This dissertation could not have been completed without the “restaurant family” that I interacted with for more than two years. They had reasons to be suspicious of me but they opened their lives to me and treated me with warm hearts. They not only served as my participants but became my other family in the U.S. I could go to their home for a hotpot party on Chinese New Year’s Eve and get fed when I was too tired to cook. I saw how hard Chinese immigrants worked in this new land for a better life and hope I can be as tough as they are.
I am indebted to my doctoral committee for their never-ending advice and support both academically and personally in all these years. Dr. MK opened an amazing door for me to enter a qualitative wonderland where I had the chance to be enlightened by various discussions of different philosophical perspectives. Her warm hugs encouraged me and her positive attitude influenced my beliefs of being a qualitative researcher. Dr. LL took me to the world of children’s literature. Her passions and knowledge of children’s literature inspired my interest in teaching and learning multicultural children’s literature. Dr. ZF always believed in me and cheered me with his smiles. I would like to thank them for never lowering their standards for me being a non-native English speaker and at the same time giving me extra care and help.
Great thanks go to my committee chair Dr. DF, who has become my advisor, my life-time mentor, and my parent in the US. I thank her for never closing her door to me and always being patient with my endless questions. She has been understanding and provided me with valuable advice to help me accomplish my goals in academia. She pushed me when I hesitated to move forward and motivated me when I lost my energy in fighting with challenges. She challenged my ideas, gave feedback, guided me to dig deeper, and assisted me to integrate theories with practices in my writing. She also included me into her family so I have this privilege to share love from her family members, X and B, as well. I am so grateful to have her as my mentor.
This impossible mission could not be finished without the study group members that accompanied me through the entire journey: NS, JG, KK, TU, JS, XH, and JD. Because of this group, I have had the chance to practice being a social constructionist by interacting within the group and to make sense of meaning together. Especially thank to KK, NS and JG. Without K’s intensive editing and suggestions about structure in final stage of my writing, I would not have kept faith in finishing up. N and J have become my best friends, my cheerleaders and my peer mentors. They listened to my ideas, brainstormed with me, encouraged me even when they were geographically distanced from me. I could not have completed this journey alone without their endless backing as colleagues, as friends, and more like my siblings.
My best friends in Taiwan, PHC, YCL, HCL, and ITM, kept sending their support to me across the Pacific Ocean with their faith in me. They supported me throughout my journey of getting my writing down. Thanks also go to JC, the only Taiwanese peer who came to University and finished her degree with me almost at the same time. Although in different academic fields, we accompanied each other at the last and the most difficult stage of completing the Ph.D. degree when all other comrades had completed theirs and left us. We shared the frustrations and cheered each other up to achieve our final goals. MYH deserves my gratitude for keeping awake to make sure I could go home safely after midnight from school during my crazy writing stage.
I owe my greatest thanks to my family. I appreciate their ever-lasting encouragement, their mental and financial support. My parents, even though they wanted me to finish my degree fast, did not dare to put any pressure on me. They struggled with missing and worrying about me from half a world away but always kept their faith in me and never stopped upholding me in pursuing my dream. My brother has served as my personal advisor in helping me clarify all the difficulties in pursuing a Ph.D. degree. His family, my two nieces and my sister-in-law, also served as my mental back-ups. My cousin Y, whom I see as my real sister, opened her ears for me all the time when I needed someone to talk to, gave me a shoulder to cry on when I misplaced my faith or got depressed, and she never turned her back to me.
I would also dedicate this dissertation in memory of my aunt, HJ Hsieh (1945-2008), who could not wait to see me complete the degree. I will follow her steps to be a good teacher. I also hope I will not disappoint her expectation for me to be able to honor our family as a female member.
Without all the support from these whom I love, without the faith from those who love me, I could not have completed this long journey and would not be a strong person as I am today. For the love, faith and belief, I am grateful.
註三: 照片是經過處理的… the moment of congratulations
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