April 01, 2011
Tiger Cub is Harvard Bound
Posted by Usha Rodrigues

Fans of our Tiger Mom Book Club may be interested to know that Amy Chua's eldest, Sophia, was accepted at Harvard.  The ATL piece is adulatory:

You can criticize all you want, but you can’t argue with success. Above the Law has confirmed that Sophia Chua-Rubenfeld, the oldest daughter of Amy Chua and fellow YLS professor Jed Rubenfeld, received her Harvard acceptance earlier this week. Sophia has already made up her mind that Harvard is where she’ll attend college. (Can you blame her for wanting to trade New Haven for Cambridge?)

Some readers of Amy Chua’s book wondered whether it was premature of her to “end a parenting story when one child is only 15,” in the words of Elizabeth Chang of the Washington Post. Well, now we know how the story ends — very, very happily. As I previously observed, speaking from my own personal experience, “to Asian parents, sending a child to a top college is the ultimate vindication.” And colleges don’t get more “top” than Harvard (which is #1 in the current U.S. News rankings; but even if it weren’t this year, it would still be #1 in the minds of many Asian parents). 

I don't want to diminish Sophia's many accomplishments, which are extraordinarily impressive.  But all this excitement over Harvard seems a bit overblown.  For my particular brand of Asian upbringing--Indian by way of Goa--Harvard was never that big a deal.  The advice I think I'm going to give my daughters when they're Sophia's age (many, many  moons from now) is not to focus too much on getting into the "best" undergraduate institution.  Save that stress for graduate school, where it really matters.  But maybe I'm wrong?  I have nary a hint of Ivy in my education, a conscious choice.  Am I foolishly discounting the value of getting into Harvard? (HT: Dahlia Lithwick)

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