Archives for posts with tag: genius

One of the things I find interesting is intelligence. Today, I was sitting in a small room with a group of friends, when – I can’t quite remember the context – one of the guys announced proudly, “I’m the smartest person in this room!” I kindly asked, “And what makes you say that?” To which he responded, “My GPA is definitely higher than yours. It’s a 4.35.” And then he gloated about his decidedly ‘superior’ intellect.

The thing is, GPA doesn’t really mean much. Sure, GPA is mega important when applying to colleges (it makes life easier for admissions directors), but it’s far from being an accurate representation of one’s intelligence. Smart people don’t always get the highest grades, and a lot of the people who do get the highest grades probably aren’t as intelligent as some of their lesser-performing peers.

Here’s my point: the only thing GPA really measures is one’s ability to get a good GPA. So you have a 4.35 GPA. I applaud you for being good at getting teachers to like you and turning in homework and studying for tests and all the things that contribute to your ridiculously high GPA. Does it make you more intelligent than everyone else? Not necessarily. There is no way to describe a person’s intelligence with words, let alone numbers. Your GPA? It’s just a number. You may go to Harvard, and being able to tell people you got your college education at Harvard is pretty impressive – but what matters isn’t where you got your education. It’s what you do with it.

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Like every Asian out there. Because really, guys, everyone knows that giving an Asian a violin and a bow is like giving birth to the next Mozart.

I think that’s the funny thing about Asian stereotypes: some of them may not even be intended to come across as mean, but we Asians still don’t like them. We don’t like the “Asians are terrible drivers” or the “Ay-see-unsu kant speeku Engrish” stereotypes, and we don’t like the “Asians are musical geniuses” or “Asians are artistic geniuses” or “Asians are just geniuses in general” stereotypes, either. Why? Because they aren’t always true.

This may be pretty hard to believe, but we don’t like it when people think we’re amazing mathematicians, artists (and martial artists), or musicians simply because we’re Asian. When people make these assumptions, they’re really looking at the higher end of the spectrum (for reasons I fail to understand). It may be true that there are a lot of Asians out there who are good at these things, but don’t discount the majority of Asians who aren’t.

Take me, for example. If you’ve actually read any of my previous posts, you’d know that I’m not exactly what one would call a shining example of Stereotypical Extraordinary Asianness. Despite this, people tell me that I’m a stereotypically artistic Asian. Sure, I like to draw, but that doesn’t mean I’m good at it. As for math, well, I’m not doing so well in the class right now because I’m missing a few assignments. In fact, I should be studying for my test tomorrow. And don’t get me started on martial arts. Kung-fu? Kung-who now?

People in my band tell me I’m a musical prodigy all the time. I’ll admit; I like music. I like playing the cello. But I play the cello in a school band comprised mainly of saxophones, trumpets, trombones, guitars, and pianos (think: awkward), and I’m having some, er, issues living up to the ‘musical prodigy’ standard. [Hint: you have to be good to be a prodigy, and in order to be good, you have to actually spend the time to practice.] Heck, this particular Asian standard wasn’t even set by Asians, and I’m still struggling to meet it. Why do we Asians have to try to be everything other people perceive us to be in addition to everything our Asian parents expect from us? Good lord, give us a break!

Look at how much there was to say about the ‘good’ Asian stereotypes…Well, I guess I shouldn’t be complaining about them, considering the ‘bad’ ones are probably much more offensive.

‘Till next time!
~Hedgehog

My mom told me about how shallow my last post made me seem, and I apologize. A lot of people don’t understand my sarcastic sense of humor, which is perfectly understandable because I tend to overdo it. Just to clarify, I am friends with all sorts of people. It really doesn’t matter how awesome or boring their lives are, so long as they’re not jerkfaces. The point of the post was really just for me to complain about how uneventful my life has felt the past few weeks.

Today, instead of dwelling on how boring my life is right now, I’m going to begin detailing the less depressing tidbits of my life, starting from the present and working backwards to middle school. I hope doing so will provide insight into the convoluted way in which my mind works.

