any "gifted" folks here - need stories @ curriculum

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Re: any "gifted" folks here - need stories @ curriculum

Postby nashvillebrook » Sun Apr 05, 2015 1:41 pm

82_28 » 02 Apr 2015 06:51 wrote:I went through the same. They were really "scared of me" because I was reading at a "12th grade level" in the 1st but I refused tests and from what my mom and dad say teachers would approach them because they felt I was "smarter than them". So they singled me out and started calling me out of class. I really hated this attention because as we all know the pressure of peers at that age. I didn't feel "special" getting drawn out of class, I felt embarrassed. So all throughout my youth I crafted better and better ways to call MYSELF out of class. Ditching and acting up -- I even got expelled and flunked 8th grade! Numerous times a week counselors that I guess dealt with "gifted" kiddos would call me in and beg me to join the "group" again. My parents begged me. I was missing opportunities. I refused all authority.

Fuck no, I said. I wanted to skate and do what I wanted. Probably like all of us I am almost completely self taught. Doesn't mean anything, but class was fucking bullshit. Wound up graduating on time with, I kid you not, a SUB 0.8 GPA. My transcript was basically nothing but Fs and Ds.

However I was eager to go to college and did. 3.9 GPA without even trying -- but enjoying. Off the bat. I think this had to be before meticulous databases of students, because I would just enroll in 400 level classes and see if I could get in and I would and round up getting A's or B+s with no prerequisites. Who fucking knows. Within three years I was accepted to Hampshire, Amherst and UMASS. I never went and I am sorta glad, but who knows, again? Life and death called and I freaked out.

For the record, I feel like I am "bragging" about something, but I am not. But half of my life dealt with this as it is the truth.

You asked for experiences (and I could go on) so there's that from me! :eeyaa



I remember taking one of those standardized "comprehensive" tests with the rest of the school before the program started. In the first grade I was reading at a 7th grade level, and in 99th percentile for language arts. I bet that's what set it all off. And a similar authority situation applies -- my mother used to lecture me about how I didn't want to be an "egghead" and that none of the other kids would trust someone if they thought I was too smart. Even though I got in trouble, when I started smoking and skipping school, there was always a kind of subtext of approval.

The testing that I had to take thru high school always landed me in the highest "phase" classes which always annoyed me b/c my friends were all in phase 3 and I was in phase 4-5. And their classes seemed a lot more interesting. Plus, I didn't have the support at home to maintain any kind study habits. When I got home from school the only thing I wanted to do was get the hell out of the house.

I got lucky and my aunt/uncle decided to take me in in the 11th-12th grade. They made sure I did all my college entrance exams and that I got off to *a school* -- ANY school. In the time I spent with them -- swear, it was like Pygmalion -- I learned how to be "middle class" and get good grades, and skip school, and smoke pot AND not get caught. It was wonderful. I learned what they mean by "privilege" bc suddenly I could fly under the radar and was assumed to be "not a problem," instead of the opposite. It's like having a cloaking device..."oh, you're so-and-so's niece."
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Re: any "gifted" folks here - need stories @ curriculum

Postby nashvillebrook » Sun Apr 05, 2015 2:20 pm

Luther Blissett » 02 Apr 2015 19:47 wrote:I was tested for the gifted program and placed early in First Grade. There were four classes per grade with about 20 students per class, but there were only four of us chosen as "gifted" and three of us were from the same class. The fourth was another student none of us knew. What odd is that, like Nashvillebrook, the program was only done in my grade.

The classes were administered by a younger woman, and conducted in any spare space available in the school - most notably in a broom closet. I have a memory like a steel trap, but what's strange is that I have little-to-no memory of what we studied in gifted class. None of the examples in this thread ring any bells, and if I concentrate on it really hard I can recall some kind of reading analysis. I don't recall any memorization and I feel like they regarded much more of the arts. This was the mid-80s though so if it was the same program it could have changed a lot.

