Just grit my teeth (and smile when possible)

“It’s an endless combat. Each morning one must put one’s capacities to the test.”
— Christine Lagarde

This screenshot is from 16:10-16:12 of YouTube video of Tokyo 1964 Olympic Marathon, when sports gear or drinks were not as scientific as they are today; when there were even runners ran bare feet.

This runner in the picture finished the race, and he was one of the best, even though not the one of the medalists.


The only thing that really matters is | 唯一重要的是…

We watched this very informative, entertaining and inspiring video by GitHub co-founder Tom Breston, who tricked the audience to chant on three separate occasions during this short presentation from 2012:

  • “The only thing that really matters is people 是人”
  • “The only thing that really matters is product 是产品”
  • “The only thing that really matters is culture 是文化”.

So what is the one thing that really matters? 到底是什么呢? It is the trichotomy 三分法 of people, product and culture.

From one Tom Breston’s personal blog dated 2008, he once wrote:

“In the end, just as Indiana Jones could never turn down the opportunity to search for the Holy Grail, I could no less turn down the chance to work for myself on something I truly love, no matter how safe the alternative might be. When I’m old and dying, I plan to look back on my life and say “wow, that was an adventure,” not ‘wow, I sure felt safe.'”

I have been complaining about how FEW women startup successes. While I realize it is harder for women to make it due to many reasons including stereotypes and discrimination, but I cannot help wondering: ladies, ARE you prepared to take risk as Tom did or do you prefer to feel safe? 女生们,你们愿意冒险或守着安稳?

小蛇 | Little snake


A snake can look like a rope.  Don’t get bitten by a snake!!!  It might be poisonous!!!!!!!

帆(fān)船(chuán) | Sailing Ship


Be careful don’t fall into the water!!!!!!

Manage myself

    1. Stay focused, really focused
    2. Get help from others
    3. Read and buy books
    4. Exercise when working




创造不公平的优势(unfair advantage),

Need to learn Mandarin Chinese (it is “need”, not “want”)

It has been a long time since my last post.  I have been very busy with family, work, and learning deep learning.  This post is about the need to learn Chinese.

Learning Chinese is not something nice-to-have.  Rather, it is important enough that you need to do systematically.   The rich and powerful already knew it and have invested in their young.  They hire Chinese nannies and private tutors.  We saw that Arabella Kushner, President Trump’s granddaughter and former president Obama’s daughters all learn Chinese.

Some young people tell me they do not need to learn Chinese because they have very good phone apps that can do the translation for them.   Translation apps might be enough if you only want to deal with anything made-in-China occasionally.   But if you want to compete, learn, or have any kind of relationship with the Chinese, you’d better learn.    After all, who wants to communicate with you through an app, regardless of the limitation and accuracy of app translation.

You need to learn Mandarin Chinese if you want to be a competitive worker in the coming age.  Because China is the No. 1 economy in the world, in expectation terms.   The same reason why English is such a popular language will propel Mandarin Chinese to be very popular.   England was the most powerful nation two hundred years ago.  America, the former English colony, was the most powerful nation in the 20th century…and you know the rest.  If you want to be a future leader, you need to know Mandarin Chinese to engage with China.

But most Americans haven’t realized that, especially those who are economically disadvantaged.   Mandarin Chinese is not offered in most public schools, especially not in urban ones.  So you must act on your own, if others have not put it on your plate.

I found an excellent article “Mandarin Learning Is a Must”, written by Jack Markell (the 73rd Governor of Delaware) and Gary R. Herbert  (the 17th Governor of Utah).   They argue that learning Mandarin is critical to the educational and economic success of American students.  I cannot agree more.


Passions and path

Before my children were born, my passion was mathematics.  For practical reasons, I did not pursue the path of math research and PhD program.  In 2007 after college  graduation, I became an actuarial analyst in the largest personal actuarial in the country working on data review and models.  I passed all the tough actuarial exams quickly as I knew I was only going to have less and less personal time with the babies growing.  Unlike many other mothers, I am a 100% single mother without any family help.

Single mom (open) secrets to success

Being a parent is challenging.  Being a single parent is very difficult.  Being a single mother is always a struggle.   Being a single mother in your adopted country without family support is……difficult beyond measure.   There can never be too much to say about how tough it is.