’s student naturally, and, every time she’d answered the exam questions completely right, but, only received a ninety-nine for it, because either that her mother told her, “you didn’t write perfectly”, or that “you didn’t keep the test papers clean enough”.  Recalling, Yen-Hong realized, that in the pursuit of the perfect grade, she’d slowly, learned to be careful, which had, influenced her as she grew older.

圖/王嗚咪illustration from the papers…

She’d graduated out of business high school, at the age of nineteen, and started as a contractor, with the funding of 10,000RMB, started selling cigarettes, alcohol, and snacks, and worked hard, in the harsh cold weather, until her clothes became completely dampened with sweat.  She’d not minded the hardships, and when necessary, she’d stayed up through the nights, or camped out in the truck, and finally, she’d turned her losses into profits, and made everybody looked at her differently.

Her parents felt awful, that their daughter was working so very hard, in 2000, the whole family moved to Shenzhen.  And, love came too, she’d met Hua from Taiwan very shortly after the move, Hua fell in love at first sight with Yen-Hong.  And because her parents were, arguing incessantly over money, she saw that Hua was sunny in temperament, very quick to react, fluent in Japanese, with good work abilities, and shoulders she can, rely on, she’d decided to marry Hua.  In 2002, they were wed, and in 2003, Yen-Hong moved to Taiwan.

The pressures from childrearing made Yen-Hong have postpartum depression, without the emotional supports from her own next-of-kin, when it got very serious, she’d thought about killing herself, with her crying child, but thankfully, she’d, made it through.  And, she’d finally seen the light, getting along with that traditional mother-in-law who was, raised by the traditional Chinese beliefs.  Back then, her mother-in-law was overcome with diabetes, and became incontinent because of her condition, fell into comatose, at first, Yen-Hong unwillingly looked after her, until one day, she’d found a verse in the “Holy Bible” that stated, “Whatever you do, do with from the heart, like for the Lord, not for the people.”, she’d gained a sudden understanding.  She’d said, “Doing it for people, we’d complain, but doing it for the Lord, the rewards shall come to us from heaven.”  Later, she’d fired the nurse’s aide, and took care of her mother-in-law personally, she’d had no complaints, having to clean up the soiled clothes of her mother-in-law’s, the two of them became close like mother and daughter.  Before her mother-in-law passed, she’d told her, “You are really a nice girl, I will put you in my will.”

After a Year’s Work, Fulfilled Through the Hardships

In June of 2014, after everybody’s encouragements, Yen-Hong signed up for a pageant before the deadline, on the day of the finals, she’d gotten a serious cold, but, she’d still won the first place trophy for “International Arts & Culture Ambassador”, and received two extra awards, “the Best Talent”, “the Most Photogenic”.

After she was selected for the first place of cultural ambassador, she’d gotten invitations from all around, Yen-Hong felt her own shortcomings, decided to enter into college.  After preparing for six months, working hard in her studies and training, in 2016, she got into the Chinese Opera department of the National Taiwanese Theatrical University.  Because she wasn’t from the major, Yen-Hong spent more than ten times the energy and time, to get herself caught up with the rest of the classes, and, as the year went by, she’d felt, fulfilled.

She’d always told me, “Learning is addictive.”  Hoped, that after she gets her degree, she’ll be able to, dedicate herself, to give back to the community, and help more people with her performances of Chinese traditional opera.

Hua worked yearlong in Dong-Wan, China, and Yen-Hong is all alone in Taiwan, raising her son and daughter, in order to not cause her children to be discriminated against, she’d entered into the parents’ volunteering committee, volunteered as a story-telling mom, performed the shows.  In the time she’d accompanied her own children, she’d not gotten the accolades from the rest of the students in her children’s classes, but also, the respects from other parents as well; more importantly, this had helped trained her as a public speaker.

She is however, NOT the only one who’s giving to this family, Hua felt bad about how hard Yen-Hong works, he’d made a trip back every single month, and used his actions, to show support for his own wife.  She’d just had her 15th anniversary wedding photos with the family, Yen-Hong looked at the pictures sweetly said, “I’d come here many years ago, and I’d, fallen deeply in love with the people, the things, the culture here, and, I’d carried that mindset of learning, that spirit of giving to the community continually.  And now, I’m finally, savoring, the sweet fruits of my own labor.”

So, this woman came here all alone, for love, and, because of her never-giving up nature, always striving for excellence mindset, she’d, made it to the top of her own life, with a husband who loved her dearly, and children who are, well-behaved too, what more, can a woman ask for???

She Said

The influence of a great teacher, lasts longer than just your schooling careers, translated…

That day, I’d received a call from Mrs. Chuang, she’d told me she was coming up north for a seminar, asked if I was free to go out for a meal?  That familiar voice, that gentle tone of voice, we’d chatted, for hours on end.

