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Engineers can solve problems that afflict every culture

Engineers can solve problems that afflict every culture

Bill Belew has raised 2 bi-cultural kids, now 34 and 30. And he and his wife are now parenting a 3rd, Mia, who is 8.

Raising Bi-Cultural and Bi-Lingual children
Raising Bi-Cultural and Bi-Lingual children

Mia Mei’s Daddy said I could say a little bit about what I think is good about growing up in two different cultures.  I’m not really an expert in growing up nor in cultures, but I do know quite a bit about good ways to solve engineering problems.  That might seem a little far afield from living in two cultures.  But think about it;  everyone has problems, and everyone needs to solve them.

Now, most people’s problems don’t involve calculating things, nor applying advanced science, but that’s not really the important part of solving problems anyway, not even for engineering problems.  The important part is creativity.

Painters are creative with paint, musicians are creative with notes and sound, financiers are creative with money, and engineers are creative with physical principles and math.  For being creative, one really good way to get the juices flowing is cross-pollination (what bees do).  If you plant different kinds of peppers in one garden, or different kinds of melons, you find out that your garden suddenly starts getting real creative.  You can wind up with purple jalapenos or very spicy bell peppers.

In engineering, one way to get creative, you might say “to be an innovator”, is to look at how engineers in completely different fields of engineering approach problems similar to what you are facing.  In software design, you might look at how mechanical engineers design things, and wind up inventing object oriented programming.  In civil engineering you might use techniques developed by radio/electrical engineers to design earthquake safe buildings.  I once used methods for designing table-top test equipment to design something the size of a bus that could be repaired in 1/50th the time anyone expected (which was something the customer really liked).

What does this have to do with growing up in two cultures?  Every day problems, like how to make friends or how to succeed in a group, benefit just as much from creativity as innovative engineering or creative financing.  Knowing two cultures from the inside will give Mia Mei a great tool kit for creatively solving the daily problems of life, whether she is 5, 15, or 50.  She’ll have a leg up on her poor friends who only have one culture to draw from.

As a parent myself, I will make one prediction that I feel very confident in.  She will learn to very creatively navigate to whichever parent is most likely to say “yes”, for any given request.  With two very different cultures to draw from, she is a very lucky child indeed.

Paul Coker writes a blog titled “The Complete Engineer.” 

Talk to Bill and others about their experiences raising bi-cultural Japanese-American kids.

Ariel’s Digital Autograph | How does she do that?

Ariel’s Digital Autograph | How does she do that?

Bill Belew has raised 2 bi-cultural kids, now 34 and 30. And he and his wife are now parenting a 3rd, Mia, who is 8.

My daddy once asked Ariel, “How many Ariels are there?”

I didn’t understand the question.

Ariel said, “Well, there’s only one of us.”

That’s what I thought.

What I don’t get is how Ariel can be in so many places at the same time. She can be in her grotto, or in the princess hall of fame, at the show in Fantasy land and in the parade – all at the same time.

If nothing, she definitely is pretty fast! How does she do that?

I get my picture taken with her each time I go to Disneyland and the last time I went to the Magic Kingdom in Disney World. Another thing that puzzles me is that I keep getting older but Ariel never changes!

How does that happen?

But I am sure there is only one Ariel. Daddy and I got her to sing, um, sign his baby phone.

He has a nifty little thingamabob (it’s what Ariel called it!!) that allows him to sign his screen and then he can keep it.

We got one signature at Disneyland in California and the other at Magic Kingdom in Disney World in Florida.

You can compare them. And then you’ll know that there really is one very fast Ariel.

This one was given to us in California:

Ariel's Digital Signature
Ariel’s Digital Signature

And this one was given to us in Florida:

Ariel's Digital Signature
Ariel’s Digital Signature

You can see Rapunzel’s and Tinker Bell’s digital signature’s too!

Talk to Bill and others about their experiences raising bi-cultural Japanese-American kids.

Learning from other Dads! Stories and Experiences!

Learning from other Dads! Stories and Experiences!

Bill Belew has raised 2 bi-cultural kids, now 34 and 30. And he and his wife are now parenting a 3rd, Mia, who is 8.

Frankly human intelligence and wisdom is unique and unequal among individuals, so we are born unequal and so are our dads.  Some of them are very learned and have experienced difficult situations and made it to the top the hard way.  While on the flip side there are many dads who do not have the social skills and mental vigor to understand what it takes in order to raise a family. Lot of them from the latter segment seek the advice of their peers who have been there done that in order to learn and improvise and execute their suggestions.

These folks do not view this is a sign of weakness and lack of knowledge but feel that it is necessary to seek advice by reaching out to other dads who have been successful. Many of these dads also observe and deduce from the life of other dads and create their own success formula based on their intuition. That is good in the sense that they are at least letting go of their ego and trying to seek advice from their peer dads.  Some of these dads who have been there done that, are very receptive to such requests and often help out!

Talk to Bill and others about their experiences raising bi-cultural Japanese-American kids.

My DVD can speak two languages

My DVD can speak two languages

Bill Belew has raised 2 bi-cultural kids, now 34 and 30. And he and his wife are now parenting a 3rd, Mia, who is 8.

My deebeedee (Ed: DVD) can speak two languages.

But I am not sure it is by cow chew lily. (Ed: bicultural). I have never seen it eat Chinese food or American food.

Portable DVD

I can watch Cinderella, Mulan, Jasmine and the bunch and one day they are speaking English and the next they are speaking Chinese.

Now, I am pretty sure the girls aren’t the ones speaking both languages. I may be wrong. But I think it’s some kind of match trick. (Ed: magic).

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