May 13, 2016

大学放榜 4 : 我的自述- 一针一线 Stitches


申请美国大学,其中一项最费时间与精神的程序是写一篇关于自己的 Personal Statement (essay),就是所谓的个人自述。

不同大学对 Personal Statement 有不同的要求,有关大学会规定 Personal Statement 的范围,主要是想看看背景与环境如何造就今天的你,认识你的特质强项,了解你的志愿,评估你的理想是否符合他们的核心思想等等。

所以,Personal Statement 很重要,绝对不可掉以轻心。

由于女儿总共申请了5间大学,所以她至少写了5篇 Personal Statement。


其中一篇 Personal Statement 里,提到了她公公婆婆由中国海南岛来马来西亚的经历,顺便穿插了她本身小小移民的生活故事。。。




多谢老爸老妈的碎布,小小年纪就能有这绅士般的装扮。。。
她的公公婆婆(我的家公家婆),小时候被爸爸妈妈由海南岛带到马来西亚,过后以裁缝手艺一针一线撑起一家的生计,省吃俭用的把4位孩子拉大。


我记得,家公家婆最拿手的是把车衣服剩下的布料拿来给孩子们做衣服;长裤,短裤,小裙子,新年衣,睡衣,小手袋,手帕,床单,被单,沙龙应有尽有。后来我的孩子,他们的孙子孙女也有机会穿着他们做的衣服招摇过市;碎布缝成的衣物仿佛是他们一家的注册商标。

岂料,几十年以后,我们也步上他们的后尘,带着下一代飘洋过海到地球的另一端落脚;想寻找一些新鲜的机会,开阔一些视野,体验一些不一样的生活。

尽管时代不同,离乡背景的原因也不一样,但是在异乡所面对的恐惧与焦虑是一样的,兴奋,好奇,充满期待的心却也一样。


也许,这就是远离家乡必须付出的代价吧?(当然,科技与互联网缩短了彼此的距离联系了感情,这一点我们比较幸运。)

对于女儿会以公公婆婆过去的经历与生活态度为典范,我有点惊讶。

我很高兴她理解外来移民应该比土生土长的人更加努力的硬道理;我也感到安慰,身在异乡的她清楚自己的出处,懂得自己的语言,依然保留一些我们的价值观,一些老祖宗的文化习俗传统。。。


我其实最骄傲的还是她能够自信的,稳打稳扎的走出自己的路;不会因为沉浸在异乡文化常讲英语吃西餐听西洋流行乐而忘记自己的根本。。。

我知道,只要她能够继续正面的学习态度,坚持上一代自强不息刻苦耐劳勤劳节俭的美德,要在异乡拼出一个美好未来并不是梦。 


祝福你,大姐,你会是弟妹的榜样!

得到她的允许,我把其中一篇 Personal Statement  放在这里与大家一起分享。



STITCHES

I recall the moment when I was in 8th grade, where my history teacher asked where each student would travel to celebrate Christmas with their family.

“I’m going to Seattle!”

“My grandparents live in Orlando!”

“ Oh, my family will be at my house for Christmas.”

My classmates excitedly shared their plans for the holiday, but I quietly listened in. It was a mixture of fascination and jealousy - my extended family lives seven thousand miles away in Malaysia, or, as my thirteen-year-old self liked to say, a day of traveling in a plane.

From the earlier generations of my family, I have inherited the small eyes and tiny nose, but I have also gained the hidden ability of the family: the drive to thrive anywhere you are. My grandfather, who I’d always called Ye-ye, immigrated from China to Malaysia, raising his children by tailoring in a largely Islamic society. Stitch by stitch, he made clothes for five dollars each, sending all his children to universities despite the difficulties.

I was born and raised in Malaysia. When I was a newborn, my parents had to work, so it was my grandfather who spent the most time with me during the day. In my mind, Ye-ye was strict, and he had the silence of steel. Beneath that surface, I knew that my grandpa was as warmhearted as anyone- he made my siblings and me pajamas from leftover fabric, or bags from jeans that we had outgrown. As school became more difficult, tears were shed, and tantrums were thrown by my younger self, but my dad would remind me of Ye-ye’s hardships of living in a foreign place, and to be grateful for it. I used to scoff at that statement, until the moment I was in Ye-ye’s shoes, leaving my birthplace for the United States when I was thirteen years old.

Struggles were inevitable when adjusting to the new environment. I was not fluent in English, I wore outlandish clothes on the first day of 8th grade, I was scared of what my classmates thought of me - the strange girl with the weird glasses. As months passed, the importance of my family gradually dawned on me. Facetiming was common, despite the time zone difference. It was not evident, but the sense of support was always there as we talked through the screen, or even by sharing pictures through Whatsapp. At that moment, I realized that I was dependent on Ye-ye’s presence. His constant encouragement and love supported me back in Malaysia, and now, it motivated me to thrive in this place where I would start a new chapter of my life.

Over my high school years, I occasionally imagined what Ye-ye faced back when they were leaving their hometown. Fear? Excitement? Curiousity? Anxiety of separation? I had a taste of those, and now it was up to my own hands to find my own interest and to create a life that I want. By taking classes of biology and anatomy, I found my interest in the functioning of the human body; by babysitting, I realized that I loved to work with children. I’ve actively volunteered in a local hospital for nearly two years, and I’ve visited a hospital in Malaysia with the passion to encourage cancer-stricken children to never give up on continuing the arduous treatment process. I am the president of an honor society, as well as an officer of Science Olympiad that aims to invigorate students’ interest in science. Despite these small achievements, I constantly reminded myself that it was largely on Ye-ye’s sacrifices and hardships that I’d built my success on. It was his stitches that the rest of the family held on to, keeping the family together over the distance. As the saying goes, “Distance only makes the heart grow fonder.”


我阿姨说,这一代的孩子那么好奇,想必未来只能在博物馆看针车缝制表演了



7 comments:

Lay Hong Goh said...

好棒的阳光女孩 !我们一起祝福她 !

vcc said...

有条理,感性的personal statement. 我也看好她。祝她学习顺利,愈战愈勇。

啦啦仔 said...

蛮好奇你孩子的华语程度怎么样?

吴荣生 said...

加油!!

黄君慧 Ng Kwan Wei said...

VCC, LayHOng, 谢谢安迪安迪们的祝福。。。终于等到孩子离家的这一天,你们两位妈妈都比我有经验,我是喜,还忧呢~

黄君慧 Ng Kwan Wei said...

啦啦仔,在家我们还是以华语交谈。大女儿她在马来西亚读到六年级,来这儿也读了两年华文 As a foreign Language,应该还可以吧?小她以一岁的二儿子也一样。
小女儿则来这儿上了3年的中文学校,一星期两个小时。由于中文学校采用大陆课程,所以她间接读了更多中华文化有关的景点,历史,传统艺术,思想,诗词等。看来比她妈妈学得更多。。。

黄君慧 Ng Kwan Wei said...

荣生,谢谢啊。希望你也一样,加油!未来是你们年轻一辈的。。。

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