Writing Task Mentor Quote — Lisa

“Lisa, you are a very good student. You can study anything–even if you don’t like it.”

I will always remember these words spoken to me by my father.  We were sitting at the dining room table. Just my dad and me, no one else. My mom was in the kitchen. and I can smell the cha sha pork, but it wasn’t making me feel better. This was supposed to be an important conversation because I was 17, a junior in high school, and I knew we were talking about my college future.

I knew my dad’s words were meant as a compliment, but I felt the impact of his compliment as a mixture of insult and motivation.  In my mind what I thought was:  My dad thinks my brothers are smarter than me. He thinks the only thing I do well is study. Well, true, I was kind of a nerdy kid. I took all the AP classes.  I always did my homework on time, even ahead of time.  I spent my lunch time in the library.  I belonged to the smart-but-definitely-not-popular group.

This lead to my next four years of undergraduate college and one  year of medical school and then I dropped out:  What a huge jump off of the path I was on!  I felt lost and this was a very dark period of my life.   It was a long and torturous journey, but eventually I did find my way.   It took me a long time to discover that I needed to find what I wanted, what I liked.  I had never thought in this way before, and I attribute that to my Chinese upbringing.

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