Time of Remembrance – Melissa Chin
Interview with Melissa Chin as part of the Secret War Oral History Project.
00:44 – Clip 1: Melissa discusses why her father moved her family to Thailand and their immigration experiences. She recounts how her father was trained by the CIA to become a teacher/trainer on how to fight the communists.
07:16 – Clip 2: Shares her reaction to arriving in the U.S. including the different families that they stayed with until they settled in Portland, Oregon.
11:25 – Clip 3: Further reflects on what her elementary school was like and how she overcame the language barrier.
15:18 – Clip 4: Explains how her parents had a hard time adapting to American society. She also explains how her parents took ESL classes in order to better understand U.S. lifestyles.
19:58 – Clip 5: Reflects on how difficult it was to combat the lack of diversity within their neighborhood and how the Mien families banded together to support each other.
23:00 – Clip 6: Recalls the difficulty of keeping up on school work in junior high school due to the increased rigor in secondary education and the lack of assistance she received throughout her experience.
25:25 – Clip 7: Describes her secondary education experience and her inquiry into the idea of college. She also describes how she found her future husband at 17 and the process of her eventual marriage.
30:02 – Clip 8: Addresses the issue about how teachers and administrators need to get to know their students’ backgrounds in order to understand their particular population of students and their cultural experiences.
36:30 – Clip 9: Discusses the importance of using these interviews in the classroom because they connect with the cultural backgrounds of different ethnic groups, which will encourage others to open up about their family experiences/stories.
40:11 – Clip 10: Reflects on what it was like to watch TV (cartoons) for the first time on the airplane.
41:18 – Clip 11: Melissa recalls some of the illnesses she and her sisters faced coming to the U.S., as well as difficulties with the introduction of new foods.
43:02 – Clip 12: Discusses how families would sponsor each other to help them adjust to American society.
44:44 – Credits