Are Chinese Mothers Superior?

Monday, January 10th, 2011

A few weeks ago, I mentioned Amy Chua’s new book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, about raising her children the way she was raised — with no time “wasted” on play dates or school plays:

Arming them with skills, strong work habits, and inner confidence all sounds good, but socially crippling them by never allowing them to have a play date does not seem the least bit productive. There are seriously diminishing returns to two or three more hours of piano practice per week.

Her scorn for drama takes on a sinister cast when we find out that her husband, Jed Rubenfeld, studied theater in the Drama Division of the Juilliard School from 1980 through 1982.

Her recent Wall Street Journal piece, Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior, has clearly succeeded in stirring up controversy. Some parts seem reasonable:

What Chinese parents understand is that nothing is fun until you’re good at it. To get good at anything you have to work, and children on their own never want to work, which is why it is crucial to override their preferences. This often requires fortitude on the part of the parents because the child will resist; things are always hardest at the beginning, which is where Western parents tend to give up. But if done properly, the Chinese strategy produces a virtuous circle. Tenacious practice, practice, practice is crucial for excellence; rote repetition is underrated in America. Once a child starts to excel at something — whether it’s math, piano, pitching or ballet — he or she gets praise, admiration and satisfaction. This builds confidence and makes the once not-fun activity fun. This in turn makes it easier for the parent to get the child to work even more.

Some parts seem… less reasonable —  like “motivating” your children by calling them stupidworthless, a disgrace, or garbage.

Shannon Love points out that Chua’s children’s activities are notably lacking in team activities:

The secret of American’s collective success as a people is our ability to self-organize ourselves on both the small and large scale into highly effective teams The relative inability to self-organize into teams is why China and some other cultures have lagged behind in the modern world. Americans have long relied on activities like sports, theater, marching band etc to teach that one critical American cultural skill. By excluding such activities from her children’s life, Chua is depriving them of one of the most crucial skills an American must have.

Dennis Mangan makes a smaller point — followed by a bigger one:

Even as an aficionado of classical music, I found Chua’s focus on music lessons in violin and piano absurd. The object lesson from this article is supposedly the Chinese mother’s relentless efforts to make her children excel and be successful in the world; yet the fraction of classical instrumentalists (or vocalists, for that matter) who have spent their entire lives studying and practicing, and then successfully enter the real world of classical music, is tiny. I once read somewhere that American conservatories graduate over 300 pianists a year, and I would guess that the fraction of them who go on to careers in classical music, other than giving lessons to the next generation who in turn won’t enter the field, must be very low. Chua is setting her kids up for failure; and if it’s argued that music lessons are a good in themselves, which they may be, why does Chua treat them like a matter of life or death, making her kids and herself miserable over them?

Chua’s treatment of her kids is an exercise in narcissism, focusing on them all her own ambitions and insisting that they turn out exactly like herself. In some instances, she treats them practically like her slaves. I’m all for parental discipline and a decent, even difficult education for children, but this is too much. She never lets the kids go on “play dates”; does she ever even let them outside to play?

I’m also wondering when the Wall Street Journal will be publishing the rebuttal, “Why White Mothers Are Superior”. Right. Only the celebration of the other is permitted.

Naturally, when I read Chua’s piece — particularly the “reasonable” passage I cited above — I wondered what our left-libertarian, John Taylor Gatto fan Aretae might have to say:

I personally am unwilling to teach obedience as a character trait, even if it buys the habit of persistence that will buy, more than anything else, success throughout life. I think persistence is an important trait, perhaps the most important trait, but obedience is a mortal sin.

I have to agree with Buckethead (Perfidy) that Aretae goes too far there:

Aretae, are you saying that as an adult, you never obey anyone? Do you go through some sort of analysis to determine whether or not any instruction you receive is acceptable before following it?

The ability to follow instructions is as important as the ability to give them.

For my kids, I must have obedience. But my kids range from seven to negative one week. The boy is the oldest — and he’s started questioning my instructions. Which is all good. I’ve told him that he can ask why I told him to do anything — after he’s done it. I’ve explained, and he understands, that I am managing a five (soon six) person household and things need to be done, and he has a role in the house. He can question any decision, afterwards, when I have time to discuss it with him. But in the meantime, just do it.

