The Intelligence Quotient vs. Social Capability
Has anyone else noticed that very smart people are a little different than the average Joes and Janes out there? I first noticed it in the "Gifted and Talented" program in 3rd grade. I took an IQ test, and suddenly I was forced to roll with the egg-head crowd, and they were an odd bunch. Not that I'm little Suzie Normal-Face, but I'm pretty sure there's a point of intelligence where social skills start to take a hit. I think I barely made the 130 IQ cutoff (now you know I'll never make it into Mensa!), but my smarter friends just were strange.
A good example-- a friend I met in the 5th grade. Let's call him Chris, because that is his real name. In 5th grade I had a "homeroom" teacher I'd check in with in the mornings and then return to after lunch for science and social studies-- Mr. Harris. The rest of the day I spent in Gifted with Mrs. Chavez. She took care of my English, Math, and miscellaneous studies. On the first day of class, I remember thinking, "Ooh, I can't wait to get out of Harris' class and over to gifted, because this kid I'm sitting next to is SOO odd." Picture it-- spikey-hair, Dwayne Wayne-flip style glasses, a HUGE orange and purple backpack, all on this skinny little boy. What's more, he was wearing a black t-shirt with black and neon-green, zebra-striped Hammer pants. I promise this is true. But sure enough, when Mrs. Chavez came to collect the brainiacs that day, she called me, Rosalyn, and Chris. Guess who stood up and came with me?
The thing is, it wasn't long before Chris became one of my absolute favorites. The kid was amazing-- he was a little math genius, and it seems like he had some good artistic abilities. He and I competed and represented our district in the Optimist Club Oratoracal Contest in 6th grade. He was also this awesome dancer on the side (kind of a secret life he didn't want anyone to know about). But he was amazing and smart and cool and fantastic... though other people didn't always appreciate his genius in intermediate school. I remember getting really mad at my friends' mom when she was his chaperone at Space Camp and yelled at him just because he woke up the entire room in the middle of the night to take his vitamins. I didn't like anyone being rude to Chris.
Well, time went by, and Chris went to a private high school in Albuquerque and turned out just great. Better than great, actually. I ran into him the summer after 8th grade. He was on the Los Lunas swim team with my little brother, and suddenly he was Mr. Hottie. Oh, the sweet revenge as he asked ME (in the very height of my awkward puberty stage) to rub suntan lotion on his back while girls who used to be ruthless to him looked on, drooling.
Word on the street is Chris is happy and healthy and married to a girl he loves. I'm stoked for him.
So why do I write this tribute to my childhood pal? I don't know. I think I've been having a hard time adjusting to the social life in Albuquerque because I have very little in common with a lot of the kids I know from church, etc. I (apparently, and regretfully) even really offended this kid by asking him if he was home-schooled. I had the epiphany this morning that maybe the reason I don't have much in common with all these folks is not because they are weird, but because they are all so vastly ahead of me intellectually. OK, ok, it's just a theory. But it's a kinder one than I initially subscribed to.
Regardless, I think I've ammended my former "list" of qualities I look for in people I hang out with and date. I used to think I wanted to surround myself with young-geniuses. Now I'm more interested in young-Mothers Teresa and Ghandis. Know any?