well I don’t how to start this journal so I’ll just attach an email I sent to WWU teachers and we’ll consider that my journal entry.
Cardin Nguyen <email@example.com> Sat, May 24, 2008 at 5:55 PM
To: Joan Ullin <Joan.Ullin@wwu.edu>, Lawrence Estrada <Lawrence.Estrada@wwu.edu>
Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Joan & Larry,
Hi Guys! Well I’m typing this email to share my experiences in the real world. I decide to type to you both to due to the fact that its practically the same email that I will be typing so decide to combine the two emails. I graduated HS in 2002 and head of straight to college. With all the family expectation that I had burden on top of me I had a tough time on school trying to be that eldest son while maintaining my mix identity. First I have to apologize for my bad grammer, but I’ll try my best to tell this experiences I have and hope you guys would help me complete my education and guide me to that paper that the real world asked.
In 1985 my father and brother sailed to United States leaving my mother, my little brother, and I behind. A few months later my brother die in Philippines due to a seizure. There then my father gave up and couldn’t continue any further without a friend to cuddle. My father refuse to continue and asked to be returned to Vietnam where the Vietcong jailed him for a year and half teaching him the communist ways. After my father being release, I was only 3 1/2 then when my father decided again to sail to United States once more with me. With the cross eye and one lazy eye that I have its the once chances to give me a near complete dream of all parents. At 3 1/2 still learning how to walk my father lied to me that we’re going to Saigon to buy me a toy gun. To a child at that age in a country with no such thing as freedom back then it was a dream come true. After many months on the boat to Philippines I was upset. My father said that everyday I would ask him about the Gun that he promises. He kept replying “We’re almost there son, I’ll get it for you tomorrow as soon as we’re there (apologize for the translation. Its hard to translate a complete language over to English).” One day I was so tired of waiting and took all the slippers and sandels and threw it into the deep ocean while my father stood there and cry. I now finally realize why I see these dreams from time to time when I sleep.
To make a long story short and get to the point of this email. After being in United States while we get the welfare and medicare that was provided to us in this country. I was given a opportunity that I failed to realize. While going to school and trying to adapt to the new languages leaving my own behind. My father in the background was working overtimes and under the tables to save what his low income can save up. Partical his money was sent back to Vietnam for my mother and brother while the other part was save up for my education. After many years in the United States education system (14 years to be exact) I have lost completely my identity and redefining myself as “American”. I have lost everything while trying adapt to this culture.
My grades is the best proof that I have to show how I have lost my identity. During middle school and first two years of high school I was getting A’s and B’s. As time progress I was affected by the teens years and the media. I began to slack off and see others alternative to schooling. Steve Jobs, Billl Gates, and many other out there haven’t received their degree yet and still make billions and million of dollars. I of course can do the same.
As soon as I got out of Capital High School in Olympia I chose Western Washington University because it was far from home. YAY 3 hours away! By now I was tired of my father yapping about this and that; things that I could not understand at that age. While at Western I attended classes that I could get my hands on from computer sciences to communication classes wasting my father earnings and financial aids money. Lets stop here and define waste. I wasn’t wasting anything while taking classes, but I was wasting because I wasn’t studying as much I use to be like high school days. I was wasting because last minute habits. I was wasting because most important of all C’s, D,s and F’s are all I can get in college. Even though I thought those grades were failure but each grades I got I came out with a hidden experiences that are used in real life.
Now its 2008, six years have passed while my friends from high school all graduated from community college and universities leaving me here. I have tried many times to recommit myself to school but it always failed because of my addictive habits. Its like a drug to get into a particular habits while in school. I’m not attending any clubs or any activities that keeps bring my lazy habits back. Its over a year now that I have stopped school and realize the important of it.
The last 12 months out of school I have been trying to search for jobs that I like. Its impossible to get jobs you like with human services, computers related, or even American Cultural related work. Everywhere I applied to I always get emails and letters back saying theres another aplicant who’s better off than I am. Each application that I submit is like a bullet that shot me down. Finally I got a job at walmart, a place that gave opportunities to people. A great place I must say after working there for awhile but I can’t imagine myself doing this job for the rest of my life. I can’t be stuck here because I have lost the thrive to fight for more experiences. I sit here and ask myself what happen to the love to studies during elementary and middle school? What happen to all those dreams? Everyday at work while placing merchandise on the shelves I ask myself a new question. Finally one day I asked myself “Why is education so important to one’s identity?”
