not in much of a mood for long update, so...

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here's some bulletpointed stuff that happened to me mainly today.

I went shopping at champs elysees. I walked into LV and felt really really really out of place lolol... but it was so gold and shiny and rich looking. And I was afraid to touch any of the clothes...

at nike, I really wanted to get a pair of regular white+1 colour accented nike courts or low dunks, but when i asked if they had them in size 38 the guy was like... your feet are too small. you should go upstairs ): so i did... and then i saw these babies



I have no idea when I'm going to wear them, but they look shiny as hell and I love them already :)

At sephora the guy asked me if I lived in Paris. I said yes without thinking since I do technically live here right now and he gave me a form to fill out for the loyalty card. Thank god I know the name of Blanche's road LOL.... but now I have a sephora loyalty card that I probably won't be able to use again TT bring sephora to nz!

while i was in sephora i also used a broken cologne tester bottle without realising and when i pushed it down a lot of it went onto my hand... so my hand smelt like man for half a day hahahaaha =_=

I metro-ed all the way to grande arche de la defense to take 1 photo of it, walk around in toys r us (I WISH I COULD BUY A HUGE TEDDY BEAR HERE! IT'S SO CHEAP! BUT I CAN'T TAKE IT BACK...) and buy a haagan-daz ice cream. it was totally worth it :P nahh but there were way too many people to shop properly, and i'd already bought a lot of stuff in the morning.

(for anyone who doesnt know, it's sales between mid jan and mid feb in france so there are a lot of people out shopping. like.. A LOT of people...)

also there was a really really hot security guy in front of one of the shops and I was so busy staring at him that it was only after I passed by the shop entirely that I realised that I had forgotten to even look at what they were selling. He's bad for business... his eyes were so... DDD: -melts-

what else happened this week? well I got 11/20 on that physics test I sat last week, not bad considering the entire first page was blank and it was 0/6 LOL... 19 for art :)... and I think I have to sit the chinese and geo tests on monday. chinese shouldn't be too bad, but geo is going to be crash and burn...

the "asian" method of parenting

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Something that made me pissed off and a little bit thoughtful...


Firstly, read this article , an excerpt from "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother" by Amy Chua. Apparently a self help book for anyone who wants to turn their children into an asian prodigy child by using the most hypocritical method ever.

You may or may not know, but this article has been the subject of a lot of debate especially among parent communities and asians (for obvious reasons). I admit that I probably only care about this because it affects me in some way, but if you've read it you will probably have had SOME reaction to it as well.

I admit the ideas behind her points are well grounded, and a lot of them are logical. However, it seems that she takes everything a bit off the extreme end of the scale, rather than maintaining a balance -- incredibly hypocritical considering that she herself mentioned Confucian filial piety as a reason for the way she treats her children the way she does, yet another part of Confucianism is the importance of BALANCE and HARMONY. It does remind me a bit of Christians who only cite parts of the bible to back up their own points and disregard anything that may conflict.

Also I'm probably the only one who thought this, but I found the entire article to be a little sexist. There are so many mentions of the chinese mother, but where is the father? She tells about a story with her husband trying to be reasonable at the end of the article, gloating in triumph that she was right and he was wrong. But her logic does not hold. Just because she forced her daughter to practise piano until she got it right even though she was throwing tantrums and insulting her to make her more and more frustrated doesn't mean that this method is necessarily better than being more lenient. It simply means it is one way of getting things done. She has obviously never tried other methods, so she cannot in fact comment on the effectiveness of her own. For all she knows, there could be a better and more effective method out there that doesn't involve negative feelings between her and her children; just because A causes B doesn't mean B is only obtainable through A -- that's basic logic, something I would expect an Ivy League professor to consider and be open minded to.

"I'm willing to put in as long as it takes, and I'm happy to be the one hated. And you can be the one they adore because you make them pancakes and take them to Yankees games."


I can see here that she does somewhat have an idea about the concept of balance, but her idea of it seems to be in the extremes. There is no fluidity. Zebras are not grey, and if you stare at one up close for too long you'll probably get a headache. Everything in moderation is best in my opinion.

