Put a finger down if you’ve been enrolled in a learning center at some point in your life. The Hollywood “Asians are good at math” stereotype has brought nothing but pressure on us poor Asian kids. Yes, there are insanely smart Asians but students have different strengths and for some, it might not lie in academics. For what it’s worth, the narrative “Asians are good at math” isn’t what prompted our loving parents to decide their kids would live up to the rep. We’re deemed the smart bunch because our elders taught us the fundamental value of education and wanted us to see their high regard for academics.
In any case, the road to academic excellence for many Asian kids (like me) is paved with the blood, sweat, and tears from MTAP and Kumon. And apparently, strangers on the internet know the feeling all too well. Check out these tweets that prove we’ve all got collective trauma from learning centers:
First off, WTH is Kumon?
my biggest flex is that my parents never signed me up for kumon 😆
— hann (@jwiberry) January 21, 2021
wtf i thought kumon was a church program or smth bc i hear them say “im going to kumon this weekend” goodbye
— jae ☽ semi ia (@falcowrld) January 21, 2021
Kumon, for the uninitiated, is an after-school learning center for young students to further develop their mathematics and reading skills. It promotes “academic independence” — which basically means instructors push you to self-study through the tears — through worksheets that increase in difficulty over time. The program was made by Japanese math teacher Toru Kumon in the 1950s when he wanted to introduce the concept of self-learning for his Grade 2 kid.
The Typical Asian Parent Starter Pack
every asian kid has experienced at least one of these classes in middle school pic.twitter.com/dkPdR4cqmv
— thot enemy of the state (@heyhotmilky) January 21, 2021
Asian parents can be divided into two: the ones who sign their kids up for Kumon and the ones who don’t. If you miraculously escaped Kumon, chances are you’ve been enrolled in other classes as a substitute. It’s either music lessons, sports, or swimming over the summer. Our parents want us to be busy.
Where is the lie?
Cause kumon trending I’ll drop here
Lmao 😂 pic.twitter.com/nvkJae0fkp
— sarang (@99Lkid) January 21, 2021
Jimmy O. Yang knows the pain.
It taught us ninja moves
oh bro… everything. i remember in kumon we werent allowed to count using our fingers, so i either counted with my fingers under the table or i’d place my hands on my lap and subtly press my fingers down when i count. that’s all i learned from kumon lmao https://t.co/GJ6CNx7bUW
— seiji. (@alcohcliq) January 21, 2021
Gotta think fast.
The hero we *never* thought we needed
Thanks kumon for the trauma :) i’ll never forget how they gave me pile of homeworks more than my school ever gave me and the fact that there’s always tears in my kumon hw papers bc my dad is so strict when it comes to math but its all worth it ig bc it makes me love math now https://t.co/DS1SMYyexl
— sac 🏹 (@lordfengxin) January 21, 2021
So the pain is worth it in the end?
WTH is Kumon Twitter?
— may ❀ anisd📌 (@CATB0YSAGURU) January 18, 2021
War flashbacks intensify.
The unhappy kid in the logo
one of the reason why i need therapy PLS but tearing the worksheets’ pages r satisfying tho maybe that’s why i lasted 4 yrs doing kumon and quitting after BYE
— ً (@msbyato) January 21, 2021
The unhappy kid is a sign.
The most important question…
Kumon kids of the early ’00s are now grownups, some with families and kids of their own. The question is, will you enroll your kid in learning centers too? Have you finally been enlightened with the reason behind why our moms pushed us to study even though mathematics was making our heads spin? The reality is that Kumon (and other summer lessons) is a privilege and the cycle will probably continue because — we say this as scarred adults who’ve been through it all — you need it, kids.
Do you have a learning center horror story to share?