OMG, John had me tune in to the AZN channel last night. I didn’t even know there was a “network for Asian America.” I like the idea, but I need to check out more of the content before giving final judgement.
Anyway, the show yesterday was called “Ivy Dreams.” Basically, the cameras followed five Asian high school students through their college applications processes, from their test prepping to their acceptance/rejection letters. Man, this show brought back so many horrible memories. I got totally stressed following the cameras into their rooms and seeing all those SAT prep books. And god, their parents were ubiquitous. Telling them to study, calculating their probable test scores, watching them check scores online… Jesus. And of course the scores were never high enough; the kids took and re-took exams up to the wire. One girl scored like 720 out of 800 on one exam, and when she called to her father all excited to share the good news, he complained that she could and should have scored an 800. Ugh. I mean, a lot of things have changed since my experience (now students can get their scores and acceptance/rejection news online!). Still, so much has also stayed the same: the parents constantly harping on their kids– “You’re spending too much time with your friends. You’re diluting your efforts. You need to study more. Don’t participate in so many extra-curricular activities– just focus on studying.” Blah, blah, blah. Even when I didn’t listen to them, the constant conflict was so fucking draining.
I definitely busted ass in school. Sometimes, the results were great. Other times, horrendous. And now? What’s the payoff? Who the hell knows. I sometimes wish I would have enjoyed myself more back then. There’s something really sad about getting panic attacks and breakdowns over school– especially in the seventh grade.