Posts

Showing posts from 2011

The Non-Monetary Costs of Commuting

Sorry for the lack of updates! I've had one day off this past week and haven't had much time for anything else but working, commuting, and sleeping. I'll try to post a more substantial update when I actually have more than one day off.

In the meantime, I'm going to use this post to talk about commuting. Currently, I commute between 25-50 miles one way each day to get to a given hospital. This allows me to continue to live at home and save some money. However, I've concluded that there are a number of non-monetary expenses associated with long commutes. These include the following:

-Time: I spend roughly 2-4 hours each day commuting. By the time I get home, I don't have much time to do anything other than eat, shower, watch baseball/exercise/blog/surf the net/work on hobbies/talk to my boyfriend online (more or less simultaneously depending on my energy level), and sleep.

-Sleep: I try to get about 8 hours of sleep a night, but normally I only manage 7 …

How to Book a Cheap Trip to Las Vegas

Since I'm fortunate enough to have flexible per diem jobs, I've managed to schedule a week of vacation at the end of this month. So far, my plan is to fly to Las Vegas with some friends and spend a few days relaxing and having fun! I didn't want to spend too much on this trip, and thanks to some shopping around and early planning I'm spending less than $150 on housing and airfare!

Here are some tips on how you can save money on a trip to Las Vegas (which can also be applied to other locations):

-Shop around and book early: I cannot stress this enough. When I decided I wanted to go to Las Vegas, I immediately started searching travel websites like Expedia, Priceline, Kayak and comparing rates. My friends and I decided to book a room at a hotel located in the middle of the Las Vegas Strip for $24.50 a night. The next day, the price went up to $27.00. Today, the same room is $33 a night. By booking early, you ensure you have a room and extra spending money to spen…

Social Work: Where Workplace Violence is the Norm, Not the Exception

In Major League Baseball, fights such as last night's bench clearing brawl between the Giants and the Phillies are not the norm. Contrarily, workplace violence is a risk faced by social workers on a daily basis.

Since entering the work force a little over a year ago, I've been bitten/chased by dogs, exposed to a multitude of diseases, threatened with physical harm, assigned to unsafe neighborhoods, and called to deal with aggressive individuals. I know that as I continue my career as a medical and home health social worker, I'll inevitably encounter many more risky situations. While I try to be aware of my surroundings and take precautionary measures (such as keeping pepper spray in my purse during home health visits), there are those scary moments when I find myself thinking, "Please don't hurt me!"

Here are a few things I've done in an attempt to minimize my risk at work:
-Carry pepper spray with me during home visits
-Inform friends and family when I&…

Twitter

I finally signed up for a Twitter account! Feel free to add me for the latest updates: Follow me on Twitter!

How the Debt Ceiling Deal Affects MSW (and other Graduate) Students

After much political drama, the House of Representatives has finally passed the Budget Control Act of 2011, meant to stop the U.S. government from defaulting on its payments to U.S. government bondholders. This bill is bound to have many impacts, but for this particular post I will focus on Title V and its affects on graduate students, especially future social workers.

Title V consists of several parts:

$17 Billion to Save Pell Grants: According to a report released by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the Budget Control Act of 2011 will allocate $17 billion towards the Federal Pell Grant Program in the next 3 years. The Pell Grant Program provides financial aid to low-income undergraduate and certain graduate students who likely would not be able to afford college otherwise. Unlike loans, these grants do not need to be repaid.

Elimination of Federal Direct Stafford Loans for Graduate Students: Currently, college students with financial need are allowed to receive $8500 in subsid…

Tiger Mom: Revisited

Lately, I've been reading the blog of Sophia Chua-Rubenfeld, Amy Chua's daughter. Not only is Sophia obviously intelligent and hard working, but to my surprise also appears to be creative, witty, personable, and well-rounded. She also seems to have a great relationship with her mother, and is genuinely thankful for the way she was raised.

In several interviews following the release of "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother", Amy Chua stated that her book was meant to be a satire. After reading Sophia's blog, I'm more inclined to believe that Amy Chua exaggerated parts of her book and that she really wasn't that strict at all (relative to how I was raised). To compare, when I was Sophia's age I was not allowed to have a job, have a boyfriend, wear clothes that stylish (or even shave my legs), have my grades drop from from an A+ to A, and not major in anything but pre-med. Additionally, I have yet to read about Sophia or her sister Lulu receiving physical…

A Newbie's Take on Airline Rewards Programs

Apparently, I'm going to Las Vegas next month! With ridiculously cheap weekday hotel room rates and soon to be expiring deals from airlines like Southwest and Virgin America, it's prime time for a cheap Vegas vacation (if you can handle the heat)! More on this in another post.

