My oldest is a few years away from the worry of college applications…so getting a head start on slowing down and making note of the slippery slope of competition, comparison, self identity and worth hinging on an alma mater. Right now it’s about learning, friendships and being unhindered by grown up concerns. I know full well we all slip and fall as we grow up and yet that portion of your resume/CV that lists education is a screenshot of who you are and if you’ll get that first chance. It opens the first door.
Today at the orthodontics office for a consult (no braces – yeah!) I could tell the all white staff was taken back by me and ahem pleasantly surprised that I was smart funny and well relatable…
As an Asian American woman, I am realistic about racialism, classism and nationality. We identity as Americans who are of Asian descent. But do others see is that way or do they see us as immigrants taking up resources? That dual toggle makes it hard for someone like me to sit back and relax and let them be. As parents we are trying to to find the balance for them – lounge in youth but to also enjoy learning, do well in school and yes go to college. Getting an education opens the first door in opportunity and acceptance in American society. We know that they will do better as a college educated Asian American than not. My goal is to have my kids interrupt me mid book and ask questions. That is learning. We learned about a South African 16 year old develop a polymer to help with drought through a google science fair – now that is just as inspiring to discuss as 16 year old Olympians.
We all have biases and make assumptions until we meet and converse with another. Do some assume my Asian face knows less the Articles of the Constitution, appreciate less modern art, love James Corden car karaoke or that I am kinda funny? The Earth is (almost perfectly) round and so are we.