3 years, 5 months, and 15 days. Aim high.

My dearest Shosh and Jaialai:

I want you to be successful.  I want you to have a happy, secure, and comfortable life.

You can do that by aiming high.  Be the best you can be.  Don’t settle for less simply because it is easier.

Look at Dad’s side of the family.  Five of us hold doctorates, eight of us have master’s degrees, and all but one of us hold college degrees.  We include a medical doctor, an assistant dean of a mid-size college, a lawyer, and a number of educators.  We own our own homes and go on vacation to nice places.  We have the respect of our colleagues and are in need of little.

Your cousins on dad’s side have bright futures ahead of them.  A number of them have graduated from good colleges, and hold respectable jobs that pay well.  (For example, one was the president of a wholly-owned subsidiary of a major corporation in the U.S.)  Others are attending school at good colleges, and are pursuing degrees that will enable them to find good jobs.

Now, look at your mom’s side.  None has an advanced degree, and a few do not even have college degrees.  Your uncles and aunts include an uncertified translator, a warehouse packer, a bus driver, a driver for the public works department, etc.  One aunt has four children by three different men.  My nickname for her current husband is “knife wielder” because on the day of their wedding, his friends got into a knife fight at the reception and one of your uncles on your mom’s side had to protect the children present.  (What kind of a person would have friends who got into a knife fight at a wedding?!!!  How low class can you be?)

Now, look at your cousins on your mother’s side of the family.  One of the children in Knife Wielder’s household has a felony conviction for being involved in selling drugs.  The others?  A few have bright futures, but a most do not.  How many have children out of wedlock?  How many hold steady and respectable jobs that offer bright futures for their own children?

That’s why I want you to follow my side of the family.  Study hard.  Do well in school.  Follow my footsteps and get into Duke University, Harvard University, the University of California at Berkeley or at Davis, the George Washington University, University of Santa Clara, etc.

You can do it!  You are both very smart boys!  Don’t waste your life living a mediocre existence and working fast food restaurants.  You are better than that!

Work on improving your vocabulary.  Learn Latin and Greek root words.  https://www.learnthat.org/pages/view/roots.html.  A strong vocabulary is critical to success in school and in life.  Among other things, it will help you score well on the verbal section of the SAT, understand more completely what is being communicated to you in school or at work, speak more persuasively, and write more eloquently.

All my love, always,




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