He has a seven year old’s perspective and breadth of knowledge. He’s bright, but he’s still seven. Still, he’s several times offered constructive suggestions on how things might be done better, which I’ve usually adopted, unless there was a larger reason not to. And he sees that.

Actually, the boy just came by my desk and I asked him what he thought. Interesting — I asked him why he obeys. His first answer was in “Because if I don’t, I get in trouble.” Fair enough. I probed deeper. I asked him why else he obeys. He said, “because you’re usually right.” That’s good. I asked him what happens if I’m wrong, and he points it out. He said, “you say, ‘thank you.’”

I asked him if I explain why I tell him to do things. He said yes, I do, but sometimes the explanations don’t make sense. But when they do make sense, he says they’re good explanations. I asked him if my good explanations for things are a reason for him to listen to me, and he said yes, and that’s why mostly he obeys. Except, he added, “Sometimes, I just feel crazy and I can’t listen.”

A seven year old needs to obey first, question later. But the questions are important. And that habit, I think, will be the needed counterpoint to blind obedience, which I do think is bad. And maybe we can get the persistence without breaking him.

I recently picked up a cheap used copy of James Marcus Bach’s Secrets of a Buccaneer-Scholar. I forgot who recommended it, but after I finished it — and before Amy Chua’s article and its various rebuttals came out — I decided the book read like a caricature of Aretae’s position — that obedience is a sin. Now I’m not so sure.

In his book, James Bach — son of Richard Bach, who wrote Jonathan Livingston Seagull — explains how he hated school, did none of the homework assignments, intentionally failed the tests, and then — despite his (well hidden) mastery of the material — failed his classes. Oh, the injustice!

He happened to come of age during the rise of the personal computer. So, by pursuing his passion — and aptitude — for technology, he managed, with no diploma, to find a lucrative place for himself.

When invited to talk to kids on the verge of dropping out of high school, he told them that of course they should drop out, and — shock! — he was told that he wouldn’t be invited back to give that talk again.

I suppose I’ve drifted off into a bit of a rant, but I’d advise savants not to generalize from their own peculiar life experiences. Most people won’t succeed beyond their wildest dreams by following their own internal compass; they’ll play lots of video games and go out drinking with friends.


  1. Buckethead says:

    I just read Aretae’s second post — the obedience is a sin one — and I was struck by how, despite a similar experience in childhood, we have come to different views as adults. I can see how he viewed obedience as transactional in his mind, as he put it. I obeyed my teachers, because I decided that the trouble of disobeying was worse than the hassle of obeying — except when they were tragically stupid, and I was too pissed off.

    Yet, his doctrinaire statement that the acceptance of authority is a sin is, well, unbelievably doctrinaire. There are many types of authority, and our acceptance of them is always transactional. We can weigh the costs of acceptance or disobediance. Yet we do accept them. No one goes through life screaming “Non servium!” at any one who presumes to tell them to do or not do something.

    I’d accuse him of never having had children, except that I know he does. I insist that my children be obedient. And I advocate the enforcement of obedience. So that makes me a sinner, I suppose. Not the first time, surely.

    I had an interesting discussion with my boy the other day – he asked why I never became a policeman. I had just been praising in a general way the work that policemen do – dangerous, at times, and requiring judgment and restraint, etc. But I told him that I could never be a policeman because I would be required to enforce laws that I think are wrong. I’d have to break my oath to uphold the law, or do something I consider to be wrong.

    Obedience is always a choice. In a perfect world, we would be obedient to god, parents, the state, whomever, by choice and everyone would sniff daisies. I have voluntarily accepted authority many times. I will again. I can withdraw my acceptance – knowing the consequences, and have and will again. I will teach my children to accept my authority, and hope to earn the trust that is demanded of me by their acceptance.

  2. Aretae says:

    Perfidy, I think you hit the disagreement nail on the head: “Obedience is always a choice.”

    I disagree. Obedience is a habit. Compliance is a choice.

  3. Buckethead says:

    Aretae, whether you make a habit of compliance or non-compliance, it comes down to the same thing.

    It’s not really the habit that is the problem. You said, some time ago, that for almost all people, almost all the time, the traditional answer is the right one. Now, you’re a weirdo, and so am I, and for us, more perhaps than for most, the traditional answer won’t scan.