I find it extremely comical how her children are not allowed to get anything lower than an A grade at school -- except sport and drama. Why is sport and drama 'useless'? Professional sportsmen and actors are perhaps the most overpaid people in the world, so don't use the money excuse. I question whether it is because Chua herself has given into the stereotype that asians are no good at sports or drama? She herself accused her husband of not 'believing in' their daughter when she couldn't play the piano piece. Does that mean that if she believes in her daughters then they can do anything? If so, then why the limits on sports and drama? If she is trying to craft perfection, why not craft it in every way? Same with the instruments. Why are they not allowed to play any instruments apart from the piano and violin? True, they are instruments with lots of performance opportunity, but why not add a 3rd or 4th if she is trying to push her children to their full potentials?

In fact it's interesting that the children she is building seem to be in fact robot asian clones. We hear a lot about asian children like this. Her children are not that special. As the other controversial article published by Macleans magazine makes evident, there is an issue with the number of asians compared to other ethnicities at institutes of higher education (especially in canada and the states). Many jokes and parodies are made about how a lot of asians apply to universities, especially the ivy league (eg. this video by OnHarvardTime) By limiting her children to playing only the piano and violin and not motivating them as hard in sports and drama as other subjects, she is actually limiting their likelihood of getting into a good university, as well as obstructing their potential to become well rounded individuals. Also I would expect her to realise this seeing as she TEACHES AT YALE... (fair enough, she's not part of the admissions faculty. but I would expect her to have been in contact with enough of her students to realise that it's important to be well rounded) Then again maybe she is relying on the fact that her children are not technically fully asian to get them past this hurdle. Still I find that her wishing the best for her children conflicts with her limiting them. In case you haven't realised already, I find her very very annoyingly hypocritical. I question how she would have handled twins, if she expects her children to always be 1st in class.

Although, I question about myself when I read this article. It's true that I don't think anything of it when my own parents tell me I'm fat, and I never tell my parents to come to a show I'm starring in etc. I don't even care if they come to prizegiving or not. But I question whether this is due to my upbringing or because I am just like that as a person. I do not crave attention from my parents, and I am comfortable enough in my own skin to not care about what my parents think. This could conversely also mean that due to my upbringing I have realised that adults are full of shit and therefore I shouldn't take what they say too seriously. My parents have said that I am extremely headstrong and freespirited though, to the point where I dislike taking other people's advice and help. I do agree that children should not be indulged and spoilt so much that they become weak and fragile and thin-skinned though. It takes a certain amount of resilience (Mrs J year 7 :P) to survive in this world, and everything shouldn't be given to a child on a golden platter.

The one line that probably pisses me off the most in the whole article though, is probably this:

Chinese parents believe that they know what is best for their children and therefore override all of their children's own desires and preferences.


At least she said 'believe' and not just "chinese parents know..." The problem is, I hate it when parents believe their children are objects forever indebted to them that they can control as puppetmasters. If this is so, nobody would ever live their own lives, forever living vicariously through their children. Then those who are infertile wouldn't be able to live any life at all. Living vicariously through others also has extreme limits. We cannot feel what they are feeling, what we perceive as moments of happiness may not be things they are necessarily interested in. Living your own life as you wish is always better than trying to live someone else's. I would even go as far as to say that a parent who cared about children more than they cared about themselves would allow them the basic human right of free will at the very least.

She shouldn't kid herself. Her daughters have probably done a lot of shit that she doesn't know about. And it's probably from their own experiences that they have learnt more about themselves than she can ever teach them by preventing them from trying things on their own. I could be wrong, but ALL the teenagers I know have rebelled at some time or another and not told their parents about it. There is this impermeable wall between adolescents and their parents no matter how close they are. If they haven't rebelled yet, I would be really surprised.

I guess what I mean to say is that although I can see the logic behind her method, I completely disagree with the method itself. It's good to push the potential of your children, it's good to not be satisfied with anything but the best. But when you take it too far and force them into doing things they are not necessarily interested in, when you start depriving them of their social needs and freedom, when you start doing things that actually MAKE NO SENSE... that's when it's taking it too far.

Yes, her 'method' may have produced a 'stereotypically successful kid'. But what part? I can definitely say there are things in her method that are limiting her children's potential. But what happens with this stereotypically successful kid becomes an adult? Will they still be successful? In the real world, academic knowledge cannot replace experience. Well rounded individuals are the most successful. Being able to play the piano or violin doesn't mean anything if you can't stop your arms getting run over by a car because you've never crossed the road by yourself because you've never been allowed outside your own house without your parents. The stereotypical asian successful kid is only heard about up to undergraduate college level. We never hear about stereotypically successful asian adults to the same degree. Why? Maybe because they're all at home yelling at their own children to math harder... Who knows?

