The other evening at dusk we found our self in the parking lot of a small shopping center off a major thoroughfare in the metro area, just as a class was being dismissed at a storefront karate school. Almost all the exiting acolytes appeared to be under 12 and white---a curiously large percentage were tow-headed---although there were a couple of blacks and a Hispanic or two in the mix. Right next door to the dojo was one of those franchised “learning centers” where parents send their kids for help with their homework or to sharpen their English skills or bone up for their SATs. The learning center also was letting out for the evening and we couldn’t help but notice that every child leaving that establishment was Asian, mostly Korean and a few Japanese (we’re the attentive round-eyed type who can differentiate, even at a distance).
We duly noted the mild cross-cultural irony the scene presented but also were moved to ask our self a rhetorical question: Thirty years from now, who among those divergent crowds of kids will be working for whom?