“To paraphrase Mad Men: “Not every little girl gets to do what they want. The world could not support that many ballerinas… or Ivy League graduates.” My advice to Suzy, Abigail, and every other white girl who didn’t get into their first choice of college this year is to keep your rejection out of the public eye and do what every other kid does when they go off to school in the fall: give it the ol’ college try. Seriously, make the most of the environment around you, and if you really don’t like it? Again, keep the Wall Street Journal out of it; have an amazing first year and apply for transfer. And do it while understanding that the group of Black, Native, and Asian, and Latina freshman hanging out on a Harvard quad had nothing to do with you not getting in in the first place. That was your own comparative mediocrity.”—To (All) the White Girls Who Didn’t Get Into The College Of Their Dreams via, Racialicious; A response to Suzy Lee Weiss’ “To (All) the Colleges That Rejected Me,” WSJ op-ed.
On the rhetoric and politics of higher education...
The longer I’m involved in higher education, the more I feel that working within it is very similar to running for political office, even though I have no firsthand experience of doing the latter. The public is right to question what we do in highered, because, as in the world of politics, there are no certain solutions to problems in what we do, no hard and fast rules, no specifications for the absolute way ‘teaching,’ ‘learning,’ ‘research,’ ‘service,’ etc. should happen, especially between different disciplines.
“You cannot apply stringent guidelines or expectations to fluid situations. It can merely be a suggested framework. ”—
Safi A. Thomas
Tiger Mom, Wesley Yang, and end of the year reflections
Still have a Physics final and a 15-pager left to finish, but I came across (via friend) Wesley Yang’s “Paper Tigers,” a feature in NYMag that continues in the vein of Amy Chua’s Tiger Mom, and I wanted to blog some of my reactions to the 11 page article (which I strongly recommend reading! Despite the daunting length, it’s a really good read)
Does the Tiger Mom/Parent phenomena in Asian culture contribute to social ineptitude in higher education and in the corporate world? Yang argues that, ultimately, yes it does and thus accounts for the Asian&AA absence in these spheres. According to the article, Asians & AA ride the tides of meritocracy into fantabulous colleges (because of the formulaic academic emphasis) and upon graduation, into big-name companies, but are left unfulfilled and relatively less-successful, due to racial and cultural undertones.