Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Deep Thoughts

We are the proud grandparents of a young man, who is just a fuzz below genius in intelligence. When he was a little guy, his smile was endearing and always lit up a freckled face like sunshine peeking through clouds. I remember his fourth birthday, with his little hands hanging onto each newly opened present to the point that he was unable to open any more. His desperation to keep an older, more savvy brother from latching onto any of the new "stuff" was hard to watch. His abilities in math and with video games was amazing, his personality seemed to be even keeled and affable, but lurking under the surface was a mind in turmoil. Junior High was a very uncomfortable period --- he didn't do homework (why bother, I know all that) or if he did the assigned work, he forgot to take it to school. There were fights on the playground by the fifth grade, but he would never tell us what was bothering him. In high school, he spent most of his extra time in his room with his computer playing video games, and his grades were not outstanding. There was never a girlfriend in his life or any great interest in the outside world. After three years in college, majoring in computer engineering, he couldn't come up with the money for any more classes and he decided to join the Air Force. The recruiter told him to lose 49 pounds and sent him to a larger base to test him for decoding abilities. The 49 pounds came off in four months and he got the highest score they ever had at the center where the testing was done. As an honor graduate from basic training, he was tested and is in the .06% of the entire Air Force.

Finally, we arrive at the deep thoughts part of this whole thing. After flight training, he was sent to The Defense Language Institure in Monterey, CA for eighteen months of training in Arabic. While chatting with the head of the Arabic language section, we discovered that linguists are usually extremely intelligent and are loners. This explains the diffident behavior all of those years --- so, I asked him if he were aware that he had been stand-offish as a teen and a loner. Here comes the part that hurts for the parents and grandparents of these kids ---Yes, they know that they are extremely intelligent and are not like the other kids in their grade. They are not well liked, other kids resent their smart genes and they don't particularly care to associate with kids their own age, but of normal intelligence. So, truly bright children hide in their rooms, read books that are years beyond their age level and study things that appeal to them.

This disparity continues into adulthood and it becomes harder and harder to make friends, since the majority of people are not overly bright and even conversation becomes tedious. Would it explain people like Vincent Van Gogh --- "And when no love was left in sight, on that starry, starry night, he took his life like lovers often do ---but I could have told you, Vincent ---the world was never meant for one as beautiful as you". In America, we have classes for developementally delayed, regular, everyday kids, but who is looking out for the truly exceptional kids? They are usually pretty unhappy until they find the key to their personalities.


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Heidi K said...

Congrats to your grandson!! More power to him! He has a great grandmom...I KNOW! Love Twister

momofalltrades said...

Thanks so much for visiting me over at my place and leaving such kind feedback. I wanted to say how much your post about your grandson touched me. I'm not nearly as smart as your GS, but I can surely identify with the things you said about his reaction to the world around him. I think I may write a post detailing my experience. But for now, I'll just tell you that my reasons for homeschooling are tied to these very issues and I hope your GS has incredible success with his new direction. I'm intrigued by your blog, I hope you don't mind if I peruse your archives a bit and get to know you some!

Blog Antagonist said...

Thank you for directing me to this post. It gave me some hope. :?)