Week 1: Research and First interview

Feb 27, 2019

In my project I am trying to research on benefits of the relationship between seniors and younger people living together. So when I find a pair living in these circumstances I am sure to jump on the opportunity and ask to speak to them about their relationship. After a church service, I happened to stumble-upon a woman in her 80’s who has been living with a young Vietnamese man for about eight years. Her name was Sylvia. I scheduled an interview with Sylvia on the first week of Senior projects.


Sylvia was a professor at De Anza college for many years and that is where she met her future long time roommate. He was a janitor at De Anza and somehow she found out that he didn’t have a place to live and offered her home. Sylvia lived alone in a large house in Los Altos.  Sylvia spoke profoundly about how their relationship has blossomed into a family. She has attended many local Vietnamese cultural events and he would go to to many of her parties. Sylvia has loved exploring the Vietnamese culture and just having another person in her house so she wouldn’t be lonely. Sylvia began to gain roommates as the young Vietnamese man got married and had his first kid. Now all four of them live together in Sylvia’s home.


I found Sylvia’s story so touching. I learned so much and am very grateful to have been connected with her. Before the interview I spent time creating good questions to help my conversation with Sylvia. I stayed connected with her on email.

I have also started reading “Who Gets What -and Why” by Alvin E. Roth. This is part of the research I am doing to connect what I learn in the interviews to behavioral patterns.

3 Replies to “Week 1: Research and First interview”

  1. Ivana B says:

    That’s a great story, Cole. I am looking forward to reading more stories like this, and hopefully one or two that you will facilitate.

  2. Doan Y. says:

    Amazing story, Cole! I’m sure the young family shares Sylvia’s same sentiment. It would be great if we can get a few comments from both the Vietnamese man and his wife about how this arrangement has improved their quality of life.

  3. Shikha H. says:

    That’s an amazing story Cole! Can’t wait to read more stories like these and see what else you
    do with your project!

    Good luck!

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