I have a feeling that the parents and alumni who read this are going to get excited and encourage their children to stay in touch, while the students who read this are going to assume that I am a loser with no friends. I have a lot of friends and a great social life at Cornell, and I think that’s in large part because I talk to my parents a lot.
We had a wonderful Family Weekend celebrating our daughter’s junior year at Cornell University. After a year of online classes and more nasal swabs than humanly possible, it was a relief for her (and us) to return to some normalcy. Our family experiencedIthaca and its environs in all its glory. Stunning fall foliage, a festive sorority dinner, delicious local ice cream, an incredible hike and waterfall – everything we’ve come to associate with the University and upstate New York in our years as Cornell parents (our oldest daughter graduated from Cornell as well).
Last week, after a phone conversation on what I wanted to do after I graduate ended inconclusively in tabled arguments and passive-aggressive goodbyes, my dad texted me the median income of a political science Ph.D. “About the same payscale as an operator” at the company where he works, he wrote. “You will study hard for LSAT and then we can discuss.”
It hurts knowing it would be literally and metaphorically easier on his heart if I had just gone all-out for law school or had read Cracking the Coding Interview back when I had the chance. Anything would be better than my current trajectory of understably worrisome directionless half-assery. My father is painfully practical and intensely loving, with the kind of radical sensibility of so many other Asian immigrants in America. After all, Baba already took his risks: He started a revolution and fought for it through a horribly bloody war.