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Did surpassing your parents ever make anyone else feel guilty?

  1. Feb 26, 2006 #1
    When I was young I always wanted my Dad to teach me more math, and it was something that made us close, but now that I know far more than him, and he no longer enjoys or understands the math I'm learning I feel more distant from him and I feel awkward, and even a little guilty.

    Has anyone else experienced this?
     
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  3. Feb 26, 2006 #2

    Astronuc

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    I passed my dad up when I began studying advanced math (e.g. calculus), chemistry and physics. His education was primarily in the humanities like history, political science and religion. Most of the time I read texts that were beyond his experience.

    I did not feel guilty. My father encouraged me to do my best.
     
  4. Feb 26, 2006 #3
    Why don't you teach your dad some math, although that may be a bit ackward....

    I will most likely never experience this considering both my parents went to grad school for engineering....
     
  5. Feb 26, 2006 #4
    my dad took up tech work. Like welding, carpentry. and works for the railroad. when i stopped having interest in tools and sports and started getting perfect(well i got 100% for everything written, all the presentations i took a 0 for) at everything in science and math.

    me and my dad stopped having similar interests there. my mom i dont really live with. they had gotten divorced.

    was i guilty? no. my thirst for a challenge is far more strong then any social things.
     
  6. Feb 26, 2006 #5

    Ivan Seeking

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    I know exactly how you feel. There are some things between a father and son that change with age and maturity - no way around it. The same thing happened with my high school physics teacher who is still a best buddy. He is a Berkeley mathematician who had spent a lot of time on the physics grad staff in the 1950s, but one day we found that I had gone beyond his level of knowledge in physics. I think this was difficult for him as think he still wanted to be my teacher in all things. :biggrin:

    You might try to find out what else your dad knows.
     
  7. Feb 26, 2006 #6

    Lisa!

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    I just wanted to add that it could happen between a father and daughter as well!:wink:
     
  8. Feb 26, 2006 #7

    Math Is Hard

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    Or a mom and daughter. My mom never got to go to college, so in some ways I am living out her dream. I like to talk with her about what I am learning, and she seems to enjoy it - or maybe she's just humoring me.
     
  9. Feb 26, 2006 #8
    lol. lucky you. half my class was beyond my teachers in most of the sciences at my catholic school.

    My grade 12 physics teacher. He was the biggest dope of them all. Basically ask about anything outside the curriculum. he honestly doesnt know. I used the word Lepton in one of my long answer questions. He thought i somehow cheated from the internet. That he himself had to get a dictionary to find out what a lepton was.

    or another very low point.
    We were taking up frames of refrence. and it was something like.

    Car A is driving towards Car B and Car B is driving toward Car A at the same speed of 40 Km/hr. If you take the frame of reference for Car A. It would appear that Car B is moving 80 Km/hr towards Car A.

    So me who has read a bunch at wolframs and lots of other sites.

    I raise my hand and ask.
    Ok Electron A is going toward Electron B and Electron B is going toward Electron A at the same speed of .7 c(speed of light). if you take the frame of reference for Electron A. It would appear Electron B is moving 1.4c

    Hes like. VERY good! your exactly right. At which point i pointed out that there is an equation to determine what exact speed it would appear. and it wouldnt be 1.4c which is faster then the speed of light. which isnt exactly right. I got 53% in that class LOL. Let alone the fact that i got at least 70% on all my tests. Anyway to get 53% i had to have gotten 0% on everything for the final exam. HMMM eh?

    The following semester. I had a similar experience. I had a black binder. and some jackass took whiteout(liquid paper) and drew a swastica. I didnt notice it till the next day at lunch. so my chemistry teacher at least had to have seen it. Which she then told all my other teachers. which then got to my religion teacher. and he was wondering if I was a jainist. because i had spoken about jainism in class before. When i told him i was still an atheist he thought i had become a neo-nazi. Which Im not. Im a trekkie! But my chemistry teacher and calculus and geometry then all dropped me to 66% to screw me over because 70% is minimum. Which i went and spoke to them about it. They wouldnt admit to anything. Then some kid gets drunk pissed who went to our school and got himself killed. Every class signs this page in rememberance. The same jackass signs adolf hitler and osama bin laden. When the teacher goes to ask around. They blame me. and the teachers wouldnt even speak to me or answer any questions i had. and i ended with 66% in all my classes while copies of my tests prove that i had 70-80% on all the tests. When i called the school board about the marks. They wouldnt even speak to me. They thought i was lieing. I went into the school board. spoke to the guy i should. he said. ill look into it. He then responded later on that i simply got 0% on all my exams.
     
