January 8, 2011

"Western parents are extremely anxious about their children's self-esteem."

"They worry about how their children will feel if they fail at something, and they constantly try to reassure their children about how good they are notwithstanding a mediocre performance on a test or at a recital. In other words, Western parents are concerned about their children's psyches. Chinese parents aren't. They assume strength, not fragility, and as a result they behave very differently."

Go read the whole thing. It's very interesting, beginning with a list of 10 rules that few American parents would be able to accept — at least not without modification. Never "get any grade less than an A"?! How can the parent dictate such a thing?

64 comments:

rhhardin said...

I had to get at least C's, or no television.

So I did without television.

Revenant said...

When I was a kid I either got an A, in which case my parents said "good job" -- or I got less than an A, in which case they told me "you could have done better".

They were right, too. I thought it was unfair at the time, but the only reason I ever got less than an A was laziness. School's not hard.

Ann Althouse said...

When I was a kid, I got all A's, and my parents said nothing about it.

Juba Doobai! said...

Easy. You set standards for your children and encourage them to work hard. They're not entitled to toys and such cuz you're setting them up for real life. The self-esteem? That comes from achievement. All that artificial self esteem bullshit does is create a bunch of no-nothings who are too damn dumb to know that they don't know and conceitedly think they're bright.

Well, Althouse, I see you're a law prof, so your parents not patting you on the ass didn't hurt you one bit. You were doing what you were expected to do.

Juba Doobai! said...

BTW, that article about Chinese parents and stuff kids aren't allowed to do? Mostly bullshit. If they didn't do it before, it's cuz they didn't have the money to do it. Now that they have the money, they're doing it. The big story about Chinese education? Underachievement hidden by outcomes based education in which the valued outcome is the high grade—whether or not the kid deserves it. The rich Chinese kids? Hit one of those computer cafes in Beijing and you'll find them there all night smoking and gaming. The ones in universities, they're downloading stuff from online and putting their names to it. Sure, there's face attached to their kids achievement, but Chinese parents keep face by paying their kids way through. With money, in China, all things are possible.

prairie wind said...

Thank goodness we live in the United States where mediocre grades can lead to a great life. Maybe it isn't like that in China?

Alex said...

Obviously this woman knows what he's doing. Look at her 2 beautiful daughters, playing classical music!

Big Mike said...

I found that trying and failing always inspired me. I did a terrible job with my first speech in high school speech class. By my senior year I was competing in speech competitions. As a young child I was afraid of the water. I earned two letters as a high school swimmer. Grades of B and below are signs that you can do better.

ricpic said...

...when I was extremely disrespectful to my mother, my father called me "garbage" in our native Hokkedian dialect...

There is nothing wrong with what the father did and it's not particularly "Chinese." Her father's verbal explosion was a direct response to her "extremely disrespectful" behavior to her mother. It was behavior specific. And was understood as such. A universal parental tool for reestablishing rank. Plus, the occasional justified parental explosion collapses the build up of tension in a family. Again, universal.

MrBuddwing said...

Of course it could be something else that motivated the gunman. It is not likely.

Says who?

EDH said...

Ancient Chinese secret, huh?

I can see this dynamic work in the upper middle class enclaves of western countries where Chinese are a minority.

But in China, statistically, not everyone can be above average.

Heck, what about all the Chinese here who are doing menial work in Chinese restaraunts? If it's not their parent's restaurant, they must catch a load of shit every day from the folks.

Clyde said...

I read that article this morning. Can't say that I find her very likeable. A real "Mommy Dearest" type.

edutcher said...

You wouldn't have seen an article like that 10 years ago. Suddenly, the Red Chinese, the worst butchers in history, have to be our role models.

I love the line, "If a Chinese child gets a B—which would never happen". Never? I'll just bet. I have a feeling universities in Red China don't use the Haavahd system of everyone gets at least a B once they're in. Some flunk and some scrape through - that's why there are grades.

What the author doesn't want to address is that Oriental culture is based on family pride and community approbation. Something we had here not so long ago until the hippie crowd told everybody you should be able to be any kind of a slob you wanted and the Lefty establishment backed it up by saying you were "entitled" to certain things in life whether they were earned or not.

The issue of "self-esteem" is the one nurtured by the teacher unions and promulgated by those "distinguished educators" such as William Ayers because the public school systems want to turn out sheep not thinking people.

I was no Ann Althouse and I heard all the time, "You are capable of better", but my parents weren't much for gratuitous pats on the back (although there were a few times I probably deserved a little more than I got). The point is particularly that American mothers have always been known for their strong nurturing ways. That's not going to change, I think. What needs to come back is the old feelings of family and community, and the respect that went with them.

MnMark said...

Another article about how Western (i.e. white) society sucks. If we're not hearing about how racist and oppressive we are of "people of color", we're getting it from the Asians from being lazy, weak, stupid parents.

Gosh it's enough to make you wonder why people of color would want to emigrate to such a lousy, racist place and why Asians would want to emigrate here and subject their children to the influence of such a bunch of white morons.

Ann Althouse said...

Ann Althouse said...
"Well, Althouse, I see you're a law prof, so your parents not patting you on the ass didn't hurt you one bit. You were doing what you were expected to do."

My parents wouldn't say anything one way or the other. There was no communication of expectation at all. There was no advice and no guidance -- even when requested!

I'm not complaining. I'm stating what I now understand to be a rather extraordinary sort of parenting.

My parents were quite modern, and they must have believed in autonomy and self-reliance.

MarkW said...

I live in a college town with a lot of Asian families, and my kids have had a lot of Asian friends (They all refer to an A- as an 'Asian fail').

The super high pressure mothering does produce a lot of high-performing kids. It also generates some pretty severe unhappiness. Some of the kids crack. And some of them succeed in school but have to keep a lot of secrets about the rest of their lives from their families.

traditionalguy said...

The esteem in which Chinese children hold their parents is also unmatched in American culture. Being a Chinese child in a Chinese family is forever...and that is more comforting than being lied to by parents who don't care if you succeed or not.

Clyde said...

A question: How is the woman in the article any different from the parents who pressure their little darlings to be beauty pageant winners, Olympic sports stars, ballet dancers, etc. It's often a case of a parent trying to relive their own life through her child's.

Synova said...

I was thinking about this just the other day during one of my taxi runs. I didn't come to any conclusions. Our children live in the culture they live in.

It seems to me that it's not just self-esteem that we value above all, but self-indulgence.

The other alternative would be to value self-mastery.

But self-mastery is not just out of fashion, it's practically the definition of immorality. To *deny* one's self? How terrible! Being asked to deny yourself is repression or outright oppression.

Consider sex, of any configuration. It must be expressed. It must be approved. It's wrong to expect any person to behave differently than their desires. But consider History and all of the various cultures that saw a mastery of sexual desires as liberating or else necessary to development of character, if it be Christian prudishness or Asian monks, the mastery of desires was Virtue rather than oppression.

The attendance to school work and material ambition isn't quite so out of fashion, but it's not presented as a personal dominance of tendencies to sloth or denial of immediate desires but all about passion or self-expression. And it's true enough, some people really like school work and the feeling of doing well. I loved tests, they were like games. Not everyone does, though.

BJM said...

I was expected to get A's and like Althouse not much was said at home, unless I slipped a grade. B's were not acceptable.

We were also expected to have a weekend and summer job during high school. Loafing around the house was not acceptable...just as we were told to go outside and play when we were younger. Our bedtime was 8:30 with lights out at 9:30.

One hour of TV a day was earned with completed chores & homework.

The only exception to my familial bliss was those damned Brussel spouts on my plate. There I drew the line.

Seven Machos said...

I find it hard to believe that the typical factory slave in Gunangzou thinks and behaves this way. Therefore, it is not fair to say "Western" parents. Aren't these Chinese people "Western" parents, too?

"Amy Chua with her daughters, Louisa and Sophia, at their home in New Haven, Conn." most certainly are.

MnMark said...

I find it hard to believe that the typical factory slave in Gunangzou thinks and behaves this way. Therefore, it is not fair to say "Western" parents. Aren't these Chinese people "Western" parents, too?

"These Chinese people" are "Western" when "Western" means something good. When it means something bad, then "Western" means "white." Mostly it means something bad to them.

Then again, as I said above, one wonders why Asians, if they've got things so figured out, need to emigrate to the land of the substandard "Westerner" in order to live prosperously and free.

dbp said...

My wife highlighted those rules, with check marks next to the rules we already enforce and then left it out where the kids would see it.

She is just trying to have some fun with the kids though.

dbp said...

The best violinist in our 13 year old's middle school orchestra is of Chinese descent. Our daughter shares lots of other classes with him and he is supposedly quite a dunce in all of the other subjects.

Class factotum said...

they must have believed in autonomy and self-reliance.

So they were conservatives?

Oligonicella said...

When daughter was ten I assigned her War and Peace for the summer book report she did for me every year. Pretty good understanding and job for a ten year old. Anna Karenina she did on her own.

My most valuable lesson was one I continue today whenever I talk to or about her - "You are the joy of my life."

Ann Althouse said...

"So they were conservatives?"

In some ways, but not others. They were not social conservatives. Quite the opposite.

Anglelyne said...

MnMark: Gosh it's enough to make you wonder why people of color would want to emigrate to such a lousy, racist place and why Asians would want to emigrate here and subject their children to the influence of such a bunch of white morons.

Honkies. Can't live with 'em. Can't live without 'em.

Anyway, I don't see anything in this Ancient Asian Parenting Attitude all that different from what I was raised with. The candy-ass parents Chua describes are a relatively recent phenomena, at least in the striving classes she belongs to. Never got flayed for speaking disrespectfully to my parents, though, because engaging in such behavior would simply never have crossed my mind, so I guess my parents were even harder asses than Chua's. And while they expected maximum effort they didn't believe the obvious nonsense that all children are equal in ability (or spread porkies like "Chinese kids never get Bs").

David said...

I read the article in the paper this morning. The young girl on the left of the photo looks a little chubby--just a bit. Mom needs to get it in gear.

edutcher said...

Ann Althouse said...

"So they were conservatives?"

In some ways, but not others. They were not social conservatives. Quite the opposite.


That isn't that surprising, from what you've told us of your early days. You said you were something of a rebel in school, but maybe less so than you believe.

I don't think you're as anti-establishment as some, but you seem to give the impression your parents didn't put as much emphasis on approval and so you felt free to find your own way. I notice The Blonde was, in some ways, raised in the same fashion.

Not picking a fight, just an observation. I could easily be wrong.

fivewheels said...

I've always been ambivalent about my Chinese upbringing. I didn't much like being held to standards that none of my peers had to deal with -- not even the Japanese kid. As kids are wont to do, I considered it terribly unfair. Thing is, it was.

On the plus side, I now live a life that I truly consider pretty unbelievably lazy, idle, easy and satisfying, yet is seen by co-workers as truly hard-working and conscientious. I do benefit quite a bit from that.

Schorsch said...

I work with people who are the product of this parenting style. They are no more successful than I am, and they are desperately unhappy. They take little joy in their work or successes, and though they work incredible hours their work is less creative or inventive, and thus ends up being equivalent to what I and my lazy American counterparts come up with in a whirlwind of insight at the last minute.

Of course, this is overly generalized, but it is an accurate characterization of the mean.

Penny said...

Two parenting models among many.

What strikes me is that the Chinese model is LABOR intensive. Labor intensive for BOTH the parent and the child.

Agree or not, conscious and unconscious messages in support of "hard work" feels like a winner to me.

Skyler said...

Yeah, right. All chinese children never get any grade except an A. Good grief. This woman has an interesting point and I agree with her regarding not treating people as though they are so fragile, but her ethnic ego is a bit much.

The Crack Emcee said...

"Western parents"? Make that "some Western parents" - the ones currently allowed to be parents, maybe.

The rest are shit out of luck. Really. Just shit out of luck.

The Crack Emcee said...

MnMark,

Another article about how Western (i.e. white) society sucks. If we're not hearing about how racist and oppressive we are of "people of color", we're getting it from the Asians from being lazy, weak, stupid parents.

Gosh it's enough to make you wonder why people of color would want to emigrate to such a lousy, racist place and why Asians would want to emigrate here and subject their children to the influence of such a bunch of white morons.


Having traveled a bit, I'd say it's because they have no more of an idea of what awaits them than I did when I left the ghetto - and I grew up here.

I'm sorry but, with NewAge alone, what really goes on in white people's world - compared to what I thought and was told - has blown my fucking mind.

Penny said...

"Western parents"?

Who will, at least on American passport applications, never again be identified as "mother" or "father".

As a nation, we are clearly stepping out on our most IMPORTANT issues.

Right?

Joan said...

What Chinese parents understand is that nothing is fun until you're good at it. To get good at anything you have to work, and children on their own never want to work, which is why it is crucial to override their preferences.

There's some truth here, but also some blatant lies. Who here has not seen a child so engrossed in his or her favorite activity that they would spend hours on it, unprompted? And I'm not just talking about video games, either -- how many kids will do sports drills with their friends, for fun? How many kids tinker, or read, for fun?

And it's also a lie that to get good at anything you have to work, because some people are gifted in any numbers of areas: math, music, athletics.

And it's also a lie that working (and working and working) at something will eventually make you good. My older son could drill at basketball 6 hours a day and he'd get better, sure, but he'd still never make it onto a team. I have students that can study 3 hours a day for a week right before a test and still fail. They're just not capable, no matter how much their parents might push them or how many "war zones" they are willing to create in their houses. Could they do better? Sure, but they won't ever be A students.

I'm sure LuLu felt great when she finally played that piece -- but if we could tally up how bad she felt, and for how long (notice she doesn't say how long it took for LuLu to master the piece), before she got to that point -- and add in all the misery the rest of the house had to endure during the process -- was it really worth it? Note that I'm not saying she should've given up, either -- but was that the best tactic to take to get her daughter to success?

BTW, did you catch the name of her last book? World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability. Love the respectful way she treats her husband, too, in scoffing at the idea that every person has different abilities. What would she have done if one of her children were born with autism or Downs?

clarenancy said...

I was expected to get Bs or better. TV was limited, never went on a sleepover.

But the competitiveness with my peers...my father would have laughed at the notion that a comparison was desirable. We weren't supposed to use our peer group as gauges for anything we did or did not do.

Anglelyne said...

BTW, did you catch the name of her last book? World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability.

It's an interesting book. Not sure what you're suggesting here.

Love the respectful way she treats her husband, too, in scoffing at the idea that every person has different abilities. What would she have done if one of her children were born with autism or Downs?

Chinese children don't have Downs or autism. Just like they never get Bs.

But seriously, I assume she'd deal with Downs the same way most Westerners do nowadays - abortion.

Agree about the silliness of insisting that all children have equal abilities. I suspect she knows that isn't true; she's confident she can push her own kids because she knows they are high-ability.

... but was that the best tactic to take to get her daughter to success?

A lot of people do seem overly impressed with the "Asian way", contrasting it only with the culture of slacking and "self-esteem" that is rightly deplored. Being good at anything does take discipline, hard work, and slogging through the necessary stuff that bores and frustrates students. But I would bet that a generous amount of "free play" time granted amid the hard work (not TV-watching or video games!), where a kid can just goof off, hang, read for pleasure, and wool-gather, instead of being scheduled and instructed to within an inch of his life, is the better way. (I imagine, say, Isaac Newton's tutors were taskmasters, in the style of the day, but I doubt his mother interrupted his tinkering and mooning around the farm to send him to the village cram school.)

Skyler said...

The more I think of this, the more I realize that this is about as racist a rant as you could want to find. What a despicable woman.

michaele said...

Ann said
"My parents were quite modern, and they must have believed in autonomy and self-reliance."

That emphasis on autonomy and self reliance sounds like the opposite of modern. Sounds healthily old fashioned.

Lyle said...

I'm not a fan of this kind of parenting. She would probably have to divorce me to get me to let her mother my children in her celestial ways (I say that respectively of her culture, whatever of it that's left... because she's actually not Chinese, but American).

Anglelyne said...

Skyler: The more I think of this, the more I realize that this is about as racist a rant as you could want to find. What a despicable woman.

I wouldn't call it "racist"; maybe more "obnoxious self-congratulatory ethnic egotism", to borrow your previous phrasing. There's nothing inherently wrong with arguing that Group A does a better job at X than Group Y. It's true or it ain't, and we can argue about it. What poisons the well, of course, is that any white person would get skinned alive for speaking in like manner about other groups, even if completely correct.

I don't know the woman, so I have no idea if she'd go all victim-whiny and offended if anyone got right back in her face pointing out how and why Westerners are so much better at all kinds of things than Asians. If not, whatever. If so, then yeah, she'd be despicable.

Freeman Hunt said...

My parents didn't talk about grades.

When I was nine years old, my father did tell me that he'd give me my own computer if I didn't watch television for a year. So I didn't watch television for a year, and I got a computer.

Penny said...

"... and I got a computer."

You SURE do!

Ride her out..........>!

Instugator said...

My wife is Singaporean. Each of our nieces and nephews is expected to make the same level of effort as described in the article. The real shocker came when my wife began to hold my son to the same standards as her family. I have to say, it was worth it - he managed nearly straight A's in high school (single B), plus working, wrestling, debate and church. He is a Plebe at the US Merchant Marine Academy now. They had blow-ups though and the discussions Joan and I had outside of his hearing were extremely stressful.
On the college issue, my wife attended the National University of Singapore with a double major in History and Political Science. When she arrived in the US in 2004, we started our MBA together. During the application process to the school, I was looking at her transcript and it seemed pretty mediocre - until it got translated. Transcripts from foreign universities are run through a company in Arizona that "equates" them to the US standard and my wife's final GPA was better than a 3.5. In her school, only 1 or 2 people per class get A's or B's, while the majority get the "qualified" rating.
Joan made a number of friends in the Asian community here in NW Louisiana, and I must say I read nothing new in the article - although the comments here are interesting.

Bruce said...

"...one wonders why Asians, if they've got things so figured out, need to emigrate to the land of the substandard "Westerner" in order to live prosperously and free."

Two reasons:

1) Authoriatian organizations work in the home but not on a large scale. What's practiced in the home is brought to the workplace or the government.

2) The result of this upbringing is good for fitting into an organization which is already decentralized, with distributed intelligence. If all the kids are raised this way, you get inefficient, ineffective authoritarian rule.

ronbo said...

At my son's high school, which is very demanding and competitive, many of the kids are Asian and parental pressure is apparently pervasive. My son says his friends don't like it but do put up with it - they don't rebel by cutting class or blowing off tests - and many are really high achievers.

They do make fun of the Asian parenting thing, however. One joke has an Asian kid being diagnosed with Hepatitis B and his mother scolding him: "What's the matter with you? Couldn't you at least have Hepatitis A?"

Robert Burnham said...

How does that old bus. mgmt. saying go?

A students work for B students at companies run by C students that were started by D students...

Charlie said...

I see a lot of grade obsession here.

Grades were one of the innovations of Johann G. Fichte in fashioning his Volkschule in the wake of Prussia's defeat by Napoleon. The goal of the school: "Workers who will not strike; soldiers who will obey orders; citizens who will not revolt."

Grades were intended to rob students of any sense of independence by conditioning them that their work was for the benefit of and approval by others. What's more, the feedback would come in the form of an utterly worthless, arbitrary even, symbol.

Horace Mann brought the Volkschule to the US as the model for our public schools, and generations of Americans have been robbed of their independence ever since.

Peter said...

College actually prepared me for the after-life.

Our ivy league engineering school graded all the freshman hot-shots on a normal curve. Those within the top standard deviation on the exam got an A. The bottom standard deviation group FLUNKED.

pettyfog said...

Let's apply a little leavening to the author's POV.

Here's her polemic on 'Free Markets'

World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability

My parents raised me essentially 'Free Range'. I vastly underacheived in school and actually quit college because it didnt suit me. I obviously read and absorbed more than my teachers did.
Am I happy they werent strict enough? Not really. But I learned to think on my own and developed a deep fascination with WHY things work and why people do what they do.

Let's think about the product as seen in China and the other parts of the far east. They develop excellent engineers, that is they apply what they are taught very well.
Yet just how many NEW developments do you see coming out of there?
WHY is it imperative that the Chinese / Red Army Inc send out grad students to University/Science affiliated think tanks?

Paddy O said...

It really doesn't reflect on the parenting issues involved, but it did occur to me that this really is more particularly Chinese-American or at least Chinese-Immigrant. Not just because those who are driven the most already go to where their opportunities can best be discovered, so we see an artificially limited pool of the "Asian" parenting style. Those who aren't as driven didn't make the effort to find their way to this side of the Pacific.

More interesting to me is the fact that she is extolling Chinese parenting in regards to her two daughters. China's one child policy would make this seemingly impossible in actual China, with the likelihood that even one daughter would have been unlikely in preference for a boy.

So her parenting can, I suppose, be commended if it leads to her daughters' success, but she needed the benefits of our culture, with all its self-esteem and whatnot, to find a suitable soil for her labors.

She also reminded me of a quote from a decidely non-Chinese mother. Susanna Wesley, mother of John Wesley, had a similar approach, of sorts. “Whatever pains it cost, conquer their stubbornness,” she writes, “break the will if you would not damn the child.”

Zerosumgame said...

