2015-02-11 - 10:02 a.m.
I guess I am always surprised when I read stuff about gifted and find things like
"tested to find 137" IQ
I am rather sure that is on the low end for my family when it comes to that. But I also think WHO THE @(#%$& CARES if you are MENSA if you can't get it done?
I broke up with my MENSA CARD CARRYING boyfriend who takes forever to fill out a job application! I can complete six or seven applications in the time he belabors over one , worrying about EVERY turn of phrase. I wonder if he takes as long completing projects as a lawyer and think NO WONDER he only has project work and is not picked up by another company or firm !!!
My MENSA brother lives with my parents and is considered disabled by social anxiety disorder. YES He was bullied as a kid I am positive, YES he was socially never fitting in.
Weird as I never really thought of myself as gifted and bristle in a way at the term, in part as I am one of those who think all kids deserve to be given meaningful learning opportunities and ALL kids should NEVER BE SUBJECTED to those awful "busy work" sheets schools were so fond of.
Don't ALL kids find those ridiculous?
Wouldn't ALL kids be bored in school at those uninspiring , mundane exercises?
One is what to do with the child who won't do her history essay yet who is up at night reading and writing and taking classes on CODE SCHOOL , and has a parent threating to take her OUT of her OTHER Advanced classes next year if she does not get her work done.
I fear pulling her out of the so called "gifted program" will precipitate a downward fall in measurable academic performance ( meaning those things GRADED by school)- and her actual grades will decrease as if she is board she is LESS LIKELY to do the assigned work which she might see as banal and a waste of time. She is being ridiculously stubborn.
I don't ever let on that I tend to UNDERSTAND some of it is not that valuable. I put forth the face of "THE PARENT" who says in response to her comment "I don't need to do this, I am smarter than my teacher" :
"YES I know you are smarter than your teacher, but no one cares how smart you are if you can not get a simple task completed. Your teacher has SKILLS to teach you that will help you succeed in life. There are many brilliant people who can't get by because they never learned those SKILLS So your teacher has things to teach you EVEN IF NOT AS SMART AS YOU.SMART IS OVERRATED. No one CARES how smart you are , they care what you can get done."
Yet at the same time I BRISTLE at this geographic area's focus on "marketable" skills that are going to enable our children to "succeed" in life and "get good jobs". I mean why the hell did the DRAMA teacher at HS have to JUSTIFY the value of taking a drama class by saying to the parents "Even if your child wants to be a veterinarian, this class will help in learning skills to succeed as a veterinarian"
WHAT THE HELL? WE CAN'T VALUE ART FOR ARTS SAKE and the creation of beauty?
How about valuing a drama class simply because it will teach kids to do something that brings them and others JOY And is therefore valuable?
The emphasis on MONEY just irritates me;So to take the stance "Just do it to learn life skills of being able to JUST DO IT" feels just a bit disingenuous. However, I take that stance because I AM grounded in reality that in order to be able to do anything , and this includes being an artist and creating that joy- one MUST have basic life skills of a good work ethic and being capable of completing even the simple, boring and seemingly mundane and seemingly MEANINGLESS tasks WELL, IN A TIMELY FASHION.
She wants to have ADDED VALUE. Why write if you are saying something everyone else said many times before. Why write if you are not contributing a UNIQUE perspective? Why write if you are not INSPIRING others?
Its a hard thing to learn to write solely to GET THE TASK DONE.
Follow the instructions JUST TO PROVE SKILL AT FOLLOWING INSTRUCTIONS
Demonstrate that you can be a good worker, as the educational system was set up to produce good citizens who can fall into line, follow instructions, do what they are told, and really we only want OFFICERS and LEADERS who can question, analyze and direct the actions of all the others who we hope are good followers.
But you have to be a good follower in order to be a good leader.
I do think it helps with life skills and is not HARMFUL and might be HELFUL to have those skills. Heck life might be EASIER and more enjoyable and then there might be more time for happy, creative work if one learns to just take pride in doing even the SIMPLEST Work VERY WELL.
I DO BELIEVE IN THAT- That there should be pride and a good work ethic such that no matter what work one finds for themselves they do it to the best of their ability. I Do believe labor is labor- whether mental or physical does not matter that much. Most of all I believe people should do what they love, find work you are passionate about and if you don't find that then at least become passionate about the work you are given. BE FULLY PRESENT and ENGAGED in the moment and place you are!
That makes all the difference no matter WHAT stage of life you are at! It hold true in the elementary classroom as well as the workplace when an adult.
So I am hoping to inspire my child to find what she can ENJOY in that history class she is finding boring.