After booking my tickets, I spent several hours signing up for and redeeming mileage points from various airline rewards programs. It was actually my first time dealing with airline rewards since I don't fly on my own that often. Here are a few things I learned in the process:

1) Sign up for the rewards program before booking the flight: I booked my flights before signing up for the programs, and hence wasted a good amount of time trying to figure out how to get my flights retroactively credited.

2) Don't wait too long to get your points credited: Most airlines will only credit points up to 3 to 12 months after your flight. Don't wait or you may lose your points forever!

3) Don't hesita…

Discounted Restaurant Food

One of my vices is going out for food. While I know I can save tons of money with a home cooked meal, I simply like going to a restaurant every now and then and enjoying the ambiance, the people watching, the food, and not having to do dishes afterwards. Unfortunately, with my plans to move out soon, I should probably curtail my eating out habits... or try to get more food for less money!

Deal of the day sites such as Groupon, Townhog, and LivingSocial have increased in popularity these past few years. While I've used these places to get discounts on shopping, I've predominantly taken advantage of the great restaurant offers. Thanks to deal of the day sites, I've been able to try food from places that otherwise would have been out of my price range. My boyfriend and I have also gone on numerous dates to nice restaurants while only paying half price.

Once I'm moved out, I anticipate I'll be more diligent in checking these sites daily for deals. Every dollar spe…

Moving Out: A Debate of Values

Yesterday, I received a call from one of my jobs asking me if I wanted to try working at a few more hospitals. I happily agreed, as this would definitely give me more working hours and an opportunity to check out other facilities. Also, these hospitals are far enough away from my home that I would be "forced" to move. I'm crossing my fingers and hoping that things work out so I can put the apartment search into high gear and have my own place by next month.

While my mom is pleased at the idea of me working at more hospitals - especially ones with more name recognition - she is not pleased with the idea that I will probably be moving soon. In a conversation we had earlier, my mom reiterated that children who move out after college are ungrateful to their parents for not staying. My mom complained that she hasn't had a chance to "enjoy my company" since I've only been at home for a year. She stated that if I had siblings, I'd still be living at h…

More Moving Out Woes

As you all know, I've been in the process of apartment hunting so I can move out of my parents' house. It's been a rather stressful process, and has resulted in numerous arguments with my parents these past few weeks.

To break it down, here are my main arguments for moving out:
1) Driving an hour each way to get to work is tiring, and by the end of the day I often get sleepy behind the wheel. Living closer to my jobs will give me a shorter commute and more time to work on side projects. Also, living somewhere near public transportation will allow me to take advantage of my job's commuter check program, saving even more on costs. Currently, I pay over $300 a month in gasoline.
2) I'm in my late 20s, have a job, and can afford to move out. It's time.
3) I personally find it embarrassing being a boomerang kid. Part of the reason I got a masters degree was to be able to sustain myself enough such that I can live on my own.
4) Social work burnout as a result of l…

Carmageddon!

I don't know much about what's going on in Southern California with the shutdown of the 405 freeway. However, you know your public transportation system is flawed when you need to take an airplane to travel a distance of roughly 40 miles. This is almost the same distance separating the airports in San Francisco and San Jose.

I suppose this is another reason I'm lucky to live in the Bay Area. Between buses, BART, and Caltrain, I have many ways to get around if my car is ever unavailable. Bay Area public transportation is great, and location relative to public transport has played a key factor in my apartment search. My eventual plan is to rely primary on buses and BART to get to work, and use discounted commuter checks provided by my job to save money on fares.

Good luck to everyone that will be affected by the 405 shutdown! I will admit that $4 (with $1 extra for first class) is a great deal to ride JetBlue . Definitely something I would have considered if I lived d…

You have got to be kidding me...

According to an article posted on the NASW blog, actor Charlie Sheen is involved in a new project where he plays a social worker with anger management issues. The profession is already often misrepresented and poorly portrayed in the media. Having Charlie Sheen play a scriptwriter's portrayal of a "social worker" can only mean more bad publicity for our profession.

