PDA

View Full Version : Confessions of a Girl Genius



Khayankh
2007-07-19, 09:20 PM
I'm motivated in part by the Depression thread, in part by my own demons, but I have a story to tell. This is true, but I have lessons inside I feel driven to beat you over the head with. All the names are fake.

My family is dysfunctional. My mother, the doctor, works full-time in the emergency room of an inner-city hospital affiliated with an Ivy League medical school. As she basically runs this ER (which has residents) and has done so for years, she is on the faculty of this Ivy League school, though she's never taught a class. My mother works the night shift and cooks and cleans and drives everyone everywhere. Her name, we will say, is Jane Doe. My dad, John Doe, is a worthless bum. He is verbally abusive, insulting, demeaning, and controlling towards my mother and his children. My father does not work or contribute to the household in any positive way (except, possibly, by impregnating my mother). I am the eldest of their children. I have three younger siblings, Bob, Betty, and Pearl. My parents have always focused on science and math, and they've always had very high expectations. My mother has had an awful temper for a very long time, and when she hasn't had enough sleep (which is nearly always) she can be very nasty and say extremely cruel things.
It happened that I took a state-administered exam in fourth grade that placed me in the 99th percentile of fourth-graders nationally. I joined a program called CTY, the Center for Talented Youth. I took the SAT-I underage twice: because they're not high school scores, my underage SAT scores will never be released to colleges. They were still using the 1600 scale, and I was 11 when I got an 1190, and I got a 1280 at the age of 12. This was, in retrospect, a curse.
My parents believe that, because I'm so bright, I'm capable of doing so many things that I need to be directed to fulfill my capability. This is their justification for calling me undermotivated and lazy a thousand, million times over, and attacking me every time I brought an imperfect report card home. This is why, according to my parents, I deserved to be criticized for getting 90's on exams: I could've done better.
I have enjoyed making up stories since I was very small. Even so, I never doubted that my parents knew best and I'd fall in love with the sciences eventually, as they had. My father is fond of dismissing everything that isn't math and science as subjective (and thus worthless), and I accepted his standards. Writing was something I did shamefully and in private, like other kids masturbated, because I couldn't possibly conceive of stopping.
It was the spring of 2006 when things began to crumble. I was fifteen going on sixteen, a sophomore in high school. My parents hadn't been dismayed when I'd been disinterested in lower-level science (after all, it was probably just too simplistic) and high school honors biology (basic biology isn't much fun), but they fully expected me to fall in love with honors chemistry like they had. I'd taken nearly half the course, hanging on the teacher's every word, certain that somewhere in there was the salvation that would make me the daughter I wanted to be, the daughter my parents wanted to have, the child my parents would love. It was only chemistry, and there was nothing there that hadn't been there before: I felt nothing.
Yet there were stirrings of other feelings within me...I was feeling many things. I was studying Latin and, while I hadn't liked taking Spanish in middle school (it was oversimplified and boring), Latin class was fast-paced enough to be beautiful. I was thoroughly enjoying English class. And I'd managed to join the chorus for the spring musical, Camelot. I loved Camelot. I loved the music, yes, but I also loved the camaraderie and the sense of being connected to other kids who were just as weird as I was. There were kids doing Camelot who were shameless advocates of everything my parents scorned - arts, writing, impracticality - and they had a profound impact on me. I'm talking about you, Mike Jones. Mike's a year older than me, and I idolized him for being ignorant of standards I lacked the courage to seriously question.
So when it came time, in the spring of 2006, to choose my courses for junior year, I opposed my parents for the first time in my life...
I'll post another installment later, this is all background. It gets crazy in here.

Syka
2007-07-19, 09:24 PM
I would just like to say good for you in choosing your own path in life. Post shall be edited upon reading of the rest of installments.

I was lucky enough to have a mother who encouraged my sister and I to do whatever made us happy, even if that meant we were street sweepers.

Cheers,
Syka...who is a very happy Classics major hearing of another Latin student...

zeratul
2007-07-19, 09:25 PM
well first off, since cobras not here *hug*.

Next, leave when you get to go to college, ditch 'em. You look like you'll have a fullfilling career ahead of you. Shame on them for not giving a straight A student time to vedge!

Midnight Son
2007-07-19, 09:26 PM
True genius is knowing what you want in life and then doing it. Good on ya!

