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giftedness -- how do you feel about it - Page 2

post #21 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post

I supposed I was 'gifted' (though for some reason I hate hate hate that term, it makes me cringe). I did well in school, as in never ever studied and got straight A's, and I was in a really good school district. There was also a pull-out gifted program that I participated in, on top of differentiated math, English, etc. However, I was so bored!! Even the pull-out program just did not challenge me. The gap only got wider as I got older. Some things I was asked to do in school completely baffled me, especially in math when I was asked to show my work. Show my work?! What work?? I looked at the equation and knew the answer -- especially when it came to subtraction, division, algebra... No one seemed to understand the way my brain worked and I was forever frustrated with the lack of challenging work and the inability to relate. I was incredibly self-conscious of being 'smart' too, and I was constantly trying to dumb down my language (I still do this subconsciously); I'd lie about my grades to my friends ("I did NOT get an A, I got a C!!") and I was shamed by the teachers for correcting them. I was (am!) terrified of making mistakes. I also had absolutely no patience for anything that didn't interest me, which frustrated my parents and teachers.
^this sounds so much like me (sorry I don't know how to fix the quote on this site.)  Even down to the dumbing down of language and being terrified of making mistakes - complete with anxiety and panic.

Several times a grade skip or a skip in several subjects was considered, but for some reason it never happened (I think due to social concerns?) and by high school I was just done with school. I missed tons of school, including most of my junior year. I did end up skipping my senior year of high school & starting college earlier, and after seeing how well that went I think I really would have benefited from skipping a couple of grades earlier on. My self-confidence & self-esteem suffered the most, and I never fit in socially, and eventually I had some full-blown mental illnesses (not that being 'gifted' & unchallenged caused the mental illnesses, but I am 100% positive it contributed to some degree.)
^ I started out grade skipped - my mom pushed to have me in school a year early because I was reading and such.  She was worried about my being bored.  I was, anyway.
I have not in my life had to work hard at anything and I now see that as a major obstacle because whenever life gets tough, I just shut down, give up... I wish I had been challenged so I could learn how to push myself in the small, inconsequential ways before having to do so with major life issues.
^Yep, me too.  Which is partially why I'm homeschooling my kids.  I don't trust the public school to challenge them the way I'd like to see, I guess.  Which kind of sounds crazy, now that I look at it...

honestly, one thing that really sucks is when people think you're just showing off or obnoxious or something *JUST WHEN YOU'RE BEING YOURSELF*.  I find myself being very guarded around people I don't know, just because I am not sure how they'll react to me being me.  So much for staying true to yourself...

post #22 of 67

Moved to the parenting the gifted child forum. 

post #23 of 67
Thread Starter 
Since I can't get this thread closed, let's get into this deeper.

Do any of you who feel you have to dumb things down, or are surrounded by people who just don't get you, feel comfortable enough to give an example?
post #24 of 67

Why do you want to get this thread closed?  Are you finding it frustrating?

 

I was tested in 7th grade for my school's gifted program, but was not accepted because I tested strong verbally, but my math skills were about as deficient as my Reading/English skills were above average; at least I'm guessing, I don't really know, but I remember feeling disappointed when I found out I wouldn't get to be in the program, and I feel like it was a mistake to not include me, since I feel like my background was different, and they never took those things into consideration.  My issue as an adult was realizing I probably had a learning disorder that went undiagnosed, and in the reading I've done since, I feel like I know what it is.  At the time I was in college, I realized just how my brain didn't function the way those of my peers did, at least judging by their comments to me.  They were much higher performing in certain classes than I was, and I know pretty much they believed they were more intelligent, even if they didn't exactly say it.  

