In 2021, Alice entered 5th grade at McCarthy Towne Elementary school, one of five elementary schools in Acton. When I applied for school, I only considered the location, location and location: near our new home and Emily’s school. I had no idea the differences between McCarthy Towne (McT) and Merrian when I found both shared the same location on Google Map.
But we are really lucky because Alice has excellent class and ESL teachers. 2022 is the 50th anniversary of McCarthy Towne elementary school. Jolie voluntarily signed up for the preparation for the anniversary and we had the opportunity to review the history of McT.
Back to 1971, McT was a Pilot school with new ideas of art integration (learning through art), and teaching methods without the fixed textbooks. “Controversial pilot school” was mentioned in the old newspaper. Then, I could not imagine the first principal, Parker Damon, was in his position for 30 years! I love his words:
Your elementary school years may be over, but waht you have learned and done will be with you always. Dare to be true to your past, your future, your self
PARKER DAMON, FIRST PRINCIPal OF MCT, 1971-2000
As newcomers, we do not share the old memories with other parents, and staff who were in the history of McT. When Jolie scanned all the old documents and photos and made a slide deck for McT 50 the anniversary, we feel very lucky to join this school when Alice starts her whole new life and learning journey in the US.
Here, I want to share Jolie’s work using the old documents and photos:
It should be spring in the New England area, but it was high to 88 ℉ today. Before coming to the US, I almost did not intentionally try or learn any sports. However, I found everyone may find the most favorite one after trying. For example, we never thought about why Alice likes soccer. I barely remember she tried soccer when she was in Taiwan.
One month ago, Emily’s rowing teammate’s Mom encouraged Alice to join the Acton-Boxborough Yang Soccer (ABYS) team, and Alice was happy to accept this invitation. The story afterward was: Jolie paid a fee to join ABYS league and bought the jerseys, shorts, socks, shin guards, and soccer shoes.
The game today started at 12:30 pm. Emily and I arrived at the field at 1:40 pm. For the laypeople like us, we felt bored watching two groups chasing the ball. Then, suddenly, Alice showed up near the goal line and finished a close-range shot. Wow~ We could not believe we just saw Alice’s first goal in her first soccer season!
When Emily and I visited the library, she told me the recent hot book is “crying in H Mart”. Coincidently, I saw this book on the Rapid Read display shelf. This is the reason why I picked this book for my reading. I finished reading this book in 2 weeks because it is in the “Rapid Read” display and needs to be returned within two weeks.
The author, Michelle Zauner, is an American Korean whose mother came from South Korea. Korean foods play the connection between the daughter and mother. It also represents the finding of her “identity” after the author’s mother passed away due to stomach cancer. There are many comments and sharing online, and anyone can easily find good introductions for this book.
H Mart is a Korean Asian supermarket in the US. If I were not here now, the feeling might not be so vivid to me. Furthermore, we are also new immigrants to the US, although all of my family are not the second generation yet.
The culture that we shared was active, effervescent in my gut and in my genes, and I had to seize it, foster it so it did not die in me…If I could not be with my mother, I would be her.
Near the end of the book, Zauner
Interestingly, Michelle Zauner is also the “Japanese Breakfast” singer which previously visited Taiwan. The cover of her debut album of “Psychopomp” is her mother’s photo. Her mother’s passing away is her mother’s end, but she also finds herself and the new in her writing and music performance. The intriguing relationships between the author and her mother seem one traditional type in Asian culture. Probably not every reader can appreciate and understand this kind of situation. Finally, this is still a good book to read for me!
Recently, I began to watch STAR WARS on Disney+. Frankly, Jolie had bought all Star Wars series on Apple TV with my Taiwanese account. I never figured out how the real story is though I know it is a very famous serial movie. When you do have time to enjoy life, you can also start watching good books and great movies.
In Episode III, Revenge of Sith, Anakin asked Yoda about his nightmare regarding the loss of PADMÉ AMIDALA. Yoda replied as follows:
The fear of loss is a path to the dark side
Death is a nature part of life
Rejource for those around you who transforms in to the Force
Mour them, do not. Miss them, do not.
Attachment leads to jealousy
The shadow of great that is
Master Yoda also concluded the above challenge: Train yourself to let go of everything you feel to lose.