Cyrano
2007-07-19, 09:31 PM
I must say, congratulations on choosing what you wanted to do. But the congratulations of a bunch of internet forumites does not, I'm guessing, counteract any of the feelings you might get from parents who refuse to accept that. Now, I don't know what happened next, but know simply that you are more important to you than anyone else. Simple. If they do/have say anything bad, yeah, it's gonna hurt, but don't let that make a difference.
Luck.

Khayankh
2007-07-19, 09:45 PM
Thanks, guys. I'm just going to keep going then...

So, spring 2006 (seems longer ago than that now...), choosing my courses for junior year. My parents expected me to take AP History, AP English, honors math, honors physics, Latin, and AP Chemistry. I thought three AP classes would be too much. I faithfully subscribed, then, to everything they told me about grades and achievement and the importance of having a strong transcript for getting into college. Even so I wanted to take introductory acting instead of AP Chemistry. A tentative schedule requires two signatures: one from a parent and one from a child, and I refused to sign for three AP classes. I admitted to myself then that I didn't really like the sciences, and that my parents' expectations were really very high. Even as late as then I didn't think my parents were unreasonable. I deserved all the pressure because I was so smart.

We argued for several months. In the beginning, in March, they were merely shocked that their good little daughter could refuse them so passionately. I felt strong when the magnolias and forsythia were blooming, when I was certain they would understand. By April they were angry, and in May they were furious. I remember breaking down at one point and telling them I wasn't sure, and then sitting on the couch while my mother and my father stood and snarled at me about what a huge mistake I was contemplating making. In their eyes, refusal to put my transcript first - this ridiculous insistence upon taking acting - was tantamount to failure, tantamount to pregnancy or drug abuse.

In June, when the world was green and on the brink of final exams, the guidance counselor, Mrs. Turquoise, had news that changed the situation: there was no way I could take the schedule my parents had been ready to accept. Latin and AP Chemistry happened simultaneously, I couldn't do both. My parents proposed a compromise: I'd take AP English, AP History, honors math, honors physics, and I'd take AP Chemistry and acting.

I agreed, to my enduring shame. I half-believed their rants against my 'incompetent' honors chemistry teacher and half-hoped that the AP Chemistry teacher could change my mind, could change me into the good daughter it was becoming increasingly clear didn't exist. More than anything, I wanted them to love me and I was sick of enduring their wrath. Besides, I had two glorious months of sunshine before having to face any of it again.

Summer 2006 was minimally eventful. I was sixteen and working full-time as a lifeguard, I was also part of a very time-consuming summer theater program with a bunch of the kids from Camelot (including Mike, who'd been accepted into a decent college, despite never trying much in school. He was a C- high school student, yet his quick wit left me openmouthed.)

Yet like all summers, it ended...

zeratul
2007-07-19, 09:50 PM
Well you could do one of a few things. You could

A. Stand firm again, and try to transfer to the acting.
B. do horribly in, or skip the class just to spite them
C. Go with the flow.

Sean92k
2007-07-19, 09:54 PM
My heart truly goes out to you and may you find happiness in whatever you persue

Hell Puppi
2007-07-19, 09:59 PM
Even if they don't like it, you are who you are....and even if it takes years eventually they'll come to terms with it and accept it.

Namaste123
2007-07-19, 10:15 PM
I feel your pain, I am, in fact, a genius too, plagued by high expectatons, I was skipped over 3rd grade. though my hardships come nowhere near yours, please continue your story.

SDF
2007-07-19, 10:19 PM
I had the opportunity to skip several grades when I was younger, but chose not to, or rather my parents did. I was always in the 99th percentile for everything when I took the Iowa basic exams. In the first grade I took the WISC-III and got 164. I have since taken the Stanford-Binet my first year of college and gone down to 152, not complaining though. :P Standard deviation is still 15. I don't think I can claim the title of genius though, I sure never acted that way. In retrospect I am so glad I didn't skip ahead, my childhood seemed short enough, and I'm just thankful it was a happy one. I am really fortunate to have the parents I do. Both are educated and encourage me to do things, but never tell me what to do. They don't care if I become a doctor or if I play street music as long as I'm happy. I hope your parents will/did realize that they should be supportive, not forceful with the lives of their children.

Good read.

The Great Skenardo
2007-07-19, 10:21 PM
Even if they don't like it, you are who you are....and even if it takes years eventually they'll come to terms with it and accept it.