 

It's been 24 years since I graduated from college, and when I talk to old friends, I've mentioned something about a learning disorder.  My one friend laughed and said that he remembered me saying that in school, but that I was too hard on myself, I was fine, I was plenty smart enough.  And that's the thing that is frustrating to me, I feel like things could have been better, I could have a higher quality of life and not feel so angry and defeated if I could get some sort of help.  But now, I'm old enough that a lot has changed and I don't have some of the same emotional outbursts and reactions, and I have a new way of being anyway, being in my 40's and having memory issues.  I did talk to one friend a few years ago who is my age, and he was getting treatment for ADHD and said it was really helping him as an adult.  I tried to talk to my doctor about it, but it didn't go over well.  But it's disappointing because I've never had a career, and I feel like I'm generally regarded by incompetent by many, but then sometimes when I see what passes as smart, I feel like even I know those things, how smart can those people really be.  

 

I think for me, so much of it is my own perception of myself getting in the way.

post #25 of 67
Thread Starter 
You say you think you know what your problem was -- what? Maybe someone else is dealing with the same thing.

I am bothered by remarks like "dumbing it down". And I wonder what assumptions are being made about others' intelligence.
post #26 of 67

DH qualifies for the Mensa. He always feels that he dumbs himself down. If he doesn't, everyone calls him an ass. He calls being gifted a curse and a blessing. An example he would use is that 99.9% of the time, he will predict how something will go down, yes that can be helpful but most of the time it just enforces to himself that most of the world is not at his level. He feels like he has no one to talk to. Therapy years ago was a disaster, he'd come home complaining that how could he talk to someone about being smarter then everyone else and how lonely that made him when even the therapist didn't

t understand. I'd say that being that gifted has mostly just made DH miserable. he does not relate to anyone but has made him highly successful in his work despite never going to college. We would be considered upper class I guess because of the pay his profession makes. 

 

 

I was tested for gifted programs as a child but like another poster, I didn't made it despite being gifted in all other areas because of math. I have a bit of a learning disability with numbers. As a child I was reading Nancy Drew books by K, ended up graduating high school at age 15 after homeschooling myself in 3 years of high school in one year. On a side note, DH would be considered 2E because he is also severely dyslexic. He was not diagnosed until he was an adult and we were getting DD1 diagnosed. He was smart enough to get a 4.0 through out high school with barely being able to read, he just always knew how to beat tests. He never once did homework. lol.gif

 

 

My children are not identified as being gifted. In fact, the combination of my and Dh's genes seem to have mixed rather oddly. I have DD1 who is severely dyslexic, SPD, and an anxiety disorder but is VERY gifted athletically. She excels in many, many difficult sports that are not related to each other and currently is competing on 3 invitation only teams for middle school and high school students, she is in 4th grade.  DD2 who is a regular kid with health problems. DS1 who is autistic. And then DS2 who is only 1 but I say on a daily basis that he is going to be trouble. I have a feeling that he is a carbon copy of DH as a child. I can just see it in his eyes. 

post #27 of 67

On dumbing it down: My husband has a friend who is very intellectually gifted, and every time we talk, I think he is talking down to me. I often play dumb, because I see him infrequently and it's easier. However, I definitely see him as more of an a$$ than anyone who has more knowledge in an area than me and shows it.

post #28 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by pek64 View Post

Do any of you who feel you have to dumb things down, or are surrounded by people who just don't get you, feel comfortable enough to give an example?

Let me tell you about my dd's experience. she was 2. i cant remember how she had heard about the chicken pox virus. probably me talking to another mom. anyways she learnt some from our conversation (that is was not a good thing and that you could infect anyone when scabs come off) and asked me a bunch of questions. 

 

next day on the playground at dc she initiated catch. she was going to be chicken pox and try to catch others. the kids were totally confused. what? what's chicken pox? the dc teacher told me dd sat and explained all the nuances of chicken pox to the kids. many kids thought it was so wierd that my dd would play a 'disease game'. but in dd's mind it was the perfect thing.

