Photo: New Tiger In Town
Tiger mum’s daughter has started a blog.Tiger mum, you will recall, is Yale professor Amy Chua, who offended millions of American mothers recently by denouncing their lazy child-rearing habits and reveling in her superiority.
Chua’s daughter, Sophia Chua-Rubenfeld, is now choosing between Yale and Harvard, both of which accepted her.
And she wants you to know that in addition to being exceptional she’s also completely normal!
Sophia’s blog, New Tiger In Town, invites readers to ask her questions about what it was like growing up in a household in which she was never allowed to “attend a sleepover, have a playdate, be in a school play, complain about not being in a school play, watch TV or play computer games, choose their own extracurricular activities, get any grade less than an A, not be the No. 1 student in every subject except gym and drama, play any instrument other than the piano or violin, not play the piano or violin.”
Here’s Sophia:Q: Why did you decide to start this blog?
A: When the whole world’s calling you a mindless robot, you kind of get the urge to start talking! Even though “Sophia” in the book is much more impressive than Sophia in real life. I think I’m sullying my impeccable image one post at a time, but so be it.
Q: So does Tiger mum ever go Garfield (read: feel lazy)?
A: Absolutely…she has a ridiculous amount of energy, but eventually she burns out and collapses in bed. She’ll be like, “Sophia, get me my water bottle!” when it’s on her bedside table.
Q: I think many of people who read your mum’s book wouldn’t know satire if it hit them in the face. Do you feel the same?
A: It’s despicable to suggest her book is satirical, and I’m deeply traumatized. If you lay awake every night weeping over the charred remains of your stuffed animals, you’d be traumatized too. [edit: for the love of god, people, I’M KIDDING]
Although our own childhood was filled with the things that were forbidden in Sophia’s household, we will confess that we are sympathetic to Tiger mum’s position: It’s very hard to achieve anything exceptional without supreme discipline (including, we would add, in pursuits that require creativity). That said, we also understand that it’s OK not to be truly great at something and that our society is diversified enough that you can make a nice living just being good.
We are confident that Sophia earned her admission to both Harvard and Yale, and we wish her well with the decision. Given the rules she has grown up under, we will gently suggest that she try Harvard–if only because it will be an interesting experiment in which there are three hours of distance between her and her mum.
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