For young mothers in academia

For young mothers in academia, is there a clear way to raise a kid who benefits from parents being intellectual elite, has personal connection to them, sees them as a role model, and is not just taking money from them?

Is “tiger mother” the only way? How to accept the kid being into parties and not into hard work? This mindset of “lost generation” is just one of the many ways the consumer society developed to take money from successful parents through their kids.

What if the only thing a kid will think about parents is how much pressure and control they exert on him, with their seemingly unachievable bar of success? Is that what the kid would complain to the counseling worker about? Counseling workers are replacing parents in this function of maintaining personal connection with their grown up kids. And while talking with their parents, the grown up kids will refrain to small talk, how everything is fine and great, and send a card.

We need more positive examples, where talented and driven parents raised talented and driven kids. Especially here in California, the only examples I hear of are the opposite.

Advertisements

Jazz anecdotes

Note that the picture shows a failed fashion attempt  – everything below my waist is wrong. Shorts have to be tight around the knees, or else the silhouette does not look trendy… On a good side, the upper body was a success, I noticed at least one intense stare. Win. Anyways, this is a jazz festival which attracts mainly seniors and parents with kids who picnic on the nearby lawn. Not the strictest fashion censors.

Speaking of parents, I am interested in a stereotype of an “inappropriate parent”. Someone who would say “It is so nice to watch their relationship develop” in front of the kid and his/her friends. Someone who would say “We are having so much fun together!” when everybody else in the room are clearly bored. You probably remember a more colorful examples from your favorite teenage TV show. There are always two sides to the conflict: from a teenager’s point of view, it is so easy to be understanding and appropriate! Yet the parent doesn’t seem to put any effort into doing so. From an older person’s point of view, parents are wiser and know not to worry about such trifles in the first place.

As a teenager, I took a radical stance on this controversy. I’ve terrorized my parents, especially my mother, to not do anything at all in my presence in public. It resulted in a special form of paranoya on her side, when she is afraid to like my status on facebook because it may make me look bad. In fact, my parents are afraid of doing something wrong on any kind of social media.

From a more grown up point of view, I am still very surprized every time I meet people who are completely unaware of other’s comfort zones. I’ve met one on that Jazz festival. They remind me of people who took the following motivational advice too seriously: “When you need to go to the restroom, you are very focused on your goal. You don’t hear people failing to go to the restroom because they thought they’re not good enough etc. So next time you need to focus on your goal, think of it as the restroom”

From each Jazz festival I bring at least one jazz joke. The previous one was about a composer who bought a long stick with a cigarette holder on its end. His friend asked “Why?” “My doctor told me to stay away from smoking.”

This time, it is a story of a cat. In the house of one of the orchestra directors, there lives a cat named Jazzman. This cat is 23 years old, missing both eyes and lives in a garage. It prefers garage to the house. So the house owner and his friends composed a piece “Garaje gato” (Garage cat in spanish) dedicated to this cat. I think I have found my role model here. They say Jazzman even had fights with coyotes and survived!