On My Mind, 01.24.11

by Rachael on January 24, 2011

Mondays at The Variegated Life: links to some stuff I’ve liked …

I haven’t read that WSJ article about Tiger Moms, nor do I intend to read it. In fact, every time Brian Lehrer has done a segment related to it on his show (at least two, maybe more), I’ve turned the radio off. Like Laura at Apt. 11D, I’m tired of being manipulated. And, May-Lee Chai points out (via Blue Milk), there is a “fundamental problem with [Amy] Chua’s thesis: she oversimplifies a complex issue with a simple binary of Western indulgent v. Chinese strict.” Chai writes:

In fact, this issue is about class not ethnicity. How many people can afford the nannies, tutors, special camps, private schools, etc. that Chua and her husband have paid for? Yet Chua’s book and PR do not emphasize this class privilege or all the people who have contributed to her children’s academic successes. No one woman could do everything, or seriously spend as much time as Chua claims that she did micromanaging her children’s every rehearsal and lives, as Janet Maslin points out in her review in the New York Times.

In response not to the Tiger Moms article, but in response to the responses to this article as well as to various other parenting practices, Annie at PhD in Parenting wonders “Where is the line?” and when and how it is acceptable to criticize or even express outrage at the practices of others. I’m always glad when I jump in early with a comment on one of her posts; I subscribe to the comments and then watch as an engaging and informative discussion unfolds. It really is like a graduate seminar on parenting.

At Raising My Boychick, Arwyn wonders why she sometimes uses parenting techniques that are utterly, pointlessly ineffective. And in the comments, everyone responds, Don’t we all?

A few weeks ago, I noted that I liked how others choose anthems, or phrases, or words to express their aspirations for the new year. I never came up with any such thing myself. But, at Seth’s Blog, he points out that what matters is real change, not new words. And that real change is uncomfortable. Hem. So I’ve got no new words right now, but since the change I made last week I’ve been plenty uncomfortable. I guess I’m OK with that.

At The Practical Dilettante, Seonaid asks, “What is true?” Hell if I know. And yet I go on, as we all do.

My husband is again trying to persuade me that I should have a smart phone (for my business) instead of my dumbass phone that just makes phone calls and takes terrible pictures. Is taking photos like this one worth the expense of an iPhone? Probably not; for one thing, the camera (or phone, whatever) doesn’t take the pictures on its own. And I can enjoy the loveliness that others post at our local blog.

Speaking of loveliness, I’m enjoying the photos that Sarah is posting at One Starry Night. Photos like these remind me why I’d like to learn to be a better photographer: so that I can see the world more clearly and not miss out on the details.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Liz February 3, 2011 at 11:41 AM

When I read Tiger Mom the first thing I did was check who the frick she was, which brought up Yale. Second thing I did was think: clearly, Yale doesn’t always produce winners and finally, there is no way one person can be that “hands-on” and still have a personal life/career/etc without a personal workforce. From way atop the privilege ladder, it’s incredibly condescending. You know, among the other serious issues.

I have an iPhone that I don’t use as a phone (don’t ask). I absolutely love, love, love it.
Liz recently posted… Wordless Wednesday- My Bookshelf Porn

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Rachael February 7, 2011 at 4:21 PM

George W. Bush = proof that Yale doesn’t always produce winners.

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