In short, I think the most important lesson one can learn in school and we as parents can teach is for kids , regardless of their ability , to NOT BE SELFISH. Seriously- it is selfishness which we need to combat moreso than anything else.
I have such a challenge at times personally as of course it is when people DON'T Question and just follow rules that we end up with iconic historical figures like HITLER or at a smaller scale the fall of ENRON as everyone just looked at their little piece of making a widget and never saw how it fit together, never looked at the big picture, never questioned their superiors etc...
YOU ARE FINE when just BEING YOU.
BEING YOU IS OK
But then again, what to do with the child OR the adult who is NOT CONTENT working on widgets by looking at only that one part of a process and can not HELP but see the big picture?
For me now, the challenge is how to motivate this one child of mine to write a paper and understand it is OK TO use quotation marks and include OTHER PEOPLE'S COMMENTS in a research paper. She can not wrap her mind around the idea of a well researched paper which regurgitated other people's thought on a subject. She can not wrap her mind around the notion that the book written from primary sources by one who studied a subject for years and is an EXPERT IS WORTHY OF QUOTING as back up of HER IDEA.
She has no concept of the arrogance of her view. She literally does not understand , and it seems so silly to her to be stringing just a bunch of quotes together and citing them in order to write a paper.
I SO UNDERSTAND HER RESISTANCE to doing this! It is quite funny at times to watch. She is so stubborn she just won't agree to try any suggestions others offer- her big sisters, mom and dad. I think she is also of course ignoring her teacher who she thinks is not as smart as herself.
Totally funny at one level, but frustrating at another to watch this child write stories non stop, and learn to code etc... and creatively be inspired and write papers on topics of interest FOR FUN that she submits for "grading" at a Hogwarts academy YET NOT BE ABLE TO NAVIGATE a history essay for middle school!
Most of all however, I hope that as this week is the one in which kids (and lets face it , in my community more so THE PARENTS) sign up for what classes to take next year - I HOPE HER DAD allows her to sign up for the classes SHE WANTS to take.
Who got a C+ in ENGLISH class of all things! She actually did better in history (the course she had such a hard time finishing the essay in!)
Dad apparently thinks if she can't keep up with the work in these classes she should be taken OUT Of the so called "gifted" program.
GOOD Lord, I think if that is done then ALL HER GRADES will plummet.
She will be bored out of her mind and likely then ANGRY too.
OH NO.... if there is a hint of the Irish Family Trait of PASSIVE AGRESSIVE in her at all, I think that would be a disaster.
Maybe, just maybe she would want to PROVE HERSELF... I hope there is my fighter spirit in her should that happen. When I was bumped down in English class as a child in the fourth grade(for similar things ... I was never paying attention in class as after all in the two weeks BEFORE school my brothers and I all read EVERYONES "Reading" books as they called them and the content was boring by the time school started- so I had my nose in what I deemed worthwhile books), MY REVENGE Was that I handed in outstanding work. I read Uncle Tom's Cabin and threw myself into its analysis and the painting of a picture on the cover of my report.
I may have been stuck in the wrong English class, but at least I was asked to write book reviews and became involved with the school paper as a result so I wasn't quite so bored in school.
The next year however, when I hated my teacher who also was acting like I was clueless and bumped me into the slower reading group (again for the same reason- When she called on me I never knew where we were for once again the in class reading out loud was SLOW and LABOROUS and PAINFUL to sit through so I preferred to hide a GOOD book on my lap and read it), when we were then assigned a poem to memorize and recite in front of the class, I choose the longest one in the new poetry anthology book and took my time not only reciting it, but doing so with such feeling, expression and dramatization to capture the spotlight for those few moments of sweet revenge as the teachers clearly thought me lacking ability.
Most kids choose the four stanza poem, I chose this one
I SO HOPE if my daughter, at Dad's insistence is taken out of her so called "advanced" classes which I surmise she is bored in, and that she has not learned the life skills yet of Discipline and "GETTING IT DONE" which have little to do with how interesting or valuable the work is but are a completely DIFFERENT set of learning one must eventually master, that she at least has some fire within to PROVE HERSELF rather than TOTALLY DISENGAGING.
I fear it could go either way. She could become so totally bored that she is further convinced of the worthlessness of her assignments, and blow them off EVEN MORE.
What to do with the gifted child?
Its not just gifteness as the article rightfully points out, but a conjoining very often of a literal DISABILITY which can be very disabling- that quest for perfection, or a challenge with memorization , an inability to learn SIMPLE things quickly while able to think abstractly.
As unique as each child is, there are myriad unique challenges.