It was a delight to be back in Chicago's Chinatown to speak again at the rebuilt, better than before, Chinese American Museum of Chicago. Chicago Chinatown is significant to me on a personal level because when I was working on my Ph.D. at Northwestern University I would occasionally take the L train from Evanston to get some 'soul food' from a Chinese restaurant down there.
I got a chance to speak about my 'retirement' career at Calif. St. University, Long Beach, the very place from which I retired after 40 years as a professor of psychology. Instead of talking about the "content" of my four books on Chinese American family businesses, I described the remarkable sequence of events and people I've met that facilitated my success in a field about which I knew very little until I retired from academia. I wanted to impress upon the audience, which consisted of many students, that with a little bit of luck, many contacts, and some moxie, it is possible to have an impact with one's writing and publishing. Over the past 6-7 years, I wrote and published 4 books and gave over 35 talks across the country and once in Canada on the life experiences of Chinese immigrant families in their self-run businesses during most of the last century when racial prejudices denied them employment in many more lucrative occupations and professions.The "take home message" to students is that life doesn't have to end in retirement if one seeks and embraces new challenges: expect the unexpected!