One thing Amy Chua claims is that no child is bad at anything, they simply think they are. She can prove that with a particularly dramatic episode involving her, her daughter, and a piano piece she couldn't play.
Several heated tantrums and a lost voice later, she could.
I used to think I could neve do maths. I was never born to do maths.
In public, I still subscribe to this theory, to get teachers off my back. They didn't believe me, but at least this so-called ignorance was more accepted than what I really believed:
I could be good at maths. I could be good at anything. I just don't want to. I want to be good at English, so I'm good at English.
That would have gone down well with my math teacher.
Lately I've added to that. It is possible to make a child good at anything, although that may cost any mother-child affection that ever existed between you. But you can never get a child to like certain things. Some things they will initially resent, and then later enjoy, and some things they will detest all their lives. I used to resent ice skating because I was bad at it, and looked like an idiot. Now I love it, because I'm better.
I will never love maths.
People think of me very narrow minded when I say that, but it's not something out of trivial childhood failure. Maths is something that I genuinely find no joy in, or achieving in. I see no point to it, no means to an end, I have no desire, passion, inclination of any sort. It is not a tunnel that I chose not to pass through, but a tunnel that never existed for me in the first place.
Only a person knows that about themselves, and, granted, they are normally wrong, but they're the only person who can be right. Something they will later enjoy is something that, after only a relatively short attempt at it, and perhaps a small early success, they feel a drive to achieve in. I know I will probably get nowhere special with my ice skating, but for some reason I have this fierce desire to be...accomplished - 'achieved' is not really the word I'm looking for here. My ice skating is perhaps one of the only productive things I do for my own personal enjoyment - unlike my writing, which I hope to use for my own career benefits. Ice skating is something pure in my very goal-driven life and world.
I still will never love maths.
I feel very tempted to write 'suck on that', but I won't.
Ahaha, but I just did.
Oh, the joys of English.