I remember once, in one of my “well being” classes, our teacher gave us the task of coming up with our own definition for what we think intelligence is. We weren’t allowed to use the internet but in the least amount of words possible we had to come up with our own answer.
A few kids said things like “having a lot of knowledge” and a few off handed jokes but no one really said anything which seemed to strike meaning or truth with my teacher. Until a boy in my class said that it’s the ability to be quick. Then a thought occurred to me, so I raised my hand and said that it is the ability to understand. Our teachers eyes literally lit up (he was a pretty enthusiastic guy) and he pointed at me and the guy who had answered just before me. He then exclaimed “if I merged your two brains together we would have the answer”. Yes…he was a bit of an odd guy, one of the best teachers I’ve had though.
Of course I felt a sense of pride about having found, albeit it only half, the answer. Yet it wouldn’t be until two years later that it would come back to me, only with a nice little accompanying detail I had over looked in the time. The two of us who had come up with the definition of what intelligence is, are the only two people in my class who have learning disabilities. I find that pretty interesting that out of the 20+ kids, the very two who have brains which so often are considered “less intelligent” are the ones who knew most comprehensively what intelligence is. Or at least were able to come up with an answer that pleased our PHD holding teacher.
I don’t think conclusion can quite be drawn from this, although I do find it quite interesting and quite ironic. I wonder if this perhaps says something about how once you are singled out as not having something, you suddenly understand it much more than those who take it for granted and perhaps don’t even really give it a second thought. Although if our definition of intelligence is true, then they should be able to define and understand this no? Little bit of a paradox. I do think this says something though, I’m just not too sure what.