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Shipboard Interview with Ying Chung

Her Future and Roots


by Tatsuru Kimura 

Ying Chung I interviewed Ying Chung at the AFT of 6th deck. The interview took about 20 minutes.  I mainly asked about what took her to Semester At Sea.

Ying is a senior student at University of Colorado, Boulder.  She learned about Semester At Sea from some of her friends at the college two years ago.  She was getting tired with ordinary college work at that time.  Five of her friends participated in SAS and two of them were on the last voyage.  All of them told her their precious experiences about their own voyages.  She decided to sign up for SAS about a year and a half ago.  Her parents objected to her decision.  Her father was mainly concerned about the cost for the voyage.  So she persuaded her father by getting a scholarship and financial aid.  Her mother was simply anxious about her safety and she insisted that Yung already had an international experience because she had been to Australia.  So Ying explained her need to have more experience for her future job.    She has a clear goal for her future, becoming a teacher of elementary school.  She thinks the experience at this voyage will help when she becomes a teacher.  She thinks that it is very important to teach kids about global perspective. 

I really respect Ying because of her ability to plan her future.  When I interview someone or hear someone talking, I tend to compare to myself and sometimes find something I lack.  When I get objections I tend to stop my thinking about the issue to avoid conflict, unlike the way Ying persuaded her parents to let her come on SAS.  By comparison, I am living a haphazard life and sometimes regret my decisions.   

Among the countries that we will visit, she is especially interested in China and Vietnam, since these countries represent her roots.   Her great-grandfathers moved to Vietnam because of the China-Japan War.  Her grandfather still lives in Vietnam.  Her father moved to the USA and her mother moved to Australia.  These movements make it difficult to trace her roots.  Ying seems very interested in her own roots.  She is learning Cantonese and is looking forward to using it.  I had a little bit of an odd feeling when I heard this story.  The beginning of the movement of her ancestors was caused by a war against Japan, my own country.  We were talking so friendly, though our grandfathers fought against each other.  I was so interested in her life and her roots. 

I really appreciate her kindness and patience to sharing time with me.

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