Ask the O-man


have a lot more to say on words and the Bible–sorry, the discussion with the grad student got my juices flowing–but I will hold off until next week. For now I will address the questions you asked last week in anticipation of my two year anniversary on Xanga. The following is from Bakababa. It seemed rather urgent so I will answer this first.

Bakababa: I have a question for you Oman. How can you make lazy kid study? Do you ever have bad students who you give up and don’t want to deal with? Is there a trick to motivate student?

I could tell from your blog that you are probably refering to you 17 year old brother who seems to have lost all interest in studying. Well, to be truthful, at that age, I never studied either. I was in a band and even when the band broke up, I had lost all motivation to study, not that I was a genius to begin with, but I always studied enough to pass. I got mostly Ds and Cs. I think for many young men, it is the result of one’s environment. No matter how smart he is, if he has an independent spirit, he is likely to be influenced more by people outside the home, like friends and co-workers. In a way, it feels like being independent, away from family influences. And if you try to restrain him, he will fight back even more. My parents just let me be. They let me do what I needed to do. Fortunately, they thought I was smart enough–as you think your brother is–and they let me figure it things out myself. The bottom line is to love and support your brother.

This does not mean to ignore him. You should remind him how certain decisions will affect his future, but if he is smart, he will figure it all out before it is too late. I learned when I was 23 that I should go to college, and at 24 I realized that I should actually study in college. Hahahahah. Because of all the Cs and Ds in high school, I had to go to a junior college first, but I finally got my grades up and transferred and graduated UCLA at 27. And I ultimately got a PhD at Stanford. As I said, I am not a genius to begin with. But hard work will take many of us a ong way. My friends from HS are shocked whenever I meet them and tell them what I’ve done…

Anyway, bottom line: Love and support your brother. And remind him about the “right” path, but let him make his own decisions.

I will answer the questions some of you left previously. If you have other questions, please feel free to ask.