When you come across something great, don't you always wish you had known about it sooner?
Here is a direct quote from the book:
"What they reported was consistent with what the research on children says about hte problems and pleasures of being smarter than 95% of the population. They revealed that the process of managing a high powered brain/mind can create difficulties in school, work, and society, and can make finding friends and partners a challenge. However seeing the complex relationships between things and always questing for more stimulation, more information can make for a rich and rewarding life." (preface, viii).
Streznewski tackles some of the big questions and issues about giftedness.
Chapter 1: What Makes You Gifted?, Chapter 2: Inside the Gifted Brain, Chapter 4: The Gifted Family, Chapter 7: Bored, Bored, Bored: The Quest For Challenging Work, Chapter 9: Finding Others, Chapter 10: Gifted Women.
I especially enjoyed the chapter on finding friends and a partner. I tell you, after 21 years of marriage, it made me feel like I won the lottery with my husband. He is a gifted and creative man, but also has a heart of gold.
On meeting another gifted person: " It is a joy,a relief, refreshing and exciting...a wonderful thing...a joy to meet someone who is 'simpatico'...the thrill of the year...there are so few who understand...when things 'hit' like that I could go on forever..I feel an instant connection, because I don't have to explain myself so much." (p.198)
It made me grateful for the folks in the two different running clubs I belong to. In one group, we have about dozen folks who consistently show up for workouts. In this little group, there are 3 Ph.D grads from Cal Tech, one member of MENSA, and several with Masters Degrees. The others are hidden gifted- for example own their own businesses and are very entrepeneurial or artistic or both. Another founded a non-profit group. I tell you, I look foward to the hour or so spent on the road with these folks whose occupations are quite different from mine. I am never bored and the miles just fade by as I am lost in conversation.
Streznwski corrobrates this:
"...gifted people work faster, question more persistently, make more connections, think more deeply, annoy more people, and have greater highs and lows than the average person." (p.15)
Most of these folks know they are gifted on some level, but what that means from a social and emotional level is often a mystery to them. I enjoy being able to share what I do with them and impart some information about the social and emotional aspect of giftedness. This is often met with, "You are talking about me!"
"A gifted person at any age needs what we all need: a circle of loving persons who will accept you for what you are, and who will help ease the pain when most people don't understand, and a few others who are like you, to make life fun and keep you from being lonely." (p.49, Streznewski)
In my conversations with gifted adults, being gifted has been a gift and a burden. Some traits of giftedness are: hightened sensitivity, both emotional and pysiological, the need for challenging work: resistance to routines, authority, low frustration tolerance. Some choose jobs where they can "be their own boss"- for example, they may own their own business (that way they can call the shots and change directions quickly) or they might be a driver for FedEx. They don't have a boss hanging over their head and have time to think and dream a bit.
The educator in me loved reading the quotes about the role of memorable teachers or mentors in the lives of gifted folks.
"We had a teacher who would allow two or three of us to meet at his house and read plays, talk about 'literature'. It was as if we had our own academy-my entire intellectual development took place outside of school. That teacher made the difference between my getting a job in town and never going anywhere to leading to going on to college as a professor of literature." (p.86)
I think you get the picture. This book is on my recommended reading list for anyone interested in gifted education and gifted individuals.