Born in 1936, and raised in a scholarly family in Taiwan, the author relates her growing-up experiences in Taiwan, first under Japanese rule, then transitioning into Chinese rule after the Second World War. Because admission to Taiwan Normal University at that time was tuition-free and included room and board (with an obligation to teach at a secondary school for one year with full pay), she was able to persuade her parents to let her go to college (the fifth of ten siblings), with the promise to help her younger brother go to a college of his choice. With the help of the diary she kept during her college years, she shares the pressure she endured in having to choose between marriage and pursuing higher degrees, the process of her falling in love with an American student of Jewish heritage and the family storm that ensued, the public opinion regarding international marriages at the time, and the complicated way in which the difficulties were resolved in a positive manner. Upon her arrival in the United States in 1959, she married and entered UC-Berkeley as a transfer student to complete her B.A. degree; then she followed her husband to the University of Hawaii, Stanford University, Columbia University, and back to Stanford as he advanced in his career path. In spite of changing schools and the interruptions of two years in Taiwan, giving birth to a child, and one year in Japan, she received her doctorate in social psychology from Columbia University in 1971. She then taught in a unique interdisciplinary program of human development at California State University, Hayward (now East Bay) for 27 years while her husband taught at Stanford University. She hopes her life story will help heighten public awareness of the importance of affordable public college education in our effort to narrow the gap between the rich and the poor.
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