Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Disappointment Opens Door to Better Opportunity

Retired NASA Chemist, Winifred Huo, was born in Guangzhou, China two weeks before the start of the Sino-Japanese war.  She recalls the first eight years of her life as looking for a safe place to live, and a place where her father could work. (see post one.) Winifred's highly-educated father was assigned to Guangdong to help build the impossible: the Burma Road. (see post two.) Two years after arriving, the Japanese invaded and the family had to make a quick escape. (see post three.) Thanks to Winifred's mother, despite all the moving about, Winifred excelled at her studies.  And, when she finally landed in Hong Kong for high school, she found her passion in the sciences.(see post four.)
When Winifred graduated from high school, she discovered that she could not apply to the university in Hong Kong.  Hong Kong was under British rule at the time, the University was under the British system, and the administration would not accept applicants from a non-British high school...without an extra two years of education.  Although disappointing at the time, it turned out to be fortuitous, “That year was the first year that Taiwan had an open solicitation of students from the Hong Kong/Macau area. So I took the exam and I got into the Taiwan Normal University.”

Taiwan became a lily pad from which she jumped to the U.S. in yet another fortuitous time.

(To be continued.  Next: Sputnik Changed Everything.) 

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