A few days before I headed off to college, my dad sat me down for a talk. It wasn’t that talk, which we’d had a few years before. That talk was incredibly awkward, involving metaphors about shooting guns and comparisons between human genitalia and broccoli. My dad gave me that talk in Chinese, and it was one of the few times in my life when I was grateful my Chinese language skills weren’t up to par.
The talk we had before college concerned something even more important than the birds and the bees, at least in the eyes of a first-generation immigrant like my father. He wanted to talk to me about my choice of major. He told me in his most solemn voice, “You must choose a major that is practical.”