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Asian teens express angst in essays in Tri-Valley

Original post made on Jul 18, 2013

Some Asian American students say the stress they're under -- by parents, by peers and themselves -- has led to mental health problems.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, July 18, 2013, 6:53 AM

Comments (18)

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Posted by Fred
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 18, 2013 at 11:29 am

(Comment partially removed by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff)

As for the pressures felt by school-aged kids who want to succeed, well, that's the logical outcome of capitalism: the logic of ownership is to own more; the logic of education is to succeed over others (e.g., Hunger Games) even at the cost of forfeiting one's quest for genuine understanding and knowledge of the human condition.


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Posted by Smiley Face
a resident of Castlewood
on Jul 18, 2013 at 11:56 am

Survival of the fittest...


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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Jul 18, 2013 at 12:03 pm

I appreciate the values of Asian Americans re: education. Keep in mind that high grades are not the only predictor of a happy and successful life.

High grades may not always get you into an excellent university.

The USA is blessed with many wonderful young people. There are many different values that Americans encourage.

Believe me, you will not drop if you're not the brightest apple on the tree. And if you are, you may not have a happy and successful life.
Consider seeking a balance. You may find someday that you're a wonderful human being and a good parent and spouse. You may never be the smartest person on the planet. Perhaps you'll never get married or have children. Your income may be OK. If you're young, you still have time to figure out who you are and what you want to become. It's a piece of work and it's not a race.

Most of what others think about you is none of your business.



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Posted by Observer
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 18, 2013 at 1:47 pm

I remember about 3-4 years ago, the loner male Chinese student at a major Eastern university went on a shooting rage, killing half a dozen or so. Parents knew he had mental issues , but lived quietly and did nothing.


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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Jul 18, 2013 at 3:10 pm

Unfortunately, folks do go on the rampage sometimes and harm innocent people: Web Link

Those individuals come from various countries in the world.

It's tragic.

I guess that living in the world can be like living in a pressure cooker and some folks crack.


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Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on Jul 18, 2013 at 8:23 pm

Observer wrote: "I remember about 3-4 years ago, the loner male Chinese student at a major Eastern university went on a shooting rage, killing half a dozen or so. Parents knew he had mental issues , but lived quietly and did nothing."

What's your point? You think that the parents of Adam Lanza (Newtown shootings), James Holmes (Aurora movie shootings), and the Columbine shooters did not know that their sons had mental issues?


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Posted by Susan
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 18, 2013 at 8:28 pm

I thnk it's just as big a tragedy to spend your life trying to achieve for your parents' sake, never feeling known and loved for who you are. These children may get the high status job and house, and feel empty their whole lives. Superficial living is what is being taught to these kids by their parents.


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Posted by Lessismore
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Jul 19, 2013 at 8:26 am

Maybe it is time for the parents to be a parent. There ego is part of the problem not the kids.

But at the end of the day we need programs. Yes that is where most will end up do to the lack of social skills and no ability to lead others.

And why to I say this. Because I hire them each day and they can program but lack the social skill to work in teams and the ability to think out side of the box.

Just maybe you should try letting your child be a kid and play. Doing 8 grade math in 4 grade can wait a few years but being kid is now.



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Posted by Tom
a resident of Castlewood
on Jul 19, 2013 at 10:57 am

I really respect the Asian achievement ethic particularly that parents encourage in their children. Contrast this with some other cultures where children often have no fathers, parents are absentee, on drugs or in prison or where children think achievement and education are not cool. We see which cultures are succeeding in life and which ones aren't.


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Posted by Fred
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 19, 2013 at 11:51 am

I respect all cultures. Here in America, for example, African-American culture -- an extremely diverse phenomenon make of numerous subcultures -- has produced such outstanding individuals as Martin Luther King, Barack Obama, Cornell West ... the list is long and continues to lengthen. So too with Asian Americans. Incredible achievements across a wide variety of subcultures.

