My son Shreyas has just completed his first year of undergrad in the US. He applied and got admission for an engineering program but within a span of a year, has changed his mind twice. After the 1st semester he said he had set his heart on Computer Science.Now at the end of his 1st year he told me over a chat a few days ago that he is more or less certain he will major in Math!
As parents, we are not too worried either with his exploratory approach or his choice of subject; in any case the college he is studying in lays sufficient emphasis on math and science foundations and will give him the flexibility to discover his specific interests with time and equip him to do a specialization of his choice in his masters.
The story does not end there though. At the end of the chat, Shreyas said his Math prof wanted to know if he should speak to us (meaning my husband and me). I was surprised. It turns out that, in the past, the prof had to convince a lot of Chinese and Indian parents that doing Math at an undergrad level had good prospects. In other words, Asian parents continue to put a premium on an engineering degree and are still suspicious of the pure sciences!!
This incident left me wondering once more on middle class parental attitudes. I know that we all wish the best for our kids and should play a role in shaping their interests. But, where do we draw the line, and when?
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