Less stress or more schoolwork?

This is my response to what has happened in this article:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/26/nyregion/reforms-to-ease-students-stress-divide-a-new-jersey-school-district.html


Before I start, don’t expect that I am going to say “more schoolwork” because I am Asian.

I live in a community where most people are white and there is a very, very small percentage of Asian-American residents. It, perhaps, may not be a coincidence that most of my friends are Asian-American, but certainly my community has a different environment than this of the New Jersey school district. I think the NJ school district here could be most similar to nearby Plano ISD or even Allen ISD, where Asian-Americans constitute a sizable minority whose posterity command academic excellence in schools. But what’s different in McKinney is that, although ethnic1 traditions may play a part in those families that command academic excellence in our schools, the divide is not ethnic, rather it is more based on individual families’ values. Some whites and some Asian-Americans alike will push their children for more schoolwork, while other whites and other Asian-Americans will push their children to enjoy high school and don’t emphasize academic excellence as much.

It would be fair to consider me as a high achiever. My blog has many examples of my academic achievements, so I won’t list them here. One would expect me to perhaps say more schoolwork is good. However, that’s actually not what I want. I actually want a break.

I learn a lot and am under a lot of stress at times in the school year. There have been days where I come home from school at 3:00pm and work until 11:00pm nonstop just on schoolwork. That was not acceptable and didn’t really help me learn anything; I was extremely stressed and I think that the negatives definitely outweighed the positives. So why haven’t I stopped?

I’m in the GT program at my school, where the culture is super-competitive because all the smartest kids of the school are in a tightly-knit community that pressures and promotes increased academic excellence. This is where grades matter, and letting down the guard a bit isn’t acceptable. In other classes, students make friends and don’t have nearly as much stress as GT kids do. I don’t stop this cycle of stress at school because, unlike the pressure-absent environments of other classes, the environment of GT classes reward intelligence and hard work. Good grades is something that is the norm in the classroom and it pushes fellow students to work harder. If a student tried to ditch their stress, they would be pressured by the other well-performing students to do even better. It’s simply impractical to ditch the pressures of school as a GT student.

And what would my family say? My parents are typical brain drain immigrants that have worked so hard to get to the US. I have always been quite adept at schoolwork. There is certainly a pressure for me to do well and to continue doing so until the end of university. Cry. My parents don’t use belts to whip me if I get poor grades. Me, myself, and I alone keep myself in check and combined with the GT pressure, my familial piety act as another pressure. I don’t have the stable foundation that most white families have. Thirty years ago, nobody in our family had even came to the United States! Now that we’ve finally been able to settle down comfortably, I don’t want to mess that up for my parents. I want to create a legacy in the US as well for my posterity and family.

I just don’t want to work for success in such a stressful manner.

 

Some say school is about endurance instead of intelligence. I’d say that’s very true.

It’s just not fair.

But then again, why do we have class ranks? It’s not fair!

Well, how would we separate the exceptional from the mediocre? Mediocre don’t make the next drug to treat cancer. The exceptional do.

We have to keep this innate unfairness, but make it less painful please.

Reduce our stress and schoolwork, please. You’re trying to kill us, school system. This comes from a second-generation Asian-American student with high marks in school that pushes himself to do better and more importantly, wants to learn. My knowledge won’t help me in the grave.

 

Footnotes

  1. not racial; this is a very important difference because ethnicity is one’s culture, while race is one’s biological origins. Clearly, skin color does not influence how people act; culture does.

How I boosted my SAT scores by nearly 300 points

Since the old test is going to die in a month anyway and I’m not really trying to advertise any SAT prep services anyway (lol) I’ll just cut to the chase:

Guessing is good if you can eliminate at least one answer choice from each question.

Which in most cases is very easy. The probability will work in your favor. (Don’t randomly guess answers, that won’t help!) Don’t let the -¼ point deduction scare you: it doesn’t make that big of a difference. Obviously, the new SAT will probably promote guessing because no points are deducted for incorrect answers, but if you are forced to take the old SAT for a specific reason, this should help.

My previous score was a 1940, and I found out from my detailed Score Report that the Collage Bored gives out that I had skipped many questions! I took a practice CR section the night before my next SAT and decided that it was in my best interests to guess. So the next day, I bubbled in every question. Sure enough, I got a 2210 afterwards!

Well, good luck, it helped me so much!