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Showing posts with label intellectually gifted. Show all posts
Showing posts with label intellectually gifted. Show all posts

Sunday, January 15, 2012

#GBE2: Pet Peeves

When it comes to "Pet Peeves," there are two types: a few that matter and most that don't. Which reminds me of a speaker at a gifted teachers' conference years ago. She spoke about little quirks present in our smart students, how we probably share these, and finally it's not an accident that we ended up teaching these perfectionist kids.

If you want to drive a gifted kid nuts, it's easy. All you have to do is hang one poster at an angle instead of straight. You do this, and I guarantee most intellectually gifted kids will be focused on that crooked poster because this is THEIR pet peeve. Of course, I could never perform this monstrous task because it would drive me mad too.

Although my house is far from spotless–perfectionism gone too far–when folding towels or bedsheets, those corners better match up. Peanut butter must spread across every square inch of bread, and toilet paper drops from the top. Annoyance at seeing a sloppy job is a silly pet peeve of mine. Furthermore, I can't stand to have the light switches positioned the wrong way. After all, up is for "on" and down is for "off." I will tread across a dark room at the risk of breaking bones rather than flip the switch in the wrong direction. As you read this, half of you are thinking, she's nuts, while the other half is nodding in agreement. Either way, my gifted class is just like me, so maybe there's something to this?

And here's another one... see pants drop.

I also have multiple pet peeves when it comes to drivers, but I've already written about this:  Idiot Drivers

Now on to a pet peeve that matters a little more.


I know many feel like they are doing G-d's work or saving my soul when they try to push me to believe what they believe, but I find it nauseating. I don't tell you who or what you should worship, so how dare you try to push your beliefs on me! Missionaries who venture into some Arab countries have found themselves in fear for their lives. While I don't condone putting missionaries to death, I certainly understand the anger. People who have been practicing their beliefs their entire lives don't appreciate some no nothing telling them they are wrong. Just like you value your religion, I value mine and others value theirs. I don't tell you that your life learnings are incorrect nor do I tell you you're going to H*ll if you don't believe what I believe. So, this is my true pet peeve... leave me alone.

At the same time, I can appreciate those missionaries who have made a difference in the lives of starving people in third world countries. It's all a matter of who they approach and how. Along this line, I have friends who have told me that they pray for me. While I appreciate their concerns and know they do it out of love, if they are praying for me to change my religion, they're wasting their time. I love my faith.

My intelligent and learned brother has seen the end of missionaries trying to convert him. The last poor guy to walk across his threshold found his beliefs thrown back at him in such a way that he had no choice: he could admit that what he preached was messed up or give away his pants. The missionary left in his underwear.☺

Monday, November 7, 2011

#GBE2: Nature vs. Nurture

The question, "Which is more important Nature or Nurture?," is up there with,"Which came first the chicken or the egg?" Both answers are hard to crack. When given this GBE 2 topic, I thought of Trading Places, a movie in which the Duke brothers bet $1 to see which mattered most: nature or nurture. Nurture won out, but the movie is fiction.

Goofy kids in bubble bath, circa 1995
Our three children have three distinct personalities. Just look at the photo and how each wore the bubbles in a different way. These babies born into the same environment were different from the start and still are... but maybe the environment wasn't truly the same? After all, we were calmer, more relaxed parents with the third born.

I've also heard that kids teach their parents how they should be treated by their nature. For example, a parent will interact differently with a wild child than a quiet one. So maybe nature beats nurture?

If nature wins, I still don't buy into crap about an inferior race. As a teacher, I've seen kids of all races, creeds, and colors in my intellectually gifted classes. I once taught an African American eight year old, who would read the Wall Street Journal when finished with his work. If you, the adult, didn't understand what he read, he'd explain it to you.

No race is inferior to another, although I can't say the same about parents. One of the hottest current videos on YouTube is that of a Texas judge whipping and cussing at his sixteen year old daughter for downloading music from the Internet. Really, moron? With a beating like that, one would think she made an assassination attempt on the president.

Unfortunately, physically and/or emotionally abusive parents are not the only inferior ones out there. Some well meaning adults hover over their darlings to the point of crippling their ability to think for themselves. So although nature has a strong hand in who we become, we can't ignore nurture.

Amazingly, many kids from horrid homes rise above abuse, neglect, and over-protectiveness to excel; while a kid from a great environment, swallowed mushrooms and drove his car through a house… then miraculously walked away unscathed.

To work a prestigious job, one must earn a college degree; however, the most important occupation in the world–parenting–requires no education at all. Why is that?

I leave you with the trailer from Trading Places, just in case you've never seen this wonderful movie.


Monday, April 25, 2011

Uncle Pancreas #AtoZ #atozchallenge

I love teaching gifted kids because they have a sense of humor unlike the kind one would find in children from a regular classroom. Years back, my students wrote and acted in a play that had the adults in the audience rolled over in stitches while most children thought the skit was "stupid." My young Einsteins  obviously hit upon adult humor that was so far over the heads of the normal sixth grade class, that age peers didn't enjoy it. Only one kid in the class found their skit funny. He was the child on my referral list who I placed a few weeks later. Yep! I knew this student was gifted when I saw him chuckling with the adults.

To illustrate some quick wit from gifted students, here is a recap of a scene that took place in one of my classes some time back.

circa 2000: Intellectually Gifted kids provide interesting material. The names have been changed to protect the guilty.

     "February means Black History Month, so here's a game of Jeopardy to test your knowledge of famous African Americans." I divided the class into teams. 

     Meredith upped the interesting factor of our game when she said, "Politicians for fifty."

     I flipped the card and read, "This General currently serves as Secretary of State."

     "Who is Collin Powell?"

Call Me Uncle Pancreas!
     "The name is Colin!" Jason snapped.

     "Uh, gross. I don't like names that sound like body parts, so I'm calling him Collin."

     "Really? Why don't you like body part names?" Jason said. "I have an Uncle Pancreas."

Tune in tomorrow for the letter V, which is all about Vic (one of the funniest guys I know).