Fatherly advice - Did I do good?

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Bruce
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Fatherly advice - Did I do good?

Post by Bruce » Sun Oct 14, 2018 12:27 pm

A couple of weeks ago, Mrs. Bruce took Brucetta shopping for an outfit to wear for Homecomming. She came home wearing a black dress, purple overcoat, and black top-hat.

Mrs. Bruce says, well daddy, what do you think? I'm pretty sure by the look on her face, she was expecting me to give a lecture on appropriate attire for a school dance.

I said, "Awesome!".

The look on Mrs. Bruce's face indicated this was clearly not the reaction she wanted. Of course, Brucetta was delighted. She started her freshman year this fall at a new high school and thankfully made a couple of friends. She didn't have a date for Homecomming, but wasn't bothered by that at all. I asked if she was going with her friends and she said she would prefer to walk in the door on her own, but was having second thoughts about the hat.

"You are SO wearing the hat!"

Mrs. Bruce walked out of the room at that point. :lol:

"You think I should?"

"Absolutely. Listen, whatever it is you decide to do in life, do it with confidence. Confidence is the only thing that separates the lame from the awesome. If you're not feeling the confidence, then fake it. When people see that you're confident, they will be inspired and treat you with respect, and that will give you real confidence."

When I pulled up to the crowd of high school students with my daughter, it was clear that none of the girls were wearing overcoats or tophats. I could see the look of fear in her eyes. As she opened the door, I said, "CONFIDENCE!". She took a deep breath, popped open the tophat, put it on her head, and walked toward the crowd with a straight back.

I'll tell ya, it was a long 3 hours for dad. :notsure:

When I went to pick her up, she was still wearing the tophat and overcoat and I saw her talking to people. When she got in the car, she was beaming ear to ear and said "everyone loved the hat!".

That's my girl. :)

Some of you may remember that this is the same girl, who at 3 years old, handed colored chalk to five Chinese businessmen in suits and ordered them to draw puppies for her on the driveway...in Mandarin....and they got down on their hands and knees and did it. Somewhere between 3 and 15, she slowly lost much of that confidence.

If I managed to re-kindle it, then we might all be wearing purple overcoats and black tophats one day. :shock:
Such potential!

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Re: Fatherly advice - Did I do good?

Post by ed » Sun Oct 14, 2018 12:59 pm

Excellent. Good work kiddo.

I recall my doctoral sponsor said to me prior to giving my first lecture. "Do it with impunity". Same thing, sorta.
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Abdul Alhazred
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Re: Fatherly advice - Did I do good?

Post by Abdul Alhazred » Sun Oct 14, 2018 1:03 pm

It's all around a great story, but ...

Do you speak Mandarin?

No?

So you do not know what she really said to the five Chinese businessmen. 8)

Wait a minute, You DO speak Mandarin? :notsure:
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Re: Fatherly advice - Did I do good?

Post by Anaxagoras » Sun Oct 14, 2018 2:31 pm

IIRC Bruce's wife is Chinese-American.
A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.
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Re: Fatherly advice - Did I do good?

Post by Abdul Alhazred » Sun Oct 14, 2018 2:32 pm

Anaxagoras wrote:
Sun Oct 14, 2018 2:31 pm
IIRC Bruce's wife is Chinese-American.
I also recall that.

It doesn't mean he speaks the lingo.
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Re: Fatherly advice - Did I do good?

Post by shemp » Sun Oct 14, 2018 3:00 pm

You fool Bruce! It is your duty to turn your children into hopeless emotional cripples!
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Bruce
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Re: Fatherly advice - Did I do good?

Post by Bruce » Sun Oct 14, 2018 3:03 pm

Abdul Alhazred wrote:
Sun Oct 14, 2018 1:03 pm
It's all around a great story, but ...

Do you speak Mandarin?

No?

So you do not know what she really said to the five Chinese businessmen. 8)

Wait a minute, You DO speak Mandarin? :notsure:
Seems I never told the story on SC. :(

From 2004 to 2008, both Mrs. Bruce and myself were working and decided that daycare for Brucetta and The Boy was not an option. We lucked out one day and met a former colleague from graduate school at the local supermarket. Turned out that he was living nearby and teaching chemistry at a private college. He had children that were the same age as ours, and his wife, who was from China, felt the same way that we did about daycare. His wife's parents came all the way from China to help take care of their kids during they day. Her parents spoke only Mandarin and felt bad that they could not help out financially. We exchanged phone numbers and the Chinese couple agreed to provide daycare for our kids for a reasonable fee. It was an excellent arrangement, mutually beneficial, and the Chinese couple were caring and delightful.

