Sushi (sushimustwrite) wrote,

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Some ramblings on giftedness, whatever that means.

This was the result of a thread at the NaNo forums asking how non-gifted kids reacted to gifted kids, and well, I went off on a tangent a bit.

My brother and I are (were, I suppose, as we're both in college) gifted, whatever that means. My brother slacks off in school and still passes his classes. He's certainly smart, but he doesn't work to overachieve when he doesn't need to, and he certainly never was the token gifted child. He's still friends with many of his childhood friends.

However, he's my younger brother. Thanks to teachers remembering siblings and our uncommon last name, the teachers would always say, "Oh, you're Sushi's brother, aren't you?" Apparently I was the token gifted child, except for one thing. According to the test I took that supposedly determined giftedness, I'm technically not gifted. Fancy that.

I was the kid who just learned faster than everyone else, to the point that I was bored quite early on in elementary school because I already knew it, and I'd go read on what I didn't know. (I still indulge in this, except now Wikipedia makes it cool.) I learned to operate my grandparents' DOS computer beyond playing Hangman and learned to touch-type and learned math far beyond what a typical early elementary school child knew. Then I'd try to explain negative and complex numbers to my classmates and wondered why they wouldn't get it.

I got tested for the gifted program at one point, and during the testing, the proctor asked me to put the parts of a person together. I reversed the legs. When the proctor asked me about it, I insisted that the person was bowlegged but didn't switch the legs back. Whatever happened, I didn't get in. My parents protested this. Besides being their special snowflake child, I was in second grade and running out of books to read and doing math problems in half the time it took everyone else and devouring the encyclopedia, among other things. So after lots of fighting with the school, I got in. This goes to show how completely arbitrary the label can be at times.

Since then I've encountered, among many other things, the label of being 'the smart one', baseless remarks of "I hate smart people", grade comparisons to see if they did better than me on an assignment, and another very bright student being compared to me when she moved to town through remarks of "Wow, she's another Sushi!". (This person later graduated first in our high school class; I was second.) Oh, and let's not forget the pressure of maintaining a straight-A record, which I did keep until my senior year of high school. That was the year I took my classes at a local college because I was bored with high school, but that's another story. (I made my first B in a math class, interestingly enough, considering that's one of my major fields of study now.)

Oh, and friendships? This is quite the sticky area. I was friends with both gifteds and non-gifteds all throughout school, though my view of the two groups changed as I went through school. I had friends, and many of them, but they usually had friends they were closer to. This made me the social butterfly who wasn't (or isn't, really). I'm sure complaining that I only got a 97 on a test or that a three-page essay was nothing or saying that at least the test covered only these topics came off as a little annoying, especially to people who struggled with such areas. I'm pretty sure I even intimidated many of the gifted kids, but that's another story...

Another side note: The person who graduated first in my class was Korean. I'm half-Korean. This became a running joke of sorts among us gifted kids when someone else wanted to get in the top two. "You can't do it; you're not Korean," they would say.
Tags: 101in1001 entries, comments turned entries, education, giftedness

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