 

 dd's 3rd grade classmates came and asked me why dd was so weird? why is she always asking the teacher questions that the teacher cant really answer. she initiated a class discussion on capital punishment (i think it was on the news). she has been interested in this since 4 years old while watching ninja turtles. i think transformers were the rage then and dd was questioning who the hero was. if the good guys also killed then how worse are they than the bad guys. for show and tell she brought in pictures of diseased lungs and showed the impact of smoking. she had gone to the body exhibition and seen a 'spiderman' smokers lung and had questioned the nurse extensively. so she felt she had to warn her fellow students about the dangers of smoking. she was in K. 

 

when i am around gifted adults i feel quite out of my league. they ask questions that i hadnt thought about and gives it another angle. or they know their subject in such indepth details that sometimes i have nothing to add to teh conversation. 

post #29 of 67

I guess "dumb it down" is sort of too strong a term.  I just sort of generally don't go as in depth on the topics that I know about... which are diverse.  I have a tendency to remember obscure details from, say, science books and then try to explain them in terms of the discussion that may come up and typically get blank stares.... or "wow, where did you learn all this?" or whatever.  The discussions often end up too long and drawn out and feeling too much like a college lecture because often people don't even have the basics down.  Not to say that there aren't topics that I don't even have the basics down (for instance, my husband is a software engineer and I don't know very much about that) but it's not overly often that I'm able to have the level of discussion (on most topics) that I crave.  It's really the big reason I miss grad school - most of us were close enough to the same page that we could have discussions on the minutia without having to do half an hour of bringing people up to date.  The trouble is that I am, sort of, addicted to knowledge.  If I get a question I need to understand, so I spend a lot of time researching random things that most people never think about and don't care about... and I remember most of it.  So I guess it's basically having too many areas where I have too much depth of knowledge to be able to easily converse at the level that I'm at... thus "dumb it down".

post #30 of 67

I'll admit I only skimmed the rest of this thread.

 

I started reading it before it got moved and then avoided it for a while. The thread being started just felt to me like an opportunity to snark about those pushy moms of "gifted" kids and their special snowflakes. But most parents who spend a lot of time advocating for their kids get that frequently in real life and parents of gifted kids do often have to spend a lot of time advocating. I'll admit this impression was my own baggage and in all likely-hood not the intent of this thread. Which is why I hadn't responded until now.

 

However the discussing turning to dumbing things down and to what are the dangers of our gifted kids not getting an appropriate education has finally led me to respond.

 

My brother is the type of gifted that most people refer to as genius. I witnessed school being an utter failure for him. Socially because it's hard fitting in with people who treat you like a freak. Academically because everything came easy to him. Most of school also felt pretty pointless to him so he never put even the minimal effort into school and typically got Ds in classes on material that he knew backwards and forwards. Despite his lousy grades he got into a good college mainly due to phenomenal SAT and ACT scores. Once he got to college he encountered the first classes where he didn't already know all the answers. He never learned how to learn in school. He ended up dropping out. He did eventually go back and got his bachelors degree at 38. However, it was way harder than it should have been.

 

I was never labeled as gifted. However, looking back on my test scores (now that I'm doing my research on how to meet my own gifted child's needs) it turns out I probably was rather gifted. I drifted through school getting B's with basically no effort and fell into habits of underachievement. I also had to learn study skills and focus at college. I did eventually figure it out though too late to get into medical school as I'd planned. Considering I was always one of the oldest in my grade and based on some of my test scores in Junior High I probably would have benefited greatly from a grade skip. 

 

My parents did the best they could with the resources they had available to them. But I cannot say that either of my brothers or my own education really benefited us much. We learned underachievement.

 

We also, unfortunately, developed a certain disdain for the kids who didn't get things as quickly. We simply didn't understand why others (including often our teachers) just didn't get things as quickly as we did or understand it as well. It made no sense to us and led to the conclusion that others just weren't doing something right or were just lacking some how. As adults my two brothers and I all know this is not true. But it probably took a good bit of life lessons to teach us that.

