Asiansβ Success in High School Admissions Tests Seen as Issue by Some - NYTimes.com
Ottway Ducard stashed this in education
They call it the immigrant hunger. You will not out study them. You will not out work them. You will not beat them on tests.
Consider: if the alternative for your family is either a) living in extreme poverty b) going home to your country, possibly in disgrace, or c) getting second-class education ... What would you do?
I think they'd find a disproportionate of immigrants and first generation Americans who are beating everyone else on the tests, irrespective of ethnicity.
So how do American-born children get immigrant hunger?
Wealth breeds complacency; most American-born children (of which I am one) living in middle or upper class environments have high expectations about going to college, getting a job, and getting married and buying a house. Some, like you and most people in this community or in this industry, work extremely hard to meet those expectations. Many do not.
First generation Americans, of which I am one, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immigrant_generations -- second definition, not the first), almost without exception *all* have this hunger. I can't explain it, but it's definitely driven by the parents and cultural stigma.
I think the problem seems to be a cultural and family issue; that's why poverty is such a devastating cycle. Those stuck in that cycle have a rinse/repeat effect often, of not having great family support, and in turn not being a great parent...
For those for whom poverty is not an issue...I'm not sure. What was your motivation to succeed? How young did it start for you? As the comments on hacker news suggest, emphasis for Americans here is often be happy, and not necessarily "work so hard until it hurts."
My motivation stems from something I want to share with the world.
There aren't enough hours in the day to get it there as fast as I want.
And yes I do have my happiness tied up in it.
I won't be happy until a lot of people love it as I do.
Poverty is a big speed bump for a lot of Americans.
Beautiful, I hope one day many will love it as you do.
Poverty is a nasty speed bump, it's devastating. I can only be thankful my parents paid that price and not I.