I spent yesterday with my good friend Ali. I love spending time with her; because I don’t see her very often these days, I jump on every opportunity to bask in her genius rays. My mom thinks I idolize her a little bit too much–again, this is just her not understanding my sarcastic humor. I love all my friends and I will always speak of them very highly, but it’s not like I worship them or anything. I don’t build a shrine to each one of them and pray to them by candlelight every night. I promise.

One of the things that made my decision to leave my old school (which I had attended from 7th-9th grade) for my new school easier is that some of my best friends were leaving, too.  Ethan, the super-crazy-amazing-awesome-random-funny-weird-gross artistic genius, was ditching us for boarding school.  The rest of us who were not going to boarding school tried to make the most of the few months time we had left to spend with him, but we had all secretly demoted him to “boarding school snob” in our minds.

And Ali–brilliant, witty Ali–Ali was leaving, too.  But she was not going to boarding school.  She was going to college.  As a 10th grader, of course.

While I miss all of my old friends terribly, I don’t feel like I’m standing in the shadow of my brilliant friends anymore. With my 7th-9th grade friends, I looked like an idiot whenever I did anything that fell short of their expectations. Now it’s back to how it was before I met them: I just look like an idiot all the time.

I’m hoping to stop making my old friends the focus of my posts and start telling actual stories about how much of an idiot I can actually be, because trust me, I can be a total idiot.

Cheerio!
~hedgehog

that I’m just BETTER than everyone else, and I can do ANYTHING. Cuz I’m a genius.

I’m kidding. Genius? Haaaa. There really aren’t many geniuses in the world. I’m not kidding. I’m sure we all have that one kid in our math class who just nails every problem and understands every concept and aces every test…and hey, maybe some of them really are geniuses. I don’t know. But I doubt it–if they were geniuses, they would not be in the same class you’re in. Unless you’re a genius.

Take my friend George, for example. He’s cool. He’s ridiculously smart. I mean, I thought I was smart–I’m a freshman in Honors Trigonometry, which is 2 levels above grade level–but this guy switches into my trig class and starts totally humiliating the rest of us. Seriously. He’s wiping the blackboard with our faces, the way the teacher worships him. It’s the same way in our chemistry class (again, I’m ahead: chemistry is normally only offered to 10th grade students): he’s got the teacher wrapped around his finger. Do I admire him? Sure. Am I jealous of him? Oh yes.

So a few months ago, Georgeh took this competitive math assessment available only to teacher-recommended students called the AMC 10. Our math teacher signed him up for it (no surprise), and George went in to the test quite confidently (again, no surprise). For months before the test, George made a big deal of studying for it by showing off his EXTREME MATH SKILLS to the rest of the class. To be honest, I don’t think the rest of the class could have given less of a crap about George’s EXTREME MATH SKILLS, but he proceeded in making a show of his giant math textbooks nonetheless.

About a month ago in our math class, George sat down in the seat in front of me (his usual seat), clearly bothered by something but waiting for me to ask him about it. Being the good friend I am, I asked, “What’s up?” George replied, “So, I got the score back for the AMC 10.”

With as little interest in this as I had for his EXTREME MATH SKILLS, I reluctantly said, “Oh, really? Cool. What’d you get?”

To which George responded, “A ninety-eight.” This did not surprise me. I was actually kind of pissed that he had the nerve to sit down in front of me and brag.

Irritably, I said, “Cool. That’s awesome.” Then, sarcastically: “I KNEW you were a genius.”

“I got a ninety-eight out of a hundred and fifty,” George corrected me. Then he smiled. I smiled back. In my eyes, George became…like, HUMAN. He’s not the creepy computer I had previously thought of him as. Now he’s a friend, our friendship based on the fact that neither of us are, in fact, geniuses.

(Actually, my IQ is CLOSE to genius level. But it isn’t; I blame ADHD (always always always blame ADHD).)

Honestly guys, there’s always gonna be someone out there better than you are at something. And then there’s going to be someone better than that person. So don’t get so caught up in this little “I HAVE TO BE BETTER THAN MY FRIENDS IN MATH” thing, because even if you ARE better than your friends are in math…you’re nothing. I’m kidding. (just kidding, I’m not kidding. no offense.)

Cheeers! (:
ABC