 

As for dumbing things down. I think that is related to others just not getting things as clearly or as quickly as I do. I sit there and think "wow, this really isn't that difficult. How dumb can they be." I have to stop myself and realize that it may not really be that easy. I have to face the idea that perhaps I really am just that smart, as bad as it sounds. I then do really need to slow down and explain things more clearly. It would be nice if everyone picked things up as easily as I do, but there are plenty of things that I myself don't find as easy as others do. They are going to have to dumb things down for me. I appreciate them taking the time to explain things in a way I can understand when that happens. I need to remember to give others the same courtesy.

 

I hope that with my own child I can make his education work better for him, help him learn how to learn, help him learn to appreciate the gifts others bring to the table (everyone has gifts, even if everyone is not academically gifted), and better prepare him to be a functional and successful adult. 


Edited by JollyGG - 8/26/12 at 6:27pm
post #31 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by pek64 View Post

Thank you to those who responded. I am curious how many think it is necessary to identify giftedness and what problems there may be for an adult who was a gifted child that was not identified.

 

I'm not sure I was gifted (although my non-IQ test scores got me the label), but I was absolutely academically advanced far beyond one grade skip and had VERY insanely good/mature insights on things as a child (which I kind of blow off to the home environment I grew up in).  For me, I was identified but not accommodated.  The result was a LOT of behavior problems out of boredom and honestly, I never studied a day in my life and had no clue how to study or really push to figure things out.  If it didn't come easy, I just didn't know how to deal with it and I could live the same life as 80% of the population by avoiding it.  Of course, when i got to college, THAT was a problem.  A huge one.  Sorry, but study skills are just necessary.

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pek64 View Post

I am bothered by remarks like "dumbing it down". And I wonder what assumptions are being made about others' intelligence.

 

To be fair, I think we carried through your original terminology (I didn't quote the right post) but agreed that it's not the best term.  I've lived my whole life trying to break down what I'm saying to people who don't follow so I don't even think about it anymore--but yeah--it's always necessary.  As for me, I don't assume anyone is a Mensa student; but in my defense, I also don't assume I know more than anyone I meet and don't know.  Even the people I know, I assume that they hold some innate gift or talent that is just different from mine and equally admirable.  Which has usually been proven to be the case.  And I've always felt that way--even as a kid, but I was one of those kids that was extremely sensitive to others.

post #32 of 67

As a kid I actually thought I was somehow really stupid or something because the social stuff never clicked well (er, until late high school and college where other people caught up to me, I guess?).  My teachers always told my mom how very mature I was, though I was very much the youngest in my class.  That said, I assumed that something was wrong with me, not that other people were not on the same wavelength.  I thought I just wasn't getting what they were doing and why they didn't just "get" what I was saying.  Total disconnect.  Really sucked.  That said, I knew I was reasonably smart, because in elementary school I got straight As... and in middle school/high school, I just never tried at all, as in didn't listen in class and didn't take notes and didn't read the text book and still pulled off high Bs.  I don't know what I thought about other people at that point.  It wasn't until I took some AP classes that I learned how to study/work for something, so thank goodness it was before college or that could have been a lot of wasted money.  Still, I never even bothered reading the textbook in college, I just showed up and took notes and would look at my notes for like an hour before a test and of course complete assignments and graduated magna cum.  Even then, I just always felt like other people were seeing something I'm missing and that's why it felt "easy" to me.  Strange logic, I know, but there it is.  I was never identified as gifted as a kid, though... beyond my mom being sure I was "very smart".  I lived in very small towns and they didn't have gifted programs, I was just on the "NYS regents diploma" track...  like the "better" high school diploma available.