What sets social work apart from other jobs such as politicians, soldiers, doctors, and nurses is that the public has a general idea of what these professions do. When it comes to social work, our profession is often associated with child welfare. Hence, social workers are typically seen in antagonistic "baby snatcher" roles on TV and film. While Charlie Sheen won't be playing a child welfare social worker on his new show, I'm still skeptical he will provide a remotely respectable imitation of the profession.

Furthermore, many dramas and films use medical, political, and military consultan…

Happy 7/11!

Good morning! This is my first mobile post!

In honor of 7/11, 7-11 will be giving away free slurpies today! A great way to treat yourself on this summer Monday!

How Other Professions View Social Work

Yesterday, I was talking to my mom about how the RN case managers at one of my jobs often have to stay several hours after their shift making reports to different insurance companies. My mom, a bedside nurse of over 20 years, scoffed at the idea of RN case managers having stressful jobs and stated, "All they do is talk and sit in front of a computer all day. Their job is so easy." In the past, my mom has made similar comments about social work, stating that all we do is "talk to people", while people like her have to clean bodily fluids and give medication. Hence, my mom feels that MSW salaries are fair when compared to Associates and Bachelor's degrees in nursing.

I feel that despite being a nurse for so long, my mom still lacks understanding of what social workers and RN case managers do in a hospital setting. While I do try to educate her, my mom frequently reminds me that I am a "rookie" and that she has been in the field for 20 years. Out or…

Social Work and the Laws of Economics

In an older post, I discussed why other majors seem to make more money than others. While this article focused mostly on the surplus of humanities and social science majors relative to job demand, I briefly touched on social work and how its altruistic nature results in less profit and hence lower salaries.

What differentiates social work from other humanities and social science fields is its increasing demand. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, social worker employment is expected to grow faster than average in the next decade. Contributing to this trend are the aging baby boomer generation, growing student enrollments in schools, and prison systems increasingly requiring substance users to participate in rehab programs as part of their sentence.

Now, a demand for social workers combined with a shortage of social workers due to retirement or burnout should result in higher wages, right? Unfortunately, many of us working in the field know that this is not the case. …

San Francisco Pride

Happy Monday! Here goes another week!

Yesterday was the annual SF Pride Parade. While I didn't attend the parade, I saw parts of it as I was walking towards the bus stop to go to another event. When I came back to Downtown San Francisco later that evening, clean-up crews were sweeping the sidewalks and taking down street barriers.

As I continued wandering San Francisco's Union Square area, I couldn't help but notice how the place was decorated. Above me, rainbow flags flew from windows, light posts, and flag poles. Different stores had unique signs and displays commemorating the weekend (which I doubt would be found anywhere else, except maybe New York). For instance, The Body Shop had a window display where its soaps were arranged according to the colors of the rainbow. Another store, Lush, had a sign in front of its store which read, "Support the Respect for Marriage Act". Inside the Westfield San Francisco Shopping Center, there were Pride Weekend displa…

Cheap Sunday in San Francisco

Today, I went to San Francisco to enjoy a free concert in Golden Gate Park with my boyfriend. While I was expecting a pretty mellow day in the city, I completely forgot that the SF Pride Parade and an SF Giants baseball game were happening on the same day! Indeed, it seemed like the entire Bay Area was packed into San Francisco today! While I had a good time in the city with seeing parts of the Pride Parade, getting free stuff at the concert, and eating cheap food at SF Chinatown, I think I'm done with battling large crowds for a while!

Anyway, I wouldn't have known about the free concert in Golden Gate Park if it weren't for FunCheapSF, a website that compiles a list of free/cheap things to do in the Bay Area. My boyfriend and I frequent this site when we can't think of anything to do on a particular weekend, and have many fun cheap dates as a result!

What are your favorite websites for fun cheap events in your area?

Thank You, Jeanne Philips!

While browsing one of my favorite social worker blogs, I ran across a post praising Jeanna Philips, also known as "Dear Abby", for defending the social work profession in her daily advice column. The text of the original article can be found here: Dear Abby

I can definitely relate to the "Melanie" discussed in the Dear Abby letter. As discussed in a previous post, I've been subject to many negative remarks from strangers, acquaintances, and even family members since graduating with my MSW. Reading something like today's Dear Abby column reminds me that there are people out there who actually appreciate the social work profession. Thank you, Jeanne Philips, for brightening my day!

