A Tale Of Two Worlds

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By Connor Lang

Editors Note:  This story is Part I of a series on immigrant and refugee students.

Lowell, MA- Imagine being set in a new life. Distant from your past of ease and wealth, you have been placed in the dead center of a world unfamiliar and aggravating.

 Phuc (She prefers Phie) Nguyen is an immigrant student who has thrived academically at LHS.  Phie is a funny, hardworking, and understanding individual. She speaks of her life in Vietnam. A good job, an advanced education, and plans for the future. Not persecution, not lack of schooling and not poverty.

“I grew up in a middle class family and I was really upset when my mother decided to move our family to the United States,” says Phie about the move to a new country.

In Vietnan Phie’s family had money and a strong backbone, her mother. Her mother kept the family together and always provided emotional and family support. Phie doesn’t exactly know why her mother wanted her family to come to the U.S. The lives that they would leave behind were just so great.

“It was so great in Vietnam. My job, my life, my everything. I don’t know why my mother wanted us to move here,” Phie Explains.

In Vietnam, Phie would have liked to study and become a lawyer because of her skilled thinking and generally sassy ways. But now, she feels as if her english speaking skills don’t even compare to her Vietnamese. Thus, her dream of becoming a lawyer may be broken. The medical field is an option now, the path loved by every parent. But, is it really what Phie wants to do with her life?

Phie tells of Vietnam, beautiful and peaceful compared to crumby ole’ Lowell, Massachusetts. She hides it well, but moving to America was a huge step backward. 12th grade classes had been taught in the 6th grade. Working at a local mall was almost fun. The only downside seemed to be not having as much time to hangout. But, Phie describes her experiences as nearly ideal. The U.S had seemed like uninhabitable lands and Phie couldn’t come to terms on why her mother was making her move while they had currently been living semi-perfect lives. 

Now that you know a little bit about Phie, and maybe even have a better understanding of her life than me, but here’s the breakdown of her story. Phie is like a character in the wrong book, a prodigy of the wrong calling, a player of the wrong sport. She doesn’t show it, but she may be trapped in the wrong life.