    But — and here’s the important bit — our habits of obedience or disobedience are not relevant. We should be judged not on whether we obey 99% of the time or 1% of the time, but whether our obedience or disobedience was well chosen.

    Obedience to Hitler, we might argue, is a bad thing. Telling the Buddha to sit and spin might also be a bad thing. Obeying sensible laws like, don’t shoot people and take their stuff, good. Obeying laws that require the imprisonment of harmless potheads, not so much.

    Saying you just. won’t. listen. to everyone puts you on the same level (in some senses) as an uber-rule-following bureaucrat. You’ll be right, some of the time, but then so will he. The sin is not in obeying — but in obeying the wrong thing.

  4. Isegoria says:

    I would argue that for the vast majority of people, obedience is a good habit, and disobedience is a bad habit.

    If you know more physics than your high-school physics teacher, for instance, you are not normal. Your contempt for his authority is understandable, but your experience is unusual — and your experience in physics class may not generalize even to the rest of your own life. If you don’t know more than your parents or teachers, which is overwhelmingly more common, being disobedient is a bad habit. Trying to learn and understand why they recommend what they recommend is a good habit, but dismissing them as petty tyrants is a bad habit.

  5. Aretae says:

    Again, contrarily. I don’t make a habit of compliance or noncompliance. I make a habit of not considering compliance as part of the bargain. Either they’re right, or they’re wrong. Either the trade is good for me or not. Those are the questions.

    Kid asked me to do something: It’s a cost-benefit analysis. Mom told me to do something: It’s a cost-benefit analysis. God told me to do something: It’s a cost-benefit analysis.

    Are we talking past one another? I think that obedience is a habit that can be learned. And I am violently opposed to learning the habit of obedience.

    I think that compliance is a choice per decision. So long as you are making the choice per decision, I’m good with it. It’s when the choice gets short-circuited that we have a cognitive and moral problem.

  6. Isegoria says:

    In his obedience is a sin post, Aretae cites Bryan Caplan’s Does Asian Parenting Cause Asian Success?, which concludes that, no, Asian parenting does not cause Asian success, because adoption studies have shown that parenting, within ordinary norms, has little effect on success.

    I don’t find that particularly convincing, because Amy Chua-style parenting is sufficiently extreme and unusual to fall outside the usual norms, and I know certain kinds of extreme training have profound effects on people. After training as a Chinese acrobat from age two to age 16, you will be flexible, graceful, able to take a fall, etc. — even if fundamentally you are a lazy glutton.

    Friends who have gone through Special Forces training came out able to work long, grueling hours without thinking about it. They certainly saw a change in themselves. They went through an amazing amount of stress inoculation, and something like med school barely registered as an inconvenience.

  7. Aretae says:


    Now you open it up for bigger disagreements.

    Most folks (far more than most…all?) are operating primarily on the evolutionary plan of status/envy >> everything. Most teachers and parents are petty tyrants first, and anything else second. They may (or may not) know something that you don’t, but the odds of their command being about things that are good for you rather than things that are good for them, but which they have rationalized to being good for you also… I wouldn’t bet on it.

    The average teacher is less competent than the average person, and more susceptible to the status/envy thing because the classroom is the area of their lives where they are most status-positive.

    The average parent is also somewhat less than 50% likely to be as smart as their kid, and despite all protestations, the interests don’t align. So much of child/parent interaction makes better sense once you consider the power-dynamic fight for control over the child as among the primary drivers of the dynamic. And that even applies to me, whose parents were tremendously lenient.

    Obedience is a way to ensure that your interests are not well-handled at the expense of others’ interests.

    On the other hand, the comment is getting too long to respond to your (and Perfidy’s) very good point that forging new paths is usually wrong.

  8. Tatyana says:

    The Chinese way of raising children, according to Chua, overlaps with a wider issue: authority vs ability to be a follower. Authority, in its turn, contains responsibility. A parent who directs a child doesn’t do it just to feel more important — he takes responsibility for that decision. That is a limiting factor to any request of obedience, be it by parent, a sergeant in the Army, or a workplace manager.

    So when Amy Chua restricts her children choices she should take responsibility for their future failures stemming from that restriction. That is what makes the work of parent difficult — weighing of pluses and minuses of policy, not the enforcement of it.

    On the other pole, every child is a small person, an individual, a unique collection of abilities, psychologically suited to certain activities and not suited to others. To break this fragile combination is easy — kids are naturally eager to please their parents — but would you want to?