By second grade I remained with the same three pupils but they changed the name of the program to "IEP". It was around this time that I remember hostility towards me from one other gifted friend in the group; she seemed to have a problem with all of my niche, junior-anorak-like trivial knowledge. Which makes me think that they must have been fostering some self-directed learning with which I could have been given free time to talk about the obsessions of my youth: birdwatching, camping on Cape Hatteras with my grandparents, hiking, the Talking Heads, Time Bandits, ufos, etc. She really hated it and I recall the teacher defending me.

By Fourth Grade our little group of four was added to a class - basically "Advanced Placement" for Fourth Graders - because this was the first year that we changed classes for Science, Math, Language Arts, and Social Studies. The other three classes would all mix up so that at any one time they would be with different classmates. Our class stayed together from 4th through the end of 8th grade when it was time to split up and go to real "AP" classes in high school.

I count the end of Third Grade as the end of my gifted career. The snob in me says that when 25% of the grade was added to our group, or when we were placed back in general population, the more challenging classwork sort of fell away. I attended a notoriously bad, low-performing urban school district too.

I really wish I could remember more details of the kinds of work we did. I will meditate on that tonight. By coincidence, my most recent facebook friend request came from the other boy in our original "gifted" group.



It seems to me that the very idea of curriculum disappeared after about the 4th grade for me. The thing with the ESP cards came in the context of testing in the 5th grade, and then that program was just 2-3 other kids my age sitting with the school counselor learning advanced biology. Like, we had to learn all the phyla for some stupid reason. But...there HAD to be other things we were doing. I can't imagine 4 high-energy smart kids sitting still around a table to just learn the difference between Arthropoda and Enchinodermata.

My break was between elementary and Jr. High School. I think there were socioeconomic issues that made me feel uncomfortable, but also I didn't want the extra work of being in AP anything.
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Re: any "gifted" folks here - need stories @ curriculum

Postby nashvillebrook » Sun Apr 05, 2015 2:47 pm

semper occultus » 02 Apr 2015 10:29 wrote:...there's a discussion about this in Sinister Forces 3 : Manson Secret by Levenda...he was on such a programme & ties in similar experiences of Whitley Strieber & Jack Sarfatti in their school days....

...he surmises the weirdness aspect started in the early 50's as some joint effort by military/academe to somehow bolster the nation's intellectual defences ...



Interestingly I just watched Levenda's lecture on the Secret Space Program before posting this. I'd never perceived him as quite a "serious" researcher until watching this lecture -- it's something about his manner, you can tell he's not crack-potting his way thru this.

You can tell I was just starting to get sick b/c I was lying around watching Peter Levenda on youtube! Here's the link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cj2qrl6Q2rk

The school I was at that had the ESP card test was at Patrick Air Force Base, which is home to the "Space Wing." So -- the military space program -- or, the "secret" space program in Levenda's construct. We moved to the space coast of Florida when I was 10 and I lived in a neighborhood that had once been "base" housing. Such a strange little strip of land. One neighbor was Austrian with a thick accent and no discernible means of support. Many families in my neighborhood ALL came down from the same town in Delaware, which I thought was weird. There were weird electronic things that would happen around the house -- like my stereo speakers would pick up CBs and once even seemed to transmit what we said into them (truckers called us "gypsies" as in "get off our channel you gypsies.").

i remember being SO excited about the ESP cards. Like, we're FINALLY getting somewhere! Unfortunately, I was only good enough to get a little over 50% which was super disappointing. And...as far as I can remember, we never returned to this.

But, I'll tell you -- as a very small child (like 4, 5, 6) I was convinced that there was no reason you couldn't move things with your brain and would sit for hours trying to move things on a table by thinking at it. Never worked. But what DID start happening was that I started knowing what was going to come on TV reruns before they came on. "Oh, today is going to be that Gilligan's Island where they do the musical, I hate that episode." Totally useless stuff.

