I just spent four days – FOUR DAYS – trying to debug some Visual Basic code for an Access database I created. I was executing a FROM statement using table names that contained commands in them. Access no likey; apparently Access likes it when you use non-command names for your tables so it doesn’t get confused. It’s kinda like when you name your kid “Kick.” You want to tell your kid to pick up the ball, but when you say, "Kick, the ball-" the kid kicks the ball and never listens long enough for you to tell him to pick up the ball. Now, you have to go chase the ball. You’d think this would be rather intuitive for a genius like me, but nooo……it took me four days to figure it out.
It just goes to prove my “smart is as smart does” theory. About 5 years ago I took an IQ test out of curiosity. I scored so freaking high I thought for sure it must have been a mistake. I found another IQ test, took it and scored higher. I concluded that the IQ test had been dumbed down for the typical American and average smart people like me were scoring as if we were Einstein’s offspring, and maybe 50 years ago we’d just be smarter-than-average-Joe’s offspring. Perhaps I was right.
So, does being smart actually help you in life? Well, I had a pretty easy time of it in school. I didn’t have to work really hard, although I did study. I seem to pick up on things pretty quickly, but I get bored easily, so long before I’ve mastered something I move on to the next thing. I guess you could say I’m a generalist.
But when I take this whole “smart” label and apply it to my life, I see little evidence of being truly intelligent. Perhaps the reason has to do with that whole EQ versus IQ issue. The EQ theory says that the true intelligence that matters is the one that governs how you problem solve and make decisions and relate to other people and evaluate your experiences and observations. If I were a high scorer on that scale, I would have probably figured out my syntax error days ago. Maybe even on the first day!
Which leaves me thinking – as I’ve often done – that being smart is not such a gift afterall. As a matter of fact, if you think about it, we all know several of those super-smart-but-never-quite-succeeded people. And I do happen to know a lot of individuals that have gone very far in spite of not having been a top scholar.
So maybe it isn’t such a bad thing when your kid comes home with Bs and Cs instead of straight As – provided your kid does a reasonable job of interpreting and evaluating the life they lead and seems to make good decisions, because as far as my life experience has shown me, it is these people that succeed more often then stupid old geniuses like myself. So, wish for common sense, folks and leave the calculatin’ to the mad geniuses – you’ll be much happier for it.