Heh. Ask Bor about that, sometime. :smallsigh:

But good for you! You should always make sure the thing you do is something you could spend the next thirty years of your life doing.

Einkil
2007-07-19, 10:26 PM
wow, a difficult decitions i think...
Im no body to give advices..so im not to give anything.. (maybe you can advice me).. Only y tell you, you are not alone. Im indecious too.. (im not agenious, or very smart, or somthing like that) and i dont had a big pression from my parents (only the healthy pression), but i have a really high spectations of myself, so i dont know how to make in the future XD...

Luck, and do wahtever you think is best, XD!!!
Edition:
Dont take the life so in serious, it is going to kill you one day XD...

The important thing is to have ahappy life no?... if we fail, we always can go to the revolution... viva la Revolucion muchachcos!!

Krade
2007-07-19, 10:34 PM
I (in a very small way) know how you feel. There is no outright shouting for me, but my mother has super-high expectations of me to do great things (though what great things I do is, and has always been up to me). Being the youngest of five brothers (mostly unsuccessful and poor) kinda puts additional strain on me to succeed. "You can't be wasting your money! You have to save up for when you go off to a university!" Stuff like that. It doesn't help too much that despite all of my supposed "genius" I have no idea what I want to do with my life. The part about saving up money is getting to be ridiculous. I remember figuring out with her about how much I would need saved up for when I go to a university. It was around $14,000. Sounds like a lot, but I have around $10,000 now. But the problem is now she goes on about how I'm going to need $20,000 (like I'm not going to have a job while I'm going to school). And then I'm taking a year off school and THAT has her worried. I dropped one class and got an Incomplete on another this past semester, which kinda pissed her off. It's always more. I always need to do more. Partly because I'm so smart, and partly because I'm her last chance at having a truly successful child since my four predecesors have been doing so poorly.

As I said, It doesn't nearly compare your situation, but given all of the information presented, it looks like you only have one more year of high school and then you'll be off. I'm sure your school counselors could help you a bit in your situation. Sometimes they care more about what the child wants than the parents do. My senior year in high school I had two AP classes, World History and Physics. I took World History because I really liked the teacher and even played cribbage with him most lunch periods. I took Physics because I wanted to have I different English teacher (I wanted the one my older brother had) and the only way to do that was to get AP Physics unless I wanted to drop one of my periods of Chior (which was NOT going to happen). I failed both of the AP tests though. Actually, only one person passed (and just barely at that) the AP Physics test that year so I didn't feel too bad about that one. But I ended up taking Physics my first year in college and got an A thanks to all of my previous experience in the AP class.

In any event, the school should work with you in any conflicts about your schedule you come into with your parents. Good luck in your future endeavors, and hopefully, you can shut your parents up by becoming a famous actress or writer or any of those other "worthless" things they go on about.

Hell Puppi
2007-07-19, 10:39 PM
Heh. Ask Bor about that, sometime. :smallsigh:

But good for you! You should always make sure the thing you do is something you could spend the next thirty years of your life doing.

Heh I understand that I'm being an optimist, but I had a falling out with my parents that was along...well...both of those lines. It possibly would've never been reconciled had something in my life not happened that caused the family to band together and not think about our own petty differences for a while.
I can't say it'll happen for everyone, but in my situation it's worked out.

Lemur
2007-07-19, 11:02 PM
Writing was something I did shamefully and in private, like other kids masturbated, because I couldn't possibly conceive of stopping.

I'm always skeptical when people try to rate their intelligence, since to an extent, skill and intelligence is subjective. However, this sentence has convinced me that you posess the potential for true genius, and it would be a crime against humanity for you to stop writing. I personally will be in pain if I can't read something you've written at some point in the future. Perhaps my reasons may seem ridiculous or twisted, but I hope you take my words on this matter as sincere.

I wrote some other things as well, but I think I'll wait to post them until I know more.

Vuzzmop
2007-07-20, 12:59 AM
So sad to heart that your parents fail to see the less scientific subjects for the qualities they have. truy quite brilliant that you stood up for the lively arts and took acting, I know I would if I had the chance. I'm looking forward to an extremely academic year soon as well, with only four subjects, english, maths, chemistry and biology. I'm sorry to hear that a kindred spirit (one keen on the written word) has been so stifled by their parents narrow mindedness. I to would like to hear some of what you have written.

