Born in the U.S. and raised in Hong Kong, I grew up in a bilingual environment with plenty of exposure to both Chinese and Western languages and cultures. This privilege instilled in me a deep fascination with languages and the humanities in the earliest years of my education, driving me to pursue these interests throughout my school career, college years and professional life.
I attended a local primary school in Hong Kong, but a strong urge to learn a foreign language led me to enter the German Swiss International School at age 14. There I developed a strong academic interest in German as well as in the literature, art and cultural history surrounding this language of "poets and thinkers". This initial interest spurred me on to pursue a broad-based liberal arts education back in the U.S.
My undergraduate years at Harvard were an intellectually transformative experience through which I explored my two-pronged interest in languages and linguistics on one hand, and art, literature and the humanities on the other.
Through classes in my German studies major and in other languages, linguistics, art history and education, I developed a passion for writing and aspired to become a teacher to help other young people explore the world through humanistic learning. In particular, my liberal arts education enlightened me with feminist sensitivities which I wished to share with other young women, as I felt this had played a negligible part in my own education up until college.
My year as a guest student at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich filled me with an even deeper admiration for the humanistic ideal of whole-person education (Bildung) championed by the German Romantics, which is still relevant in German society today yet completely missing from the Hong Kong school system I was brought up in – even with my privilege.
After graduating from college, I taught English and English Literature at a secondary school in Hong Kong for two years. With this teaching experience and many encouraging interactions with students both inside and outside the classroom, I decided that my aspirations and ideals in education could be even better served through writing and teaching outside the – at times restrictive – bounds of mainstream education.
In 2014, I became the editor of the Chinese-English bilingual art magazine a.m. post, an experience which introduced me to the contemporary art world in Hong Kong and inspired me further to pursue writing on a range of topics related to the arts and humanities.
Since early 2015, I have been freelancing for different publications, writing on education, the arts, and other social issues. In parallel to my new endeavors in writing, I have also been teaching private lessons in English and German and taking on numerous translation projects.