  10. Feb 26, 2006 #9

    Lisa!

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    when I was a kid, my father was able to answer most of my questions. when I learned how to read I looked for a answer to my questions in his books. Now it's my father who asks me lots of questions and study my books! :biggrin:
    Anway I just feel guilty why I grow up so soon that not my father and his books nor anyone else and any book is able to answer most of my question! :frown:
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2006
  11. Feb 26, 2006 #10

    Ivan Seeking

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    Of course. :redface:

    But not in my case. :tongue:
     
  12. Feb 27, 2006 #11

    Astronuc

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    That is part of growing up. We seek to further our knowledge, so that means we discover new things.

    My mother did not go to college until about 20 years ago. She has been a nurse all her life, and she had gone a far a nursing school (during the early 1950's) which was more of technical or vocational college, with no formal science curriculum. On the other hand, she has great practical knowledge and it has served our family well - and she kept me alive when I was young.
     
  13. Feb 27, 2006 #12
    If it makes you feel any better, despite the fact that you can't ask your father for math help anymore, he'll always be ahead of you in terms of life experiences aging and maturity, and you can ask him about that to keep your bond going. In the long run, those things are more important anyway.
     
  14. Feb 27, 2006 #13

    Integral

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    My Mom, (Dad would have also, had he lived long enough), takes great pride in the fact that all 5 of her kids have completed college degrees. She was a high school grad, dad did not even get that far. Mom had to help Dad lay out the right angles for the first foundation he poured, he went on to build dozens of houses. Unfortunately dad passed away before any of us kids completed college. Dad had learned electrical fundamentals in the Army during WWII, he gave me my early training in electricity and did live long enough to see me complete Electronic Tech training with the Navy, I believe that he took a lot of pride in my accomplishment.

    Now, I am a father, and my children have completed their education. I am still the Mathematician of the family. But I now have a CE son to discuss computer hardware with and a CS son to give me software advise. And a machinist son who may in the future prove to have the most useful knowledge of the lot. I take a great deal of pride in their accomplishments, I believe that all parents take pride in the accomplishments of their children, that is just the way it is. I could not imagine it any other way.

    I also take a lot of pride in the fact that I have 3 sons from 23 to 28 and none of them have ever been in trouble with the law, none of them suffer addictions and all seem to be in stable relationships.. What more could a parent ask for. :cool:
     
  15. Feb 27, 2006 #14
    From reading Feynman's memoirs it's clear his father is the whole reason he became what he did. His father's way of examining and explaining all phenomena, scientific or otherwise, gave Feynman a huge boost up over all his contemporaries.

    Feynman's level of education and accomplishments, of course, surpassed his father's (and most everyone elses') but only because his dad had instilled a remarkable manner and attitude about analyzing things in him.
     
  16. Feb 27, 2006 #15

    Chi Meson

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    My kids are 1, 3, and 5 years old.

    Can I come to you for advice?:shy:
     
  17. Feb 27, 2006 #16

    Integral

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    LOL, Sure... Just not sure how to guarantee results!

    Enjoy 'em,.. that is quite a house full you have.
     
