Letters: A Correction; 'Tiger Mother'; Westerns A correction about the place of chocolate milk under new proposals for school meals by the USDA, criticism of "Tiger Mother" Amy Chua, and love for the genre of the movie Western. Hosts Robert Siegel and Melissa Block read letters from our listeners.
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Letters: A Correction; 'Tiger Mother'; Westerns

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Letters: A Correction; 'Tiger Mother'; Westerns

Letters: A Correction; 'Tiger Mother'; Westerns

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MELISSA BLOCK, Host:

Now your comments about our program, and a correction - a correction that will please thousands of backseat listeners.

ROBERT SIEGEL, Host:

Last week, we described the USDA's proposal to make school menus healthier. And we said chocolate milk is out.

BLOCK: Not exactly. Students would still be able to drink flavored milk, including chocolate, as long as it is fat-free.

SIEGEL: Some of you were upset by our interview on Friday's program with Yale law professor Amy Chua. She's author of a memoir called "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother." Chua writes about trying to raise her daughters with what she calls Chinese parenting. It is strict, demanding and uncompromising. An A- minus is a bad grade, and music practice can take several hours a day. She told us about teaching her 3-year-old how to play the piano.

P: So we had a little back and forth that she just wouldn't do it, and then she was kicking and screaming and thrashing. And finally, I said, you know what? I am determined to raise an obedient Chinese - in quotes - child. I took her, you know, to the front door and I said - it was a very cold day - and I said, now, if you don't stop screaming and if you don't behave, I am going to put you outside in the cold.

BLOCK: Oliver Ing(ph) of Madison, Wisconsin, was dismayed. He is Chinese- American, and he writes that Chua seems to perpetuate stereotypes of a model Asian upbringing. He says this: I did, in fact, grow up playing the violin but surprise, surprise, my father, who nurtured me, never demanded I practice more than an hour. When I asked, why bother to learn the violin, he replied that when played well, its tone resembles the human voice. Though I cannot play well today, the sentiment he expressed has stuck with me, and given me a deep appreciation for music. I suspect and hope that your listeners find that their Asian friends and acquaintances had upbringings as varied and diverse as those of non-Asian people.

SIEGEL: Finally, to my conversation last week about Westerns with our critic Bob Mondello. Bob recommended Westerns for those who claim not to like them. His five picks were "Shane," "The Searchers," "The Wild Bunch," "Blazing Saddles" and "Unforgiven."

BLOCK: Many of you enjoyed the discussion, including Donald Furrow-Scott(ph) of Moneta, Virginia, who writes this: Even before the piece was halfway through, my wife and I were each listing our favorite Westerns in rapid-fire debate. And by the end of it, we had not even fully covered all the best John Wayne Westerns, not to mention the thundering herd of so many others.

F: By bedtime, we decided we felt sorry for those who didn't truly know Westerns - and for Bob Mondello who, unlike us, had the unenviable task of having to whittle the choices down to only five.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BLAZING SADDLES" THEME)

(SOUNDBITE OF WHIP CRACKING)

BLOCK: (Singing) He rode a blazing saddle. He wore a shining star.

SIEGEL: "Blazing Saddles" is on my list. It's on my list of the top five Eastern movies also.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SIEGEL: Tell us what you think about what you hear on the program. You can write to us at NPR.org. Just click on "contact us," at the bottom of the page.

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