January 4th, 2019


The Other Gifts

 Here's an article about the non-STEM gifted kids.

That was me, by the way.  I do like science, but I suck at math.  My off-the-charts (I mean that literally, I broke the Pimsleur) gift is linguistic.  I'm also high on existential intelligence, which started upsetting people when I was a toddler.  And naturalistic intelligence -- hence my scientific interests in plants, animals, outer space, etc.  

The vast majority of what people recognize as "gifted" falls into ONE intelligence, logical-mathematical, with a little spillover into visual-spatial for people who like to build stuff.

Folks can appreciate things like music or dance, but rarely think of the top performers as "gifted."  They're perfectly happy to take advantage of the kinesthetic genius who plays a popular sport, because that's of use and interest to the public.  If what you have is fine manual dexterity, they won't give a flying fuck.  Interpersonal experts who are leaders are praised; those who are brilliant followers are treated like kleenex.  And existential or intrapersonal genius just gets you in trouble.  Nowadays they'll probably just beat you to death.  I had a hard enough time when I was little and there was a lot more breathing room then.

So look at the field.  There are (at least) 9 types of intelligence.  Only one is widely recognized and supported, with fragments of others. That means between 7/9 and 8/9 gets ignored or actively attacked.  But there are gifted people in ALL of those areas.

If you know a gifted child, or for that matter adult, support them in their area of expertise.  And it's only going to be the obvious one about 1/9 of the time.