Monday, July 27, 2009
One of my students just dropped today. That's not surprising, given the time in the semester it is--more than half way through a 6 week semester in which some people, too many really, aren't doing very well or working at all hard. But what is surprising is that I'm told she was 13 years old! Usually people have to ask permission to put a 13 year old in my class, but I guess for some reason this parent didn't. Perhaps she knew someone, was friends with a dean or something, or perhaps she is considered to be a genius. I thought she was quite bright, but incapable, all the same of understanding the things we were discussing. No wonder! How could a 13 year old be capable of making sage assertions about relationships or about life? 18 is bad enough. Genius or not, she is a child. It must be difficult to be a child genius. You don't fit in anywhere. In math or science, age doesn't matter. That's why so many discoveries in those fields are made by extremely young people. But in writing and literature, 13 is pretty young... too young to hold your own in a class full of adults, no matter how smart you are. The subject matter is just beyond a 13 year old. But parents never believe me when I tell them that.