Archives for the month of: January, 2012

Like every Asian out there. Because really, guys, everyone knows that giving an Asian a violin and a bow is like giving birth to the next Mozart.

I think that’s the funny thing about Asian stereotypes: some of them may not even be intended to come across as mean, but we Asians still don’t like them. We don’t like the “Asians are terrible drivers” or the “Ay-see-unsu kant speeku Engrish” stereotypes, and we don’t like the “Asians are musical geniuses” or “Asians are artistic geniuses” or “Asians are just geniuses in general” stereotypes, either. Why? Because they aren’t always true.

This may be pretty hard to believe, but we don’t like it when people think we’re amazing mathematicians, artists (and martial artists), or musicians simply because we’re Asian. When people make these assumptions, they’re really looking at the higher end of the spectrum (for reasons I fail to understand). It may be true that there are a lot of Asians out there who are good at these things, but don’t discount the majority of Asians who aren’t.

Take me, for example. If you’ve actually read any of my previous posts, you’d know that I’m not exactly what one would call a shining example of Stereotypical Extraordinary Asianness. Despite this, people tell me that I’m a stereotypically artistic Asian. Sure, I like to draw, but that doesn’t mean I’m good at it. As for math, well, I’m not doing so well in the class right now because I’m missing a few assignments. In fact, I should be studying for my test tomorrow. And don’t get me started on martial arts. Kung-fu? Kung-who now?

People in my band tell me I’m a musical prodigy all the time. I’ll admit; I like music. I like playing the cello. But I play the cello in a school band comprised mainly of saxophones, trumpets, trombones, guitars, and pianos (think: awkward), and I’m having some, er, issues living up to the ‘musical prodigy’ standard. [Hint: you have to be good to be a prodigy, and in order to be good, you have to actually spend the time to practice.] Heck, this particular Asian standard wasn’t even set by Asians, and I’m still struggling to meet it. Why do we Asians have to try to be everything other people perceive us to be in addition to everything our Asian parents expect from us? Good lord, give us a break!

Look at how much there was to say about the ‘good’ Asian stereotypes…Well, I guess I shouldn’t be complaining about them, considering the ‘bad’ ones are probably much more offensive.

‘Till next time!
~Hedgehog

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Parent-teacher conferences and I do not get along.

I have a bad history with them. It started off in 4th grade, when my split-class 4th/5th grade teacher told my parents I hadn’t turned in my poster about the human digestive system. I’d forgotten about it until the day it was due. Wow, the car ride home was not fun.

In 5th grade, my 4th/5th grade teacher told my parents that I had not completed my chapter summaries for the book, Joey Pigza. I didn’t know the due date until–what do you know?–the due date. I clearly recall locking myself in the bathroom bawling my eyes out for two hours upon getting home.

In 6th grade, my ancient civilizations history teacher kindly informed my parents that I had a D in his class because I did not turn in my notebook for his periodic notebook check. The reason I did not turn it in is because I lost most of of my notes from his class because most of them were on loose-leaf sheets of paper rather than actually in the notebook. I was a wreck.

In 7th grade, my honors English teacher told my parents that I had a D in the class because I was receiving zeroes on multiple homework assignments. Funny how I’d actually completed them and just forgot to turn them in. My parents were relentless in their scolding.

In 8th grade, my Geometry teacher told my parents that I had a C in the class because I was doing poorly on tests, which was a first for me. I bombed the first two tests of the semester because I didn’t realize I had them until he handed them out in class and I thought, I’m screwed. My mom stayed up with me until early morning to make sure I was caught up on all the material.

In 9th grade, my Japanese teacher told my parents that I was not turning in my homework assignments. My parents were not happy. On top of that, my honors chemistry teacher told my parents I was not turning in homework assignments. My parents were furious. I made plans for my funeral on the way home.

In 10th grade, my honors English, AP European history, Biology, and music teachers told my parents I was at the top of my class. I was happy about this. Then I learned that my AP Calculus teacher told my parents I had a B- in her class because I had missed several homework assignments. And my Chinese teacher told my parents I had an A– in her class because I had missed almost all of my homework assignments. Oh boy.

I don’t like parent-teacher conferences. Much as I try, I can never pull my act together enough for my parents to hear nothing but good news from my teachers. My mom and I were discussing this today. She said that I was at the top of some of my classes, but I needed to work on Chinese and Calculus. I told my mom (half-jokingly) that I was at the very bottom of my Chinese class with my A–. This is funny because there are only two of us in the class.

