KATHERINE M. ZHOU
 

My middle name, 玫, (spelled 'Mei' and pronounced 'may'), was chosen by my late grandfather (I call him 'Yeye', pronounced 'yeh-yeh'). It means 'rose' in Chinese. Yeye gifted me with this name because he admired the resilient qualities of wild roses, which are capable of withstanding tough conditions before blooming into the beautiful flowers we know. 

He himself endured severe abuse as a political dissident in communist China, a long chapter of his life that I actually learned from my father, as my Yeye could not bear to tell me.

My name makes me proud of him. My name makes me proud of my heritage. And my name gives me something towards which to strive, and something by which I can remember my grandfather, who remains my biggest role model to this day.

 Rose logo depicted on white cardstock
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YEYE

My Yeye, always with a mischievous twinkle in his eye

He himself endured severe abuse as a political dissident in communist China, a long chapter of his life that I actually learned from my father, as my Yeye could not bear to tell me. My name makes me proud of him.
 
 
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"Wild roses are capable of withstanding tough conditions before blooming into the beautiful flowers we know."

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The calligraphy character in the upper right is my Chinese name.

TRIBUTE

 

In this visual rendering of my name, there are five outer petals that represent the five members of my nuclear family; in the center, there are four petals, each standing for one of my grandparents. I chose a four-sided shape for the petals to symbolize the month in which Yeye was born and passed, April. Finally, the stem of the rose is the character, 玫, portrayed in a way to evoke a thorny and elongated essence. I drew this on a whim on my iPhone when I had one of those spontaneous urges to get a tattoo. So who knows? Maybe if I do get tatted up (sorry, Dad), this design will be it. Maybe not. Either way, this little drawing sheds light on who I am and where I've come from. And I'm excited to see how it evolves.

 Rose logo
 
 
 Me and my Yeye, circa 1998.

Me and my Yeye, circa 1998.