By Cat Robson
Comparing myself to high achievers in the news makes me want to give up and eat chocolate.
But gifted adults, and young people, aren’t just the ones who win awards and get interviewed in the media.
In her article Who’s the gifted one: Harry, Ron or Hermione?, excerpted here, Lisa Natcharian examines our favorite film trio and asks us to question our assumptions about giftedness.
[W]hich character from the Harry Potter series do you think is the gifted one? I know you want to say Hermione, because she’s clearly a typical “teacher’s pet.”
I’ll grant you that Hermione gets spectacular grades and remembers every single thing she ever read, but she spends her life studying. Wouldn’t someone who is gifted not have to work so hard? Wouldn’t learning come more easily?
Let’s set Hermione aside and consider Harry for a minute. What sets him apart from all the other Gryffindors? His grades aren’t perfect, and he struggles to pass his OWLs, but he has a definite knack for problem-solving on the fly.
How many scrapes has he gotten himself into, only to save himself at the last minute with some clever, daring action? Does problem-solving and a talent for abstract thinking count as giftedness?
And let’s not forget Ron. Although the image he portrays is of a charming bumbler who doesn’t put any effort into school, Ron has a secret. He is a champion chess player, as evidenced by his spectacular game with the live chess pieces in the Sorcerer’s Stone.
A champion chess player must, by definition, be really really good at imagining all the possible moves an opponent might make, and this takes a special kind of mind – a logical mind with an unusual capacity for keeping complex layers of problems separate. Would that make Ron gifted?
Harry, Ron and Hermione each possess a different kind of academic gift. (Full marks for those of you who could tell this was a trick question right from the start.)
A gifted student doesn’t fit one standard mold – gifts come in all shapes and sizes. This is not to say that everyone is gifted, as I mentioned last week, but think about it.
Skills come in as many variations as there are stars in the sky. Why wouldn’t gifts all be unique as well?
Articles: High Ability – gifted/talented
Mary-Elaine Jacobsen. The Gifted Adult
Marylou Kelly Streznewski. Gifted Grownups: The Mixed Blessings of Extraordinary Potential.