As a result, both my kids grew up bilingual in English and Mandarin for the first 2-3 years of their lives. Mrs. Bruce speaks fluent Vietnamese and Cantonese, but only speaks a few words of Mandarin. Bilingual kids are amazing. It doesn't take long for them to figure out which language to use, and they don't even realize they're doing it. Brucetta's first word was "Nai", which means "milk". That's pretty much the only word I remember. "Nai" was the only Mandarin word she spoke to me because that's the only word I knew.

Mrs. Bruce worked at a rubber company in 2007. The rubber company was setting up a site in China at the time and learned that Mrs. Bruce knew a few words of Mandarin, so they asked her to host a small group of visitors who were there for training. It was a translator, a manager, and 3 engineers. Only the translator spoke English, and not terribly well. Mrs. Bruce invited them over to our house that weekend for dinner. It was fun. They were nice people. They all over-dressed for the occasion and resembled bankers in suits and ties. At one point, we were talking on the front porch and Brucetta was drawing on the driveway with chalk. Mrs. Bruce explained to them that Brucetta was bilingual and knew Mandarin (at the 3-year old level, of course) just as well as English. They were amazed by this and asked to go speak to her.

Damn I wish I had my camera with me. Five Chinese guys in suits and ties, kneeling down in front of my daughter. Brucetta was delighted to talk to them. She gave them each a piece of chalk and asked them to draw puppies for her on the sidewalk. They happily did so. There were neighbors walking by and driving by. Imagine seeing your neighbor's 3 year old daughter drawing puppies with chalk in the driveway....next to 5 Chinese men on their hands and knees in business suits doing the same. :guitar:

In 2008, I got the job in Rhode Island and we said our goodbyes. It was a sad day. Brucetta, who was 5 years old at the time, forgot every word of Mandarin within a couple of months, and remembers nothing of it now. She loves to hear the stories now though.
Such potential!

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Bruce
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Re: Fatherly advice - Did I do good?

Post by Bruce » Sun Oct 14, 2018 3:07 pm

Anaxagoras wrote:
Sun Oct 14, 2018 2:31 pm
IIRC Bruce's wife is Chinese-American.
Pretty close. Her family fled China when the communists took over and moved to Vietnam. She was born in Vietnam, and her mother is Vietnamese, but most of her family still identifies as Chinese. Her family fled Vietnam when the communists took over.
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Re: Fatherly advice - Did I do good?

Post by gnome » Sun Oct 14, 2018 4:02 pm

My answer: yes! Important day for her and you knocked it outta the park.
"If fighting is sure to result in victory, then you must fight! Sun Tzu said that, and I'd say he knows a little bit more about fighting than you do, pal, because he invented it, and then he perfected it so that no living man could best him in the ring of honor. Then, he used his fight money to buy two of every animal on earth, and then he herded them onto a boat, and then he beat the crap out of every single one. And from that day forward any time a bunch of animals are together in one place it's called a zoo! (Beat) Unless it's a farm!"
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Re: Fatherly advice - Did I do good?

Post by Witness » Sun Oct 14, 2018 7:57 pm

:figamagee: :figamagee: :figamagee: :figamagee: :figamagee: :figamagee:

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Re: Fatherly advice - Did I do good?

Post by sparks » Sun Oct 14, 2018 8:56 pm

What Witness said!
You can lead them to knowledge, but you can't make them think.

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Re: Fatherly advice - Did I do good?

Post by Giz » Mon Oct 15, 2018 12:05 am

(Taking notes)

My girl is only 5 months... but I’m sure this day will come sooner than expected.

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Re: Fatherly advice - Did I do good?

Post by Bruce » Mon Oct 15, 2018 1:54 am

Giz wrote:
Mon Oct 15, 2018 12:05 am
(Taking notes)

My girl is only 5 months... but I’m sure this day will come sooner than expected.
Write down all the stories that you tell your friends and family. Keep them in a safe place. I reopened my archives this morning. I was surprised and a little sad that I had forgotten writing about 3/4 of them. I am now more grateful for having taken the time to write them.
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Re: Fatherly advice - Did I do good?

Post by Witness » Tue Oct 16, 2018 12:55 am

Bruce wrote:
Mon Oct 15, 2018 1:54 am
I reopened my archives this morning. I was surprised and a little sad that I had forgotten writing about 3/4 of them.
So you keep your literature hidden instead of burdening Humanity with it? Shame on you! :x