I would say that this is similar to the concept and mind sents when I cared the terminal patients in the past ten years. Easy to understand but hard to practice.
Emily attended the Rowing Team this spring. The first activity of the rowing team is Peeps Diorama. Actually, I googled “Peeps” and understand it is one kind of marshmallow, which is very popular in the US. You even can find it on Wikipedia, which says:
Peeps are marshmallows sold in the United States and Canada that are shaped into chicks, bunnies, and other animals. There are also different shapes used for various holidays.
Finally, I understood it is using Peeps to create a theme in terms of Rowing or Book titles. Therefore, Emily created a “Row in Amazon” and Alice had a “Harry Potter” using Peeps.
We might be the first one to submit the Peeps diorama. Though this is a small community competition, we did enjoy all the delicate works and were surprised by the enthusiastic participation and creativity.
Emily and Alice have tried various exercises since we moved to the US. In addition to tennis, squash, basketball, and volleyball, Emily joined the rowing team.
After 4-week indoor training, Emily started the outdoor practice in early April. At the end of April, the Regatta is very exciting for all the new rowers. I learned that: every child who starts rowing would likely be a newcomer because most of the participants attend rowing from middle school, high school, and even college. It is unlikely with tennis, and many kids start when they are young.
Five team members in a boat include one cox and four rowers. Cox leads the boat orientation, and all the team members need to work efficiently and closely. Actually, they are in the same boat! So hopefully, Emily can enjoy the teamwork and encouragement in rowing.
Reading English Novel is a challenge for me. In my old days, I always read published journals in English, News sometime, but almost none for English novels.
Recently, I visited the local library with my two girls and took a new novel from Teens Novel Area. It took me some time, but I am happy to read through my first English Novel. The story begins with a dragon hired to work on a remote farm by Sarah and her father. This is really a strange beginning but is also interesting to make me think about how the story can expand.
Coincidentally, I read the story of Desert Diary, regarding the citizenship and human right of Japanese Americans (Nikkei). It was also included in this novel. This novel setting is in 1950s America, with dragon and US-Russia Cold War. The issues of racial discrimination and homophobia were included. The story concept is also based on multi-universe, which shows the components of the science of fiction.
I think it is not a good idea to say more about the story. Anyway, I enjoyed this novel and would read the author, Patrick Ness’s famous novel, Chaos Walking.
After moving to Boston, I began to enjoy the pleasure of reading again. It has been a long time not to read books in past of busy daily life. Two weeks ago, I borrowed this book from the library in town and really understood the injustice for Japanese Americans (Nikkei) in the 1940s.
I know the racial issues, such as stop Asian hate and Balck lives maters but never thought the similar events that happened during WW II. This is also my first to know “The Pledge of Allegiance”, which is also read in my daughter’s junior high.
The government did something wrong and finally apologized for the past. Although it takes some time (apology letter signed by George H. W. Bush, 1990), the wrongdoing is acknowledged and history is always remembered.
2021 is a great year and a massive change for my family. We moved from Taiwan to the US and started a new life here.
Three cats also relocated to the US with this big move. After starting our new journey here, we had lots of family time, including talking, traveling, reading, and playing video games. It is my precious and the most significant gift of 2021.
At the end of 2021, I wish Emily and Alice would have joyful and incredible learning experiences. Jolie and I can keep the growth in our working and career development. Of course, most importantly, our family would be happy and safe for 2022.
Like so many epidemics before, the loss of so many lives began with a single microscopic organism. It’s human nature to seek even the smallest comfort in reason, or logic for evens as catastrophic as these.
But a virus dosen’t choose a time or place. It dosen’t hate or even care. It just happens
This is a film produced in 2008. It is a story of a deadly virus spread out in Scotland, which has been quarantined. Whatever the comments or critics for this film, the beginning seems to reflect the current COVID-19. It is now on Netflix.
ICOVID-19, which began in Dec 2019, are still ravaging worldwide. The recent news also reported that it has been in the 3rd surge in the US. Amide the COVID-19 pandemic, it is really safe based in Taiwan, but out of the world. I hope to have a whole new 2021 to get rid of COVID-19/SARS-COV-2 although it seems not to happen easily.