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Tag Archives: tiger mom

Race to Nowhere

This documentary points to problems with excessive focus on tests, performance in our school system and reflects the problem I have with the Tiger Mom mentality.  I was in this Race for 13 years (5 years of high school and 8 years of university education).  While I don’t want to sound ungrateful or take my education for granted because it has afforded me a good career, the education system is Extremly Inefficient in my opinion.  What I mean is that the ratio of meaningful benefit or knowledge that you take away vs. the amount of hours you spent “learning” in the system is very poor.  We’ve all had the experience of self directed learning in our regular life, whether it be a hobby or something to fix around the house.  We encounter a problem or want to do something and we go out to find a solution for it and we learn along the way.  It may not be very organized, but every bit of learning was purposeful and useful.  If our higher education system trained our woodworkers, they would probably make them study the histology of all kinds of wood, perhaps memorize the different wood pattern, long before they are allowed to cut any wood.

So I’ve spent 8 years of post secondary training to prepare for my career, you think I would be an expert in what I do. No, school was partly a foundation, partly a piece of paper you need to get into the door, and a good amount of wasted energy in pointless homework and learning … read more

Tiger Mom

I completely understand the Tiger Mom mentality since I’m a product of that environment; a poor immigrant family where you need to work extra hard to succeed.  While I’m glad I went through it and of the career it gave me, I see Tiger Mom as a very pragmatic technique  and it’s only applicable to certain situations.

It’s really a very practical matter about playing this game of ”succeeding in life”.  If you’re born into an economically disadvantaged environment, you have to work harder than other people to make sure you have the best chances of getting into a career path that leads to a better life, and by “better” I only mean good income, ease of life and all the other reasons why a woman might care about her future husband’s career.  A job with investment banking firm on Wall Street would fit that bill.   This may involve going to the right school, participating in a course of “success” associated activities like piano or violin and Tiger moms are effective in directing that.  While you may think it’s a very contrived view on life, I appreciate the motivation of those families.   The parents have a tough life with their disadvantaged  jobs and they want their kids to have a different life and the most predictable way to do that is to get into an attractive profession  like doctors, lawyers and whatever other sweet gig you can think of.

But you’re right, life is about more than that. There’s really no happiness in forcing yourself to do things that you’re not interested in just to play this game.  I thought the whole point of having “success” in life is so your kids can have an enjoyable childhood and do whatever they’re interested in.  This is where I think Amy Chua is wrong.  Her daughters are already getting a head start in life being born into privileged environment.   I have no doubt they shall receive a good education and be afforded all the opportunities to pursue what they’re interested in.  So why coerce them into a perfectionist in things that they hate?  just because it looks good on paper or sounds nice when you talk to other people about your kids? … read more