Monday, November 20, 2006

Five Things about me

I've been tagged by Andrew (To Love, Honor and Dismay) to write five things people don't know about me. Let me give it a try:

1. I'm Chinese, as in, I was born, raised and educated in China. I'm fluent in Mandarin, can understand Cantonese, Hakanese and some other smaller dialects. As a student I enjoyed Chinese classics more than any other subject, in turn my Chinese language is beyond grad school level while my formal Chinese education ended at high school. Since I learned most things in Chinese, sometimes I have to mentally translate them into English, such as the name of the planets, medication and math concepts. Occasionally English words get messed up in my head. Last night I asked for pumpkin mousse (chocolate mousse or pumpkin pie?); and this morning I asked Henry how many slides of cheese he wanted on his sandwich.

2. I met my husband through a dating service. This was mentioned on my blog before, but it's so much fun to talk about it here again. Bill's version has much more details. The joke in our family is everyone came with a contract except for Henry who came with no dollar amount or return policy. Bill and our former rescue dog Macie (a West Highland While Terrier, a lovely girl we had for three years) are, shall we say, the cheapest, at $25 a piece. I remain the priciest acquisition, at $500.

3. I have amblyopia (commonly known as lazy eye) and strabismus in my right eye, and only have color with almost no vision. I need to be about three feet in front of the big eye chart to see the biggest letter on top. Unbeknownst to most people, lazy eye is not an eye disease, but a neurological disease. My eyes send two imagines to the brain and the brain only accepts one. Gradually the brain elliminates the second image. In my eyes, the world IS flat. On the other hand my eyes are not in perfect shape either. I'm very far sighted in both eyes, so I started needing reading glasses at twenty seven. At the time I was the youngest in a forty five people group, and one of the only ones toting a pair of reading glasses around on my neck.

4. I studied Shakespeare's sonnets in college, on my own, and also enjoyed Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Sonnets from the Portuguese. Chinese literature is 90% poetry which is all about rhythm and rhyme. Novels and essays only exist in recent history (that's about 500 years in China). Sonnet is closest form of English literature to Chinese poetry. I learned to write poems in second grade, in Chinese of course; and never wrote poems in English -- never wrote much else in English for that matter, other than emails and now blog. Most of my writings were lost when I moved to the US.

5. I don't know how to swim, despite many hours of lessons in my childhood.

There are quite a few more in my list, but this is supposed to be five things, so I'll stop.

I'll tag Lesley, Sarah, Jocelyn, Cris and Larissa.


Lesley said...

Well don't leave me hanging... where's number 5?

Andrew said...

$500?? Man, did he ever get an incredible bargain!

Nice answers.

Zelda said...

My mom said she realized she'd made the switch to English when she no longer had dreams in Vietnamese.

I recently read Bill's dating service story. It would be interesting to read it from your perspective too!

Zelda said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lynn said...

Very interesting!! LOVED the story of how you and your dh met.