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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a student who grew up on a ranch and is the first one in her family to graduate from high school and now she is in college. She is the most amazing math student we have seen in years!! After 1 year, she can write proofs better than those of our graduating seniors and her ability to think deeply and generalize mathematics are astounding!! Now if I can only convince her that going to graduate school in mathematics will be a good idea for her...

BTW, from what I can tell, she was never identified as gifted in school. She has incredible talent in mathematics!!

We had another student a couple of years ago who came to our school to do computer science because he was not required to take Calculus. He doubled majored in CS and math!! He was excellent at math and ended up working for the research division of Microsoft. He nearly failed high school.

Any other stories of this nature?

Anyone have a child who was typical as a baby and toldder and then showed an incredible talent and potential later on?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I suspect they were both gifted as young children but no one recognized it, they did nto test well, perhaps one of them was too immature to care about it...

But then again, I met the parents of the guy who is now at Microsoft and they told me "We do not know where this child camre from... Both of us were really bad at math, barely finished high school..." It makes me wonder whether he really inherited his giftedness from them or there was some gene change/mutation...
 

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I think if you come from a community where intellectual pursuits are 'valued' (in that no one you know earns a living that way) or where there aren't any resources for gifted students, it's very possible to go unidentified. My dad was like that. He grew up in a small farming community that was decidedly anti-intellectual. They're still anti-intellectual today. I've heard more comments about 'what do those $#* engineers/teachers/lawyers know anyway?" when we're there. My dad had read all the books in the school by 3rd grade. He wasn't considered an asset, he was considered a pain to teach (and he probably was, because he knew more than many of the teachers and he wasn't afraid to say so). His parents weren't gifted and didn't know what to do to foster his gifts - his mom didn't know, for example, that it was helpful to talk to babies! He had to bargain with his parents to let him go to high school in the next town over.

At the same time, a lot of my dad's farming experience made math 'real' for him in ways that it can't for a child who hasn't plowed acres and acres. He had a concrete grasp of area, and a real life need to use some basic algebra to figure out applications of seed/fertilizer. He ended up a math teacher and excelled at teaching gifted students!

So, it's possible that there are family members who are 'gifted' but uneducated because in their lives they didn't need it. And sometimes you do just get a happy confluence of genes and experience that are outside the range of the family.

Don't try to convince her to go to graduate school - convince her to keep pursuing mathematics. That will eventually lead the same place without the scary title.

And realize that she'll need a lot more mentoring in the ins and outs of academic life. First generation college students (I teach a lot of them) are sometimes missing basic information about things like going to see your advisor regularly, when to apply for scholarships (or grad school), what kinds of programs to look for, or even basic information on how to get into a class that is 'closed' or where you don't meet all the prerequisites on paper, but could easily do it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post

And realize that she'll need a lot more mentoring in the ins and outs of academic life. First generation college students (I teach a lot of them) are sometimes missing basic information about things like going to see your advisor regularly, when to apply for scholarships (or grad school), what kinds of programs to look for, or even basic information on how to get into a class that is 'closed' or where you don't meet all the prerequisites on paper, but could easily do it.
Yes, I do a lot of this! And I agree wholeheartedly with you and your entire post!! 90% of my students are first generation college goers and they need a lot of mentoring!!

I am trying to get her information about scholarships, summer research programs and to support her in her decision to serve the Christian church she belongs to.
 
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