An article in the LA Times yesterday: Why do Asian kids get better grades than Latino kids? Written tongue-in-cheek? To parallel the New Yorker cover this past week in terms of satire? Captain Obvious says Hello.
Asian kids do better because parents threaten them in every creative way possible: will kick the shit out of their kids if they don’t study, followed by force-feed tutoring. Make them do math problems before they play during summer vacation. No kidding.
My mom used to take us to a school supply store on La Brea, north of Wilshire and just south of Third. It no longer exists. We’d pick out math books for the summer and another subject of our choice. Like having one requirement and one elective. And to be honest I just did tons of my English elective because it was easier and quicker and I hated doing math problems. Later as I got older I’d hear kids outside, playing loudly and yelling and making too much noise in the neighborhood, all day long, and I’d think to myself, What the hell, they should be doing some math problems– in all sincerity.
There are these newspaper comments: Oh, Asian kids lead miserable lives, they never have any fun, blah blah– ridiculous. 30 minutes out of the day didn’t cripple my life.
It’s like when I was taking my graduation photo in college, standing around making small talk with the other graduates, none of us really knowing or ready to leave school– what was your major, how long did it take you to graduate– I answered, Three Years– and another person scoffed, “Well, at least I had fun in college.”
As if I’d been locked up in the library the entirety of that three year duration. Text books my life. Maybe they had bad time management. See, instead of going to class, I slept in. And that gave me the energy to drink to excess five days out of the week.
To good time management–!