Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Random, Eclectic Post

I love Annika. In the ensuing month, Annika is totally and completely potty trained. It took me probably 3 months to get to this point with my other kids. Part of it is me. I'm older, wiser and better at potty training. But part is her and she is great. If things keep going as is, she'll be sleeping pull-up free by next month.

I did read a couple more books in the weeks since I've posted anything. I read Letter to My Daughter by Maya Angelou. It was very Maya. It's a collection of short stories from the author's life. All of them are interesting. Some of them are a bit lurid. Still, it's a good book. I can see why it's a best seller and I'd recommend it.

I also read Outliers: A Story of Success by Malcom Gladwell. This was a real page turner for me. It's a non-fiction book about how successful people have become successful and how to apply their stories of success to help create our own. Partly, it points out that there is no such thing as a "self-made man." For people who reach high levels of success, there is cultural heritage, parenting, community and all those who were willing to give chances or create breaks for people who eventually became wildly successful. If these people weren't given the chances to succeed by others' efforts, then it becomes probable that these successes might have failed.

One of my personal favorites in this book is the research showing the fallacy of connecting IQ with success. There is a point at which if you are "smart enough" having a baseline IQ of 130 or higher, your chance at success is the same. Having and IQ of 195 doesn't necessarily mean that you'll be a bigger success because all those community things also come into play. I could go on and on. I think every educator should read this book. I also think that if you have some kids who are naturally bright and others that struggle, this book is one to read.

5 comments:

Shaharac said...

I read Letters to My Daughters, I love it, - but I'm a Maya fan - however, NOT why I named my Maya, Maya. I discovered her in high school with I know why the Caged Bird Sings and have loved her ever since. My fav of hers is Wouldn't take Nothin for my Journey.

queenieweenie said...

my fourth potty-trained herself before she was two-now THAT's talent!

Jen said...

130 is quite a high IQ. Most of the people we look at and think of as particularly bright, successful people are 115-ish. Even so, IQ tests are based so much on prior knowledge and exposure that more & more research is questioning their validity in predicting anything at all. Too bad, because I really enjoyed the testing aspect of my last job.

So what do *you* think--do you agree with the author that it's the luck of the draw/who you know, or do you think there's ever a hard work & risk taking factor involved at all in success?

Looking at my own family with similar exposure to parents, education, and plenty of big breaks along the way, I can see differing levels of achievement in my siblings, (and clearly my BIL who is mentally challenged yet who has had scads of "big breaks", conscientious parenting, and connections works in a basic maintenance job, and probably will never be able to do better because his capabilities are lower.)

I do think there's a point where an extremely high IQ (or intelligence since I question the validity of IQ as we think of it), can actually become more of a handicap than a blessing.

Jenna said...

Jen,
This author posted a study that said an IQ of 115 was required to get into and complete a 4 year degree.

For "true" success, a person must cross the 130 threshold. This is, I believe, to become a Dr, lawyer, professor, etc.

He actually talked about creative testing which some of the people with highest IQ's do poorly. (An example would be in 2 minutes right down all the uses for brick.) While lower IQ, that were still high, just not genius level (150) high, did much better.

In the end what he discussed is that it is a combination of ancestry, luck, big breaks, parental involvement, charm and smarts.

It was absolutely fascinating.

Paige said...

Hi Jenna, sick of me?? Sorry, just catching up. I LOVED this book. I signed all my kids up for intense summer school just because of his chapter on summer slide. And I have an ADHD kid with a super high IQ who is having trouble reading. So go figure.