In this essay I imagine the life of my parents as Taiwanese graduate students at Princeton University in the 1960s -- their culture shock and assimilation, and the contrast of their modest circumstances with the enormous hopes and dreams they and their families had for them.


"In a few minutes he will take his last breath of the fragrant humidity of Taipei, committing to memory the mountainous landscape and the proud faces and farewell wishes of his five brothers and four sisters, his mother and father, and countless others. He will leave this sea of familiar faces and go to a city and country where he knows no one except his college sweetheart. Together, the young couple will begin a new chapter in their lives—their American education, their first experience of the world outside of this sweet-potato shaped island."