My parents didn't make me do of ANY the things on her precious list. I quit piano because I didn't like it. I went back to it because I saw the value in it. Yes, perhaps if my parents had grilled me harder I could have been a performance pianist. Perhaps not. I will never know, but I know that I would not have been happy. There would be little bits of happiness here and there, but the majority would be frustration. By doing things my own way, I have created my own form of happiness, perhaps not as extreme, but happiness all the same... A sweeter, more delicate kind of happiness that I am truly thankful for. A happiness that comes from my freedom, from crafting my life with my own two hands. And I will continue to craft my future with them, because there's no way I'd ever let anyone else take charge of the most valuable thing I have.

my first week of school in france...

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WARNING, UBER LONG AND there is a picture of a dissected mouse below. In case you get squeamish about that.

Well I have survived my first week of school! It's been... a pretty long week I think haha. I'm gonna go through my entiirreeee week, because I haven't blogged in a long time, and I want to spite those who hate my waffling (jokes, ily you guys but yeah, read more. it's good for you :) )

MONDAY:

I don't remember it too well now, but we had badminton in the morning for EPS (PE). You'd think I owned up, but no, they had child sized racquets so I kept missing. It's actually the biggest handicap you can give to someone who knows how to play a sport LOL, give them different sized equipment...

Had maths, found it difficult due to the different notation and french instructions lolol. Example? K, their way of writing x>0 is like this: Xε]0;+∞[
don't even get me started with the unions etc etc, I don't even really get it still lolol.

Went to geo myself since Blanche had another class. A guy offered to help me out and share his book, but he talked really fast and it was hard for me to get anything in that class lol... also since it's the first geo lesson I've ever had in my life haha @@ I skim read the textbook later and learnt some basic theory (ie. society + environment + economy = durable community). It's pretty interesting as a class, and I learn a lot of new vocab from it. As for the actual content... well, it's hard for me to pick much up haha.

French was terrible. They're doing Moliere's Dom Juan right now and ofc I hadn't read it, and I couldn't understand wtf she was talking about, so I just fell asleep. she also did some dictation and I couldn't keep up because ofc since I don't speak french I can't just make stuff up or guess what the rest of the sentence is once I get the general gist of it after hearing it, like you can do in english. Being in a foreign country is really hard! I tried to copy off the girl next to me, but they all have really loopy and fancy handwriting so it was a bit hard at times... Wikipediaed Dom Juan later, as well as Antigone, Les Bonnes, and Madame Bovary. I'm getting so cultured! :P

Went home, I was a bit confused when we started going up into a bakery, but it turns out that's the shortcut through to the main road from school. That bakery must get sooo much business haha. I bought a pain au chocolat :) the first of many that will make me fat, I'm sure...

Met up with the NZ ppl at the bookshop and went out for dinner at an italian restaurant cuz it was will's birthday :)

TUESDAY:

I can't really remember this day, it was largely insignificant I think. Well I had my first english class, it was quite good. There was a cute blonde guy wearing an extremely flamboyant coat (similar to the pirate captains), who I think was in an older class, but he came back for that 1 lesson. I think he did some time in england as an exchange student or something, because the teacher said "you act the same, but you look and sound more english", to which he replied "if looking english means very sexy, I agree with you" hahaha. But he got kicked out later for talking too much :P still, was entertaining.

I wagged an FLE class (french for noobs like me) in the afternoon since the teacher said he was gonna be late and I didn't feel like sitting through 1.5 hours of free period to get half an hour of class. But no, my host parents got called cuz of half an hour of wagging wtf ): gayyyyy.......

WEDNESDAY:

Short day! :) French wasn't so bad because we watched a film, so it was much easier to follow than the first day. Then for some reason I was able to not go to the other half of french, so I went to the chinese takeaway to get lunch. There, I met another chinese girl from the school with her friend, and I asked if I could eat lunch with them :) Everyone had a maths test that afternoon so I helped them out a little, then I went to meet the other NZers at louis le grand. We were gonna go eiffel tower, but the top was closed (again...), so I went to centre pompidou with Nick and Olivier.



