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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Diverse Interests

In today's Daily Herald, there is an article about a student who was a talented artist and also valedictorian. I believe the article was titled something like: good at art and everything else. This is not an unusual profile for a gifted student. Students who are good at everything find themselves pressured by teachers, coaches, parents and musical directors to dedicate themselves to only one thing. They see such talent and want to direct it into their chosen field. This creates somewhat of a dilemma for multiply gifted students. How do they decide what to do with their talents? What if they love to do something that is not one of their talents? I was blessed with a wonderful German teacher in high school who asked us to take some time to think about what we wanted to do with our lives and actually discuss it in class! Imagine how revolutionary that was in the 1960s, when most kids were following in the footsteps of their parents and the idea of having a job that you actually enjoyed was a far cry from reality. How do people decide what to do with their lives? I love the Parachute series. It really helped me when I had to make that decision as an adult. I had always been someone's kid, or someone's wife or someone's mother. Suddenly, I had to choose how I would spend the next twenty years. It was not easy. I was fortunate to be in a field that encouraged growth and my passion for technology in education was an asset. Now that I am retiring next June, I shall have to rethink this all over again. I believe there's a Parachute book for that, too.


2ndfiddle said...

Excellent insights to the multitalented. I have felt this way about children's sports. Kids get sucked into T-ball, then little league and before you know it they are spending their whole summer on traveling baseball. It's awful to get pigeon holed into something unless it is something you really love. Too often I think kids do these sports because their parents are reliving their own childhood through them.

Good luck on finding something(s) you love as well in retirement.

Katherine said...

My experience has been that some multi-gifted can't settle on 1 or 2 of their talents, and, thus, drift along. Everything thing is somewhat equally interesting, easy, non-challenging, so they may have trouble focusing.

Or, it may take them longer to settle on a focus.