    There is only a handful of words more hateful to me than “collective”. I came to conclusion that “teamwork” that Shannon Love praised so much, is very much overrated — and in majority of cases is a phony gimmick to get one or two people to do all the work and then the rest on the “team” to get the credit. At the same time, if everyone only did what their left foot desired at the particular moment, nothing would have ever be done.

    But I have seen the results of Chinese childraising in the workplace: obidient silent robots who used to unquestionably follow instruction, w/o thinking, w/o a shred of creative thought, forever “knowing their place” — and god forbid to have one elevated from the wordless “implementers” into the leading/managing position. That kind of boss is a nightmare to work under: a letter, a rule, is endlessly more important to him than the result of the working process; in short — he is a perfect bureaucrat at every step of the ladder, meticulously monitoring the line of “what’s allowed”.

    I haven’t met a single person raised in that system who was a creative, original architect or designer. Follower — always. Imitator — sure. But not an engine of progress.

  9. Michael says:

    I’ve had some very cool discussions with James Bach on on the application of TOC to projects (a topic upon which Isegoria has written in some detail).

    I certainly can’t speak for him, but for what it’s worth I think James would emphasize his major points are really that each person should take responsibility for their own education, that they’ll learn far more on a subject they’re passionate about, that this can lead to wellbeing and professional success, and that if a learner learning requires some disobedience, so be it.

    He does use his story as the backbone for the Buccaneer-Scholar book. I think this is mainly to make the point that an unusual path can work, as it has for him. I don’t think he’d argue that his specific path is the best for everyone. In fact he definitely wants his surgeons to have followed the traditional med school/residency path!

    I also heard James speak, at a school that invited him in for several days to work with students, about the future of public education. He made the case to teachers, parents and students that it is no longer in the best interest of kids to raise them to be obedient factory workers. Rather to have the goal of teaching kids how to learn, to help them find and focus their passion, and then to help them find or gain access to any resources they need.

    Not everyone likes that message — certainly not teachers who see themselves as the dispensers of knowledge and certainly not folks who like to make and enforce rules. The challenge I saw was on blending what James said with the various competencies required for baseline participation in our democracy.

    Turns out that passion driven learning is far from being just a James Bach thing — it’s a major topic of discussion and experimentation in the international education community.

    By the way, James also likes to make the point that he’s not exceptionally bright but has simply learned how to learn. He’d get a laugh out of the savant label being applied to him.

  10. Shannon Love says:

    I don’t think Chua is being a narcissist by insisting that her children master a classical instrument. Just as American parents use sports to teach teamwork, Chinese parents us difficult musical training to teach persistence in face of boredom and frustration. That is a very valuable skill and one that Americans used to instill using various methods including musical training.

    A lot of the techniques that Chua uses used to be fairly common in America. Up until the 50′s it was taken for granted that all upper-middle class and most middle-middle class children who play a musical instrument. Doing homework with siblings at the kitchen table was also common.

    I think it is very clear that we have progressively devalued technical skill in all areas of education in favor of more ambiguous skills like creativity and “self-expression.” We could do well to return to a more rigorous emphasis on objective skills and knowledge.

    The main point of my original post was that instead of going all Chinese, Chua could have fused the strong points of both cultures to raise children who would be highly skilled and innately capable of highly adaptable teamwork.

  11. If Kung Fu Panda taught us anything, it is that if a Chinese parent is a noodle salesman, then the use of Chinese parental techniques will produce little more than a somewhat driven noodle salesman. If the child of the noodle salesman is a fat lazy panda, only the use of the unorthodox as opposed to the orthodox will turn that fat lazy panda into a fearsome killing machine.

    Most children lack an inner kung fu panda. The whole cult of turning every child into some sort of self-actualized entrepreneurial wunderkind founders on the same rocks that every libertarian scheme founders on: most people are proles who barely qualify to be even an obedient factory worker. They not only are proles but want to be proles. They will happily trade the stiff drink of liberty for the false syrupy flavor of peonage with not only enthusiasm but relief. The best you can hope for is encouraging the emergence of a kung fu panda now and then to cull the ranks of the proles.

    American education at home and at work has many flaws. Favoring the production of bystanders over kung fu pandas is not one of them.

