Thursday, December 23, 2010

Father’s Extra Work

My father started a second job when I was in junior high school. He continued until after I left Taiwan for the U.S. It was to teach a very useful subject, "accounting", in a very special school. I believe that the institution had a particular name "生产教育所". It was actually a school or a prison, depending on your point of view. My father called this place by its abbreviated name "生教所", the live –to-learn place. From my father's point of view it was a school, period. But it was a prison for young and misguided political prisoners, who might said some words against Chiang's government or disrupted some function of the government action. They were arrested and could not be released without causing the government to lose face. So they were kept in prison to warn others not to get out of control. Many students became my father's good friends and kept coming to visit him at home after they were released. We knew of the existence of this place for a long time. There were quite a number of young people there who suffered, but others benefited from this place, like many places in the world. Organizations like this can and do exist in all parts of the world. They represented the dark side of society, yes of course. But they could also have a good side too, at least some of them!

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