In "Two Kinds," what would happen after dinner everyday?
After dinner every day, Jing-Mei's mother tests her diligently on general knowledge and other subjects child prodigies supposedly excel in.
Jing-Mei's mother gets ideas about these tests from magazines her employers give her. Because she cleans many houses every week, Jing-mei's mother always has a supply of magazines like Good Housekeeping, Reader's Digest, or Ripley's Believe It or Not.
So, every night after dinner, Jing Mei must not only hear stories about remarkable children and the feats they have performed, she must also answer questions on numerous topics. For example, after listening to her mother read about a three-year-old boy who can recite the capitals of every American state and most of the European states, Jing Mei's mother quizzes her about the capitals of different countries. According to Jing Mei, the tests became harder as time progressed.
The tests got harder--multiplying numbers in my head, finding the queen of hearts in a deck of cards, trying to stand on my head without using my hands, predicting the daily temperatures in Los Angeles, New York, and London. One night I had to look at a page from the Bible for three minutes and then report everything I could remember.
Eventually, Jing-mei becomes so frustrated with the tests that she rebels against being subjected to them. So, to assert her individuality, she performs listlessly every time she is tested.