Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Conversation with Esther Saturday, February 12

Esther took some time Saturday to discuss the Egypt crisis, Chinese vs. Jewish mothers, and some of her health issues.

What did you talk about at the current events group?

The funny thing was, they barely mentioned Egypt.  It seemed like Mubarak's resignation settled everything.  There was a little talk about that place he went to [Sharm el-Sheikh] and how long he would stay, but that was it.

The main topic was something Richard read, about a Chinese mother who said she didn't allow her children to watch television, or anything like that.  She made them spend all their time was spent on schoolwork.  So we talked about Jewish mothers, how they treated their children and stressed education.

I said there was a mother in Lafayette who said you could emphasize education too much and was cause emotional problems in children.  Someone else said that in China, kids focused so much on passing the college eligibility test when they were in high school, that when they got to college afterwards they were ready to have a good time, and they just floated through.

Is that a good system?

Most of the people in our group felt it was not a good way to do it, it was better not to make one test so important.  Life is more than just the two covers of a book, more than education.  That type of thing can produce troubled children.

One man said his mother always told him that if he studied, concentrated in education, he would be a mensch.  He wasn't sure what a mensch was, but he did what she said.  And he became a lawyer, his area was international law, involved in some important decisions.  Now he's happy his mom stressed education.

One thing to keep in mind was that everyone there was a parent.  Nobody wanted to confess that they hadn't done well.

How do American and Chinese college students compare, academically?

American students are not studying enough. There's too much emphasis on athletic competition.  In college, American students had to study harder.

But you know, somewhere I read that a man my age said "I'm sorry for every pleasure I denied myself."  We work, we study, but a lot of it is luck.  Life carries in the direction we're meant to go.
And I've got a problem myself.  My hands are really hurting when I walk with the walker, because I put my weight on them. Now I know whether to walk, and help my legs, or sit and help my hands.  Maybe I'll do compromise, I'll do 10 laps instead of 15, and do hand exercises.  [A lap is a round trip from her bathroom to the piano room, about 50 ft.]

My chemo starts on Monday, but I forgot to order my chemo medication.  Now I'm waiting for call from pharmacy, so I better say good-bye.

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