  18. Feb 27, 2006 #17
    i can relate well too. My dad inspired me to study math and science, and i can still remember sitting with him and learning binary when i got bored with long division. I think its different if you surpass a parent in their own field. like, if i had become great at history, it wouldn't matter so much, but now that i'm studying math, i can tell he struggles real hard trying to give me advice. i've surpassed him on some levels, not on others. eventually, i definetly will understand math much better than him, and possibly physics as well (he's actually an engineer.) I can tell that he realizes that and doesn't look forward to it so much. i know he's proud of me, but he's been doing his work as long as i've been alive... i don't think its easy to accept that i may be better suited for it soon. even with computers he's getting outdated fast, and he hates to admit it.

    when i learned guitar, my father taught me my first chords. a few years later, his skills don't even compare to mine. when i jam with his friends at parties, i know he's just proud to have inspired me, i can see it in his eyes. i think that guitar and math are different because math has been his livelihood, and my out-performing him says something about his competition at work.

    my mum only got a highschool degree, but i still have a similar senario with her. she loved to travel, and she's who i get my sense of adventure from. like my dad she encouraged me to try new things and meet new people and see new places when i was very young. Now, i've started wanting to go off on my own and i've already seen some things she never has. She's proud of me, and encourages me, but i can see the longing in her and wishing that she could go with me. i know she envies me because she's stuck being a wife and mother, while i'm young and exploring.

    with both my parents i feel guilty. especially because on top of everything, i'm trying to move away and live on my own. i think the only thing worse than my father's fear or my mums envy the thought that they won't even be near me to feel them anymore. My older sister still lives very close to home, and my other siblings are still in highschool, and i think its going to be especially hard for my parents to realize that i'm really becoming independent. And with my dad especially, i can see him tightening the ties he has to me, and trying to force me to stay home. yeah, i feel guilty.
     
  19. Feb 27, 2006 #18

    loseyourname

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    I was going to mention that. Pretty much from the time I got into high school, I knew more than my father in just about every academic subject out there (he had forgotten half of it, and the rest had changed), but that doesn't mean I've exactly surpassed him in any meaningful way. He owns two houses, four cars, has raised four children, been married for 26 years, and will sooner than not be retired. I've still got plenty of catching up to do.
     
  20. Feb 28, 2006 #19

    DocToxyn

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    Honestly I never really thought about it. Neither of my parents were heavily into science, although both have college degrees. I rarely talked to them about my education or work, but then again I don't talk about it with most people. Truth be told, I go to my father more now than I ever have. His knowledge of construction and machinery is beyond anything I'll ever hold and now that I own a house he's invaluable. Not to say that we didn't talk much in the past, but I talk to him more now than I ever did growing up at home. I have not surpassed my parents, I just took a different road.
     
  21. Feb 28, 2006 #20

    chroot

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    I'd say the greatest gift a child can give a parent is to surpass that parents' accomplishments. I hope I remember that when I have children! Since the world's knowledge is always increasing, its populace better continue to become more educated.

    I have, however, felt guilty a time or two with my own parents. My father is a pharmacist, a brilliant one at that, but has never taken it upon himself to advance his knowledge of any subjects other than those directly related to his business. He spends all his free time hunting and fishing. As a child, I went with him on his insane 18 hour fishing trips, but lost interest as I got older. I got a small telescope when I was 10, and would have loved for my father to go through some astronomy books with me, or take me someplace to use the telescope -- but he never did, presumably because he knew nothing about it and didn't care to learn.

    When I was 16, my father was rebuilding a boat. It took him over a month to finally get up the nerve to ask me to help him with the eletrical system, even though I had always wanted to be involved, and wanted to spend some time with him. He never even asked me to help, but instead recruited another "kid" from his hunt club. I was actually pretty hurt; I felt like he had just adopted another son because he didn't know how to relate to his biological son. He only came to me for help when I was his last resort.

    My mother (who didn't finish a degree until well into her 40's) wasn't even so graceful as that. I bought a car with my own money the day I turned 16, and my mother cried. Not because she was happy, but because she didn't like her car and wished she had a new one, instead.

    When I graduated college, my first job paid 50% more than my mother had ever been paid during her career as an office assistant. She cried again, not because she was happy for me, but because she was jealous.

    So... I guess the answer is clearly 'yes,' I have been made to feel guilty for being successful. I'd almost say it's the reason I'm not very close to my family, in fact.

    - Warren
     
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