The Costs of Moving Out

Hello, and once again, my apologies for not posting for so long! For a quick update, please check out my post here.

Currently, I'm working towards moving out of my parents' house. Given that I have fairly reliable work hours and a decent sum of money saved, I feel that I can support myself on my own. However, while the ideas of independence and self-sufficiency are appealing, I'm somewhat pensive about the fact that I won't be able to save much, if any, once I move out. Here's a sample budget I've drafted showing my monthly expenses:

Rent: $850 for a studio (Bay Area housing is expensive)
Utilities: $50
Internet: $50
Food: $250
Health insurance: $250
Car insurance: $100
Gas/Car Maintenance/Commuter checks/BART (subway) parking: $150
Hygiene, cleaning supplies: $50
Grand Total: $1750

Eeep! While my estimates look pretty scary, they are a little on the high side. I know I can cut down on some of the costs by conserving energy (using energy saving bulbs and s…

Update!

Hello, and sorry for the lack of updates these past few months! I'll try to do a better job in keeping this blog updated. Thank you to those of you who have left kind and supportive comments!

Since my last post, things have picked up in the job market. While on vacation last April, I received several phone calls from companies to which I had submitted applications months ago. I guess they never threw away my résumé. Upon coming back from vacation, I interviewed for several positions and got two job offers! On top of that, my current job decided to hire me as a permanent employee! Just shows that persistence and patient do pay off in the long run.

Now, I'm juggling three per diem jobs. While this may sound crazy, it actually works for my current lifestyle. The beauty of per diem work is the flexibility you have in setting your own schedule. At this point I'm not ready to settle into a 9-6pm position that will only allow me 10 vacation days a year. I don't mind …

Review: Catch Me... I'm in Love!

While my mom was reading a Filipino newspaper last night, she found out that a nearby theater was playing a movie starring her favorite Filipino singer. Almost instantly, I was in the car with my parents on the way to watch "Catch Me... I'm in Love".

In the United States, singer/actress Sarah Geronimo is essentially unknown. However, she is likely one of the most popular celebrities in the Philippines, rivaling boxer Manny Pacquiao and overshadowing Charice Pempengo. I suppose the best way to describe Sarah Geronimo is that she has a voice comparable to Celine Dion with a multi-generation fan base as rabid as Justin Bieber's. When my folks an I got to the theater, the line to buy tickets essentially stretched around the building.

The experience of watching a Filipino movie can be as entertaining as the film itself. People get really into the movie, howling with laughter at certain scenes and screaming like fangirls during more romantic parts. I suppose I haven…

Social Work Burnout Happens In Different Ways

While having a discussion with my mom today, she said the following: "Chinese people don't want to be social workers because there is no prestige in the profession. They all want to be doctors." Instead of arguing the many things wrong with her statement, I opted to remain silent as I've had this conversation with her thousands of times before to no avail.

What sets me apart from many of my social work friends is that the majority of my stress does not come from work. It comes from having to come home at the end of the day and hear about how I am "less than" because I do not have a more "prestigious" job. Furthermore, coming home from work is like going to a second job. Since my mom is a nurse, she spends dinner time railing about her latest problem patient (like I don't encounter lots of them at work) and lecturing me about what I should be doing at work as a medical social worker. She tells me that nursing is significantly harder than a…

Opening a Roth IRA

Today, I opened a Vanguard Roth IRA thanks to some help from my boyfriend. It was a fairly simple process that took me less than 10 minutes. While I am roughly six years behind my peers who opened accounts after receiving undergraduate degrees, it's never too late to start saving for retirement.

What makes a Roth IRA different from a Traditional IRA is that you're taxed when you deposit money as opposed to when you withdraw it. Since I'm an entry level social worker working per diem, my income and tax rate is not very high. A Roth IRA seemed like the practical choice as I'd rather pay taxes now than have to pay more later.

I feel that as a social worker, I should be especially conscious about saving money. I'm not only saying this because of my profession's reputation for being underpaid. By being knowledgeable about money issues and applying money saving tactics to my own life, I can better counsel individuals and families with their own money problems. …

(not so) Cheap St. Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Similar to how I typically only eat roasted turkey during Thanksgiving, St. Patrick's Day is the one day out of the year I eat corned beef and cabbage! In past years, I've gone to restaurants to enjoy this dish. Since I'm currently living at home, I decided to modify a corned beef and cabbage recipe
and make it in my parent's kitchen.