  12. Isegoria says:

    Perhaps we can agree, Aretae, that most teachers, when challenged and humiliated in front of the class, will behave like petty tyrants, and that some teachers will behave like petty tyrants without cause, but we’ll have agree to disagree if you sincerely feel that most teachers and parents are petty tyrants first and anything else second. They’re authority figures, yes, but that’s because they’re older, (generally) wiser, and in a position to try to coordinate a group.

    A classroom without an authoritative teacher is not guaranteed to settle into blissful left-anarchy. Perhaps the AP Computer Science class might, but a typical 8th-grade homeroom could easily descend into Lord of the Flies — and the nice kids would embrace a strong leader who could restore order.

    Even a fairly benign group of adults taking, say, a martial arts class will want an authority to say, practice this move and do it 20 times — and you’re not working hard enough! People who, by all reasonable measures, are mature, intelligent, and motivated can still benefit from an authority pushing them to do things they don’t, at that moment, want to do.

  13. Isegoria says:

    I agree that exercising authority means taking responsibility for the results. What makes parenting so interesting is that raising a human being isn’t a simple process with simple metrics for success — and many of us bristle at the notion that someone would treat it that way. This “Chinese mother” technique — harangue your children until they graduate from med school — seems to miss out on so many other ways to succeed.

    As for teamwork, I think it’s invaluable, but I’ve also had plenty of experiences — particularly in the artificial environment of school projects — where it devolved into one competent and devoted “A” student doing all the work, while the rest of the “team” paid lip service to shared goals. What Shannon Love was discussing though was not the artificial environment of school projects but the fairly American tendency to build ad hoc groups for anything and everything, and to immediately get to work solving the problem, without waiting for a formal definition of everyone’s role.

    Part of that is the same kind of teamwork other cohesive groups demonstrate, but part of it is initiative, which Americans value tremendously. Oddly, our school system does not seem to value initiative tremendously, but we do value speaking up, offering our own opinions, etc. more than most anyone else.

  14. Isegoria says:

    Michael, I was expecting something much more like your measured description of James Bach’s philosophy than what I actually found in the book, which is why I was so disappointed and exasperated. From his own description, he sounded tremendously whiny and self-righteous. How dare the physics teacher give him bad physics grades when he refused to do the work and intentionally failed the exams! Yeah, clearly, school was a farce. That was the problem.

    Anyway, all of us here are autodidacts, but there’s a world of difference between deciding, as a self-motivated and intelligent individual, to take responsibility for one’s own education, and deciding, as an unmotivated dullard, to do “the same thing” — because in the latter case it won’t involve coming up with new software testing methodologies. It’ll involve flipping through channels or making it to the next level of Call of Duty.

    Now, a school system that doesn’t recognize any other paths than Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, Pre-Calc… College! is failing most of the population, since their destinies do not lie in engineering, but taking responsibility for their own education shouldn’t mean dropping out of school and devising their own practical curriculum from scratch, either. Some people succeed wildly doing just that, but only a handful.

  15. Isegoria says:

    I don’t think that one has to be a narcissist to insist that one’s children master a classical instrument — but it’s not at all uncommon for “Chinese mothers” to insist that their children master piano or violin so that they, the mothers, look good. Or that’s what many successful Asian-Americans say about their own upbringing. Of course, this is complicated by the fact that a mother is trying to make herself look good by making her children look good, by helping them succeed. It’s hardly pure narcissism. I doubt it’s even primarily narcissism — except in a few degenerate cases.

    I totally agree that instead of going all Chinese, Chua could have fused the strong points of both cultures to raise children who would be highly skilled and innately capable of highly adaptable teamwork. In fact, as I understand it, the actual book ends up supporting that position, but the contentious excerpt made for a better article and much more chatter. (Your point is extremely generalizable, by the way. People seem to desperately want to argue A vs. B, when they should be asking, what elements of A are good, what elements of B are good, and how can I combine them?)

  16. Isegoria says:

    Charles Murray (The Bell Curve), whose first wife was “half Thai and all Chinese,” seems amused by the uproar:

    My own archetypal memory is when my eldest daughter, then perhaps eight years old, came home with her first Maryland standardized test scores, showing that she was at the 99th percentile in reading and the 93rd percentile in math. Her mother’s first words — the very first — were “What’s wrong with the math?”

