I’m hanging out at my grandpa’s place today, and I had an intriguing conversation with him this morning that I want to remember. My grandpa, who goes by Frank, grew up in World War II, and worked for the U.S. Army when he was 22, and the Japanese were invading Hong Kong. It seems to me that his greatest regret was the lack of education. he was able to study Chinese for 9 years, and English for 2, for a total of 11 years of education. Back then, where he was, there were no schools and no chances for earning a degree. He said that in all his years of schooling, he was always top boy– except for one year, when he was second. Yet school was easy for him, and it didn’t take a whole lot of effort him to be best-in-class. He says that if he grew up today, he would take advantage of the educational opportunities and earn his degree.
He showed me his U.S. Army pass, which allowed him to enter and use U.S. facilities and convoys during the war. He worked for them as a typist, since he could use a typewriter better than pretty much anyone else. That sounds quite impressive to me. Plus, I saw a letter of recommendation from his supervisor. I could go see if I can look at it again so I can post an excerpt here, just for memory’s sake.
After World War II, he started an import/export business with a partner and did import/exports between Hong Kong and Japan, Korea, and other countries. He made a lot of money there, but then lost it when the business stopped doing as well.
My grandpa also tells me about a boy who went to Caltech back when gu-ma lived in a house which is now part of the Caltech campus. He was very clever, and when you gave him a book or assignment, he could read and understand it right away, especially if it was related to mathematics. But when it came to common sense, he had none of it. He also couldn’t drive, so his mom had to drive him back and forth from school. They never met this boy, but heard of him through the neighbors who would talk about him.
Maybe I’ll add more to this post later… installing ThinkVantage drivers for my laptop now.