13_CBS
2007-07-20, 01:00 AM
To the OP:

...I know how you feel. I come from an Asian heritage, and just like many, many Asian parents, they push me constantly.

No, I never felt nearly as much pressure as you did. I simply have almost no family, but perhaps that is a blessing when I consider that your own family is disfunctional. But I know how you feel. I've been told that what I love, history, is at best a springboard into lawyering--a career I despise for myself (apologies to lawyers of the forums)--or at worst something utterly worthless. My mother, my only parent since I was four, always pressured me into something that would make me great, or famous, or, at the very very least, rich. This meant becoming a businessman, a doctor, or a lawyer.

In fact, it's almost been my destiny. When I was but a newborn, my mom consulted a Korean soothsayer. After he chose my symbolic name, he also claimed that I was to build two buildings the equivalent of the Empire State building in Korea, a "sign of greatness". But I don't really want that.

Does my mother care? In a way...yes. She wants what is best for me, but what might be best for me and my children, should I have any, doesn't really fit with what I want to do. People always say, do what you want! You're free to choose what you want to do! But when one is trained, brainwashed, almost, since youth to believe that doing what one wants is selfish and to be despised, well...

I feel as though my whole life since as far as I can remember was about my parents, aka my mother, telling me to do this and do that. Asking me why I can't play the violin as well as that girl can. Asking me why I can't practice enough. Asking me why I can't study hard enough. Asking me why my grades arent high enough. Asking me why my AP Euro course grade can't get above 94. Asking me why the hell I love history so much in the first place when it is so USELESS.

Perhaps I'm being whiny. It could certainly be true; I've never had to go through what you had to. But let me tell you this:

I know how you feel.

AslanCross
2007-07-20, 01:15 AM
My background's very different---I've never opposed my parents (mostly because they let me do what makes me happy), and I've been consistently mediocre in the first place so they don't really expect much from me (my dad, for example, prepared backup funds even when I got a college scholarship just in case I couldn't keep my grades up---true enough, I didn't). Of course they always gently goad me into trying to excel more, but they never oppressed me about it.

However, I see your situation in my students--I teach in a school that is supposedly a gifted school, and many of our students are indeed very intelligent. I wouldn't be surprised if a good percentage of them have higher IQs and better overall competencies that I do. However, I see that their giftedness is ironically the cause of the oppression that they get in life. I see students who are punished for having 94s and 88s in their report card. I see 13-year-old students who are worked to exhaustion and depression just because "they can do it." To make matters worse, our school (which is a scholarship school, so the kids don't pay a cent) binds the kids to fulfill a contract (they can only take science courses in college), otherwise they pay every last cent of the tuition that they got for free. What's really sad is that I have a good number of students who are actually better at the arts---they're excellent writers; some are so skilled at music that they can make careers out of them. Others are good at speaking and debating. Unfortunately, their talents are so undervalued that the humanity gets sucked out of them sometimes. I guess that's why it falls to me, their English teacher, to be the guardian of their humanity. Just that it's so hard to work against the system that employs you.

Hell Puppi
2007-07-20, 01:44 AM
I once had a debate with a substitute teacher back in high school. We pretty much both agreed that the problem with schools is they place kids at odds with each other (after all, someone is always better at you), and while it tries to teach the basics, it doesn't teach you to become a thinking, caring human being.
Or how to deal with anxiety, social disorders, or any of the other huge problems that seem to start flaring up in high school.
I am lucky that my parents didn't push me to be anything in specific, but that was kind of a curse in that I was always the 'good' kid, so I felt a little left out when they were constantly on about my brother and his grades.
Wow we need a whole new thread, here. I'm sorry to be putting my own problems up here, just relating. I guess we can all feel your pain.

Krimm_Blackleaf
2007-07-20, 01:57 AM
Khayankh, your story is really inspirational. I don't know much what it's like having a future 'planned' for me by someone elses will. But I do know what it's like to have high standards set for me because of my intelligence and good sense of self. I might be in the same boat if my parents were more strict and I actually did well in highschool(despite being smart I wasn't willing to jump through too many hoops). Every year I have high hopes for myself, and so does everyone else, last year I started out well but due to unforseen cirumstances of a somewhat medical nature I broke down and became incapable of doing well in class due to horrible distractions in my life(even art, which was as natural as breathing to me).

But now I'm just ranting about my life. You're a hero in my eyes for rebelling against opression and injustice all just because someone else thinks you should be one way, when you want to be another. Be proud of your free spirit and do your best to throw off the shackles of opression and shame, you'll be happy you did.

