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Thread: Educational Achievement and Culture

  1. #11


    Usually, from what I have observed with my acquaintances and stereotypes, it seems that Latinos largely are not/ not perceived as very likely to place much importance on education(of course that doesn't apply to everyone). Most of my friends' parents didn't give a fuck about whether they even showed up to school or not. My parents, who are also immigrants by the way(as am I), however were/are the exact opposite. My parents, especially my father, have always put a lot of pressure on me to do well in school. He's always believed me to be exceptionally intelligent and for quite sometime I believed him as well as my classmates/ teachers who told me the same thing. I've now come to realize that that is in fact not at all accurate; I am merely a good improviser and problem solver. I'm almost certain I am of average intelligence, I am not so much smart as I am a very good guesser. I just know how to play the game that tests present for the most part. To this day I still get irritated when people tell me I am smart as it is a false statement/ an incorrect way to word it.

    Anyway, my father put a lot of pressure on me to be the best, so naturally, being me; I was annoyed, rebelled against it, and began skipping school on a daily basis. I was short-sighted and self-destructive. I didn't care about school, I still have days where I just want to drop out so I can be free to do whatever I want, but I don't actually act on these ideas like before, I realize it's just the stress talking. Long story short; I am now forced to attend a community college for 2 years with most of the jerk-wads I went to high school with, (who's ambition only seems to go as far as getting their AA and running or mooching off financial aid for as long as possible ) because I screwed up my first two years of high school. So, I can't say I didn't bring this upon myself. The last two years I managed to get my butt in gear and raise my GPA from a 1.0(I am serious that was my GPA) to a 3.0, however that wasn't enough to get me into anywhere I wanted to go. So here I am in a temporary hell where I at least I have straight A's now. It's been very difficult to learn to develop a sort of work ethic being that I never even tried to in high school. Let's just say I really suck at managing my time well(I am here after all). All in all, I deeply regret my shortsightedness and seek atonement, I didn't realize what I was doing, I didn't realize that all my parents did to force me to go/stay in school was for my own good. Most of all I didn't fully realize how lucky I was to have someone who cared about my education. As I mentioned before, my friends' parents didn't care at all about whether they even came to school or not, most of them only cared about them getting a job to bring more money in. My parents have never wanted that from me, they never wanted me to be like most of the other kids at my old school, they've never pressured me into getting a job, they've always told me all my needs would be provided for if I stayed/did well in school, perhaps they've coddled and sheltered me too much in that respect but now I have come to understand that my friends who's parents didn't nag them about school weren't the fortunate one's, I was.

    So, yes it seems that unlike most of the other Latinas around me, I was actually pressured to do well in regards to education.

  2. #12
    Freaking Ratchet Array Rail Tracer's Avatar
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    Jun 2010


    Education is important to family, and it is important towards the pack culture of relatives and friends. It is considered an upwards mobility for us, so doing it is a benefit for all of us.

    Was expected to finish high school, every single one of my siblings finish high school at bare minimum. More than half of my siblings went to college, and I followed suit to go to get a degree. Get a degree that I can use to get a decent living. My closest sibling got two degrees and a masters. I plan to follow suit, by getting a masters sometime in 5-8 years, probably in Business, Engineering, or Computer Science.... typical stereotypical Asian career besides being a Doctor. Ummmm, the need to get a degree wasn't placed on me, but I felt that I had to match my sibling when it comes to degree level. Relatives in my age group? The majority of them are going to college, or finding ways to attend college.

    My family and siblings didn't like how I was doing in middle school (gahhhh, those horrible days of barely passing.) Improvement, they encouraged me to do better, and I've been doing it ever since.

    Family and relatives constantly look to improve, when a relative gets a degree, or something, uncles and aunts like to boast about it. In essence, it is imperative to be able to get a degree also. That, or like the article says, get outta of the pack, because you'll have a hard time staying in without all these interferences. Of course, it isn't education hell like parents in China, South Korea, or Japan, but it can get fairly bad.

    My family, prior to me, came from the low class after immigrating here. Each one of my siblings work to advance our family so that we can help the younger kids and generations attain an even better education.

  3. #13
    Permabanned Array
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    Sep 2010


    I'm biracial (black African, white American) having split time between the two continents...(don't ask..)

    I didn't even realize college wasn't a necessity until I was 14 or so. We are all expected to finish an undergraduate degree. Among the 12 or so of my immediate aunts and uncles...only two didn't finish college. black African grandfather was an in 1940. Like one of the first ones....ever..

    It's typical of Africans in the West to have attained advanced education. There's pressure placed on people because, knowing that many Africans would love to have the opportunity you have, you can't just mess up and waste it. It's disrespectful to those Africans who weren't as lucky as you were to come to the West and waste a good chance to improve your situation.

    So yeah...

  4. #14
    Wake, See, Sing, Dance Array Cellmold's Avatar
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    Mar 2012


    Education was very important to my parents, but over time as they watched both myself and my brother struggle immensely they learned that we as individuals were never going to be the academic achievers they had hoped for.

