Grades

The closest I have to brothers and sisters are my cousins. Who are more like nieces and nephews. But one particular cousin sent me this email, reading in part, "so, vicky, i just got my report card for last quarter back and i got my first B's (insert dramatic music here). that sucks, right? asians shouldn't be getting B's. it's against the asian code of conduct."

Model minority much?

She was half joking, but later noted her parents are already going ba-freaking-nanas over her report card, telling her she "won't get into the good college and make the good money."

This cousin of mine is very smart, with a sense of humor that rivals many adults I've met. As in, she's actually funny. And she gets my jokes, which means she must have a plittty high IQ. Or maybe she's going to be "so annoy" like me when she grows up. Either way, I'm not too worried about this one. She's way ahead of the game and she's already seeking advice about study habits and the such as. Plus, I promise not to let her Asian parents, who I'm pretty sure do not read this blog, ruin her life. 

It's funny, because my parents never rode me about my grades or dating a white boy or pursuing a journalism career instead of becoming a doctor or engineer. They were pretty cool like that. My dad waited until I was out of college to wreck my life.

I remember being a very average student. Which, for Asians, means I got B's and a few A's. Until 9th grade. That's when my middle school had a huge "9th Grade Awards Ceremony." That was the exact title too. I went to public school. Obviously.

There were plenty of categories for the artists and athletes and various math and science whiz kids. But I chose the "9th Grade Awards" that I thought I could actually achieve. Perfect attendance and 4.0 GPA. 

To this day I don't know why, but I really wanted to go to the "9th Grade Awards Ceremony." Perfect attendance seemed easy enough, but there were no guarantees that cold and flu season wouldn't kick my ass. So I figured the sure thing was to get all A's. And I did. I don't remember anything about the ways and means of it, just that I did it. It was the first time I'd ever gotten a 4.0. Ever. And that lasted for the next 3 years, because, as they say, once you go black, you never go back. Until freshman year of college, when I got a B+ in Chemistry I and did so much extra credit in Chem II and Organic Chemistry that I think I earned my A- more for the beakers I organized and floors I swept than my actual test scores. Yes, all A's are like heroin. You'll do whatever it takes to get that next high.

So do I want that fate for my little cousin, who actually is not so little anymore since she's taller than I am. No. I definitely don't want her to be a slave to grades. Or hydrochloric acid. But I want her to be proud of what she does, to learn the value of working hard, and to know that she can be a total ass kicker in everything. The A's usually fall into place after that.

Now repeat after me, "I am Asian. There are two A's in that word. No B's." 

I just came up with that. Plittty special! I should add that to my Wikipedia entry on the Asian Code of Conduct.