Take care, friend.:smallsmile:

Vuzzmop
2007-07-20, 02:40 AM
To the OP:

...I know how you feel. I come from an Asian heritage, and just like many, many Asian parents, they push me constantly.

No, I never felt nearly as much pressure as you did. I simply have almost no family, but perhaps that is a blessing when I consider that your own family is disfunctional. But I know how you feel. I've been told that what I love, history, is at best a springboard into lawyering--a career I despise for myself (apologies to lawyers of the forums)--or at worst something utterly worthless. My mother, my only parent since I was four, always pressured me into something that would make me great, or famous, or, at the very very least, rich. This meant becoming a businessman, a doctor, or a lawyer.

In fact, it's almost been my destiny. When I was but a newborn, my mom consulted a Korean soothsayer. After he chose my symbolic name, he also claimed that I was to build two buildings the equivalent of the Empire State building in Korea, a "sign of greatness". But I don't really want that.

Does my mother care? In a way...yes. She wants what is best for me, but what might be best for me and my children, should I have any, doesn't really fit with what I want to do. People always say, do what you want! You're free to choose what you want to do! But when one is trained, brainwashed, almost, since youth to believe that doing what one wants is selfish and to be despised, well...

I feel as though my whole life since as far as I can remember was about my parents, aka my mother, telling me to do this and do that. Asking me why I can't play the violin as well as that girl can. Asking me why I can't practice enough. Asking me why I can't study hard enough. Asking me why my grades arent high enough. Asking me why my AP Euro course grade can't get above 94. Asking me why the hell I love history so much in the first place when it is so USELESS.

Perhaps I'm being whiny. It could certainly be true; I've never had to go through what you had to. But let me tell you this:

I know how you feel.

Believe me when I say that it's not only asian guys who face that. My parents found out I was gifted at a young age, and have pushed me quite hard ever since. I'm expected to do well, very, very well.But at least I haven't had my destiny read, and they want me to do whatever makes me happy........as long as it requires about seven years of university education. Not that I mind that.

Serpentine
2007-07-20, 03:32 AM
Wow. I never really realised how lucky I am to have one artsy parent (dad has done teaching, acting, directing, ran a theatre company, loves fantasy and films and is now involved in the arts for a city council) and one sciency (mum's a doctor) O.o The closest I ever got to that stuff was having to sit down and think about what I did wrong if I ever received a mark lower than B, an assumption that I'd go to uni (best way I can describe it, there just was never any question. That is not to say that they'd stop me if I wanted to do anything else, but... it's just the way it was) and my mum's concern that all her complaining about work and patients and colleagues and the like had put me off doing medicine.

Siwenna
2007-07-20, 04:06 AM
It's so sad when parents discourage their children from following their dreams, rather than the parents. I'm a total science nerd, but science fiction got me interested in science. I love the classics as well. While our species scientific accomplishments are important and impressive, the great works of art and literature are just as important.

In a weird way, I know how you feel. My parents have never cared at all about my school work or pushed me at all, but I think that can lead to much the same thing as pushing the kid too hard.. When I got all A's, it was "good." I studied biology independently this past year so that I could take the AP test, which I got a 5 on. No comment from my parents. I'm 13, and I took the SAT a few months ago. I got 1390. My mom said, "Oh, well that's pretty good." I applied to a program that will let me start college full time this fall, at the age of thirteen. I got accepted, which is "pretty good" as well. They think they're being understanding my not caring about how well my sisters and I do in school, but instead they seem uncaring, especially since they act similarly with most everything. Parents almost always think they're doing whats best for their kid, and when they aren't it's really difficult to pursuade them otherwise. Good luck though!

The Prince of Cats
2007-07-20, 04:25 AM
I cannot claim to know your position, Khayankh. All I can say is that I may have some inkling of what you may have suffered through.

My parents were both computing students, it is how they met. They imparted to me their love of order and logic, but they also have a shared love of fantasies and books. As a boy, I was read, and later read for myself, the Chronicles of Prydain and The Hobbit. My background was balanced.

When I was young, I was tested by Mensa. I cannot comment on SAT scores, because (with the exception of an abandoned experiment) I never sat any. My IQ was tested at 156; that is to say that my mental age was 15 when I was 9. That put me in the top 1% for raw intellect.

