"Gifted" Children, and the Burden

Being flagged as "Gifted" was probably the biggest "fuck you" in my early childhood, leaving me an empty shell in my late middle age.

I was a smart kid. Like "off the charts" smart. In the 3rd grade, I was one of the "lucky" ones who was pulled from my normal classes for half the day, and put in this "mini-Montessori" program. At the time I liked it, as it was cool to be "special". I was able to free graze lessons, and learn what I wanted, when I wanted.

It was really like the classic Simpsons episode "Bart the Genius":

But it really did me no service for a variety of reasons (not unlike the experience of Bart in that classic episode:)

  • I was marked as "Different". When you are 7 years old, this is a big deal. The "Poindexter" comments hurt, and I didn't realize how much that affected my psyche until much later
  • I came to believe that I was special. Later in life, in early career stops, I was shocked that this "special" really meant dick. It took me a long time to learn to keep my head down and go with the flow
  • While the opportunity to self direct my studies was great, the challenge was that it was only for a couple hours a day. I had to start and end my day in the ordinary classes, that seemed so "boring." A huge letdown. If I had been in a true Montessori academy, I wonder how my life would be different
  • My family rebelled at the process. My parents had divorced and my new stepfather was very abusive as well as distrustful of government programs, so I wasn't allowed to do any of the really cool things the program had to offer, as it required the family to fund some of the extracurriculars. I recall the one major disappointment as a whole section on rocketry, with a minimal co-payment, like $5 for the materials. Instead of participating, I had to sit out while the others got to build and play with the rockets. Man, that memory still hurts today

Today, I do an uninspiring job, thinking to myself how life might have been better. I no longer have aspirations, or goals beyond not getting fired, and not having to live in an old refrigerator box.

Oh well, shit happens and you move on.


Like what you are reading? Subscribe now to get notified via email for new posts. Always free. Click to Subscribe

Loading comments...
You've successfully subscribed to The PM Dude
Great! Next, complete checkout to get full access to all premium content.
Error! Could not sign up. invalid link.
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Error! Could not sign in. Please try again.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.
Error! Stripe checkout failed.
Success! Your billing info is updated.
Error! Billing info update failed.