When I've eaten at restaurants on St. Patrick's Day in past years, a plate of corned beef and cabbage cost me upwards of $12. A pint of green beer or Guinness usually cost about $4. Add in (California) tax and tip and you have a St. Patrick's Day meal that sets you back roughly $20.

For my St. Patrick's Day meal, I decided to take advantage of the weekly deals on corned beef, cabbage, beef broth, and Guinness at Safeway. Here's my cost breakdown:

3.06 pounds corned beef brisket * $3.99/pound = $12.21
32 oz. box of beef broth = $2
2.26 pounds cabbage head * $0.39/pound = $0.88
1.06 p…

How to Make the Most of Birthday Freebies

Image
I recently celebrated my birthday, which is not only a great excuse to have fun with friends, but my favorite time a year to receive free stuff! In this post, I will share how I go about maximizing my annual freebies. My view is that all my meals should be free or have a freebie the week of my birthday!

Step 1: Start preparing for your birthday several weeks in advance. Many freebies can be used as soon as two weeks before your birthday up to two weeks after.

Step 2: Scour websites/blogs/forums for lists of birthday freebies. The main ones I use are on slickdeals.net and fatwallet.com

Step 3: Sign up for websites that offer birthday freebies! If want, you can even open a new e-mail address so your inbox doesn't get cluttered by a barrage of e-mails when your birthday hits. Remember to sign up early, for these e-mails can start coming as soon as two weeks before your birthday. The year I started, several restaurants gave me freebies for just signing up for their mailing lis…

Quick Ways To Help Japan

The situation in Japan is both horrifying and heartbreaking. While I know that many of us want to help, traveling to Japan might not be possible. Therefore, here are some quick and simple ways to assist the relief process:

Donate via text:
-Red Cross: Text "REDCROSS" to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

-Salvation Army: Text "Japan" or "Quake" to 80888 to donate $10.

-World Vision: Text "4JAPAN" to 20222 to make a $10 donation.

An extensive list can be found here: Text to donate

Donate via Paypal:
You can use your Paypal account to donate to one of eight charities.

Please spread the world so we can provide maximum assistance to those impacted by this catastrophe. Also, if you are looking for a loved one please know that Google has launched a people finder that might have some information.

It seems like so many places have been impacted by natural disasters recently. Let's hope that they can all recover as soon as possible.

8.9 Japan Earthquake

I've spent this evening watching news coverage of the earthquake in Japan and texting family in nearby countries to get to higher ground. Events like these are absolutely horrifying and a stern reminder that natural disasters can strike without warning.

While listening to the news, I decided that I needed to have an emergency kit in my room. Grabbing a backpack from my closet, I stuffed it with clothes, first aid tools, a flashlight, batteries, and a bottle of Gatorade. I don't really have much at home, so I might invest in a real disaster kit sometime soon. Since I live in an earthquake prone area, it's probably wise to have basic necessities in a bag so I could just grab it and go.

Apparently the entire West Cost is on tsunami alert. My hope is that this is only a safety precaution. Be safe, everyone!

Happy Social Work Month!

Image
This March we celebrate Social Work Month, dedicated to increasing the knowledge and awareness of the social work profession nationwide. While social workers are commonly stereotyped as child protective service workers, this profession is much more than that. In fact, social workers work with a diverse population of individuals, representing various cultures, socio-economic groups, and age ranges. Social workers can also be found in a number of settings from schools, hospitals, non-profit organizations, corporations, to various government agencies. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are approximately 640,000 social workers in the United States.

Social workers perform a number of vital tasks. According to a study conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), social workers comprise the largest group of mental health services providers in the United States, outnumbering psychiatrists, psychologists, and psychiatric nurses combin…

The Giving Tree

Image
Earlier this evening, my boyfriend (who is close to finishing his last quarter of graduate school) mentioned that he felt like the old man pictured on the last page of The Giving Tree. Not being able to recall this book from my childhood, I went ahead an looked up the Wikipedia article. The plot description nearly brought me to tears. Watching the following video all but pushed me over the edge:



In fact, I could only watch portions of it because seeing the story unfold through animation was just so depressing.

I suppose what saddened me most about this story were the sacrifices made by both the tree and the boy. In order to make the boy happy, the tree gradually allowed parts of her to be removed to be sold or constructed into a house and boat. The tree gave freely, while the boy simply took and took in return. Ultimately, only the tree's stump was left.

