Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Rock me Amatimus
I would like to be a child prodigy, but I'm too old. This is not to say I wasn't a gifted child, my gifts were just smaller than others and I hid them well. I hid them because I was gifted enough to realize that if you let people know you were smarter than you looked you quickly became a target for the other even less gifted children.
I suppose it is okay that I wasn't overly gifted. Because there is nothing sadder than an adult child prodigy. They are like those grown up child stars that no one likes any more because they stopped being cute. It's not that child prodigies stop being smart, they just generally grow into their smartness and thus become ordinairy smart adults whose emotional growth was stunted because they were child prodigies. That is seldom a pretty sight.
I had a former child prodigy as a teacher when I was in 8th grade accelerated math (which I sucked at). He had got his math degree when he was about 16 years old and for some reason ended up teaching at a junior high when he was about 22. He was one of the most immature adults I'd ever encountered and we tortured him unmercifully for it (which brought him to the verge of tears while standing at the front of the classroom on more than one occasion) . He quit after one year. It was just as well, because he may have been brilliant at math, but he had no idea how to convey complex concepts to eight graders.
I think the trick for child prodigies is to die young like Mozart to avoid the post-prodigy depression.
There. I just justified Photoshopping my face on Amadeus Mozart. I'm more gifted than I suspected.