This question started me. I want to go back to school because of this. This is when answers from classes that I took with Larry and Dan Rowe classes. Identity isn’t given back to us. Identity is left with ones concious to fight to obtain whats lost. Everyone is going through the processes of growing up like I am. I’m so close to being done with school and I cant complete it? Its insane to give up an education. The last years I have been watching my co-workers and friends fighting to make their life better. Getting better jobs, getting experiences and doing things that they love while I’m here doing the same things over and over. Slacking off and doing what I have to do only. I finally realize that all the classes that I took didn’t go to waste whether I failed or pass the classes. I was identifying myself and who I am from every classes I took. It got me closer to my identity while studying others identity. Every classes I tooked gave me a hidden knowledge that I could use in the real world. A great example would be my Uncle Vu Chau in Olympia who asked me to help him 2 weeks at his work Van Dorm (Real Estate Office). You’re probably asking why would Real Estate have to do with knowledge? It has to do everything. From sales to finding ones failure to do a better job. My uncle just wanted to sell houses and make commission off the house. Thats when I realize 1 house these agents are making 4k+ depending on the sales price of the house. Having bad morals and telling lies at work isn’t a good way to make sales (Accounting 101 class). A white guy came in to ask Vu Chau to help search for a house that would have that best define his identity. He wanted a perfect house that doesnt face north. My uncle neglect to to see why its important to this white man that his house isnt facing north. Thats when one day I ask why is it important and he said that its because of his identity (Midori’s Black History classes).
From the real life world experiences that I have encounter over the years. I have added on more knowledge that would help make daily decisions and thrive for a better life. A year ago I gave up school and decided to head off to work only becuase Western Washington University wasn’t teaching me anything. Its alway’s the books that we have to read that teaches us everything. I could save thousands of dollars by self teaching my self what these weridos (teachers) who gives us grades. This was an immature and bad way of thinking. Its a huge mistakes and hidden knowledge that I didn’t see. I always remember my kindergarden teacher Ms. Swans and first grade teacher Ms. Huhta. What changed me? Its because I have lost my identity.
Education and finishing my degree is important to me. Though its a sheet of paper that proves that I have gone through all the requirements to recieve this “Bachelors”. Its more important to me to continue to learn everyday that knowledge that comes back to help me later on in real life. I’m writing this email to ask for help and excuse my laziness over the years. I’m writing this email to apologize all the teachers that I have attached this email to that I have been slacking. I am writing this email to most important of all explain why education and getting the degree would help everyone. Sorry to all the teachers that I have failed to get better grades. Sorry to the teachers that saw more in me and tried to help but I failed. I’m also writing this email asking for help. I want to head back to school. I like to know the steps I head to take to head back to school. What I need to do to attend Western Washington University to optain that 50 credits left that I need to finish and bring the remaining knowledge along with me to help me in the real world. This day on a promise that I will fight to keep is to finish that degree. As a thanks and regards to all the teachers who have invested hours in me for a better education.
Again thanks for your times.
Bachelor of Arts
Program: BA-Humanities & SocialSciences
Admit Term: Spring 2007
Admit Type: Standard Admission
Catalog Term: Fall 2007
College: Humanities and Social Sciences
Campus: Main Campus
Major and Department: American Cultural Studies, American Cultural Studies
Academic Standing: Good Standing
Trong Nguyen (aka Cardin)
P.S. I hope all the teachers that I have attached would send this email off to other teachers that I have over the years. Alot of the teachers have retired and its impossible to find them in schools site directory. Its just an email to apologize and explain how important an education to a child growing up. A time investment that all the teachers have put in me. A mistake that I could have avoided but failed to. Thank you.
~~~ Cardin Nguyen ~~~
Cell: (360) 259-6611 (Olympia #)