Engineering Ruler

Relationship: Child of im/migrant
Engineering Ruler
Engineering Ruler

 My father was born in Taipei, Taiwan, and grew up in a nearby but smaller farming village. When he was only eight years old, his parents made the decision to move from Taiwan to the United States in hopes for better opportunities and a more promising future. This being the primary reason behind their immigration, my grandparents wanted my dad to work in either the medical field or the engineering industry. In 1980, he was accepted into Vanderbilt’s engineering program where he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degree, graduating in 1984. While he was in school, my grandpa gave my father a specific ruler, solely used for engineering purposes. Seeing as how my grandfather was an engineer himself, he passed on the ruler to my dad who was on the pathway to becoming one too. My grandpa longed for the day that my dad would pass down the ruler to his children with high hopes that they would follow in these family footsteps. My brother plans to be a biomedical engineer and this ruler will yet again come into use after three consecutive generations of engineers. In some ways, this relates to the period of time when The Chinese Exclusion Act was set into place. Many people from China immigrated to the United States due to harsh economic conditions as well as the desire for the American Dream. Similar to these past generations, my grandparents had moved to this country for employment opportunities. Ultimately, this ruler represents the motivation behind my family’s immigration and is a significant reminder of how and why I am here today.    

Place(s): Taiwan
Year: 1970

– M

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant