I had written an article about this: Studying Chinese to Reach His Parents. The article is a couple weeks old (it was actually old when I first saw it), and the article I wrote was lost during the server crash. I don’t remember exactly what I said, but I was touched with the story about how Daniel Chen’s parents gave up so much so that he could have an education. They had a relatively comfortable lifestyle in China, but they immigrated to become laborers in order to give their son what they felt were greater opportunities. Daniel grew up hardly ever seeing his parents, and it sounds like he basically raised himself. He mostly speaks English, so when he went to college, he decided to study Chinese so that he could converse with his parents.
Paul Tough writes an interesting book on teaching kids to succeed. How Children Succeed is based on the idea that character often determines how children cope with the world, and that there are ways adults can best teach children the character traits that will enable them to do well in the world. Tough focuses on the poorest and neediest children in his interviews, but he also talks about how wealthy kids face the same issues on a lesser scale. His thesis is that character traits are often more important than IQ, and that having the “character” to strive and work will often make a person successful
Coming off our podcast on jobs, Wake Forest University, a prestigious liberal arts, has hired Andy Chan as vice president in charge of the Office of Personal and Career Development. His goal? To teach liberal arts majors how to get a job. Here’s the article: How to Get a Job With a Philosophy Degree. This guy is serious business:
According to the NY Times, more and more wealthy Chinese are sending their kids to expensive New York City prep schools.
Yijia Shi, a freshman, wanted to increase her chances of an acceptance letter from Brown University. And Meng Yuan, a junior, was seeking Western-style independence, not to mention better shopping. When she is not heading to track practice or doing her homework, she is combing Bergdorf Goodman for Louis Vuitton limited edition handbags and relishing in the $295 tasting menu at the celebrated Columbus Circle restaurant Per Se.
There was an article in Forbes by a white woman named Susan Adams whose son goes to Stuy, where most of the kids are Asian: Tiger Moms Don’t Raise Superior Kids, Says New Study. She wrote the article and read Amy Chua’s Tiger Mom book because she questioned whether her kid would lose out to the Asian students. Now, according to the article, there is evidence that ought to allay her fear. Su Yeong Kim, a professor at the University of Texas, had been working on the same topic before Amy Chua’s book came out, and she has just published her results. According to her, Tiger parenting doesn’t work. The Forbes article says:
I recently received an e-mail from Dr. Jonathan Marks, who wrote an article in Commentary Magazine about the Association of Asian American Studies and its boycott of Israeli academic institutions. I became aware of this boycott through FB since I’m FB friends with lots of Asian Americans in academia. Dr. Marks mentioned in his e-mail that he was surprised that there seemed to be a complete lack of discussion regarding the resolution by the AAAS. If you read his Commentary article, he is also (rightfully) surprised by that they would even have a resolution on the Israel/Palestine conflict:
According to the NY Times, cram schools for test prep is no longer an Asian thing. Although many of these schools are run by Asians, more and more non-Asian kids are signing up. Not only are the non-Asian kids streaming in, but the businesses are adjusting their strategy to attract them:
Horizon, a well-reputed cram school in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, known among Chinese-American families for funneling students into Stuyvesant High School and NEST+m, was recently rechristened Gifted Kids New York City. “It’s a little more appealing to Caucasian parents,” said the owner, Andrew Chan, who tells prospective parents from Park Slope and Williamsburg, Brooklyn, that he is offering “Chinese rigor” with Western-style teaching methods.
Two articles on college graduates/students in China recently came out in the NY Times.
There was this one from today, which says that college grads in China are turning down factory jobs, and that only 78% are employed, mostly because they want office jobs, and China doesn’t have many office jobs. According to the article, lots of grads turn down the jobs because these jobs lack prestige, or they’re seen as dead-end. The kids are able to turn them down because they’re only children with two parents to support them, thanks to the one child policy.
This could be my last blog post of the year (although I’ll probably be hanging around in the comment section if anyone else is here). Every year, David Brooks gives out “Sidney Awards” to the best essays of the year. I haven’t read through all of the 2012 winners, but here are two good ones:
1. The Myth of American Meritocracy talks about the discrimination that Asians face in college admissions and how we might fix a secretive, racist, college admissions process.
What do Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Michael Dell, Larry Ellison, the guys who invented Twitter, the guy who invented Digg, and the guys who invented Livefyre all have in common? They’re college dropouts who made tons of money! Read more here: Saying No to College.