post #33 of 67

I live in an area of the country with a very high per capita percentage of PhDs. I was identified as gifted in school, but around here I feel like I'm not so smart. I only have a BA. Everywhere I look there are brilliant people who are doing amazing things. I had no problems with being identified gifted in high school and did well with modest effort. In my hometown I went to high school with many other smart kids, one of whom is now chancellor of our state university. I can't even begin to count the number of professors I know in our current area. I don't really get this "dumbing down" phenomenon. I mean there are certain things I don't discuss in depth with people who don't have an expertise in that area, just like a neurosurgeon might not go into the details of exactly how to do a particular kind of procedure, or a software engineer might not go into nitty gritty details of coding with someone who isn't a coder. That's not dumbing down to me, that's being polite. Why would I want to bore someone with that kind of minutiae about a subject they have no interest in? I do think anyone, intelligent or not, can be a bore. And as for Mensa, I think I qualified when I was in high school, but it seemed a bit of a "look at how smart I am" club and pretty pretentious. I felt sort of like I wouldn't want to join any club that would have me as a member, y'know?


Edited by beanma - 8/26/12 at 8:09pm
post #34 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by pek64 View Post

Since I can't get this thread closed, let's get into this deeper.
Do any of you who feel you have to dumb things down, or are surrounded by people who just don't get you, feel comfortable enough to give an example?

I was referring to dumbing down my language so as not to appear 'smart.' I often have a word about to tumble out of my mouth when I recognize it's a word less commonly used, something more academic or esoteric, so I will replace it with something less obscure. Or I am about to delve into a topic in great detail, when I realize it's not something others would be interested in or understand, so I just shut my trap. Or, I feign a lack of knowledge -- don't let on that I actually know a ton about the topic at hand, just let the other(s) talk. When I was in school I'd finish my 30min+ tests in 10mins flat, but would sit there pretending to work on it longer so I wouldn't be the first to hand it in. I don't like to be perceived as smart, I guess. I just want to fit in (wow -- that's not something I often say, I usually don't care much what others think, but this is one area where I desperately want/need to fit in!) Does that make sense at all? Sometimes I get tired of being the weirdo, and I'm weird enough for so many different reasons as it is -- I hate to add to it!! I get strange looks and odd comments and even well-meaning compliments that just don't feel comfortable to me about the way my brain works; it has been a lifelong issue. Partly it stems from not wanting to be seen as nerdy in school. It's not cool to be nerdy (or at least, it wasn't when I was a kid!) There are issues with the way I was raised that play into this too. Also, there is this perception that if someone speaks in a "smart" way that they are very focused on academics, study a lot, into literature and philosophy, etc. That just isn't me at all. So in a way, it's not only about avoiding being seen as smart, but also being seen for myself -- or at least the other things that make me who I am.

ETA: I don't mean any offense by the term "dumbing down" and I even hesitated to use it because my intention is not to imply the people I talk to & associate with are in any way "dumb" (which in itself is a misused term in our culture!) I'm really sorry if it came across as hurtful or arrogant.
Edited by crunchy_mommy - 8/26/12 at 7:27pm
post #35 of 67

People effusively tell me "You are the smartest person I have ever met. I feel like I don't understand half the words you are saying" a few times a year. I usually feel kind of shell shocked and can't understand how in the world I triggered such a remark. It feels random to me. It usually happens when I'm ranting. I do a lot of research on my pet topics and I can spout on and on about them. It is hard for me to judge how much of "my topics" will be interesting to other people. I'm awkward and bad at judging people. When I get really nervous I babble. Then I pause for breath because I am talking to cover how inadequate I feel and someone says the above sentence. Most recently it was my neighbor. She came over and we were talking about yard stuff. I have been gardening for less than five years. Before that I never lived anywhere long enough to keep a house plant alive. This is a weird and novel experience. I have no idea what I could have said that triggered her effusive gushing about my intelligence. It was awkward and uncomfortable.

post #36 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by pek64 View Post

You say you think you know what your problem was -- what? Maybe someone else is dealing with the same thing.
I am bothered by remarks like "dumbing it down". And I wonder what assumptions are being made about others' intelligence.