I was lucky enough to be raised in a place where the grammar school system was still in use and I took the 11+ test. To qualify, you were required to excel in both maths and English. In this way, the top 25% of pupils were separated and taught in specialist schools.

This was where it all went wrong. For six years, I was recognised for my abilities in maths and the sciences. I was pushed and prodded, discouraged from 'frivolous' pursuits like the arts. My parents were called into the school, told that I was wasting my potential. Psychologists wanted to know why I was losing interest in their purely logical, perfect subjects. At one point, I expressed an interest in auditioning for the school pantomime and was threatened with detention if I even attended the audition; I was to concentrate on biology and chemistry, not pointless pursuits.

One day, I realised that this was wrong. Like my uncle had done twenty-odd years before me, I realised that I am not purely a scientist nor purely an artist. I got out. The headmaster told my parents that I was making a mistake and asked their permission to talk me out of it (not try to, simply to do) and could not believe that I would do such a thing. As far as he was aware, I had an almost firm place at Oxford to read chemistry and there was no logical reason for me to turn it down.

As I handed back my books, my chemistry teacher commented to me that I never would have been happy. He had been waiting to see how long it took me to notice that...

Other teachers told me I was making a mistake, but generally agreed that it was my choice and that they did not know if it was such a bad idea.

For four years, I studied in the theatre. I trained as an actor, then a dancer, a director, a fight-director, a stage-manager, designers of every stripe, I did make-up, lighting, wrote a few plays, produced a few plays. I will not pretend that I excelled in any one discipline as much as I could have done in the sciences, but I was happy for the most part. I practised my crafts in the real world, but the money was not there and the rejections started to get me down.

In the end, I went back to university. I was a trained actor, then I retrained as a software engineer. My written qualifications were either irrelevant or else out of date. What I had was talent and experience. I got onto the degree course simply by proving that I could pass it.

You know what? I have found that all those 'pointless pursuits' gave me skills others don't have. I am a level designer right now, putting to use all those lessons in set and lighting design. I have done some character-design and drawn on make-up and my time observing human movement and how gait affects perceived character.

In all, I learned that you will never excel if you are not happy. You will never feel fulfilled and you will never truly be happy unless you follow your heart. The trick is not so much to find what makes you happy as to find what not doing makes you unhappy.

I have met other intelligent people who are lucky enough not to need to stretch their creative muscles. For most of us though, a high IQ means a vivid imagination and a need to express ourselves.

Xuincherguixe
2007-07-20, 05:18 AM
I'm glad that you ended up going with acting instead of just a bunch of sciences. You know these days just looking smart isn't even close to enough in most situations? But I'll save that rant for another time :P
That you did take acting is going to help your resume.

There is a reason computers exist. You don't need to replace one. I mean there are a lot of computers out there. But what the world is lacking in is imagination. Be an actor, or a writer, or a painter, or plumber if that is what you want.

But I can't help but think that there is another thing unfair about what your parents have done. They have robbed you of the chance to be successful at the sciences. Because if you did take that path you would never be able to take pride in your accomplishments. You would just be serving their will.

Your parents I doubt realize this, but success isn't about how famous you are, or how much money you make. It's about how much you're enjoying life. And there's more then a little to be said about being true to yourself. You only win if you are you, not the instrument of someone else's will. Because then they're winning.


The programmer in me can't help but point you towards programming. And here's why. It's one of those things that seems like it's purely rational, but the computer does exactly what you tell it. Hence it's a field where the creative can flourish. It has the disadvantage of that it's reasonable scientific, but I suspect that it fails to carry the same kind of arbitrary prestige and thus is likely to still infuriate your parents ^_^

Okay. Maybe it's not such a good idea to go out of your way to piss them off. I guess that's just the trouble maker in me getting out again :P

And I can't emphasize this enough. If you choose to take art courses and it turns out that it's not suited for you this is not a mistake. You are not ruining your life. You are making an attempt to grab one for yourself, and that attempt alone is worth more then a million '100%s'.

Logic
2007-07-20, 05:28 AM
You need to be firm and stubborn. No matter how much your parents think you need to do better, because it should come so easy for you.

What I would do, is leave a note saying things along the lines of:
"I met this guy, named Mark, and he got me pregnant. Don't worry, we have a plan, and don't worry about his alcoholism and drug abuse, he is in therapy for that. (Lots of other BAD BAD stuff later...)
Love, Your Daughter.

