Summer 2009 Retreat

Summer 2009 Retreat

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

journal 15 - Isel Lee

I feel that mythical norms are what people accept as reality without questioning them. For example, I have been brought up in my family to believe in the model minority myth, which was also reinforced in school. Listening to conversations between my mom and other Asian women, I came to believe that Asians are better academically and have good work ethic because for some reason it’s within our blood. At school, both teachers and students made stereotypical comments that generalized Asians as smart, talented, etc. etc. Since I was a beneficiary of it at first, I welcomed the categorization and accepted these characteristics as the norm. That is, until I became a victim of it. As I began to discover my shortage in math and science I began to question my abilities in a negative way. I began to internalize my inability to meet the “norms” and also became sensitive to negative comments made by my other classmates. Constantly being compared to other Asians, I felt like I was not normal—all Asians are good at math, why wasn’t I?

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