Reflection: Early Years

I was prompted to rewrite my bio today… and somehow I started writing a novel of an autobiography~ lol. This is what I have so far:

I was born on March 20, 1983 in Knoxville, TN. My parents came from Taiwan so that my father could acquire a Masters degree in Food Science at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. According to my dad, he fell in love with this country within the first week of being here after his housemates took him around for some sight seeing. He loved the wide open spaces and abundance of fishing.

Because of his new found love, he decided he wanted to stay in the States instead of returning to Taiwan to work. The people around him told him that Computer Science was the ticket to stay. He ended up visiting the Dean of Computer Science at his school which whom he struck a deal to audit classes. His acceptance into the program would depend on how he did on the exams. My dad aced them.

My parents were very hard working. While my father earned his degree in Computer Science, my mother took night classes to improve her English and develop job skills. They both worked at a Chinese restaurant to pay the bills. After my dad graduated, my family moved a lot due to my father’s career. We were on the east coast for a little bit, then my younger brother was born in Sacramento, CA in 1985. After that, we moved a few times within Silicon Valley where we eventually ended up in Cupertino, CA, home of Apple Computers.

Growing up in Cupertino, I always felt that I lived in a “Truman Show type bubble.” I always felt that there had to be more to life than what I knew in this little suburban city. My brother and I were latchkey kids. Although we played together as young children, by the time I was in junior high, we did our own things. Also, our parents were strict about us hanging out with friends, so we didn’t go out very much.

Therefore, I had a lot of time to myself. I pondered the existence of God, I thought a lot about life and its meaning, and I found ways to entertain myself (i.e. radio talk shows with my stuffed animals). During this time, I also discovered a hobby in making websites, chatting on AOL, and joining online social networks. I published my first website circa 1996 on GeoCities (prior to that, I had made a “website” on my dad’s company’s Intranet circa 1994). Since I was the only one amongst my peers doing this, everyone who knew about it thought it was cool. Shoot. I was a pioneer back then.

In high school, I continued to build websites. I would code everything in Notepad and create my own graphics. I learned how to do a lot of things by reading other people’s HTML source codes. On AOL, I went through different screen names, from cHiNkBeBe52 to Azn66girly to bamboo6irl. I eventually picked up the nickname “Peachies” because I would always buy a bag of Trolli gummy peach rings and share them with my friends. This name stuck and went on to become my online persona.

In college, my online persona took on a personality of its own after I started blogging about Asian American films, music, events, etc. This all started after I took an Intro to Asian American Studies class at UC Santa Cruz. This class changed my life. I started to become passionate about raising the Asian American voice in mainstream media. I wanted to make a difference, so I started joining grassroots movements within the Asian American community, blogging avidly on Xanga.com regarding Asian American moves in media, and connecting with like-minded individuals.

I credit Judy Yung, BETTER LUCK TOMORROW, Evan Jackson Leong, L.S. Kim, and a band called Nemo for inspiring me to follow this path.

To be continued…

  • Wow… I read this and went “I thought I was the only one!” except I didn’t grow up in California and Tennesee and all that.. 🙂