In the spring of 1975, about the same time I was failing seventh grade math at Glenridge Junior High School in Winter Park, Fla., communist soldiers were making their final push into Saigon.
By April 30, it was over for South Vietnam, and the first of roughly 140,000 refugees began making their way to the U.S.
Not long after that, while my friends could look forward to summer vacations, "Star Trek" reruns, fishing, sand lot baseball games and swimming in nearby lakes, my butt was headed to Howard Junior High School in Orlando for a summer school immersion in math.
I loved every minute of the summer of '75.
Many American companies sponsored Vietnamese families, giving them jobs, places to live and hope for the future. My mom's company, the Orlando Sentinel newspaper, sponsored a family with four children, the Nguyens. None of the children spoke a single word of English. And they ended up at Howard for ESOL classes (English for Speakers of Other Languages).