Dreams of "totally useless stuff" continued and got somewhat more interesting until I had a very specific episode when I knew my dog had died at the moment he'd died - the dream was incredibly specific. It was me and my best friend from the beach growing up. She was standing in front of a refrigerator and there was a counter between us. She pulled out two glowing rods from the fridge and said I could keep one, but she had to put the other one back b/c "I was a bad mother." I said, "Cindy, you're crazy, I don't have any kids. YOU have kids." At that moment (swear to god) in the dream a cliche "Deep Space Nine" wormhole opens up to the side of us and I see all these silhouettes in front of the light -- birds, dogs, people. I wake up and I'm sure one of my dogs is dead or in danger. It was Thanksgiving and we were 5 hours away with family, and had hired a pet sitter back in nashville. It was 5am and I made my husband get the hell out of bed and drive back to nashville from Johnson city in a panic. by the time we got to knoxville we were able to get friends on the phone who confirmed that our dogs were indeed gone. Turned out the pet sitter had left the gate open and one of my dogs had been hit by a car. an EMT coming home from work saw him and took him to the vet ER and held his paw until he passed at 4am Central time (5am Eastern, where I was in Johnson City).

The really odd thing -- kinda -- is that my husband didn't question this. "oh you want to leave at 5am b/c you had a bad dream about glowing rods and wormholes -- sounds about right. let's go!"
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Re: any "gifted" folks here - need stories @ curriculum

Postby nashvillebrook » Sun Apr 05, 2015 6:28 pm

Twyla LaSarc » 03 Apr 2015 04:41 wrote:It happened to me too.

I could read at a high school level in first grade, so I was pulled out of classes a lot for testing (late 60's). The people administering the tests were not people I saw regularly at the school. I basically wound up taking first and second grade together and was bumped up to the third grade the next year.

I think at a certain point in third or fourth grade, some criteria flushed me out of the 'program' for the most part and they stopped testing me one on one (although I always remained in accelerated classes). As I age and discover the shape of my 'autism', I see the mental quirks and learning patterns that might have had something to do with that.

I don't remember the tests well, although they tended to be reading/language/memory related. Perhaps some spatial and geometric problems. I wish they would have tested me for ESP. I think I would have gotten a kick out of that. I think it is wild that so many here have had similar experiences, it can't be a common occurance and I don't think I have met many other people who have had that happen to them.


I've wondered about an autism link. I was a late talker, and it was a little freaky b/c (i'm told) when i started talking it was clearly and in complete sentences. i chalk it up to growing up around adults only and feeling outclassed -- like you couldn't really participate as a kid. You had to come up to their level somewhat.
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Re: any "gifted" folks here - need stories @ curriculum

Postby nashvillebrook » Sun Apr 05, 2015 6:32 pm

Luther Blissett » 03 Apr 2015 18:00 wrote:I failed to mention that our proctor / teacher was definitely external to the school as well. Seemed to only spend the two or three hours per week or twice a week or whatever it was with us and then leave to go somewhere else.

Do you know those cheap "IQ" tests one can take online? The ones that seem to rely heavily on problems of geometry at their core? Whenever I take them now, I recognize them as problem-solving questions not dissimilar to my career. I assume that many graphic and web designers must score rather well on them, a lot of it is the kinds of stuff we have to do every day - visualization of complex streams of data, organization, parsing space, etc. I believe that a lot of my early gifted classes may have dealt with that kind of material.



One of the hats I wear in professional life is designer (graphics mostly). Started out in drafting and interiors. My husband, who was also in the program, is not a spatial relationships person. Definitely don't ask directions from him :)
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Re: any "gifted" folks here - need stories @ curriculum

Postby Zombie Glenn Beck » Mon Apr 06, 2015 9:06 pm

Pretty much the same story.In grade school they said I was "reading on a college level" whatever the hell that meant. Didnt get to skip grades(you lucky fuckers) but got put in "special" classes where we learned HTML and other "advanced" things like. Hated being labeled "gifted" because it was usually used for guilt trips, "You need to apply yourself more." Managed to scrape through school with Cs and Ds using my patented instant-A test strategy. To study, I would not do any homework, read a book/doodle giant robots/listen to my ipod during class, and then 5 minutes before the test read the chapter of the book it was on. The test As and the homework zeros evened out to a respectable C- overall grade.

