So someone wrote a book about Whitney High School, Jieun’s alma mater, you may have heard about it. Susan gave a copy to Jieun, and Carey (since she’s mentioned in the book) autographed it. I’m actually super excited to read it. I’m all about Whitney. Who else is interested in the book besides Whitney alumni and their spouses I have no clue.
Anyway, yeah, they all got together and had this absolutely fascinating conversation about Whitney. Someone mentioned said something really interesting. As you may know, Whitney is insanely Asian. Anyway, they were saying how it being so Asian kind of allowed them to do things they may not have done at a “normal” high school. Like, they were super involved in athletics and student government and stuff like that. But had they gone to a more white high school, they probably would have spent all their time studying, like all the other Asians. Their lives would be completely different. Uh, that’s not exactly how they said it but that was the gist, I think.
I dunno, that’s fascinating to me. I think it’s true. When everyone’s Asian, it’s easier to break out of the Asian nerd mold and try different things, build confidence maybe or whatever. So maybe it’s easier for Asians to build confidence when they’re around other Asians?
The thing is, it’s a balance, right? I’m making grand, sweeping, overgeneralization here, but yeah, I dunno, I think when people only hang out with other Asians, grow up only interacting with other Asians, they have more difficulty interacting with other races. I’m not saying everyone’s like this, and it’s not permanent or severe or whatever, but I dunno, it’s just what I think.
So what’s better? Building confidence but being less comfortable with other races? Or being more comfortable with other races but playing into the timid nerdy Asian stereotype? Hmm, I dunno, maybe this isn’t a real tradeoff. When I think about it, I know plenty of people from Whitney and other Asian schools who are perfectly comfortable with all races. And I know plenty of Asians who went to white schools who did stuff like athletics and student government and whatever. So I have no idea what I’m talking about.
I dunno, just for me though, I think I played into the Asian stereotype growing up, just because I thought that’s how Asians are. I think I’ve wrote about this before. But yeah, I was startled in elementary school when Asians weren’t in the “smart” classes. I played rec soccer but it never even occurred to me that I could play real soccer, for school. Asians were nerds, and nerds didn’t do that.
The weirdest part of the convo was hearing them talk about who liked who in elementary school. I dunno, that’s just bizarre to me. I dunno, again, at my school, maybe it’s just in my mind, but Asians were nerds, and nerd love didn’t really exist. I dunno, I’m rambling but yeah, the point is, for me personally, I never tried doing different things like sports or whatever because I just assumed it was off limits for Asians like me. And I wonder if I would have turned out differently if I had gone to Whitney.
Probably not. I dunno, I think being nerdy is hardwired into my system.
Here’s the other thing. So yeah, I think I’m more comfortable with other races having never gone to a really Asian school, but I dunno what good that really did me. I still end up hanging out with mostly Asians anyway.
But anyway. Just wanted to post a long boring entry to strike up the new year.