Saturday, June 29, 2002
visited my favorite teacher from high school today. every year he sets up a fireworks stand to make money for the wrestling team at my good old h.s. i told him about my long-term idea of getting a ph.d., and i think i have his approval. it's funny how much it means to me. it means far more than any approval my parents might give, which will always be grudging and fearful, because my parents are grudging and fearful people. bless them for they have had a hard life as immigrants (although we have always been middle-class immigrants), but they just don't have the stomach for the rough-and-tumble of life in america. i want a ph.d. so i can expand my mind and my soul, and die a better person. they hope that i can get a government job so i can have a comfortable life. confucius said (and this is true, it's in the Analects), it's best neither to be the first nor the last, and that's what my parents are about. keep your head down. live a comfortable life, and don't make waves. i don't think they realized when it all began that starting a family in america would mean that their kids would be american, have american values, perceptions, and aspirations (although, what else would you expect? i often ask that myself), but that's what happened. that's what i am. i am fundamentally different from my parents; we're forged from different molds. and so i've had to find my own parenting. it's a lonely road.