As long as I can remember I listened to my father’s stories; he did not share often, but I know he enjoyed my interest. His stories were anecdotal, never of atrocities, except when he related the saddest of all stories- the death of his brother. Both men were captives of the Japanese, but at different camps.

In 2008, my husband and I traveled to Kanchanaburi, intent on researching my uncle’s death. We spent an entire day walking through the Death Railway museum— mementos, artifacts, tools, photos, and letters- looking, hoping, searching. Paul was not killed as my father believed for all those years; he died of beriberi. Tangible evidence in hand, I returned home, a believer of research.

As a teacher of English, my philosophy of education centers on the idea that students need to understand the power of thinking. I believe we as teachers have a duty to teach independence, to equip students with the knowledge that it is not the knowing of answers, but the process of finding answers that is important. My main task is not just to improve scores, but to prepare each student for greater challenges that lie ahead.