the academic pressure was pretty brutal in our cho household growing up. sort of a common story especially amongst asian immigrants. ask any asian-american and they’ll know exactly what i’m talking about. immigration does some intense things to people. i was six, mike was 9, and phillip was 12 when we moved to the states. technically, i had the most time to acclimate and should have been the one to kick most ass but my brothers were pretty incredible – particularly my oldest brother who holds a ph.d [which really stands for Permanent Head Damage] in mechanical engineering with special focus on acoustic vibrations.
because of my parents’ high expectations and their commitment to our education, we all did “well.” i managed to graduate tops in middle school but it was pretty much down from there. now, i still did well – but just not tops. i was in the honor society in high school; graduated college in three years…but just not tops which translated to “not good enough.” during my fourth grade summer vacation, my mother gave me “homework” which was the case for every summer. that summer’s homework was the most memorable…i was assigned to copy the world book encyclopedia – by hand. each and every volume although i think i only got through the “S” volume. i ripped out pages when she wasn’t looking and pretty much hated life. but, thanks to the brutality of my parents and their passion to get me educated and succeed, let me just tell you and the rest of the world right now, i know alot about AARDVARKS.
but it was tough not meeting their expectations and not getting my Ph.D like my oldest brother. that guy is one smart dude. and my middle brother is sharp as well. i simply couldn’t keep up with them. but when i ran across this story today in the new york times, it all made sense. it’s not my fault!
The eldest children in families tend to develop slightly higher I.Q.s than their younger siblings, researchers are reporting, based on a large study that could effectively settle more than a half-century of scientific debate about the relationship between I.Q. and birth order.
The difference in I.Q. between siblings was a result of family dynamics, not biological factors like changes in gestation caused by repeated pregnancies, the study found.
Researchers have long had evidence that first-borns tend to be more dutiful and cautious than their siblings, early in life and later, but previous studies focusing on I.Q. differences were not conclusive. In particular, analyses that were large enough to detect small differences in scores could not control for the vast differences in the way that children in separate families were raised. [read full article]
my decision and conviction to enter seminary and go into ministry brought much pain and anxiety to my parents. i was “ordained” to be a medical doctor. those were some painful years. but through it all and while not necessarily meeting my parents perfect expectations, it feels so good to know that my parents are now our biggest supporters and advocates. while i ultimately seek to bring glory to my Heavenly Father, it feels good to bring joy and honor to my parents as well.