MYREALANA

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Why is it so bad to be smart?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Why is it OK to say "I'm blonde," or "My son is the tallest kid in his class," or to brag about things like making the soccer team or winning a medal, but it's bad form to say "I'm smart"

Let me come right out and say. I'm smart. In fact, I am a genius. Measuably, provably, statistically, I am smarter than 99% of the people in the world. I'm not supposed to say that, I know. I once asked a head hunter how I should best explain to prospective employers that my best feature as a financial analyst is my intelligence. He told me I should never tell an interviewer my IQ or that I'm smart, and even recomended I take my Mensa membership off of my resume. He said I should talk about my reporting skills rather than pointing out that I learn new things quickly, retain information longer and notice details others miss. Bragging about intelligence is bad form.

Which brings me to today's gripe.

My 9-year-old son received a referral to his school's Gifted and Talented program. It's about time. He's been testing off the charts on math and reading since 1st grade. Literally - at our conferences, the teachers are always telling us "He scored ### on the assessment, which is as high as it goes."

He handed me the letter from the school in front of two of his friends. I showed him silently what it said, and indicated he should keep it to himself, but he couldn't. He was so happy, he jumped up and yelled to his two best friends "I'm smart enough for GT! I'm going to be in the smart class!"

They weren't happy for him. On the contrary, while they expect him to cheer for their football victories, or congratualte them for winning a race, they laughed at him. They said it was rude for him to say he was smart. They called him a snob. Neither of them has any problem shouting to the whole neighborhood that they ran faster than everyone else, or jumped higher, or rode their bike farther, but let my son be proud of his mind for a moment and HE'S the snob.

I was ostracized in school for being too eager to answer questions, too interested in academics, too smart overall. People hated me for blowing the curve in every class. But that ws 30 years ago, and I was a girl. I thought things would be different for Liam. He's a boy, and he's naturally charming.

Don't things ever get better?
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • SUNSHINE65
    It is so absolutely okay to be smart! I wish I lived closer so I could pick your brains more. I am above average, but I keep my brain active in many ways so I am probably smarter than I think I am. It's all a gift any way, so why is it so wrong to praise our gifts?
    All I object to is the bullying...blatant in kids, subtle in adults. All bad. I think it's jealousy.
    Love you,
    Gayle
    2778 days ago
  • no profile photo CD12770556
    It is absolutely, 100 percent okay to be smart and anyone who tells you not to be isn't.
    2805 days ago

    Comment edited on: 9/25/2012 11:01:45 PM
  • VTRICIA
    I can relate, I'm a National Merit Semi Finalist. And it's one of those things you just have to let people discover about you. I struggle a lot with this with my son. He wants to know his IQ, but knowing her IQ always made my sister kind of crazy. But she went a lot further in life than me too. I don't know my older daughters iq. And my younger daughters iq reveals the limitations of such measurements. Sorry about the caps, on screen keyboard! So with my older daughter. I try and focus on what she can do, and boy does she do a lot! Last night she was making a PowerPoint on how not to write a Mary Sure protagonist for her writing club. I was so impressed! You might want to look up Caroline Dwecks Theory of ability. Some people think its anti talent, but it's how Asians think, and why People think they seem unnaturally talented.
    2806 days ago
  • NOE1234
    Wow that's really interesting! I really appreciate reading your experience. Thanks for sharing that! All talents should be praised!
    emoticon
    2806 days ago
  • NOE1234
    Sorry I accidentally double posted, not too smart on my end :-(
    Have a great day!
    emoticon
    2806 days ago

    Comment edited on: 9/25/2012 10:48:11 AM
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