About the author: KG Lew is a half Chinese, half French entrepreneur from Montreal, Canada. If you would like to learn more about him and how he makes a living online, feel free to check out his Internet Marketing blog at www.oneyearmillionaire.net.
“All Asians are Good at Math!”, “All African-Americans are Good at Basketball!”, “All Irish people like to get Drunk!”. Does this bother anyone? These kind of statements are stereotypes and while it may seem harmless; it does effect the way people think. Let’s take a look at a prime example.
I must admit that it does seem like a lot of Asian Americans/Canadians do excel at Mathematics and Science; however, it doesn’t mean that every single person of Asian descent should fall under that category.
Let me zoom back to my 9th grade math class. Anyone who has gotten through College or University will know that the whole concept of High School is a joke! The way I look at it… it’s just a way to kill some time while kids learn for themselves how to finally be mature. The funny part is that most of them will never finish that task. The teacher I had that year did nothing but ramble and had a pretty thick accent. It was frequently hard to understand what he was saying. Eventually, you don’t even bother paying attention anymore because you know that it won’t make a difference. That moment is when he called on me.. “What is the answer to this problem young man?” I looked up from my desk that I was practically sleeping on. “I don’t know.” The next few words that slipped out of my teacher’s mouth should have gotten him fired. He replied.. “I thought Asians are supposed to be good at Math.”
This kind of thinking will bring us back to the stone ages. You would think that western culture is moving forward, but there is always a few people who ruin it for the rest of us. My solution to that complex equation is to just ignore them and live my own life.
My relationship with numbers is very simple. I have a pair of hands (Yes, two of them!) and a calculator. Any addition or subtraction that needs to be done can be queued up on a handy electronic device! I am obviously capable of doing small mental calculations in my head, but when you start adding two Decimal Places, Compound Fractions, a little bit of Trigonometry and Algebraic Formulas – I might not be able to string together a logical answer in under 20 seconds!
It all comes back to a silly argument that I must have heard a thousand times. “Am I really going to use this in the future?” A question from an annoyed student aimed at a teacher who couldn’t care less about the future of the kids in his/her classroom. When it really comes down to it, does my lack of mathematic abilities really change my life that much? Not really. Today, I consider myself successful. I have a great career in Internet Marketing; spending less than 10 hours a week doing work, while I have all the time in the world to do the things I enjoy most!
At the end of the day: a Stereotype is a Stereotype. A little thing that bothers me shouldn’t become a road block. Meanwhile, I’ll just whip out my trusty calculator and add up my weekly earnings! 🙂