Mrs. Chuang was my English class instructor from middle school.  Back then, I’d entered into the G.T. class as a low scorer, I was, clearly, very behind on my studies, and she saw how I was willing to work hard in my studies, she’d had me come to the office after school for a study session, she’d helped me improve my English skills.

the influences of a great instructor carries through someone’s lifetime…not my picture…

Don’t know when it’d started, Mrs. Chuang started telling me, “You know what, I’m so proud of you!”

After I was caught up with English, she’d told me this.  As I’d done better in school, she’d praised me so too.  Any changes she saw in me, she’d commended me as such.

We all need encouragements, to help us improve, basking in this sort of a positive energy, as I got a job up north, I’d always been able to keep my jobs going.  Recalling I’d gotten my position in the government, she said, nope, she said again, “You know what?  I’m so very, proud of you.”

On the other end of the line, Mrs. Chuang heard how I was doing, she’d felt glad, and was proud of me again.  I’d told her, thank you, for having the faith in me, making me feel like a gem, that’s slowly become polished to a shine.

That, is what a good teacher does, s/he helps the students to want to improve themselves, and, these teachers are not easy to find these days, but, they are, out there, if you’re lucky, to have found one…

The Most Dependent-Upon Kind of Care & Concern

A woman who KNOWS what she wants out of life, and goes after it, the goals she set out to achieve, and had, achieved it too!!!  Translated…

My relatives called, asked about which department of the military that their child can serve that fitted him the best.  They seemed to lean toward having their son as a pencil pusher.

And after I’d inquired, I’d learned, that they have a daughter.  It’s in the mindset of all parents in the world, I get it, but, their concerns aren’t pressing, and it’s too early, for them, to worry over such matters.

The young woman’s taking the examinations to enter into the military schools, clearly, it’d shown, how she had plans for her own life; and she was able to get in too, which showed, that she is more than qualified for the job.  I’m more than happy, that the country has this outstanding woman, serving it, I’m also, glad for the young lady too, afte4r all, she’d already, found the direction to her own life, she’s about to graduate, and start working soon.

women in the armed forces, photo from online…

The parents’ concerns for their young, but, from their inquiries of the armed services, it’d shown, just how little they actually know about the military.  The four years of study in the military, with the trainings specialized in various areas, and the candidate couldn’t evade from the paper works, or the physical trainings in the military units.  And, after the individual gets the position, there’s, a set of rule that the military goes by, in assigning of the duties, and, no matter what unit the individual gets sent to, there are, a ton of various tasks that one needed to hone up on, and needed to continue one’s own education; only through the multifaceted trainings, with the accumulation from the work experiences, will the individual become, outstanding, and get promoted.

And so, I’d, suggested them, that child had selected the military as her lifepath, then, they should just, show her all the support, give her all the encouragements, that would be, the best form of show of concerns for their daughter.

women in the services 的圖片結果we’re equally capable as you men are!  Photo from online still…

So, this young woman KNOWS what she wants in life, and enlisted into the military, and, her parents are worried, which is normal, as there are, instances of gender inequality in the military, but, if the daughter puts herself up into the programs of training, and gets through it, then, she MUST have the qualities, to excel in the military units, and, the parents’ worries become, excessive, and, who can blame them, they only wanted what’s best for their own young!

An Useless Feat

Not receiving the proper kind of emotional support you’d needed from someone, and so, you’d, stopped, trying, to prove yourself to her!  Translated…

“Actually, it’s quite useless that you wrote poetry.”, from time to time, she’d told me these sorts of immature beliefs of hers.

Naturally, even to this day, she’d still believed that firmly, no matter how hard I’d worked, in writing my poems.

I shall, continue writing poetry, for I’d come to the understanding of, I shouldn’t, attempt too hard, to change her beliefs about what I do.

Because to me, that would be, a useless feat too.

So, you’d, finally stopped trying, to convince whoever it is that’s so important to you, what you’re doing, is meaningful, because you’d realized, that you can’t change her mind, and this actually worked out better, for you, because, you’d, stopped caring about what the outside world says of what you do for a living, and just, worked hard, doing what it is you do, writing poetry!

The Imprints of Our Family, Summertime Memories

Making these precious memories together, translated…

Every year before summer vacation, we’d made a lot of plans ahead of time, every one of us has our separate goals, plans for the summertime, including reading lists, chores, talent classes, travel plans, etc., etc., etc.  And of these, the travel plans were, always made by us all as a family unit, this year, we’d used the summer, to ride our bicycles around the island, we got to know each and every city we’d passed through with our own feet.

photo from online…

Before the trip, we’d planned our itinerary, set up the training plans, started with the twenty kilometer a day, and we’d selected the fitting equipment, then, simulated the riding experiences, and practiced riding in the nighttime across the counties closer to home.  We’d also made a banner for this trip around the island, to place on our bicycles as we rode.