Working on getting it together. I’m just not motivated enough…

LURV,
Hedgehog

My mom told me about how shallow my last post made me seem, and I apologize. A lot of people don’t understand my sarcastic sense of humor, which is perfectly understandable because I tend to overdo it. Just to clarify, I am friends with all sorts of people. It really doesn’t matter how awesome or boring their lives are, so long as they’re not jerkfaces. The point of the post was really just for me to complain about how uneventful my life has felt the past few weeks.

Today, instead of dwelling on how boring my life is right now, I’m going to begin detailing the less depressing tidbits of my life, starting from the present and working backwards to middle school. I hope doing so will provide insight into the convoluted way in which my mind works.

I spent yesterday with my good friend Ali. I love spending time with her; because I don’t see her very often these days, I jump on every opportunity to bask in her genius rays. My mom thinks I idolize her a little bit too much–again, this is just her not understanding my sarcastic humor. I love all my friends and I will always speak of them very highly, but it’s not like I worship them or anything. I don’t build a shrine to each one of them and pray to them by candlelight every night. I promise.

One of the things that made my decision to leave my old school (which I had attended from 7th-9th grade) for my new school easier is that some of my best friends were leaving, too.  Ethan, the super-crazy-amazing-awesome-random-funny-weird-gross artistic genius, was ditching us for boarding school.  The rest of us who were not going to boarding school tried to make the most of the few months time we had left to spend with him, but we had all secretly demoted him to “boarding school snob” in our minds.

And Ali–brilliant, witty Ali–Ali was leaving, too.  But she was not going to boarding school.  She was going to college.  As a 10th grader, of course.

While I miss all of my old friends terribly, I don’t feel like I’m standing in the shadow of my brilliant friends anymore. With my 7th-9th grade friends, I looked like an idiot whenever I did anything that fell short of their expectations. Now it’s back to how it was before I met them: I just look like an idiot all the time.

I’m hoping to stop making my old friends the focus of my posts and start telling actual stories about how much of an idiot I can actually be, because trust me, I can be a total idiot.

Cheerio!
~hedgehog

Seriously. Not really. But I am in such dire need of a life that I am writing about it, and that’s pretty sad.

This is going to sound terribly creepy, but whenever I meet a person, the first thing I do is evaluate how much of a life he or she has. I like to surround myself with people who have cool (but not really cool) lives, so I can feel somewhat important myself.

Here’s how I decide whether or not a person has a life:

“Hey, so what are you doing this weekend?”
“Hitting the books.”

Boring, okay. Boring. Like me.

“Really? That’s all?”
“Well, my band might have a gig on Saturday night, but that’s still being decided.”

…Maybe not. He’s in a band. Got it. Maybe not boring. Kind of cool maybe. But it’s just a maybe so he’s only maybe cool.

“That’s really cool! What do you play?”
“Um…Harmonica.”

Harmonica? Who plays that? That’s pretty awesome. Okay, this guy’s not so bad. Maybe we can be friends.

“Wow, I don’t know anyone who plays harmonica. That sounds like a lot of fun.”
“Yeah, it’s tough to learn. Like any instrument, though.”
“Definitely. How was your winter break?”
“I was in Africa for the entire two weeks, which was awesome, but I didn’t get any work done.”

Africa. Too cool. Little bit too cool.

“I’ve always wanted to go to Africa! What were you doing there?”
“I was there to support a water filtration system. You know, because a lot of African kids get diseases from drinking lake water.”

What? Too cool. Way too cool. I feel like a lazy blob. Too cool.

At this point, the conversation ends because I’m feeling a little too boring and a little too lazy-blobish. But let me tell you, if I had to continue the conversation, it might end up something like this:

“You suck.”
“What?”
“I hate you.”
“Why the heck do you hate me?”
“Because you suck and you’re too cool and I hate you.”

And then I would walk away.

The only thing worse than having no life is being an Asian with no life in a private school filled with rich people with super outrageous lives. Somehow, people expect me to be some sort of genius ninja sushi-chef. I like to exaggerate stories in order to make myself seem less like a not-smart not-ninja horrible-chef Asian.

And they wonder why I lie so much.

More on this later.
Love,
Hedgehog