    They fortunately mellowed as time went by, but I always had a great deal of respect for education as a concept, pushing back ignorance and helping people to start out by being taught information then later, learning to think for themselves more.

    However I do have a bit of an issue with some of the people who go to higher education. There are a number who go just because it is X amount of years to do nothing but enjoy themselves until they are forced to think about their future, like an extended childhood.
    Its partly to do with this country and the obsession over the last government of getting everybody into university or college on the assumption that this will automatically result in a nation of highly successful people. Which isn't to say there aren't people like that who go to higher education, just that there are also plenty who go for that other reason.
    However what they've ended up with is a nation of overeducated people who can't find jobs and who are heavily in debt.

    I went to 6th form after school with the intention of getting into a college after. I didn't get accepted into anything in the end much to my parents dismay, they seemed to think I was this highly intelligent person and I've never understood why, it cannot just be platonic love.
    At 6th form I noticed a great disparity between myself and the people there, I couldn't quite work out why, but I couldn't get along with anybody and was greatly disliked for my bizarre behaviour and rude manner.

    It wasn't until I discovered typology that years later I suspected most of these people were intuitives with a few SJ's here and there. Thinking back on it has certainly helped me understand why I struggled so much.
    "An upsidedown wire heart
    Being sucked into a periscope
    Still the mind is dull
    Like you need another excuse"

    … a theory is primarily a form of insight, i.e. a way of looking
    at the world, and not a form of knowledge of how the world is….
    .. all our different ways of thinking are to be considered as
    different ways of looking at the one reality, each with some
    domain in which it is clear and adequate….
    - David Bohm

  5. #15
    Seal Down Array Hard's Avatar
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    Jan 2014
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    It was an odd mix for me. It wasn't explicitly expected of me to go to college, because I declared that I wanted to early on (as I knew I wanted to be a scientist since age 6 or so). If I didn't, I suspect I would have been explicitly told. A huge point of contention in my childhood was with how smart I was, and how little I tried, so it would have massively amplified the whole "wasted potential" argument. It wasn't until late middle school that my over-achieving side came out and it hasn't left since. I was around the age of 14 or so when I said "yea, I want to get a PhD", and when I told my parents they were over the moon about this plan. I'm currently in my 3rd year of my PhD program.

    Outside of elementary school where I was pressured for doing a shitty job in school, I was never pressured, forced, or expected to get very high marks. High marks yes, but not top tier. They never suggested I take honors and AP classes in high school. I sought it out, and when I told them, they simply say "oh that's wonderful!". The idea that I want a PhD is 100% self imposed and nothing more. When stuff gets tough and I vent to my parents, my mom will say "oh you're so stressed, just leave with a masters! That's good enough!" which triggers a big NO from me. Needless to say I don't vent to my mother anymore. My father seems to want to say the same thing, but never will. Ever the practical ESTJ that he is, it's "you've put so much towards this you have to finish, you can do it!".

    To be perfectly honest, the reason I am getting a PhD, is yes I love science, and I wanted to go far with it, but I just wanted the label to begin with. "That's as far as you can go... guess I have to go there". I'd feel like a failure, and a sellout not to, and that's all me. It's just this thing I have to do, and I honestly don't know why it is, I just know it is. No one set that in my head. I impose quite a lot of expectations on myself in that sort of manner. It's not always fun.

    EDIT: It's interesting to read about people who always had to or sought straight A's like @Zarathustra said to get into a top school. I never did. Good grades/marks were meerly incidental most of the time (I got my B.S. degree with a 3.2). To me, the end goal is the PhD, and that's all that matters. What happens on the way to that, the figure details anyway, aren't so important. I mean they are, but only insomuch as getting to the next checkpoint, and fulfilling the standards I set for myself. There's certain thresholds I need to make sure, but it doesn't need to be perfect by grade or GPA (I know I couldn't reach that anyway). If my superiors regard me as good, doing well, etc. then that's good enough. Of course there are many times where I feel huge pressure to make top mark in a class, situation, etc. but I don't need every single metric to do that. Besides, I couldn't anyway, I'd burn out very fast. I'm driven to get to the end by any means I can get there.
    MBTI: ExxJ tetramer
    Functions: Fe > Te > Ni > Se > Si > Ti > Fi > Ne
    Enneagram: 1w2 - 3w4 - 6w5 (The Taskmaster) | sp/so
    Socionics: β-E dimer | -
    Big 5: slOaI
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  6. #16
    pathwise dependent Array FDG's Avatar
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    Aug 2007


    I grew up in (rural) Europe and we don´t really have those "celebrations" that americans do, so there was no official "graduation ceremony" from high school even if I had top grades. Furthemore, everyone in my high school class was white, the most exotic person being a croatian guy...thus I guess my perspective on the matter is slightly different.
    My parents just have a high school degree and they never had spectacular grades (although my mother can do mental maths very very quickly), so one way or another they didn´t place any kind of real expectation on what I could/should have done - it was more the teachers who expected me to go as far as I could. I´m now in my second year of my phd (already have the masters) but I´m not loving it and I´m thinking about switching to industry.

