Photo by Sam Chang on Unsplash

The first time it happened, I was eight. We hadn’t immigrated yet, but I was in Washington for the summer. My friend from the summer camp at the boys and girls club told me that “Hsin” was an ugly name. “If I had a daughter, I’d name her something pretty,” she said.

The next time it happened, I was ten, the first time I’d been to San Jose. “I’m from Taiwan,” I would say. “You mean Thailand?” someone would ask.

I was eleven when I attended school in America for the first time. We had immigrated the summer before. For…

I’m not going to be an angry activist, and I hope the movement can still accept me.

Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash

Sometimes I think I’m not meant to perform advocacy.
There’s a stereotype surrounding the profession: passionate, righteous, and most of all, angry.
It seems like every major advocate is an angry activist, and I am not angry.

— My dad is an advocate. In college, He and some classmates orchestrated a 6000 person grassroots student protest, back when free speech was punishable by death in Taiwan. His movement influenced the Taiwanese parliament to enact voting for county representatives. It was one of the…

My mind wanders when I allow it, and sometimes, even when I don’t allow it.

Why is it hard to be present? So many thoughts to be had, information to be read, words to be typed. Every moment needs to be maximized to its most productive use. But who am I, now, to determine the standards of “most productive”? In six months, how will I, then, redefine these tasks I’m scrambling to complete at once, and whether they were truly “productive”? You don’t know until the moment has passed, and even then, the answer keeps changing. …

Did I spend my time in a way that I’ll regret? Did I waste a part of me, pouring it into ideas that won’t resonate, skills that will go to waste in time?

What does it mean to succeed? And what matters, after I’ve burned through four years? How do I tangibly measure what I’ve done? Because the bolded red W’s and L’s and the 3–1’s lined next to Leland WP seem like the clearest measurements, the best indicators. So what did these four years mean?

The last four years were of beeping timers, adrenaline, stuttering, warmth, of leaving classrooms…

Ho-Hsin Wang

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