Sorry, I meant ADD/ADHD but the inattentive type.  When I first read the description, it sounded like me as an adult.  But when I read it awhile later, it actually sounded like me as a child.  The not hyperactive part, although I've always been very fidgety, I rock back and forth, I make a lot of noises while sitting still, do isometric exercises when I have to sit still in church.  My parent had to buy me a rocking chair when I was a teenager, because it was like the only think I wanted because I had to rock. I don't know. My mom used to think I had epilepsy.  As a  young adult, I had temper problems, I would get very frustrated, angry, I procrastinated horribly, only able to work under stress, and I had a bad time switching gears. Plus I'd get excited about things and have almost grandiose ideas, but couldn't follow through, and I had some impulsivity issues that made people think I was weird or just socially inept.  

 

Everyone I know seems to think they have ADHD, so I don't usually talk about my thoughts since it seems so prevalent now.  I don't have the same emotional responses as a 45 year old as I did as a 15 year old or 25 year old. I'm not capable of feeling the same range of emotion that I had when I was younger.  I generally don't get so discouraged or angry that I bang my head against the walls or generally become reckless.  So I feel like I've turned a corner.  I still have to put mentally challenging things off until the last minute, though, but I know it will happen, so I actually plan it that way.  I know if I have to write something for a deadline, that it will involve an all nighter, because with no stress, I don't get ideas, I can't write, no matter how well intentioned I am.

post #37 of 67

I  don't define gifted purely as "genius" because I've seen lots of variations on giftedness. For me, any child whose academic/intellectual needs cannot be reasonably accommodated in the classroom should be offered gifted education. I remember being really bored pretty much through high school. It wasn't until college, and then graduate school, that I really found my groove and the challenge that I craved.

 

Other than that, I don't really have any horror stories. Everyone in my family is bright, and so my home was a kind of refuge. We weren't all as academically successful, but I wasn't an anomaly by any means. My parents understood me and knew what to do to help. Somethings did take me awhile to learn. For example, I did have to learn to adjust my conversation based on my audience sometimes, but I don't view that as dumbing down. It's being courteous to other people. Maybe it helps that my interests are cross-disciplinary so I've had to learn to tailor my message to different (but all equally intelligent) audiences. Yes, some people really don't care about the details I care about. But I've got a few people in my life who do, and we geek out together. Sometimes I have to choose vocabulary with an eye to getting my message across, which may mean choosing a more common word over the really precise one I'd like to use. Is that dumbing down? I don't think so. Maybe it helps that I'm an introvert and I don't need constant social contact, but I'm OK with geeking out with my friends/colleagues, and not with the rest of the world. With the rest of the world, my goal is a decent social interaction. And since I'm not all that great at those sometimes, it takes some effort on my part.

 

For me, the issues with giftedness come with the asynchronous development. Ds' social development is a little on the slow side. Dd's emotional regulation is less than you might expect from a child who can talk about the things she can talk about. In truth, those aspects of their development are pretty much on par with their age, but since their language (and their height) make them seem older, people don't know what to do with them. So, as a parent, it's my job to talk to teachers, work with my kids on social/emotional stuff, and make sure they're in a range of situations where they are exposed to different people, different styles and different ideas.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peony View Post

DH qualifies for the Mensa. He always feels that he dumbs himself down. If he doesn't, everyone calls him an ass. He calls being gifted a curse and a blessing. An example he would use is that 99.9% of the time, he will predict how something will go down, yes that can be helpful but most of the time it just enforces to himself that most of the world is not at his level. He feels like he has no one to talk to. Therapy years ago was a disaster, he'd come home complaining that how could he talk to someone about being smarter then everyone else and how lonely that made him when even the therapist didn't understand. I'd say that being that gifted has mostly just made DH miserable. he does not relate to anyone but has made him highly successful in his work despite never going to college. We would be considered upper class I guess because of the pay his profession makes. 

