The collage, "Where Is the Love," is the most personal work in the series. I have chosen texts that reflect my feelings about my mother.
"Elena, the English Teacher"
At the end, though Mom might never have stopped drinking, she was actually holding down a part-time job as a clerk-typist for the Vallejo Naval History Museum. She was also teaching four Chinese immigrant cooks and busboys English lessons and she was also taking night courses at the Solano Community College towards completing, after all these years, her college degree. Her last course which ended this fall: Philippine-American history.
I miss you. I’ll
See want to visit you but your not in home. Today I bring 2 pieces of cantonoop for you. I hope see you next weekend.
Your student, Tom
p.s. my apartment phone number. 707-###-###. Day off is Saturday"
March 6, 1998 Mom wrote about her student: Tom came for his lesson in English and to find out how his teacher is. He gave me oranges in a sack and 2 big packs of Chinese tea. I taught him in the library for 1-1/2 hours. He’s off on Fridays till 4:30 p.m. Then he works till 9 p.m. Sunday, he’ll come at 1 p.m. and he’ll treat me to Banana Q for late lunch. That’s how he shows his gratitude for my teaching him. He’s a Chinese surgeon but works as a waiter in China Café. He’s an intelligent, thoughtful and kind man. Maybe I remind him of his mother. Panden studied college in Japan so he might know to cook sukiyaki. We can in Tom’s apartment. Panden now cooks deep frying foods.
May 18, 1998
Mom's private student, Tom (from Chungking, Szechuan Province, China), who was taking English classes gave her a birthday gift with a card. Mom wrote: "he gave me for my 1998 birthday Martell Cognac Brandy suggested to him by Laura Wong - owner China Café."