    To sum it up, no, there wasn´t any real pressure, I somewhat decided everything by myself. I always liked learning, I have a really good memory and I´m somewhat competitive, thus I always had good to really good grades (the equivalent of 3.9 GPA, in american terms).
    However, I don´t know if my experience can be easily "translated" to american culture. I guess I relate to what @cafe wrote.
    ENTj 7-3-8 sx/sp

  7. #17
    Senior Member Array Typh0n's Avatar
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    Feb 2013
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    My backgrounnd is a bit complicated. My mothet is Belgian and my father the son of wealthy Turkish immigrants. When I was six, I moved to the United States. Thats where I got all my public schooling, I moved back to Europe when I was nineteen, so when I had finished high school.

    My parents being university teachers, they put alot of emphasis on my education. I was strongly pressured to get good grades. I got good grades(above average though I have always been a bit of a slacker so I never was the straight A type) and was interested in alot of subjects, mainly not the ones taught in school. I liked Dinosaurs, except, unlike the other children I knew there exact names and would always act like a know it all to the other kids, which annoyed the hell out of them. This is when I began to realize humans have a bigger fear of looking stupid than of being stupid. My parents always told me I was smart and it annoyed me because of the opinions of other kids, my parents exalted me above other kids and I felt like it damaged my vision of other kids. But I was wrong. I was taught in school all the bullshit about equality and democracy. I wanted to live up to those ideals out if complacence. I didnt realize at the time how wrong I was.

    As a teenager I started rebelling. I started skipping class. Got bad grades, though at the end of high school I decided I would at least graduate. I did graduate. Then I made a big mistake. I decided to not go to college, and wanted to become an actor inqtead(which is fine in itself) then a musician(again fine). NowIm 31 and never made it in the arts, have no degrees and my family is out of money. Im stuck living on social sevices, which I hate. Im trying hard to change my current life but its hell. I shouldnt have acted like a smartass when I was younger. Rebelling is one thing, but I wanted to be stupid since stupidity was something
    that had been encouraged by all this nonsense about equality I heard since childhood. Though I didnt hear it from my parents, I should have listened to them.

    Moral of the story being that while Im not blaming society whete I screwed up, I feel that society encouraged me to be stupid if it didnt impel me be so. It encouraged me to feel bad for others incompetence(the kids who didnt know the name of the dinosaurs). It encouraged me to play smart acting like rock and rap stars who have a different salary then I do. I still have a shot, I wanna get a three year degree in documentation though Im not sure if I can stay on social services that long(or want to) or if Im gonna get a part time job to support myself in the meantime(which I would rather do but I dont know what to specify in since I have no qualifications)

  8. #18
    Alma Array five sounds's Avatar
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    Jul 2013
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    education was a big deal in my home. i grew up in the states, and had two parents who never went to college and were never encouraged to do so. they felt that a degree and, more specifically, a career was the way to be secure in adulthood (something they struggled to find).

    i loved school, and usually did pretty well (kind of slacker-y, but i still pulled As and Bs and took advanced classes). the idea of going to college after high school was comforting. i know how to be in school. i love learning. so when i needed a master's degree in order to go into the career i had my eye on, i didn't think twice about it.

    my parents never pressured me about my grades, and i never put a lot of pressure on myself either. they just celebrated my academic achievements and talked to me about school a lot. education was a priority, but i was right on board. learning is fun! all my friends are at school! i really think i could be a perpetual student, working toward no degree, and be completely happy.

    where i went wrong was buying into the whole career thing. i need a more homogenized experience than that. but heck, they didn't know that.
    You hem me in -- behind and before;
    you have laid your hand upon me.
    Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too lofty for me to attain.

  9. #19
    Post Human Post Array Qlip's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
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    I'm Latino, but I'm also at least a 3rd generation American, depending on how you look at it. Some of my fam hung around the same area while the borders changed around them. I was raised in a weird religious setting that did not encourage education beyond high school and some vocational training. I didn't even make it that far, I dropped out of high school as soon as I could. It worked out well, I suppose, I'm a well paid in a field that values achievements and abilities over schooling, computer programming.

    There was very little value put on education. I went to so many schools, 3 different elementary schools, 2 middle schools, 3 different high schools, all before my sophomore year. I used to feel incredibly guilty for being such a bad student, but it took a long time to understand that it's very hard to succeed under those conditions. There's not only educational whiplash, there's social stuff that crops up from moving so often. It was no wonder I bailed ASAP. I made sure to get reasonably passing grades before I did, just to show I could.

    After H.S. I immediately got my GED, then went to 2 year tech school, and then my corporate career began when I was 19.

  10. #20
    Senior Member Array
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    Aug 2007


    Quote Originally Posted by Qre:us View Post
    Are your own personal expectations the same as what your parents were for you? Do you think you internalized any of their expectations so that they were not discernable from your own expectations of yourself?
    I guess my personal expectation was the same as far as graduating from college was concerned, anything less I internalized as an abject failure in light of the opportunities available to me. I also felt like a failure (which I frankly was) after I burnt out of grad school, but that was more about my personal expectations for myself, at that point.

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