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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb. 8, 2011 / 4 Adar I, 5771

The big banana is where you find it

By Wesley Pruden




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | LOS ANGELES--- This is bad news for the Tiger Moms, but an academic credential isn't always the biggest banana in the bunch. The academic dropout, though nobody's role model, is sometimes the over-achiever.

The original Tiger Mom is the No. 1 topic of conversation for many parents waiting for the results of the seasonal lottery to determine whose kids make it to the colleges of their choice. For Amy Chua, the Yale professor whose book, "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother," no act of child abuse is too cruel to assure academic success for her offspring. She called her daughter "garbage" when she didn't show what the professor thought was Tiger Mom's due. She forced another daughter, at age 7, to practice a piano piece for several hours until she got it down, "right through dinner into the night," with no breaks, not even for the bathroom. Then she was then sent to bed without supper.

Sentiment has no place in the places of a Tiger Mom's heart, secret or otherwise. Once, when the 7-year-old Lulu made a birthday card for her mother, with the usual home-made drawing and the endearing errors of spelling and syntax of an eager child, Professor Chua threw it back at her: "I deserve better than this. I reject this." Mom expected something that little Lulu had "put some thought and effort into" — a Hallmark moment with no childish imperfections.

The goal of the Tiger Mom is to get her cubs into the Ivy League, and a strict diet of no fun and games — no television, no play dates and no grades below an A, as meaningless as an A may be in the grade-inflated world of academe — is the price Tiger Mom imposes. The professor went to Harvard, after all, and now teaches at Yale Law School. Inevitably, there's a backlash against such child abuse. Larry Summers, who was president of Harvard until he was strung up by faculty feminists for suggesting research into why boys generally do better in the sciences than girls, suffers the wrath of academic credentialists this time. Since many of the Tiger Moms are Asian, it's only a matter of the right time and opportunity until Mr. Summers is hanged again, this time for "racism," as now defined. His latest outburst was a highlight of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, when he discussed the theme of her book with Professor Chua, observing that the two Harvard students who had most transformed the culture — Bill Gates, who founded Microsoft, and Mark Zuckerberg, who started Facebook — never stayed at Harvard long enough to get a degree.

The list of overachievers with only HSG or even HSD "degrees" — High School Graduate and High School Dropout — is a long one. These are do-it-yourself "degrees" that no one should have to aspire to, but nevertheless teach needed lessons in humility to the credentialists, the double-dealers in arrogance and piety, who need it most. "The problem with being self-taught," as Harry S. Truman, who went to work following a Missouri mule down the rows of corn to support his widowed mother when the other boys were off to college, "is that you never know when the job is finished." Mr. Truman's knowledge of American history and the history of the presidency was, however, unique among the Harvard-, Yale- and Princeton-educated presiidents before and after him.

If Professor Chua wants a different and refreshing view of the relationship between high education and high achievement, observes Patrick Goldstein in the Los Angeles Times, she should come to Hollywood, where the American dream is commercially dreamed. The dream factory, he writes, is "a place that's been run for nearly a century by men who never made it through or even to college. The original moguls were famously uneducated, often having started as peddlers or furriers before finding their perches atop the studio dream factories."

The short list of titans, then and now, who escaped into the real world short of a college degree is actually not a very short list. It includes the likes of David Geffen, Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, James Cameron, Clint Eastwood, Harvey Weinstein and Quentin Tarintino, among many others. These men are mostly from an earlier generation, following in the tradition of the earlier moguls. "On the other hand," writes Patrick Goldstein, "the younger new-media icons seem as likely to be degree-free as their Hollywood brethren, "whether it's Zuckerberg or the founders of Twitter, who didn't graduate from college, either." Hollywood still values experience over theory.

We all wish Professor Chua's daughters a happy life, armed with Harvard or Yale credentials or not. Such degrees are particularly important for the economy. Where else would the self-educated overachievers go to hire suitable help?

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Wesley Pruden is editor emeritus of The Washington Times. Comment by clicking here.

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