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Lillian Hou (Are You): Who Am I?

Good question! Let me count the ways..

In a nutshell, I am kinda short and kinda awesome :)

In other ways, I am Lillian D. Hou. The D doesn’t really stand for anything. In fact, on my birth certificate, it’s just a D, a single letter. Of course, it stands for the first letter of my maiden’s name, but since it does not include the other letters of that name, I like to pretend that it stands for other things.

It could stand for doctor’s assistant, because my major is biology, and that’s the direction that I’m heading down.

It could stand for dunking myself in lots of books to read, especially if the characters are dynamic and what happens to them are determining, such as in How the Garcia Girls Lost their Accents and the works of G.K. Chesterton, Aurora Levins Morales, Kim Addonizio, Willie Perdomo and Martin Espada. The others, All Nations Under Heaven and How the Other Half Lives were not as appealing without any characters to identify myself with.

It could stand for doing things with my friends, especially if it’s eating or visiting new places, as long there is the time and the place to talk and catch up with each other about our lives.

It could stand for discovering new places with my family, whether it is a two-day’s, two-hours’, two-minutes’ drive from the home, whether it is overstuffed shopping mall, boring museums and gardens, expensive four-star restaurants, as long as I am with my mother, father and two sisters.

It definitely stands for a dedicated member of the Irish group!

Where Am I From?

Instead of a Chinese-American, I am an ABC (American-Born Chinese), a title bequeathed to those who relate more to their American roots than their Chinese, a case not rare within first-generation immigrants, children born to immigrant parents. It makes senses considering I was born here, in Queens, in Flushing. My parents emigrated from Taiwan to the United States, as most immigrants did, for better opportunities. My mother was raised in Pingtung City, my father in Da Shu Village, a mere thirty-minute train ride apart. They came to attend graduate school in the United States, specifically at the North Texas State University where they came across one another in 1982. In 1985, they both graduated and made the ultimate decision to move to New York for better prospects. They resided in Flushing at first and since having children, have moved a grand total of four times within Flushing and Fresh Meadows, so I am currently from Fresh Meadows, not to mention Harlem, where I am currently typing this up in my dorm room.

What has NY been for me?


I’ve lived in New York all my life. I arrived at the NYHQ in Flushing and I’ve remained pretty close there, in the neighboring town of Fresh Meadows, even with moving about four times, amusingly, all within walking distance of each other. I know the place so much that it is starting to bore me.
This school year was the only time that I’ve ever strayed from my borough of Queens. As a college student, I wanted the thrill of dorms, which I found, for better and for worse, at Harlem. It’s quite amusing as well as I’d attended the Queens High School of Sciences in Jamaica, which is similar to Harlem in the dominant ethnic group that reside, work and play there.

Having lived in Manhattan for this year, I’ve discovered places, especially the tourist places that true New Yorker would never go to, being too busy to, that were a simple train ride away. There were the different museums, which appealed due to the unset prices, the different shopping centers where things could be bought, the different theaters where award-worthy plays and shows were given—and all thanks to the Honors College. Of course, it was confusing to navigate all at once, what with the street names being actual words instead of chronological numbers.

This may be the place where I live for the rest of my life, as I know every nook and cranny of it (this place being Queens, as I do not believe I can afford Manhattan). It may not, however, as I have my sights set on other locations where the house mortgages and apartment prices are not so exorbitant.

You should get to know this girl :D