They often refer to Chinese in this country as "the new Jews" (interesting in the article how her husband appears to be Jewish, BTW) but growing up with immigrant Jewish parents, I was certainly expected to get As (which I did) and go to an Ivy League School (which I did), but I never got anwyhere the level of grief that this woman gives her kids.

Mike said...

This Amy Chua woman is very smart and you are all playing right into her trap. She has a new book due out Tuesday.

Kim said...

A couple of points.

I'd be a lot more impressed if the much-sought-after "A" actually meant anything. My experience as a freshman college student (at age 56) is that to get an A, all you need to do is show up, exhibit a modicum of hard work and dedication, and you get an A -- i.e., just for showing up and doing your job. An A used to mean "exceptional work"; not any more.

Secondly, I'll be more impressed when the "Chinese method" starts producing lots and lots of Mozarts, Nobel prizewinners and entrepreneurs who succeed by innovation rather than by gaming the system, copyright theft and the like. Statistically, given the size of the Chinese population, it has to happen at some point, but it hasn't yet. And where it does occur, it happens in an environment which isn't rigidly conformist and authoritarian -- such as, oh, in the United States.

Finally, a snark. Back when I was in the errrr degenerate demographic, it was a well-known fact that Chinese girls were the easiest "conquests" to be had, because they were so ripe for rebellion against their stifling, achievement-obsessed parents. And the girls brought to the bedroom all the same ummm mechanical expertise required to play "Little White Donkey."

Douglas said...

So the daughter still cuddles with her warden-mother? Great data point for those studying Stockholm Syndrome in adolescents.

Nate Whilk said...

Except for Chua's most extreme behavior, I'm startled at the hostility directed toward her.

You will accomplish more if you do the work than if you don't. Isn't that obvious?

MnMark said, Then again, as I said above, one wonders why Asians, if they've got things so figured out, need to emigrate to the land of the substandard "Westerner" in order to live prosperously and free.

There's more opportunity because, among other reasons, there are more lazy kids here so there's less competition?

Joan said, And it's also a lie that to get good at anything you have to work, because some people are gifted in any numbers of areas: math, music, athletics.

No, THAT'S not true. Even gifted people have to work at it.

Here's something attributed to various world-famous pianists, such as Paderewski or Rubinstein: "When I skip practice for one day, I notice it. Two days, my wife notices. Three days, everybody notices."

Attributed to Rubinstein: "If there was a way to be a pianist without practicing, I would have found it by now--I certainly have tried."

Supposedly, on one occasion, Paderewski performed for an audience including the Queen of England. Afterwards the Queen told him, "Mr. Paderewski, you are truly a genius." He bowed and replied, "Your Majesty, before I was a genius I was a drudge."

Here's what is true. Hard work does not guarantee success. But almost all who have succeeded have done the work.

technogypsy said...

Some of it works. Boy of my boys were told A was the acceptable standard of performance and no other grade is acceptable. One is now at SMU and the other still in High School. Haven't seen the SMU grades yet, but the other got his first B ever in AP English and apologized for it. They do what you expect of them.

However, the instruments, the school plays, etc seem just stupid. Piano is great for the little ones, but both moved to guitar in High School and play on their own for fun too.

The general idea - demand performance is more important than the ten rules I think. I demand Eagle Scout for example and appear to be getting it.

Kirk Parker said...

The piano incident put me in mind of the teaching Helen to eat at the table scenes in Miracle Worker.

Red A said...

Chinese also cheat like hell and like to gamble. Is she going to teach them those skills too?

rdkraus said...

AA

When I was a kid, I got all A's, and my parents said nothing about it.

When I was a kid, my parents were happy if I didn't ask for the hall pass, leave the building and go home. In those days there was no security, you could just walk out. So I did. I was kinda bored in school, plus, if they had invented it, I would have been add ddd adhd, or whatever.

I started studying a couple of years after high school when I went to college.

Not about me ... In my kids high school, ALL of the musicians in the orchestra are Asian. They also do much better in general than the general population. Their culture contributes to this, I'm sure. On the other hand, I suspect that Asian (and Indian) people who are here are self selected high achievers and already not part of the below average portion of their own societies.

Andrew said...

Her husband seems to be some kind of chestless wonder:

"Children don't choose their parents," he once said to me. "They don't even choose to be born. It's parents who foist life on their kids, so it's the parents' responsibility to provide for them. Kids don't owe their parents anything. Their duty will be to their own kids."

*facepalm*