Life lessons learned from Prof. George C. C. Chao
I did not have to study the Chinese language. By the summer of 1992, I had completed all of my coursework for graduation in an attempt to save my family the cost of a fourth year of college tuition. My father, a former mathematics professor, would have none of it. “You will be working for the rest of your life,” he argued, “so take this opportunity to study random things in which you are interested during this fourth year of college.” Many of my college friends were from Taiwan, and they spoke Mandarin Chinese to each other whenever we got together over noodles and beer, so I decided that Chinese would be one of the things I would study in my “bonus year” of college.