After I moved apparently my gifted underachiever status didnt follow me because my grade average combined with a long history of "behavior problems" landed me in the counselors office for more tests. They were hoping to find out I was mentally challenged so they could put me in the "at risk" class, the one that got credits for lunch. When it turned out that there was nothing wrong with me, they decided that meant there was something REALLY wrong with me. After that was a string of medication induced hijinks including, an anti-depressant fueled suicide attempt, a period of amphetamine psychosis that started with people opening my mail and ended with me being in direct contact with God, and finally, dropping out.

Dropping out of School was probably the single best decision of my life. Just thinking about it makes me mad, the huge majority of my life so far has been spent locked in a room being coerced into doing absolutely objectively pointless bullshit with nothing to show for it.
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Re: any "gifted" folks here - need stories @ curriculum

Postby Luther Blissett » Mon Apr 06, 2015 11:26 pm

I will say with 100% certainty that we didn't have ESP cards in the program from 86-89. I would have been super excited because I was really into ghostbusters and the ESP scene had very tactile sensory associations - the chewing gum and the electric shocks. I had always wanted to try it, because as a child I believed i would have been good at it.
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Re: any "gifted" folks here - need stories @ curriculum

Postby 82_28 » Tue Apr 07, 2015 1:09 am

Because of my "giftedness" I would really like to know, as well, the stories of people who were "ungifted" and how they felt when kids like me got called out of class. People that didn't have our fake ass "gifts" and shit like that. Sure, I am good at a thing or two as is everyone!

I think my only "gift" is that I figured out how to call "a spade a spade" and wanted nothing to do with it because all of my real friends didn't come along with me. Thus, when called out of class, I had to answer for what I had just "done" upon return. I remember a teacher in 3rd grade that was at "wit's end with me". I also have two teachers through the passage of time -- oh make that THREE -- one was a teacher's assistant -- who have actually killed themselves. I chalk this up to "because they cared".

I once destroyed my second grade classroom with a "friend" named Sam. It was during recess. I HAVE NO IDEA WHERE THE THOUGHT SPRANG FROM!

But I said let's break back into the school and I guess, "fuck around" in more modern parlance. So we destroyed everything all of our classmates had made. I even flushed all the other kids' pencils down the toilet! Destroyed all artwork. "Creativity" I tell ya! Not. But I think it comes down to "fuck all authority" -- or something. . .

LOL?!?!?

I have no idea why. I really don't. I've never been in a fight yet have never backed down to anyone. Never desired harm on anyone, but what I guess what it comes down to hatred of a system that somehow "I" was able to detect at an early age.

I've always left such occasions up to the Universe. It isn't for me to decide.

I guess that is what makes me creative. . .

Which, I am not so successful at as far as "making a living" at it because my number one aspiration is NEVER getting to the "top".
There is no me. There is no you. There is all. There is no you. There is no me. And that is all. A profound acceptance of an enormous pageantry. A haunting certainty that the unifying principle of this universe is love. -- Propagandhi
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Re: any "gifted" folks here - need stories @ curriculum

Postby Nordic » Tue Apr 07, 2015 2:00 am

Zombie Glenn Beck, being bumped up a grade is something I actually wish had never happened to me. And I wouldn't wish it on anyone else. I vowed, when I had a son, to make sure it wouldn't happen to him (and I worry about him actually flunking out of the grades he's in, so it hasn't been an issue. He missed out on whatever DNA I have that makes me read and take standardized tests).

Problem is, being a boy, and being a year behind all the other boys AND being known as a "Brain" is not a socially winning combination. It seemed like everyone was bigger and stronger than I was. And older, which gave them status over me. Until 8th grade I was a meek and skinny little introvert trying to keep my head down. My voice didn't change, I didn't get armpit hair or whiskers, until (what seemed like) interminably late time compared to yhe other boys. Girls? They were even more ahead of me than girls usually are at that age.

In 8th grade I got bullied relentlessly in my new small town school, by massively huge farm kids, some of whom had a lot of facial hair. It kinda fucked me up, psychologically. Ironically I sprouted up late in the year, going from 5-3 to 5-10. As soon as I was 5-10 the bullying stopped, at least to my face but continued when my back was turned.

