One humid afternoon outside of Hopkins in downtown Baltimore, a dilapidated car came to a brake-squeaking stop in the potholes of Charles St., and let out a dozen Vietnamese refugees into the sun. From his apartment deck, a Grad. student put out his cigarette and kept his Norwegian Elk-hound (Teiga) from barking, while he squinted through thick lenses at the near-comical lineup. At the end of the line was a, then, 17-year old version of my mother, Mai Nguyen, safe-guarding deep within, one precious egg that would carry her haploid genes until a seventh of century later when I would be conceived after two practice babies had popped out already into the world.
What follows then is a short bout through public education, continuing on present day, as I conclude my fourth year at the College of William and Mary. I’ve studied Japanese here, as well as Insects and Society, Red Scare era black listed films and even the politics of feminine hysteria in Dostoevsky’s translated works. Having recently come back from a stint in Kyoto, muttering Heart Sutras and eating burnt mochi like a pro-monk, while studying religions both archaic and new, I’m looking forward to a completion of my B.A. here. Until then, I will continue to walk around this campus like a teen-refugee in Charm city.