 

 

Yes, intellectual giftedness can compound these issues, but it sounds to me like there are social issues. I know some really brilliant people who have good social skills and some who have really lousy social skills. The two are not linked (see my above note about asynchronous development). Now, depending on your husband's profession, he may very well not have any peers. The more intellectually gifted someone is, the higher up in education you need to go before you find the people that you really click with. I found a couple in college, but not really until I reached graduate school did I have a full and interesting social life.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JollyGG View Post

 

My parents did the best they could with the resources they had available to them. But I cannot say that either of my brothers or my own education really benefited us much. We learned underachievement.

 

We also, unfortunately, developed a certain disdain for the kids who didn't get things as quickly. We simply didn't understand why others (including often our teachers) just didn't get things as quickly as we did or understand it as well. It made no sense to us and led to the conclusion that others just weren't doing something right or were just lacking some how. As adults my two brothers and I all know this is not true. But it probably took a good bit of life lessons to teach us that.

 

As for dumbing things down. I think that is related to others just not getting things as clearly or as quickly as I do. I sit there and think "wow, this really isn't that difficult. How dumb can they be." I have to stop myself and realize that it may not really be that easy. I have to face the idea that perhaps I really am just that smart, as bad as it sounds. I then do really need to slow down and explain things more clearly. It would be nice if everyone picked things up as easily as I do, but there are plenty of things that I myself don't find as easy as others do. They are going to have to dumb things down for me. I appreciate them taking the time to explain things in a way I can understand when that happens. I need to remember to give others the same courtesy.

 

I hope that with my own child I can make his education work better for him, help him learn how to learn, help him learn to appreciate the gifts others bring to the table (everyone has gifts, even if everyone is not academically gifted), and better prepare him to be a functional and successful adult. 

 

Your post is exactly what I hope/fear for my own kids. My biggest worry is that my kids are learning in elementary school that they don't have to work hard. It's one of the reasons that dd does piano. She has to work at that. Ds does sports nad he's not a natural athlete. He has to work at those. I spend a lot of time with dd (my more judgmental kid) talking about differences in experiences and abilities that might lead some people to either not catch on as fast or to view things differently. I'm working with their teachers to make sure they have challenging work (not just MORE busy-work).

post #38 of 67
Thread Starter 
Are the more common words really less precise?
post #39 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by rightkindofme View Post

People effusively tell me "You are the smartest person I have ever met. I feel like I don't understand half the words you are saying" a few times a year. I usually feel kind of shell shocked and can't understand how in the world I triggered such a remark. It feels random to me. It usually happens when I'm ranting. I do a lot of research on my pet topics and I can spout on and on about them. It is hard for me to judge how much of "my topics" will be interesting to other people. I'm awkward and bad at judging people. When I get really nervous I babble. Then I pause for breath because I am talking to cover how inadequate I feel and someone says the above sentence. Most recently it was my neighbor. She came over and we were talking about yard stuff. I have been gardening for less than five years. Before that I never lived anywhere long enough to keep a house plant alive. This is a weird and novel experience. I have no idea what I could have said that triggered her effusive gushing about my intelligence. It was awkward and uncomfortable.


Yeah, I've had this happen multiple times too... and I do the same thing where I babble when I'm nervous.  I was discussing politics with my FIL once and had said that I thought the president of the US should *AT LEAST* be as smart as I am.  He laughed and said he didn't think it was too likely since I was easily the smartest person he knew... and his whole family is made up of engineers.  I was pretty shocked by that one.  "Huh?  But I'm just me!  I'm not some amazing anything"  But then I sorta feel guilty for being "just" an at home mom as opposed to "doing something" with my life... and I've had people tell me as much to my face.  That it was a waste of my brain power or something :-/

post #40 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by pek64 View Post

Are the more common words really less precise?


Well, I'd say precise is a word that will sometimes get you looks in certain circles.  So imagine you replace it with "good" or even "useful".  Is it the same?

 

I'd say that there's subtle nuances with many of the words out there.  That's completely lost if the other person doesn't see the subtle nuance, I guess, though.

 

Someone else should answer this because I'm not doing well finding specific examples.  Sorry, must coffee.

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