opinion

Self-Ionization

First off, friends, sorry for not blogging for more than a month. It’s been hectic, a marathon of weekends full of academic competitions (yes, I spend my Saturdays at high schools taking tests.)

In Chemistry I PAP TAG last year, near the end of school, I was taught the self- ionization of water. It was scandalous that pure water wasn’t so pure after all–the concentration of hydroxide ions (OH-) and hydrogen ions (H+) multiply to a slim sum of 1.0*10^-14.

The high school I go to has few people of color, the majority of whom are Asian. This is a direct contrast from the school I used to go to, where there were hordes of Asians in comparison to a few white middle-schoolers sprinkled around like salt on a pretzel.

What I’ve noticed in two, such-differing environments is that Asians tend to stick to themselves–that is, Asians spend time around other Asians (with an occasional white kid), and white children around other white children. Everyone seems complacent; no one complains. It’s been ingrained in our school system almost naturally. Given the emphasis on integration within the late-20th century, it makes you wonder why. 

One hypothesis is that Asians just have more exposure and more in common with other Asians. After all, we frequent the same few restaurants, supermarkets, and bakeries geared toward the Asian community in Dallas.  We’ve gone to the same after-school centers and preschools for years in a row. An early introduction, combined with forced meetings, naturally leads to more natural interactions later on. The more we get to know each other, the more we’re hooked. Once children progress through middle and high school, we’re less likely to make new friends and are more willing to stay with old ones.

Socioeconomic factors may play a role as well. In my former and current community, Asians were less well-off economically; we mostly lived in the cookie-cutter, typical suburban section, while our neighborhood’s white residents lived in older, more-expensive houses. Here in my current community, the same is typically true. Asians tend to focus on academic performance and its accompanying measures of success, such as SAT scores, math and science competitions, and scientific research. While we cram for AMC, an average white kid of the same neighborhood might be working a job, playing sports, lying in bed with friends, or swimming at the lake house.

Whatever the case, it’s important that we meet new people in all stages of life, regardless how cozy we are in our current circles of friends and acquaintances. New people bring in fresh perspectives ranging in a variety of topics; these new friends build up our personal storehouse of wisdom, our jar of memories that we can cling onto for a lifetime.

–MX

 

 

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