It was probably my favourite place I've visited so far. I had this moment of revelation when we were going through the mondrian exhibit while olivier was being skeptical about what his squares are really about hahaha. The way I see them, they are not supposed to be pieces of 'art' per se in themselves, but are instead compositions and exploration of the effects of the proportions between closed spaces. He explores the way these spaces affect human perception and whether they make us feel uncomfortable or whether we find them aesthetically pleasing. This explains why he delved into architecture (stained glass windows etc) as well. In a way, mondrian's neoplastic squares were the beginnings of modern architecture. Note how recent buildings are quite square and minimalistic, yet we find them aesthetically pleasing. It is actually quite difficult to design squares in a way that looks good as a building (if you don't know what you're doing). Anyone who has tried to build a house on the sims starting with a single rectangle will know this. This is why I appreciate Mondrian's genius more than most people would (olivier included :P). To have such a good understanding of space and the effect space has on our senses is quite simply awesome :) Anyway though I was pretty tired cuz we spent soooo long walking around in the museum. My feet were really sore when I got home haha. But a day well spent!


THURSDAY:

Jesus Christ. This was such a long day. I started school at 9am, expecting to have english, but it turns out that the teacher wasn't there that day, so we had a free. I ran into Lydia outside the english room so that was nice :) Spent the free period catching up with her. Then I had SES which is like economics, and they had a test which obviously I couldn't take because I haven't done it before so I sat next to Yilin and watched her do it, looked up some words in my dictionary and went to sleep.

The Latin teacher wasn't there either so I spent the free with Blanche and Yilin, then for some reason I decided to follow her to a maths class that wasn't on my timetable and was quite possibly the most boring thing I've had to sit through since French on the first day. They were doing simplication of fractions and surds and indices. And they were just going over homework the whole period so .... =_= i didn't learn anything.

After that was lunch, then I had FLE again. It's getting to be quite enjoyable since all we do is chat haha, and it's a good time to improve my french. Then I had maths for the 2nd time where I sat next to this guy who didn't know how to use his TI83. Despite never having doing programming on my TI, I was able to help him out hahaha :) even though I have no idea what the program was for at all lol.

Followed Blanche to her chinese geography lesson. The teacher was so french looking for a chinese guy. I think it's just the style of dress. Like you can tell he's a Parisian... it's weird, and hard to explain. I learnt a lot of geo, and the class spent about 10 minutes interrogating me as I did my self introduction so they could improve their chinese. I was quite impressed with the level of their chinese actually haha. And some chinese exchange students are coming on the 22nd :) It's so convenient that I'm chinese haha.

Okay so now it's 5pm, most ppl can go home, but nooo I get to go to arts plastiques. I thought it was gonna be pretty cool cuz they did sculpture last week (like, little heads out of clay) and some sketches that I recognised as exhibition pieces from centre pompidou :O what a coincidence... but no, we did abstraction. Ffff... like the only thing I'm completely unfamiliar with and dislike doing. Like wtf... Anyway I had no idea wtf I was doing and my piece ended up looking quite ordinary and random, just like everyone else's.

8pm finish, went home. Bought a pain au chocolat and walked home the long way cuz I felt like it.

FRIDAY:

English first thing in the morning, it's actually rather difficult because we have to translate from french --> english and english --> french. A bit ironic that the reason I find english class hard is because of the french... hahaha can't be helped I guess. It seems everything I do is improving my french though, which is good :)

I was late for physics/chem because I couldn't find the classroom I was supposed to be in and I got pwned by the teacher lololol... I walked in without knocking and he made me go back outside and knock and then come in hahaha, and then he was like "..well?" and i was like ":O I'm late." and he was like "yes I can see that, go sit down" hahahahaah... they had a test that I had to join in as well. The chem questions were easy, the physics one I couldn't understand because they were in french. Also I couldn't respond to the ones I could understand because I had to respond in french obviously. There was a fire drill during the test as well so I had even less time to rummage through my dictionary lol... kind of annoying @@ a girl asked me if I wanted the answers to the test during the drill haha but it's against my morals to cheat :P plus I don't care if I get a shitty mark, so I was like "I understand nothing, but nahhh it's okay :)"

After that I went to Chinese, where we read a piece on friendship. Most people got the general meaning, I was able to read almost all the words which is good. I think my chinese might improve while I'm here as well, since I have to talk to the chinese teachers, Yilin and some others in chinese haha. It's good! This trip to france is so good for me :P

Had SVT after 2 frees, which is like bio. Had to borrow a labcoat from a guy in my class who had physics that period, kinda got some blood and guts over it so felt a bit bad about that, hopefully he didn't notice...



