A “Tiger Mom” Experiment

“A-? It’s just like a F! In our family everybody gets an A!”

So, I bet you think this is something that most Tiger Moms would say to their children. And yes, you’re right. I can’t even remember how many times my mum said it when I was younger.

The video above was part of the ABC show, What Would You Do? An Asian actress was asked to act as the mean Tiger Mom that scolded and yelled at her “daughter” in a restaurant, in which there were many non-Asians sitting around them.

I’m not surprised by their reaction, but I’m trying to picture what this whole thing would look like if it happened in a restaurant in China or other Asian countries. Needless to say, it would not even worth to be featured on a TV show because my mum has done something similar to me before and guess what? Nothing, literally nothing, happened.

As an Asian, I’m not feeling really proud of this Tiger Mom controversy yet I know that this is something real. I’ve been treated this way but I’m still alive today. Trust me, this won’t kill or even hurt anyone and in some cases, it’ll even help.

To be honest, if it was not my mum who made me get every A at school, I’m pretty sure I would have got all those Fs! But I know she didn’t do it for no reason. She did it because she knew from the first day that I was the kind of person who would stop if there was no one pushing me. She has never been a Tiger Mom for my younger brother because she knows that he and I are totally not the same. The Tiger Mom parenting style is just not going to work for my brother, as she and I know.

So, guess what my mum responded last week when I told her I didn’t get a satisfying grade in one of my class and felt like I’ve wasted her money?

“I see. But as long as you’ve learned something it’s good. You didn’t waste our money. Just try your best and I will be happy,” said my Tiger Mom.

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What is More Than a Race: A Mixed Race

                    Video by Team Mixed Show on Youtube

Throughout the week after visiting “RACE: Are We So Different?” I’ve been thinking about groups of people that would possibly have trouble identifying their races. The multiracial group, which is mixed race, then came to my mind immediately. I did some research on it and found the video above.

“So, what are you?”

Looking back to my past, I’ve never been asked this kind of offensive questions. I mean, why would I? Most people would just assume that I’m an Asian the first time they saw me, just like how they assume those “Asian-looking” mixed race people are.

Yet, there might be much more than just a race.

The Hapa Project in the exhibit says it all. The project was created by artist Kip Fullbeck, who has photographed more than 1200 people that identified themselves as “hapa.” The participants were also asked to handwrite their answers to the question “what are you?” after being photographed.

While I was looking at the photos and their responses, I realized they were all naked, without make-up and facial expressions. It’s because, “This is also about starting with as blank a slate as possible. Every way we present ourselves visually, from our style to our glasses to our jewelry to our expression, is a way of identifying ourselves culturally and socially. And I wanted people to just be who they were at their base, to be as much as possible at their essence,” as Kip stated in an interview he did with Discover Nikkei.

Even though I’ve never asked any of my mixed race friends the question above, I felt ashamed after the visit. I realized I’ve never actually spent time understanding them and their cultures. If you’ve already visited the exhibit, and took a look of the Hapa Project, did it change the way you think of the multiracial group? And if you have been asking your mixed friends that question, did you really try to understand “what” they and their cultures are before asking?

RACE Exhibit: Are We Different or the Same?

Race: Are We So Different?

Photo by Ting Ting Chu/ Vowel Chu Photography

My name is Ting Ting. From my name, I guess you might have figured that I’m an Asian. And yes, I came from Hong Kong a couple years ago for a bachelor degree. Instead of “Chinese,” I’ve always identified myself as an Asian because most of the forms I filled in provided “Asian” as an option.

To be honest, I didn’t feel surprised after visiting this exhibit at the Pacific Science Center, it has included a lot of surprising scientific fact and information about race though. The reason why I wasn’t, is that I have already learned about some of these before. But still, I’m glad that I’ve got the chance to visit it because the exhibit has definitely given me some new insights on the topic, “race.”

Before this visit, I’ve always thought race was something that cannot be simply and clearly defined but the exhibit has somehow changed me. By looking at it through a scientific lens, I’ve learned that in some ways, race can actually be defined clearly but it’s just that we couldn’t imagine how complicated it is.

I do love this change. This exhibit has made me realize how naive I have been by saying how race could not be simply and clearly defined to hide the fact that I was just too lazy to define it.

However if you asked me whether this change in my thinking would change my behavior as well, the answer will be “I don’t know.” The only thing I’ve been doing in regard to race, is that when I’m taking photos of fashionistas around the campus for the UW Fashion Blog I made, I try not to pay attention to their race. I love the way how “post-racial” my blog is. Plus, I can foresee the real world to be post-racial in the future.

One of the participants in HAPA project wrote, “I’m(will be) exactly the same as every other person in 2500,” which has been and will still be my belief as well. So, to me, although we might be a bit different right now, we will eventually be the same.

Talking about our class, I’m really excited about it. Not only because it’s a journalism class, but also because we’re working with a professional news media company, “The Seattle Times.” I’ve always thought that simply learning in a classroom is not enough because the deadlines we have are not real and thus they are not horrible as they could be in a news media company. I want to feel the stress a professional journalist feels and see how I will cope with it.

Nevertheless, I feel like my writing skill is the first thing that has to be improved in this class so as to express all those interesting and creative ideas I have on my mind clearly. And lastly with a point of view of a foreigner, who is neither born nor raised in the states, I am hoping to inspire everyone in this class.