A story:

When I was in the second grade I was very, very bored. My mother asked if they would skip me a grade. The school district said, sorry, we don’t skip people – we just don’t do that. My mother pestered, and they said, fine – get an appointment with the state’s official intelligence evaluator, drive all the way up to Augusta, get her sign-off, and the little tike will be a third-grader. So we made the appointment, my mother took the day off (no little thing for an essentially single mom), and we drove the two hours each way to the state capital. There I was given a full IQ test. I remember it so well. I remember the questions, the little flash-cards like they are right in front of me! I remember some of the questions annoying me – there was clearly an answer they wanted, but so many of the possible answers would satisfy their requirements… In any event. My math skills were 6th grade average (a modest four year jump). My English skills were “Twelve plus,” or acceptable at a college level. The IQ tester then informed us that my IQ indicated I was probably the smartest guy in the state. As a result The IQ Lady gave her official recommendation: I should be transferred directly from the 2nd to the 9th grade. 

This was brought to the local school district, who informed us that they couldn’t possibly accommodate a grade skip of more than a year or two. Since no recommendation to that effect had been given, there was only one remedy: I would stay in the second grade.

Am I really that smart? Who knows. I’m pretty smart. Was I really that smart? I definitely didn’t get a lot out of See Spot Run. Why was I that smart? Who knows. My parents say I had really bright eyes as a toddler, had lots of energy; maybe I was born like it. They read to me a lot, that couldn’t have hurt. I was an only child so I got lots of face time. My parents were smart so the face time was pretty great. Those seem like good ways to end up with a smart kid.

I’m pretty smart – but I’m just a guy.


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