I am the youngest of seven children from an agricultural province in China, and the only one to have made it to college. The late 1980s in China was a time of transitions, when the government started to let students fund themselves through college, as compared to the previous decade when tuition was minimal. Our family were earning very little then, therefore the tuition problem loomed large with the prospect of me going to college, though my parents were determined to send me there. Fortunately, our high school found us an opportunity to enter a university with no tuition or college entrance exam for students who were among the top 10% in GPA in class. It sounded too good to be true, except that the institution of choice was a teacher-training university. Students equally qualified as I was declined the opportunity in anticipation of better financial prospect in professions other than teaching, but I took the opportunity, got my degree, went on to graduate school and eventually came to the United States, where I have been working ever since.
Originally published with Wise Ed Review. Read more here.