What I Learned Outside Academia

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Image for post
This photo of me was taped to my locker at Sanrio Valley Fair, ca. 2007, my sophomore year in high school. I worked 20–30 hours/week for minimum wage, which was $7.25/hour. After taxes, that’s $464/month. I never got a promotion or a raise because I didn’t know you were supposed to ask.

Growing up in Cupertino, I always felt like my family was poor. That’s probably because we were, relatively speaking. When I was 14, my father lost his job. My mother, training for a paralegal job at the time, singlehandedly supported our family as we wavered at the poverty line for the rest of my adolescence. …


Megumi Tanaka

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