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Alicia Dang, Age 15
Lobato, Alex
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History San Jose Research Library
History San Jose Online Catalog
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My dad served in the Vietnam war as part of the army, and after the war he got offered an all-expenses free trip to the U.S. for serving in the brutal war, since he was on the "losing" side (South Vietnam) and would have to get out as quickly as possible for me and my mother's safety. My dad of course jumped at the opportunity for a better life, and hopped on the plane with infant me and my mom, headed for the land of opportunity. I was too young to remember the journey, but it was definitely not a struggle as it was by airplane. I was too young to remember my impressions, but I remember when I was little I looked at old pictures of my parents' old life in Vietnam and was astonished at how mediocre and drab and difficult to get by it seemed compared to my current life, and so I learned to appreciate where I was more. My earliest impressions of life in the States were not much, as I had not lived in Vietnam long enough to have something to compare to, but I do remember feeling awkward and out of place since when I started going to school, the majority of my peers were of white descent. My first feelings of inferiority and being left out by my peers have changed, as I have moved from Campbell to San Jose where the majority of ethnic races are "colored" and the people are a lot friendlier, but sometimes out of town I do flashback to feeling like the only "colored" one. A major struggle in my teenage life here is my parents' high expectations concerning my school work; I have to take the best classes no matter how hard and I'm expected to go to University after high school. This is a stereotypical Asian parent thing, but it really is difficult to try to reason with my parents as their retort is always gruesome descriptions of their tougher childhood. Other than that, there are hardly any struggles as I have adapted to the American life greatly, to the point where my hair is dyed blonde, although my parents don't like it. I would like to get out of my comfort zone in San Jose and get out of this city and go to University somewhere by the beach to pursue my studies in whatever I want, although my parents urge me to get a doctorate degree. I want to explore the world and go cross-country across the U.S., as I have never been in any other state, and I want to see what's really out there, while all the while making my parents proud.
Lobato, Alex
Dang, Alicia

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