Professor Su-Ling Yeh
We are like islands in the sea, separate on the surface but connected in the deep.
~ William James
If your childhood-self saw who you are right now, what would he or she think? In the film, “The Kid,” actor Bruce Willis plays the young male protagonist, and when he met his childhood self (an eight-year-old little boy), the little boy saw him and said: “I’m so disappointed!—none of my childhood dreams came true.” After this film, my daughter Jessica asked me, “Mom, what did you expect yourself to become when you were a child?” “Well, probably the way I am now!”
Indeed. Since a young age, teaching and being a researcher at a University was what I wanted to do when I grew up. However, such an answer also included the acceptance of reality. I have always loved watching science fiction films and reading detective literatures as a child. My ultimate and real vision was to manipulate various advanced technologies in a space rocket and head into the unknown and vast universe. When I first encountered algebra in school, I was immediately captivated. When I first arrived in the United States to pursue higher education, I stumbled upon the TV series StarTrek :The next generation, the short title drew me in right away. After that day, I began watching the series daily and became a Trekkie. One weekend after the TNG series finale, a TV channel did a Star Trek marathon with the order of episodes based on audience votes, and I was surprised that I had not missed a single episode. After a long day at the lab, Captain Jean-Luc Picard’s firm and charismatic voice became the main source of comfort and longing for me: “To boldly go where no one has gone before.”
Consequently, in around 1991, when I saw the newspaper headlines on the passing of Gene Roddenberry, the original creator of Star Trek, and that NASA had granted his wish of transporting his ashes in a space shuttle and scattering them into the boundless universe, I was both touched and envious!
Another TV series that I hardly missed when I was a student abroad was Columbo. In both of these series, I often noticed how the screenwriter applies the knowledge of “psychology” to the script. As long as humans exist, the learning and exploring in the field of Psychology will never cease. Just like space, human nature is boundless and eternal!