Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Pacific Northwest contrast: tuition protest vs. overweening parent

Juxtaposed in two places. They were having a protest against the cost of higher ed in the U-District today on University Avenue, with folks standing by the post office down the street from the Bookstore with banners and signs. Nice folks. I took their literature, then went to a cafe not too far away to do some work, and sitting right by me was a guy who was teaching his daughter, who must have been five or six, Spanish and Chinese. First he taught her days of the week and months in Spanish, then the did the same thing in Chinese. Then he had her her mix them up and say what the Chinese day of the week would be in Spanish. Even considering the possibility that this guy was in fact tri-lingual, it seemed to me that he was pushing the kid really hard, and possibly doing it for his own benefit.

What a contrast. On the one hand, folks objecting to the rising costs of school that make it harder for people to attend even while working and taking out loans, on the other, a guy who obviously has the time and attention to teach his kid things other families would never even dream possible, with the potential side effect of lots of therapy and/or a mental breakdown later in the kid's life.

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