Posts titled “Journal” will be sort of stream-of-consciousness things
Today, I had chemistry lab, which lasts from 1:15-5:00pm. We were supposed to continue from out last week’s work of “The Chemistry of Five Anions.” Thankfully, I was able to get out of the lab room early at about 3:00. I realized that I hadn’t gotten lunch because I slept in and had to do my pre-lab in a hurry right before class, so I went to the Coop Fountain for a snack before having dinner with my sponsor group.
As usual, I got an order of chicken tenders and a side of small fries for to-go. Chicken tenders, apparently, take a very long time to cook, so I sat at a table for a while, reading the latest edition of TSL. I took some napkins that were on the table and put them into my backpack, thinking they’d be nice to have for my room, just in case. My high school friends would call this an “Asian” thing, but I don’t know, whatever.
I’d noticed an elderly Asian man walk in the Fountain as I was standing at the counter, placing my order. By now, he’d wandered the perimeter of the Fountain, and he came up to me for some reason. He was like, “You, Chinese?” I told him no, that I was, in fact, Vietnamese. “You speak, Mandarin?” I don’t, but English was good enough, apparently, because he continued to make conversation with me.
Through his heavy Chinese accent, the man told me that his son was interested in coming to Pomona. He asked if first-years were required to live on campus, which they are, and I said Yes, they were required to live on campus, but afterwards they aren’t. He asked me more things and I continued to talk and be polite. I learned he was from China, and I think he said that he attended Pomona on a scholarship of some sort, but he decided to transfer to a school on the East Coast, whose name I forgot. He then came back and now lives in Montclair with his wife and his son. He has an older daughter who is working in China, and an older son who is pursuing his master’s degree at a university in China also. His son, currently a high-school senior, is applying to university, and Pomona is his top choice.
It was really fun having the conversation, because I hadn’t talked to an elderly person for a while, if you know what I mean, with that old, wise-person charm and whatnot. After a bit, the man decided to leave so that I could go about my business, and by then my food was ready and I left through the door quite a while after he had. I ran into him and his wife at a table out in the Smith Campus Center, and I thought it’d be nice to approach them and tell them that if they had any more questions, I’d be glad to give them my email address. They were really excited. The wife tried to speak to me in Mandarin, but the husband was like “No, Vietnamese,” and the wife was like “Ahh.” So they scrambled to get some paper for me to write on, and they handed me their own copy of the TSL article. I wrote the generic Pomona email address of email@example.com, and they were like “OH! YOU ARE LEFT HANDED. YOU WRITE NICE.” Haha. Ah that was fun. So then I left and they said they’d be sure to have their son send me questions.
So, now I wait, and I feel really, really nice, and maybe their son will be a future Sagehen.