The boy, on the other hand, sacrificed his carefree childhood spent with the tree to fulfill "adult" tasks such as …

New Look

I spent the majority of today messing around with Blogger's different templates. As much as I enjoyed the polka dots, I feel that the new templates give my blogs a cleaner and fresher look. Maybe someday I'll learn CSS and design something really awesome involving polka dots.

I have work tomorrow, so that means I should probably go to bed early instead of playing around with my blogs. In the meantime, check out my latest article on my Cheap Social Worker blog, which gives advice on balancing becoming a social worker career with addressing financial wants and needs. Have a great evening everyone!

Balancing Financial Needs With Becoming a Social Worker

Let me preface this article by stating that no one goes into social work thinking that they will become rich. Similarly, no one becomes a social worker thinking that they will have to struggle financially for the duration of their careers. There must be a balance between doing what one loves and having the money to pay the bills, feed the family, and engage in some quality self-care. While many social workers live within their means and are happy with their lifestyles, there are some that ultimately burn out and switch careers to earn better wages. This article provides advice on how one can balance becoming a social worker with wanting a higher standard of living. I'm sure some of these tips could be extrapolated towards other careers as well.

Tip #1: Evaluate the standard of life that you hope to have. There's nothing wrong with wanting a big house, luxury car, fancy wardrobe, private jet, and vacation house in the South of France. However, if you're expecting to ful…

Yet another new beginning...

Hello, and welcome to Adventures of a (not so) Cheap Social Worker! Here, you'll find me talking about my life as a social worker, ranging from daily happenings to discussions pertaining to relevant social work issues to other random topics. I have a wide variety of interests and hobbies in addition to what I do for a living, so expect anything and everything on this blog!

This blog is an off-shoot from my main site, (not so) Cheap Social Worker. Since I wanted to limit the scope of that site to money saving matters, this blog was created and all non-pertinent articles were moved here. Don't forget to check out my other blog and read about my adventures in making the most out of my social worker salary!

I am pretty excited about this site and will make it a goal to post regular updates. Thanks for stopping by, and I hope to have more material soon!

Recent changes to this blog

Lately, I've been thinking about the scope of this blog. While I enjoy writing about money saving tips and social work issues, I feel that having both topics on the same blog may be a little too much. Hence, I've decided to divide my writing into two different blogs!

(not so) Cheap Social Worker will focus on my attempts to make the most of my social worker salary. This site will not just be for social workers, but for anyone who wishes to maximize fun while minimizing expenditures.

Adventures of a (not so) Cheap Social Worker will function as my personal blog. Here, I will talk about happenings in my life along with random social work topics. As many in our field like to say, "Social work is not just a career, it's a passion!"

As you can see, I have already moved posts leaning more towards social work and my personal life to my Adventures blog. I hope this new format works well for everyone, as I am pretty excited about this change!

Bad Publicity Yet Again

I stopped by the CNN.com website tonight, only to find this video on the front page:



As much as I like Anderson Cooper and AC360, I found this entire video to be rather unsettling. Right from the beginning this report seemed to have a biased, condemnatory tone towards the medical staff caring for the baby and child protective services as a whole. While the parents may have felt that a great injustice was committed against them, I think that the hospital staff was completely appropriate in the manner they responded to this suspected shaken baby case. What surprises me, though, is the fact that the other child was actually placed in foster care for two weeks. Typically, removals are usually done only as a last resort and if a child is suspected of being in immediate danger. It's hard to say whether child protective services was justified in removing the second child, and I feel that there's more to this case than what was shown in the news report.

What bothers …

Reflections from a Wounded Tiger Child

About a week ago, the Wall Street Journal published an article called "Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior" containing excepts of Yale Law Professor Amy Chua's book "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother". If you haven't read it yet, then please stop reading this post and read the article before proceeding. Needless to say, her authoritarian parenting methods, attack of "Western" parenting styles, and overall use of dichotomous and overly simplistic comparisons of Western vs. "Chinese" culture have resulted in much uproar and debate from people representing differing cultures and parenting styles. A number of responses have popped up online, easily accessible with a simple Google search.

I realize this article was published almost two weeks ago, but I suppose the reason it's taken me this long to respond is because of my initial reaction upon reading it for the first time. Let's just say I was left so distraught that I was essentially…