    Both children turned out great and love their mother dearly.

    His more serious point is that Chua’s daughters have much more than strict parenting going for them:

    Maternal grandfather: EE and computer sciences professor at Berkeley, known as the father of nonlinear circuit theory and cellular neural networks.

    Mother: able to get into Harvard (a much better indicator of her IQ than the magna cum laude in economics that she got there); Executive Editor of the Law Review at Harvard Law School.

    Father: Summa cum laude from Princeton and magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, now a chaired professor at Yale Law School.

    Guess what. Amy Chua has really smart kids. They would be really smart if she had put them up for adoption at birth with the squishiest postmodern parents. They would not have turned out exactly the same under their softer tutelage, but they would probably be getting into Harvard and Princeton as well. Similarly, if Amy Chua had adopted two children at birth who turned out to have measured childhood IQs at the 20th percentile, she would have struggled to get them through high school, no matter how fiercely she battled for them.

    Accepting both truths — parenting does matter, but genes constrain possibilities — seems peculiarly hard for some parents and almost every policymaker to accept.

    Razib Khan makes a similar point.

  17. Aretae says:


    1. You say: We’ll have agree to disagree if you sincerely feel that most teachers and parents are petty tyrants first and anything else second.

    I’m actually (unsurprisingly) arguing a more radical position. On average, in the moment, most people don’t know and don’t care why they are doing something. Since status concerns dominate the monkey-brain, status concerns will also dominate most authority relations, and even more importantly, folks exercising authority will not be aware of when they are acting for status reasons.

    2. You say: A classroom without an authoritative teacher is not guaranteed to settle into blissful left-anarchy. Perhaps the AP Computer Science class might, but a typical 8th-grade homeroom could easily descend into Lord of the Flies.

    Most effective classroom learning I experienced did not occur in the classes of the disciplinarian football coaches who were incidentally teaching history. Rather, the more effective learnings were the ones where the teacher got excited about a topic and drew others down the road to the teacher’s excitement. Did the football coaches do better learning than the hippies? Not convinced.

    3. There’s a huge difference between asking someone to substitute for your own short-term discipline and doing as you’re told.

  18. Isegoria says:

    If you’re going to say that everyone is a petty tyrant first and anything else second, then your strong language loses most of its meaning, without losing its harsh tone. I’m sure we can all point to specific instances of parents or teachers behaving as petty tyrants, but, for the most part, they’re doing a reasonable if imperfect job of guiding children toward adulthood. I don’t call that petty tyranny. I certainly don’t think my parents and teachers were first and foremost petty tyrants, and I don’t see random parents disciplining their children as petty tyrants, either.

    Also, I wasn’t contrasting mindless tyranny, in the form of a football coach “teaching” history, against enlightened leadership, in the form of an enthusiastic and knowledgeable teacher at the head of an interested class. The enthusiastic and knowledgeable teacher is a better teacher — but not because he doesn’t enforce any rules when they’re broken. In another context, say, in front of an inner-city class or a suburban special-needs class, his “superior” skills would be useless, because the kids would rather talk over him than learn “valuable” lessons about other times and places. What’s best for the gifted kids is not what’s best for everyone. In a mixed class, that enthusiastic and knowledgeable teacher might need to become a disciplinarian just to get the chance to share his enthusiasm and knowledge with the gifted and normal kids.

    Lastly, I don’t think there’s a bright-line distinction between asking someone to substitute for your own short-term discipline and doing as you’re told, when we’re discussing children. It’s fuzzy enough with adults, who resent being told what to do even when they know they need it, but kids certainly lack long-term perspective, and most of us are quite glad we were forced to do some things we didn’t like at the time. Chua may have gone too far in her piano lesson contest of wills, but many of us fought doing something good for us as kids, and then grew up to be quite thankful that Mom and Dad didn’t let us quit when the going got tough.

  19. Isegoria says:

    Amy Chua responds to commenters with a much, much softer version of her message.

  20. Tatyana says:


    I didn’t mean “teamwork” in school setting. School, thankfully, is only 10-15 years in someone’s life. I meant the workplace, where “teamwork” is praised on resume but in practice means that for every diligent scapegoat who does the work there are 5 “teammates” who slack and do lip service, plus a manager who takes the credit.

    And that lasts many, many years longer than hateful time in class.

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