Pressure, Passions, and Emotions
I kind of have a huge resentment towards the Eastern world, because the Eastern world is just, “Oh, you’re just a number.” You’re like trash. Once you get put into numbers, once you know you’re not smart, then you’re always going to be trash. No one is going to spend time on you. So, when I was in middle school, teachers actually started supporting me, but I still kind of questioned everything. I still kind of resent them a little bit. I feel like, “Huh, I feel more accepted.” I understand now, it’s okay not no be ‘test smart,’ I’m just different smart. So I feel a little bit more accepted, and my resentment for school is a little bit lower, although I’m still scared of authority figures.
When I was a kid the only thing I wanted to do was make money, because that was what I was taught when I was young. In school you have to make a lot of money to be successful, and be smart in order to survive society, or else you would be a waste to society. Generally my teacher used the word: ‘trash’ or ‘waste.’ If you didn’t do well in school you were going to be waste and trash. An example often my parents and teacher gave was that,
“you don’t want to be the beggar on the street.
You want to be the guy sitting in the office looking at the beggar.”
So, I don’t really have a dream for what I want to do. All I know is that I need to be successful and make a lot of money. I guess that kind of hurt me a lot when it came to deciding my college major and stuff so… I’m a business major. The only reason that I choose that is because I like it. Because I feel like it’s the easiest way for me to make money and that kind of put me in a difficult spot when everyone is really passionate. Megan is really passionate about anthropology so she puts more time into it. For me, everything is just a requirement. School is just a requirement I must go to, and work is just something I need to do. So I don’t really see anything as an interest or passion. Is there any connection between how my school structure was when I grew up and that passion that I don’t have now? I don’t know.
I guess that’s the main reason why I have no real passion for anything in school, because I feel resentful for everything the school taught me. I’m more into stuff I learn on my own. When I came to the United States, when I came to Western education, all the teachers try to help me. I don’t want to sound really mean but, the first thing that popped into my mind is, “They’re just saying that.” Like they say, “Oh, you’re smart! You’re really smart!” They’re just saying that just to lie to me. Because, as I say, I know the truth. I’m practically white trash right now. So they’re just try to be like– they’re just lying to me. They’re not being truthful to me, because, teachers don’t give compliments. They give criticism.
The most memorable moment I have was with my teacher in Taiwan. You know the spot on top of your ear? You hit there and it really hurts? My teacher would literally pick me up like this and throw me out of the classroom. Throw my bag and chairs and they basically drag me down the stairs and throw me into a kindergarten classroom. And they would say, “Since you can’t even solve this kind of easy math problem you do not belong in the elementary school. You should stay here in kindergarten.” And he just left me there. And he said that I can’t come back, and if I come back he will throw my stuff out again. So that’s my biggest memory, because that teacher was the most violent one for me. He literally hit me multiple times. he’s a huge, muscular, strong guy. It was quite scary. It probably still haunts me right now, for, about my resentment toward teachers.
Another thing I remember about is how people have resentment when I go back to Taiwan. People have a resentment toward me. Most students- most of my friends have a sore resentment towards me now. Because they see me as like, I throw away my, basically it’s standard, you throw away your culture and embrace the western thing.
Emotions in Asian culture
I was taught at a really young age that if you’re not happy, just push it down. If you’re angry just push it down. No one wants to hear about you. My dad was like that. My dad doesn’t really talk about feeling. And yeah, I kind of don’t want to talk about feeling, but that’s just really not me. People keep talking about emotion, and I’m like, “No I don’t care.” The only thing my dad talks about is my grades, according to my mom. My mom is more open, and my mom really wanted me to take the Western education road, so I didn’t have to suffer what they suffered through. She tried not to be the standard Asian parent– we call them tiger parents.
my mom was trying not to be like that, although, she still required me to have a certain level of grades. Basically, my conversation with my parents– 90% is about my grades, or what I plan to do with my life. It’s more, the pressure came from my sister. My sister is like the ultimate prodigy of my parents to focus on Westernized education. My parents use the most Western way they think of to raise my sister, which according to my mom, somewhat seemed like a failure. Which is sadly truthful for, technically, both me and my sister as a failure to my parents. Because my sister was always raised that she can express her feelings whenever she wants, and she was focused on art so my parents never really got strict her on other stuff.
So my sister turned into the basic, very common American teen, which really helps to voice, and really helps to individualize her, but also helps her to argue with my parents on everything. And because she always focused on art, her grades in school were really bad. My parents, because it’s their other first child, my dad kind of spoiled her. She literally makes a lot of mistakes– she’s not even graduating college in four years. She’s fine with that, but the only reason I’m not happy about that is because every time she makes a mistake my parents literally just face me and say, “You see that? That’s a bad example. You know what’s going to happen, you can not make the same mistake. You know what’ll happen if you do that, so you can not make a mistake.”