This is a page about "myself": 

           When I were a small kid, about 8 years old, there were 2 things I were very good: Writing (Literature) and inventions. I were very good at writing essays (in Literature subject) since the 2nd grade in elementary school up to 12th grade in High school. I also got good grades in different subjects in elementary school. Because of that, I thought that I had talents and dreamed to be a Doctor in Physics (not a MD or Medicine Doctor) when I grow up at 25 or 30 years old. When being a Doctor, I can invent many good things, machines, devices, materials to help many other people in the world! That wasn't a big dream for me and I thought I could do it. I still wrote pretty well when I attend college in America. Not because I were good at using vocabularies or grammar, but because I had a special writing style to persuade, entertain, creative, etc. I were not good and stayed away from subjects such as: Psychology, Geology. My teachers in elementary school took my essays and read in front of the other classes for other pupils (students) to hear and learn. My middle school teachers and high school instructors also read my essays for my classmates hear and learn. Some female teachers also fell in love with me! I "knew" that even though I did not know what love is. When I were at elementary school, on behalf of the entire pupils in school, I and another tall girl together with 2 or 3 Mathematics pupils were sent to another school for an Essay Contest and Math Contest to win prizes and honor in the District level! (a District contains many Villages, and a Village contains many hamlets, the elementary school is at the hamlet). The writting topic of the essay for the Contest wasn't easy, but I caught the main ideas, developed some additional ideas, then wrote my ideas on the draft paper. I wrote very long with enthusiasm. Even though the time allowed for composition was long, about 2 1/2 hours, but I didn't have enough time to transfer my ideas (composition) from the draft paper to the contest paper. I failed at that contest, but I regretted and had some experience.

           All of the students from the middle schools who wanted to transter or entered the High school must pass the High school transferring Test. The test only contained 2 main subjects: Literature and Maths but they were very difficult. Because there are many middle schools in different villages but there were only 2 High schools in the whole District. The total scores for 2 tests was 20 points but in facts, the maximum scores is only 18 points because almost no student will get 10 points/10 points for the Literature subject test. Ten points for the Literature test is only for the Literature teacher/instructor level, and 9 points for the test is only for the extremely excellent Literature student. There are many Transferring tests happen in many years in the entire Vietnam country, there are only ONE female student get a Perfect 10 points/10 points of the Literature test. You can imagine how hard to get 10 points in the Literature subject! There was a secret: She copied entire composition from another excellent Literature students with some of her additional ideas from the beginning to the end. There was no break in 2 1/2 hours.

          About the transferring test from middle school to High school, every student was allowed 3 months to review and practice for the test. With some experience from the previous failed test, this time I wrote most of my ideas on the contest paper, watched the clock well for the time allowed. After finishing the 2 tests, I felt tired and were not confident about my works for the tests. After one or two months, I rode bicycle to the High school to see the test results. Many of my classmates in middle school failed, disappointed, sad and cried. Some of them registered for the waiting list to be considered again. I felt the same way and not confident. When I saw the result for my tests I was very surprise: My total scores for 2 tests was 14 points: 8 points for Literature and 6 points for Maths. I had the second best results about the scores of the tests among hundreds of other students! Most of them were good students, that was why they passed the tests. The best result for the total score of the tests belongs to a big Chinese guy. His total scores were 14,5 point: 7 points for Literature and 7,5 points for Maths. I were proud of him! Later I read on a newspaper said that in the High school transferring test for the entire Sai Gon city (the City has more than 10 Districts), the high score for Literature was rare. There were only 8 essay compositions had 8 points/10 points and only 1 student had near perfect 9 points/10 points for the essay composition! 

          I had a good skill for invention too. When I was small, about 8 or 10 years old, I could make a tiny radio with only some electronic parts. It was about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. I could hear the news and music. But in bad weather, I had to climb up to the roof of the house to catch the signal. Later I could design a Mosquito-fighting device to enter a Electronic device designing Contest in Sai Gon city. I won a Consolation prize for the device!

