That fall, when Grace started the gifted school-within-a-school program, was not spent focusing or doing what she was supposed to. Her teacher was emailing, albeit carefully, letting me know that she was hoping Grace could focus a bit and give her best effort. These emails made my husband and I smile. She was getting in trouble because she had found her … [Read more...] about Community. Life or Death? It Was for Us.
So, the question I often ask myself about Breanna, in particular, is this: is she isolated at school, and self-identifies as weird because she is one of the few Black students in a predominantly white school, or because of her gifted characteristics? “Please stop calling me gifted, Mom! Everyone knows that means I’m stupid and weird and useless!” my dear Breanna cried … [Read more...] about Is There a Place for Weird Black Girls?
The first date with Devin* was at a coffee shop, and over the next week, we decided to meet for dinner. We went to a restaurant that’s part of a large US chain. We opened the slightly unwieldy menus. “My oh my, what to order.” He used a funny, silly voice. “I think I’ll order the kreplach.” I peered over the menu. “Did you just speak Klingon?” Devin didn’t smile. Then … [Read more...] about I’m Not Gifted. I’m Just Weird.
For gifted people, alone is part of the gig. That's just math. There are fewer of us out there. But alone and lonely are two separate words for a reason. I can be lonely in a crowded room. And I can be quite happy and alone with myself for extended periods of time. What I had to learn is that popularity is for prom queens and yearbook autographs. Popularity might get you … [Read more...] about Lonesome Town: How This Gifted Girl Unapologetically Navigates Friendship
Whether giftedness itself is a burden depends entirely on whether you have experienced true understanding from others. Feeling grossly misunderstood your entire life is most definitely a burden. There may also be aspects of asynchrony and intensity that make life more challenging. I recently found a file of old journals. My senior year journal, shared only with my English … [Read more...] about There’s No One Way to Be Gifted
It was during the eight weeks of the SENG Parent group that I began to reflect on my experiences as a gifted child. I realized that I had let my gifted identity go underground, as many gifted girls do. This really gave me the tools to help my daughters think and talk about their giftedness. My New Year’s resolution is the same this year as it has been for much of my … [Read more...] about Resolution Reframe
Online G3 has been a way to give not only my own daughter but also many students in the broader gifted community a means to find their own identities as gifted individuals in an active, diverse community that inspires friendship and support daily...Without this unique opportunity to give back to the gifted community, my own ties to my gifted identity would have never been so … [Read more...] about Building an Online Gifted Learning Community
So many mentors have nurtured and sustained me—the gifted therapists, the systems thinkers and second order cyberneticians, the deep ecologists and naturalists, the school founders, the teens I have mentored who have become my peers in time, and the children who have trusted me and grace my life. I know I’m not unusual in going through much of my early life feeling like … [Read more...] about Conversations of Sustenance
I know who I can't be now. I also know I have something to offer. I don't crave success, but I crave usefulness. And I crave someone who can help guide me. But the more I think about trekking into the great unknown—to be that iconoclast forging beyond charted territory—I know there are no guides. Julia Child's kitchen is on display at the Smithsonian in D.C. It’s a grand … [Read more...] about Fitz and the Tantrums; or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Gift
Suddenly, there was this community out there who knew my battles, who didn't make me feel like a parental failure because of my outlier son, and who understood that it was possible to have a preschooler who demanded scientifically accurate bedtime stories on the same day he got his head stuck in a friend’s banister. Late 1970s. Books, books, and more books. No one got … [Read more...] about The Long Winding Path of Giftedness