The problem is how to organize a society that doesn't lend itself to chronic defeatism among some, intense feelings of anxiety among others. We're not there yet, nor, I would argue, will we be until we decide to organize ourselves around an alternative set of principles than those offered by our capitalist political economy.


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Posted by Tom
a resident of Castlewood
on Jul 19, 2013 at 1:39 pm

There are factors in every culture that produce success and contributions to society and there are factors in cultures that create failure. The solution starts by acknowledging problems and addressing them within the culture not to continually blame others and look to government for continual assistance. The answer doesn't lie with "organizing a society". We've tried that through the last half century with a huge number of government-funded and expensive programs which haven't worked.

Asian americans have quietly gone about being successful in our society with low crime rates, high rates of marriage stability and graduating students.


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Posted by Mike
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Jul 19, 2013 at 3:30 pm

It's all about how you see society and your role in it.

Of course there are exceptions brought about by the myriad situations that form individuals as they grow, but the Japanese tend to view their individual progress as having been made possible through the support they receive from those around them rather than as the result of individual effort alone. This of course also means that individuals feel the need to meet the expectations of family, teachers and others that populate a fairly wide circle.

I wonder if such a perspective comes into starker conflict when transplanted to American culture, which tends to be more indulgent of self.

Mike


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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Jul 19, 2013 at 4:45 pm

There will always be students who are high achievers and they come from various socio-economic backgrounds. All American students will not attended college/university and those students may also be viewed as highly successful.

Living a full and satisfying life is more than being a college/university graduate, having a high paying job, getting married, and having children.

Millions of Americans are transplants. Some arrived early in their lives and others arrived later and adapted to life in the USA with relatively few difficulties.

I've had social and professional contact with numerous Americans from various racial/ethnic backgrounds. Some have attained the American dream while others have experienced enormous difficulties living in the USA. The majority of individuals that I have befriended I perceive as successful Americans. They are happy, educated, socially responsible Americans who do not have criminal records. They have never harmed fellow Americans and they've all paid taxes, never stolen from their employers or fellow Americans, and served in the US military with pride and have never deliberately harmed others.

ALL of my retired friends have worked as volunteers. They were not all born in the USA. I enjoy knowing Americans from various social and ethnic backgrounds. At this time, the majority of my closest friends are responsible senior citizens.

Incidentally, there are many successful Asian Americans living happy and fulfilling lives. However, not all Asians are college/university educated, many have not completed high school or attended/completed college/university. Many work in lower paying jobs and also exhibit symptoms of mental illness. There also many Asians in American prisons.

It's easy to generalize about various populations that live in the USA. One of my primary concerns is "can we all get along?"

AMERICA IS GREAT BECAUSE MOST OF US HAVE WORKED HARD TO MAKE AMERICA GREAT.








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Posted by Fred
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 19, 2013 at 6:54 pm

It never ceases to amaze how stunted intellects can take an idea and reduce it to a third grade proposition.

We live in a society where, as Asian American kids' essays reveal, the high expectations for success (which are already staggeringly high and skyrocketing upward seemingly without stop), leads to high anxiety, guilt, shame, and sometimes the taking of one's own life. If we listen to these kids, maybe we can catch a glimmering of understanding about the nature of the culture that emanates from our current political economy.

So, too, that participants of African-American culture can succeed as they have while so many are cast aside in abject despair, is suggestive of the need for us to go back to the drawing board. We've done something wrong, and continue to do so.

Matters will not change, as they should, until we develop new imaginaries of possibility that point to new ways of organizing our lives and prioritizing our values.


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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Jul 20, 2013 at 10:26 am

Asian gangs in prisons need to be studied: Web Link

as you can see...some are successful than others...Asians that is...


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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Jul 20, 2013 at 10:31 am

(Post deemed inappropriate by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff)


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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Jul 20, 2013 at 10:32 am

Still, there must be a way to help the Asian students who are suffering and not happy.


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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Jul 20, 2013 at 6:14 pm

It's my hope that the Asian students who feel enormous pressure to succeed eventually become healthy, happy, productive, successful adults with loving friends and family.

To your success: VIVA!


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