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November 17, 2005


Tia Oshields

It's the skill of handling people which can bring a team to the top. Grades are just numbers which measure your intellectual capability. True intellect can only be measured by actual practice.

@Kristi, care to share some things about the RVs from your husband's work place? How do they look? Are they awesome?


My husband and I were just talking about this and he is the perfect example. Everyone in his family has advanced degrees (lawyers) except him. He went to a technical school to learn drafting. Right out of school he hired in to Fleetwood Motor Homes, quickly becoming a lead drafter then project manager where he stayed for 13 years. When I wanted to move back to Texas he took a job with Carter& Burgess, one of the largest Architectural and Engineering firms in the world. He had never done architectural work before but within one year he was a lead drafter for the CVS pharmacy program at C&B. Then, a year later he became project manager for their nation wide program pulling in over 6 figures a year. Not including bonuses. His education consists of 18 months of tech school but he is the 3rd highest employee in his program. He has no thirst for knowlege other than his field of employment and anything the kids are interested in. His work ethic is exceptional and like you pointed out, I believe that is why he gets ahead.


A great post. Things I think about all the time so I can try to do the right thing raising my children. It's not something that I can talk about to people because I know it would sound stupid to say "I think my kids may be too smart for their own good". When you have 3 kids that get straight A's (and in my sons case straight A+'s on his last report card) you are supposed to be totally happy. I worry about their happiness and hope I am teaching them balance.
Again, great post.


I'm still suppressing memories of all the times I made an ass out of myself as a child by simultaneously betraying my intelligence and my ignorance - ignorance of the fact that most other kids had NO CLUE what I was talking about.

Lots of mixed messages, at home and at school, led me to lose my interest in academics in favor of pursuing popularity, and then all hell broke loose when I went punk rock. Interestingly enough, I never fully lost my vision of the future, so I kept up the academics (enough to make Bs and Cs in the AP courses) and the activities (enough to win "she tries harder than anyone else" awards in drill team). Let's not discuss college, okay? Suffice it to say, I have a BS and a MS. It wasn't pretty, but I made it.

I want to take a different approach with our girls. I want them to feel comfortable with their intellect (however intellectual they may turn out to be), but I also want them to feel comfortable around others (and for others to feel comfortable around them). It won't be easy, but hopefully I can take the lessons from my own childhood and adolescence and put them to good use.

And Malcolm Gladwell is a wonderful writer. Thanks for the link.


Welcome back! We missed you. I agree that how well you do has a great deal to do with your drive and determination. Social skills help, but are not necessarily the key. Look at Bill Gates - Asperger's, which means his social skills are definitely not those of Donald Trump, but without looking at the numbers, whose got the larger bank account.

Both were men driven by the need to succeed. (sorry that rhymed). Look at Temple Grandin - amazing people these are (god, I sound like Yoda). It's absolutely in the different ways of knowing and learning and utilizing what's been learned.

Great post!!!

steve baker

I think there's way too much talk about intelligence in our society. People even go on and on about how smart their dogs and cats are. It makes much more sense to assume that most dogs have an average canine intelligence, which in most measureable ways is far inferior to ours. And at the same time, we can assume that most people are pretty smart (at least compared to the dogs). Some are good at math, some at foreign languages, and some can look at the quivering muscles in a horse's legs and know that it's a good bet to win the race. The challenge is to find pursuits in life in which our special intelligence can shine.


I read the list of speakers at the Barnard event and was happily envious that you were among the participants. Erica Jong alone was enough to make me weak-kneed, but Anna Quindlen, Jhumpa Lahiri and Ann Brashares? Wow! It must have been awesome to be one of a group of women who are so talented in so many ways.

I agree that determination plays a tremendous role in one's success- determination and a little bit of luck as well. I tell anyone who asks me for career advice that nearly every success I've enjoyed has been preceded by at least 30 rejection letters.

And I love the idea of multiple ways of knowing. It provides for a much broader measure of intelligence, accounting for everyone from Stephen Hawking to my great grandmother, who left school at 13 but was consulted by her fellow townspeople on all kinds of matters because of her "wisdom."

Thanks for a thoughtful and well-written post!

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