American school system
I saw your tags and I would really like to comment with personal story if you don’t mind.
The gifted area really isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. The children all look like they’re smiling, sure, but let’s be real— they go home and stress and cry.
I was a “gifted and talented” kid, and it was far from this. My whole life, things were harder because I was expected to be better. I was expected to be reading higher-level books, but the school didn’t allow me to read higher-level books because it was “unfair” to the other students. Teachers subconsciously graded me harder than other students, even on things I was not “gifted” in, like math (a subject in which I have always struggled). We had extra homework and extra tests. In my program, we were removed from regular classes once a week to learn bonus material. Not only were we expected to learn the bonus material, but we were expected to make up the missed material and pass the tests on it; only no one was there to teach us the material we missed, because we were expected to already know it. It was pounded into my brain every day of my life from the moment I started school that I had to be perfect, and if I wasn’t perfect it was the result of some character flaw. If an average student got a B, it was cause for celebration, but if I got an A I was simply meeting expectations. If an average student got a D, it was sad and they needed extra help and it was the teachers fault for not helping them; if I got a B or a C, it was the end of the world and clearly there was something wrong with me. I was slacking, or goofing off, or expecting the teachers to just “hand” the A to me because I was “special”.
I skipped a grade because I was “gifted.” When I tell people of this, they assume I must be a “genius.” You don’t know how many times I’ve heard people tell me, “Wow, you must be really smart or something. You’re a genius.”
Fast forward to college. I was told I should go to Yale or Harvard. But I didn’t want to. I wanted to go to college somewhere where I could learn but also enjoy myself. People make fun of me for my choice of school because someone as “gifted” as me could have “done so much better.”
This “genius” can’t pass Intro to Biology 1010, because no one ever taught her proper studying techniques—they just assumed she already knew. This “genius” cries herself to sleep over a B in an difficult science class. This genius faces crippling anxiety because she knows she’ll never measure up to people’s expectations of her. This “genius” sometimes cuts herself because the pressure to be perfect is too much for her. This “genius” feels like throwing herself off a building if she gets anything less than a B, because she’s been taught her whole life that if she doesn’t get perfect grades it is some sort of character flaw; she must be a worthless idiot.
I don’t know what it’s like to be in the “Nothing Special” area but being gifted is no walk in the park as the cartoon suggests. We both face challenges; they are different challenges, but they are both challenges.
This is so accurate.
"It was pounded into my brain every day of my life from the moment I started school that I had to be perfect, and if I wasn’t perfect it was the result of some character flaw." god thank you
When I was in my elementary school’s gifted program I had to miss music, art, and gym class to go sit in a library with like six other kids. Granted, music and art in elementary school is a joke for the most part…fun, but you don’t really do much besides yell Christmas songs and paint pictures, but I still felt like I was missing out on what my classmates got to enjoy. I did join the program in which we were allowed to play an actual instrument so I still had music but at the expense of my recess, so like, zero kids did it and again, recess is just playing outside, but YOU’RE A FUCKING CHILD AND SHOULD GET TO PLAY OUTSIDE?!?! I remember being in third grade in the TAPS gifted program (idk what that stands for, but it was a Rhode Island thing) and having to graduate into the AEGIS program for fourth grade and above and I was like, if I don’t test into this, it will be the worst thing in my life. Like, that’s what I was taught at age seven/eight it’s something that I’m STILL working on in therapy, lol. Like, if I don’t get an A, if I don’t get this part in the musical, if I don’t get into the best college, if I don’t get this job, etc, then I’m not the best, and if I’m not the best, I am therefore a failure. And that way of thinking follows you for the rest of your life. While I was biting my nails until they bled and crying while doing my advanced classes homework at night, my classmates were finger painting and playing at recess and socializing and most of them are probably a lot better off mentally than I am today. Even between myself and my siblings…I had to get As on everything and when I didn’t, my parents questioned what was wrong. My siblings got high fives for Bs and Cs because they didn’t have that “you’re gifted, why aren’t you doing better in school!?!?!” pressure. They’re much happier and well-adjusted as adults than I am. This might not be true for all “gifted” kids, but if you take a kid who’s naturally anxious and whatever and shove her into a program that tells her “the only way to be successful and fulfilled in life is if you’re the best at everything you do,” then she’s probably going to turn out to be pretty fucked up.
This is so true. The gifted program I was in started in third grade and all the “gifted and talented” kids in the area were bused to one elementary school where we all took classes together. I was in school with literal geniuses. I then went to a normal public high school, instead of applying to the magnet high school and that’s when the perfectionism set in. Anything other than an A, and let’s be honest, a mid-to-high A sent me into tears. Because clearly, if I couldn’t get an A at the “regular” high school, I was no longer smart. This is STILL something I have problems with and I’M 34 YEARS OLD. It’s always why I’ve been afraid to try things because what if I failed? Then I wouldn’t be smart.
- $3.98 for natural disaster relief through FEMA
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- $235.81 for YOUR Medicare
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- and $4,000.00 for corporate subsidies
A comment I just got on goodreads because in my Elizabeth Smart My Story review I commented that her co-author was a terrible writer whose only experience was writing a shitty book about how this country was formed in a series of miracles, including Jamestown (the opposite of a miracle?! legit everyone died!?), the constitution, Ronald Reagan, etc. I can’t!
A miracle would be a perfect document that transcends time. The constitution took human men 100 days to write, is full of flaws, and was obsolete within decades. People thinking it’s “miraculous” gift from above are the reason why we are so afraid to rewrite it, even though an updated document is clearly necessary. LE SIGH.
let’s all stop for a minute and thank jk rowling for not making the golden trio a love triangle
Buffy’s delusion is multilayered. She believes she’s some type of hero. The Slayer.