Dissections are the only good things about studying bio. :P haha and the girl in front of Blanche and me took her tweezers and made the tongue of our mouse poke out as if it was dead like the animals in the cartoons hahaha. she couldn't do that with her own one because she had a frog. But I thought that the people here are a lot less squeamish about dissections than back at home. well the other girl in our group was quite disgusted but I don't think anyone else was affected that badly. They did smell like dead things though..

Had physics again, we were doing a simulation and modelling a ball in freefall. I found it extremely frustrating because I know how to do it, but I can't express myself because I can't speak french, and when other people make mistakes I want to correct them but I can't because they are convinced that they are correct but I can't convey my logic in a good way because I CAN'T SPEAK FRENCH... arghhh ): so frustrating!!!

went home after that, was pretty tired, bought a pain au chocolat as usual on the way back through the bakery.

ALSO: this cereal is the most addictive thing ever

I took a handful as I got home with a glass of milk. Omg I'm not gonna be able to eat much for dinner tonight hahaha... gonna get fat from cereal hahahahaah...

my hate affair with fruit

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angry fruit by ycee

A lot of people have been like :O when I tell them that I dislike fruit. And, I am very selective in my dislike for certain fruits. Since coming to France I've noticed that my family assumes that just because I hate strawberries I also hate strawberry yoghurt, or just because I like apples I also like apple crumble. So, I'm making a blog about this to sort everything out so that if anyone wants to feed my fruit for any reason in the future they will know their way around my bizarre fruit preferences.

APPLES -- I like the fruit, but only cut. I can't eat an apple whole. I dislike cooked apples, including in apple pie, apple crumble, etc etc. I also hate apple puree. I like apple juice.

STRAWBERRIES -- I dislike strawberry as a fruit, but like it as a flavouring in ice cream, cake, yoghurt etc. Same goes for RASPBERRIES and BOYSENBERRIES. Also I like jam of these 3 flavours :) But, it can only be a sometimes food. Sometimes I just feel like boysenberry ice cream, while other times I don't want it at all.

BLUEBERRIES -- My favourite type of muffin. I like blueberries mainly I think. I've only had whole blueberries on top of yoghurt and I think I liked it, but I'm not sure. Does anyone actually eat blueberries by themselves?

WATERMELON -- Like watermelon in general, watermelon juice is awesome in summer. Seedless is best because I am lazy. Similar to how I don't like eating most types of fish because they have too many bones and I just cbf sorting out the meat from the bones.

ORANGES -- Like oranges, except if they are too sour. I like orange juice. Must be cut in slices, I can't stand taking the peel off because it makes me think the orange has become a mandarin.

LEMONS -- I like lemonade, and I think the flavouring is alright for me. I don't think anyone eats lemons whole, but yeah it's too sour. Maybe with sugar? I like lemon tea. Lemon juice is nice on some meats as well.

TOMATOES -- I will eat it if I have to but I do not particularly like it. I like tomato sauce, dislike raw tomatos in general, dislike cooked tomatoes slightly less but still not great. Tomato juice is... idk, I've never tried it, but it feels to me a bit like drinking tomato sauce which is ... yeah.

AVOCADO -- I like them in moderation. I don't like them once they are overripe and disgusting. I like them in sushi and on toast. I like them to eat on their own.

GRAPES -- I like the flavouring, not the fruit. Dislike raisins/sultanas. I know sultanas don't come from grapes.

PINEAPPLE -- I have grown to be able to stand it in pizzas now, other than that I hate it.

PEARS -- I distinctly remember liking them at one point in my life, although I have refused to eat them since for some reason. I'm not sure if I dislike them, but I will refuse to eat them.

PEACH/PLUM/APRICOT/FEIJOA/MANGOES/BANANAS/KIWIFRUIT/MANDARINS/CHERRIES/DATES/FIGS/ETC ETC/RANDOM FRUIT -- I hate them in all forms.

Anything conventional not on this list I will likely refuse to try. I say conventional because things like cocoa and vanilla are technically fruit, but nobody actually eats them as fruit lol.

WHY do I hate all these fruit though? Honestly I'm not sure. Although it seems stupid and I'll admit that, I feel like there's just something very unclean and disgusting about fruit. Like, they are picked from off a tree and people just eat them, and they are wet on the inside and have natural sugars... Idk why I find that disgusting, it's not really if you think about it but idk. That can't be the only reason obviously since there are fruit that I actually do like... and I eat vegetables and herbs which also come straight from plants. I'm just weird? ......