P.S. This could be true. Instead, I'm over at Julie's (or another friend you know) and not coming home till you accept that it is my life and will have to just learn some things the hard way."

*Inspired by one of those e-mails everyone sends around.

Hoggy
2007-07-20, 08:26 AM
My parents believe that, because I'm so bright, I'm capable of doing so many things that I need to be directed to fulfill my capability. This is their justification for calling me undermotivated and lazy a thousand, million times over, and attacking me every time I brought an imperfect report card home. This is why, according to my parents, I deserved to be criticized for getting 90's on exams: I could've done better.

Woah, that's so similar to me, except I don't see myself as bright anymore. Once perhaps, but no more. I feel for you.

StickMan
2007-07-20, 09:03 AM
As someone who is going to school to teach history I'll say this Art, History, Science, Math, English, Music, Theater are all connected. It is the greatest shame of teaching, in my opinion that we divide these in to different classes and subjects.

The truth is there is no subject that is better than any other. You might be able to invent something that can change the world, by learning the sciences. But by learning the arts you can move the world, this world has been changed as often by the pen as it has by any other means.

I took an IQ test when I was younger and was told I have a very high IQ. And yes I was very good at science and even liked it but I love History. I love learning about epic battles, I love knowing that at the so call 300 battle there were 1000 other troops there that everyone forgets. I love learning about mythology and how is influenced human behavior. I love all the little odd facts I know about history. And with this love of history I want to teach and inspire my future students to do what ever they want, let it be Math, science, history or Art.

Its not how you use your gift in life its that you use it that is important.


So what I'm saying is fight the power!

Telonius
2007-07-20, 09:38 AM
Hey there Khayankh. First of all, congratulations for posting! Getting those bad feelings down on paper, admitting that they exist, is really important.

I went through an extremely similar situation. 99th percentile on that thrice-accursed test, near-straight a's through high school, interest in theater and writing, super-pressurized parenting style, near-perfect score on the SAT. The only thing I didn't have was a verbally abusive dad (though grandma tried to fill that role). I was supposed to become a priest like my uncle, or a lawyer, or some kind of a high-paying professional; basically, somebody who could change the world in a big way, if not shake it to its foundations. But that's not what I wanted. And all of that potential means exactly zero, if it's not something you want.

I know for a fact that, if I put forth a minimum of effort, I could get into any profession I want, earning whatever money I want. But I want to be a writer. So, I write, and have a day job dealing with scientists. Some of my friends are out being that lawyer or lobbyist or consultant, and are perfectly miserable. Some are out being the lawyer or lobbyist or consultant, and are perfectly happy. One friend of mine got married at 19, stayed back home in Ohio, and is raising her three children while her husband serves in the military. She's the happiest person I know. The trick is to know the difference within yourself, and make choices to support your own happiness.

TruenuffTrey
2007-07-20, 10:56 AM
I won't sit here and tell you about my life, because frankly, its not all that exciting, much to my dismay at times.

I can relate to many of the other posters, in the fact that I have parents who push and motivate me, but without controlling my life.

I think it's inspirational that in spite of all this pressure, you remain steadfast in becoming the person that you want to be.

Good Luck with the rest of life's endeavors :)

Pwenet
2007-07-20, 01:21 PM
I can't say that I have had gone through all the same things, but I can relate.

I am lucky in a way that I never really realized before. My father is an engineer and used to play the saxophone, my mother used to teach music and play the flute, saxophone, clarinet, piano and other instruments before I came around.

In my old school there was a program where you could learn to play an instrument. It was never really given a choice by my parents, just was brought up one day to the bedroom with three cases on the bed, and told to pick one. I ended up choosing the clarinet. Throughout the rest of my school career, I played the clarinet. And I'll be honest, I was very good. I got tutors, I played solo's, I went to county and state competitions and scored very highly on the most difficult of pieces. I branched out into the saxophone as well and started playing jazz music.

Yet I never really questioned why I was playing. Did I have a burning desire to create music? Was I really doing anything special? Despite my skill I noticed that I was being placed in more of a support role, and then shortly before I went to college, I had a epiphany. I didn't have the desire to play, I didn't see what I wanted to do with the music, and I lacked the creative "spark" needed to become better, to become a real great player.

So it was before college that I stopped the tutoring sessions, I claimed my last near perfect score in a competition, and put the Clarinet away.