The kids couldn’t wait for the summer to get here, on the day we were set to head out, they’d waken up very early, at seven in the morn, we’d set out on this around-the-island challenge.

with the routes, mapped out…from online…

All the way, we’d bumped into countless number of hardships, riding seventy kilometers a day caused us fatigued, and, with the practice riding every single day, our bodies adapted to this scheduling.  What’s most precious was, every time someone wanted to quit, the rest of us would show support and give assistance.  This trip had made us more closely knitted, we got to know the land, the people, with each step we took together, we’d challenged that 30-kilometers continuous uphill ride, screamed into the open oceans at the Southern Loop Highways, “Shouka, Challenges, complete!”  The support from the riders we’d bumped into on the way were unforgettable.  The beautiful scene from the Hualien-Taidong 193rd County Highways were breathtaking, and, we got the chance, to bear witness to the beauties of the land, to see the city under the darkness of the night………

The memories we’d come to share for these ten days, we’d savored them as a family, the ins and outs of our days, we’d, marked down with words, and drawings too, and, we’d sorted through these captured memories as we returned home, and gotten it made into a memory book.  Even as the summer ended, this imprint that belonged, uniquely to us as a family, will forever, stay in our hearts, minds, and memories.

keeping riding forwadx, toward this trip around the island by bicycle…photo from online…

This is on making memories, and, it is important, that you get into the habits of sharing the memories with your young, because they’re not going to stay young forever, and, if you don’t take every moment you shared together like they’re the last, then, you would’ve realized, how much you’d, missed out on as you looked back through the years one day not far in the future, and you’d be, filled with regrets of what we could’ve done differently, way back when………

My Mother’s New Clothes

The immaturity of a woman, blaming her not being able to achieve her own dreams on her family, translated…

I’d gone to the nursing home to visit my mother, I saw her in a beige lace dress, with the two sleeves’ designs being different.  Because it was hot, she didn’t have a camisole, the holes on the lace showed her skin, I couldn’t help but joked with her, “Very sexy!  Very fashionable!”, my mother smiled and told, that it was my younger sister who’d found the time, to make it for her.  Turning the conversations, she’d mentioned how my younger sister still complained about how the family didn’t allow her to go into clothing design.  My mother started getting red in the eyes, “Back then, your younger sister went to a home ec school, your younger brother in a technical high school, they’re both private schools, how can I possibly produce the extra money she’d needed for the materials for the clothes designing course she would need?  It was quite costly, to get the materials too.  I can’t imagine that she’d regretted that up until now, it’d made me feel so awful, not being able to give her what she wanted.”  I’d fallen silent then, and my mind already, drifted to what happened after the college entrance exam grades were posted.

Some forty odd years ago, I’d gotten into a private university, based off of the rate of acceptance, it was, nothing easy; as I was happy, getting ready to go to school, my mother had me follow a distant relative, to take the exams to enter into the night department of a public university.  And, as the test results came, my relative didn’t get in, but I had.  Ever since, my life got turned upside down, for the sake of my family’s economics, I’d worked days, and rushed to school at nights, and, ulcer found me.  I’d turned in my wages completely to my mother, to help out with the household expenses, as well as the tuitions of my younger siblings too.

I’d felt awful, why did my parents have to sacrifice me?  Especially when my father would often tell the relatives, “the pigs don’t get fat, the dog had”.  It’d hurt me more, just because I’m good at studying, and my younger brother, the only son, couldn’t manage his schoolwork even WITH the help from a private tutor.  Gladly, there were classmates who were older in the night school division, who’d worked in banks, post offices, and schools, they’d given me a lot of advice in life, and, I’d gained a ton of knowledge from their experiences in work too, I’d gotten into a public post by taking the exams before I graduated.  With the passing of time, I’d believed, that so long as a person is willing to work, to NOT give up, the heavens will have the best plans for you.

Before I left the nursing home, I’d told my mother, “Younger sister is fifty-seven, if she is really interested in clothes designs, instead of complaining of not having the chance when she was younger, she should just go and reach for her dreams now.”  I’d felt an assortment of emotions, and couldn’t understand, why my younger sister was so hung up on what she’d not had the chance of having back then, and neglected how much others had given up for her sake?

So, this, is on someone, blaming one’s own loved ones for not being able to accomplish one’s dreams, and it’s quite irresponsible, because, you’re the one who have the right, to reach for, to achieve, those goals you want to achieve, and instead of working hard toward that goal of yours, you’d, BLAMED it on your family’s inability to put you through school back when you were younger, that’s just, NOT wanting to take responsibility for your own life!