Then I moved to a different town with a huge high school filled with military brats where I fit in much better and could sorta disappear into the crowd instead of the oddball freak "new kid". But then sophomore year everyone was learning how to drive and I had to wait until my junior year to even take drivers Ed. So I didn't date then either. My self image was very low by then and the thought of asking a girl out and asking her to drive was unthinkable.

Anyway I finally caught up with things later. I ended up being 6'4" and over 200 lbs and suddenly everything changed and has stayed changed. I actually have to be careful I dont intimidate people too much because with my quiet demeanor and "resting bitch face" I can come across as gruff.

But my life would have been a lot better and happier and I would have far fewer psychological scars and I would have spent many important years with a far higher self esteem if I had never been "rewarded" for being smart by being bumped up a grade.
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Re: any "gifted" folks here - need stories @ curriculum

Postby semper occultus » Tue Apr 07, 2015 3:18 am

....I can come across as gruff.....



.....I find that almost impossible to believe....


:wink:
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Re: any "gifted" folks here - need stories @ curriculum

Postby Nordic » Tue Apr 07, 2015 5:09 am

semper occultus » Tue Apr 07, 2015 2:18 am wrote:
....I can come across as gruff.....



.....I find that almost impossible to believe....


:wink:


I'm a total sweetheart unless provoked! Or I see an injustice being committed! Seriously, the bullying I experienced, which was pretty severe, has made me utterly unable to tolerate it when I see it being used against anyone.

And this is veering into OT, but why is it these days that anyone standing up for themselves, or for someone else, or even showing some passion about something, is labelled "aggressive". We're in the age of "reaching out" (how I fucking hate that term) and it seems all the stabbing has to be in the back now. The whole "Keep Calm and ________" memes that are everywhere. Fuck ....
"He who wounds the ecosphere literally wounds God" -- Philip K. Dick
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Re: any "gifted" folks here - need stories @ curriculum

Postby 82_28 » Tue Apr 07, 2015 5:20 am

Believe it or not, Nordic, you have never come across as "gruff" to me through the years. I have always just read your language as something you aren't going to apologize for because you aren't a fake ass motherfucker. The only time I feel somewhat otherwise is when you "dog me" for something or another. Fuck it all, but I have always been able to detect your heart as being uniquely good.
There is no me. There is no you. There is all. There is no you. There is no me. And that is all. A profound acceptance of an enormous pageantry. A haunting certainty that the unifying principle of this universe is love. -- Propagandhi
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Re: any "gifted" folks here - need stories @ curriculum

Postby Nordic » Tue Apr 07, 2015 5:24 am

82_28 » Tue Apr 07, 2015 4:20 am wrote:Believe it or not, Nordic, you have never come across as "gruff" to me through the years. I have always just read your language as something you aren't going to apologize for because you aren't a fake ass motherfucker. The only time I feel somewhat otherwise is when you "dog me" for something or another. Fuck it all, but I have always been able to detect your heart as being uniquely good.


Well that's good, I appreciate your saying that.
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Re: any "gifted" folks here - need stories @ curriculum

Postby 82_28 » Tue Apr 07, 2015 5:29 am

See. Now you're coming off as gruff. :wink
There is no me. There is no you. There is all. There is no you. There is no me. And that is all. A profound acceptance of an enormous pageantry. A haunting certainty that the unifying principle of this universe is love. -- Propagandhi
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Re: any "gifted" folks here - need stories @ curriculum

Postby semper occultus » Tue Apr 07, 2015 5:33 am

.....there was quite a moving tv prog the other day about bullying .....tbh it was actually a pretty shoddy "real-life" reality show with all the "drama" being artifically milked and then the protaganists met off camera anyway (!) but this particular segment cut through all that...but it was from the angle of the shame that the bully had experienced over his life and wanting to meet the "boy" he had victimised to put his mind at rest....I wonder if that's common amongst people who have behaved like that in their youth...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b053kxhs

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