Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Cadet Azia Kim

I swear I'm not doing this just to up the traffic on my blog, but there's more on Azia Kim:

Kim — the 18-year-old from Fullerton, Calif. who was revealed by The Daily last Thursday to have been squatting in Stanford dorms since September despite not being affiliated with the University — duped ROTC officials into thinking she was an honor-roll Stanford student for eight months. She took classes on Army tactics and history, received military equipment worth more than $1,000 and even earned official military awards for her top grades at Stanford.

Captain Michael Regnier taught Kim, Ally Ha ‘09 and Michael Rice ‘10 a weekly military lab and a weekly class on topics ranging from land navigation training to rifle marksmanship to battle drills. Because of Stanford’s ROTC ban in the 1960s, cadets must commute to other Bay Area schools. Kim excelled in the courses at Santa Clara, particularly wowing her classmates with presentations on Dwight Eisenhower, Robert E. Lee and military values.

If you click through to the article you will also find that the dorm staff in Okada printed out a sign for her door (like all residents in a dorm get). I love how they did that without thinking to themselves, "Hmm, maybe we should check with ResEd to see why we never were notified that this person was going to be moving in?" I'm stating for the record that my dorm staff would not have done that.

And read the comments on the Daily article. They're pretty hilarious. I particularly like this one:



(Don't get it? See here and here.)

and this one:

I'm still waiting for a Tom Feliz article.

(That one may only be amusing to people who have attended Stanford within, like, the last 8 years.)

Seriously though. I have to say that I do agree that there's something seriously wrong with the family and/or the society that leads someone to do something like this. But I also don't think that just growing up in a culture that puts high pressure on success and achievement, even if it is extreme pressure, leads someone to do this. I feel like something else must be wrong.

That said, I also think the fact that she is Asian and the general stereotype of Asian-Americans is that they are crazy studiers and have crazy school-success-obsessed families is not helping the evaluation of this story in the media or the public. It's just too easy for people to let their natural prejudices inflate their natural shock/awe at this story. I don't know what to do about that, but I do think it's out there. (Sophomore year cultural psych rears its ugly head.)

Finally, I think this has raised a lot of negative comments about Stanford this year. As a Stanford grad and a former RA and a member of "When I was your age, Stanford was fun" group on Facebook, I do have some things to say about all of this in regards to Stanford and their polices and practices. But I also don't want to get stuck in a huge argument/debate about all of it. I loved Stanford and I had and have issues with it as well. I think that most college students would say that about their alma mater (unless of course they genuinely did hate it). It really bugs me when people let their criticism get out of hand or let one incident drive their entire opinion about their school or let one incident justify their own particular grudges. Call it like it is. That's all I have to say for now.

(Update: Sorry, forgot to include link. It's there now.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

em, I *LOVED* the Tom Feliz comment, thanks for pointing that out.