Archives for posts with tag: math

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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that I’m just BETTER than everyone else, and I can do ANYTHING. Cuz I’m a genius.

I’m kidding. Genius? Haaaa. There really aren’t many geniuses in the world. I’m not kidding. I’m sure we all have that one kid in our math class who just nails every problem and understands every concept and aces every test…and hey, maybe some of them really are geniuses. I don’t know. But I doubt it–if they were geniuses, they would not be in the same class you’re in. Unless you’re a genius.

Take my friend George, for example. He’s cool. He’s ridiculously smart. I mean, I thought I was smart–I’m a freshman in Honors Trigonometry, which is 2 levels above grade level–but this guy switches into my trig class and starts totally humiliating the rest of us. Seriously. He’s wiping the blackboard with our faces, the way the teacher worships him. It’s the same way in our chemistry class (again, I’m ahead: chemistry is normally only offered to 10th grade students): he’s got the teacher wrapped around his finger. Do I admire him? Sure. Am I jealous of him? Oh yes.

So a few months ago, Georgeh took this competitive math assessment available only to teacher-recommended students called the AMC 10. Our math teacher signed him up for it (no surprise), and George went in to the test quite confidently (again, no surprise). For months before the test, George made a big deal of studying for it by showing off his EXTREME MATH SKILLS to the rest of the class. To be honest, I don’t think the rest of the class could have given less of a crap about George’s EXTREME MATH SKILLS, but he proceeded in making a show of his giant math textbooks nonetheless.

About a month ago in our math class, George sat down in the seat in front of me (his usual seat), clearly bothered by something but waiting for me to ask him about it. Being the good friend I am, I asked, “What’s up?” George replied, “So, I got the score back for the AMC 10.”

With as little interest in this as I had for his EXTREME MATH SKILLS, I reluctantly said, “Oh, really? Cool. What’d you get?”

To which George responded, “A ninety-eight.” This did not surprise me. I was actually kind of pissed that he had the nerve to sit down in front of me and brag.

Irritably, I said, “Cool. That’s awesome.” Then, sarcastically: “I KNEW you were a genius.”

“I got a ninety-eight out of a hundred and fifty,” George corrected me. Then he smiled. I smiled back. In my eyes, George became…like, HUMAN. He’s not the creepy computer I had previously thought of him as. Now he’s a friend, our friendship based on the fact that neither of us are, in fact, geniuses.

(Actually, my IQ is CLOSE to genius level. But it isn’t; I blame ADHD (always always always blame ADHD).)

Honestly guys, there’s always gonna be someone out there better than you are at something. And then there’s going to be someone better than that person. So don’t get so caught up in this little “I HAVE TO BE BETTER THAN MY FRIENDS IN MATH” thing, because even if you ARE better than your friends are in math…you’re nothing. I’m kidding. (just kidding, I’m not kidding. no offense.)

Cheeers! (:
ABC