I appreciate all that I learned while being in the music, but eventually there came a point when I realized I was not playing to make myself happy, but playing cause it was expected of me.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that there comes a time when you have to realize what makes you happy, and go for it.

13_CBS
2007-07-20, 02:35 PM
Hmmm...how lucky of many people. How fortunate of them to know that what they love to do can and will provide them with practical benefits along with happiness. Like the kids who aspire to become doctors, lawyers, successful businessmen...how lucky of them.

Raven T.
2007-07-20, 06:17 PM
It's amazing how people can be, and I feel compelled to share the (somewhat) abbreviated version of my story.


My father never showed that much real interest in my schooling. He'd come to concerts, plays, etc., but he never took a real active role in my education. He was there, but he was never "there" there, and, to this day, I believe it is one of the contributing factors between the rift that is between me and him (it only works one way, in this case.)

My mother, on the other hand...

Mom was special. The kind of mother I think every child should have. She was made for mothering, which is why she made such a successful nurse. She knew when to pull back and let us find out for ourselves, especially as we got older, and when to discipline. One of the last things she ever told me, when I asked her about moving in with my girlfriend while she finished college, was "If you want to go, it's your decision. I know you need to spread your wings, but you will always be welcome (in my house.)"

I miss her.

At any rate, my grandmother ponied up to send me to private school when I entered the 1st grade. She paid for three years, then three more years were worked out with the school. It wasn't a large school, 60 students total, and we were members in good standing of the church. This led to my mother keeping me on a bit of a short leash. She could easily find out if my work was suffering or slipping. Nothing got past her. I may never know, other than the moral values instilled within me to this day, what good it did, but looking back at it is moot now.

From there, we had moved to a rural area. My sister and I started going to public school. I found myself bright, inquisitive, but naive to the way the world worked. My social skills had suffered during my youth due to a lack of a need for them. My intelligence was tested when I was 13 and they placed me in a sort of gifted program where we would go to a college campus every other Friday and we could learn various college-level skills. The program fell apart after some hoodlums from another school district forced the college to discontinue it.

Meanwhile, I fell into a trap. My grades started sliding because I found the out of school assignments to be tedious. Why, if I can grasp the concept in the classroom, should I be forced to take time out of my evening to scratch on paper what X equals when you could put the test in front of me and I'd ace it almost every time? This was only a major problem in Math courses, but it did translate over into other subjects. I couldn't get into the assigned books for English, so I never read them, relying on winging it for those quizzes. I never skimped on the big assignments, though. The major research papers and whathaveyou.

This became a point of contention between me and my mother (and, through her, my father.) They felt that I should be doing better because I was lazy. In retrospect, a quote comes to mind: "It's not that I'm lazy; I just don't care." Many people, including my sister, feel that I have squandered my gift. In truth, the real world has taught me that I am nowhere near as smart as everyone expects me to be. Sure, I'm bright and a fast learner, but I seem to be the last person to find stuff out.

Fortunately, I never had a problem with the arts as many of you have. My mother was a flautist and my father a self-taught, tone deaf drummer. I acted, played in the band, and did all kinds of fun things like that. I think my parents realized that both my sister and I are creative people...my imagination runs wild all the time. Committing it to the pen, though, is difficult.

I'm 22. I haven't been to college yet. To an extent, I'm paying for it. Yes, I care about education and bettering myself, but my joys aren't academic anymore. I wanted to be a chemist out of high school. Now, I want to open my own greenhouse in 5 or so years.

I wish those of you who are going through patches in your youth all the best. The "real world" isn't much easier. To quote a great Jedi master:

"You must do what you feel is right, of course."

Sir_Norbert
2007-07-21, 01:51 PM
I have at least an inkling of how hard this sort of thing can be..... I didn't have too much problem myself, my mother always thought it was a waste that I didn't pursue mathematics further, right up until after I finished my degree (in philosophy), and that was hard to cope with sometimes, but she didn't make too much of a big deal of it or try to coerce me out of it. I patiently explained, over and over again, that it was only because I loved the subject I chose that I even got through my three years of university, and in the end she got the message.

My girlfriend, on the other hand, is having severe parent problems with regard to her desire to pursue a career in film. It doesn't help that one of her cousins went through film school, got nothing out of it, and still doesn't know what he's going to do with his life. But she's an adult now and she's standing up for herself and she's going to go through with it no matter what they say, and I really admire her for that.