          Again when I were a kid, about 7 or 8 years old, I dreamed very high. I wished to become a Doctor, I mean a Physics Doctor who get Noble prize and famous to the world! Not a Medical Doctor. By being a Doctor I can invent many good devices, machines, things, etc. to help countless people to improve their life and change their life. So that I did very good in school, got good grades and win prizes at the end of the school years. I were still doing well when I grew up as a pupil or student, but later when I finished High school with excellent grades (My total test (exams) scores were 34 points/40 points for the 4 tests, the best student had 35 points/40 points), things seem to change. I failed on the Transferring test to enter the University level, because I did not attend some additional courses to prepare for the real life test and because of discrimination policy from the Vietnamese communists. The courses cost too much money and I couldn't afford. It was very hard for me to get a job, maybe because of poor economic conditions in Vietnam and there were many competitions over there. Most people got a job to earn a living. I had to do different kinds of jobs to earn some money, sometimes pretty hard and not in good working environments. I had to depend on my parents. I thought my dream to be a Doctor is too high, I had to reduce it down to "assistant Doctor". I went to the vacational school in my District to take some courses on Electronics and Electric motor. After that, I got some jobs and earn some money, but life still hard.

          My dad worked for America as a High officer in South Vietnam, I came to America at the end of 1992. I got some jobs, earn some money to support myself and help my parents. I attended Jefferson Community College for 5 years part time while I worked for some companies. Sometimes I attended college full time. I graduated College with very good grades. Because of getting good grades, I had subjective feelings and didn't apply for a temporary position in my field (Computer Information Systems) right away to have more experience. So that I could get a better career later. I sent my resumes to very famous company like: Xerox, Ford Motor Company, IBM, Microsoft, etc. Because I have only 2 years degree and have no experience, most of them rejected me from the interview or ignored me. Then it was hard for me look for a career in my field. After trying to apply and being interviewed for some small companies, I worked as some positions such as: Printer repair Technician, Computer programmer, in management team, Network, Database, data entry, etc. Sometimes I thought about continue to go to college or University to get a four years degree, but I was old, and the tuition was very expensive. Except for my little brother, he still too young, all of my brothers and sister get married. I thought about getting married too, with a regular family, a normal guy marry a normal girl with medium income. Then my hope again going down, I didn't want to be an engineer (with 4 years degree) I just want to stay at the Associate level (2 years degree). Beside of that, I was old and felt old, I couldn't help many people like I thought before.

          Buddhism came to my life as a dream, I read and like the Dhammapada Sutra very much. It said about many facts of life in a concise and kind language. It was translated into Vietnamese language by Venerable Thich Minh Chau. I read that Sutra again and again and feel the meanings of it. One day, I visit the library in a local Temple, I read a book of a famous Monk and like it. The Dhammapada Sutra and that book changed my life because I applied what Buddha taught in my real life. I have less bad Karma and more good Karma and merits. I know more ways to practise Buddhism: Doing more good things, avoid doing bad things and purify my mind. I have much less sufferings in my life and if I have any suffering, it is tiny and I know the reason why. My spiritual life went up tremendously, I had being able to help countless Vietnameses, Americans, other people in other countries avoid natural disasters, domestic and outside wars, transferring from a poor country to a much richer country, improve economic conditions, more intelligent, getting well, etc. I am very happy with that. I don't have to be a Doctor, or an assistant Doctor, or an Engineer with a 4 years degree, I still be able to help countless people. Not only helping human-beings, I also help hell-beings, hungry ghost, animals, demi-god and heavenly-beings too. I aslo paid much debts from Saints, Patriarchs, Boddhisattvas and Buddhas. Without Buddhism, there is no ways I could perform those wonderful, magical things. I will be with Buddhism for the rest of my life.

           Now, you can click on this link: to return to the homepage and begin your discoveries in new good truthful things in Buddhism. Good luck and I wish you do well in all good things that you do.


Tinh Tam.