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February When we were in junior high school, my friend Rich and I made a map of the school lunch tables according to popularity. This was easy to do, because kids only ate lunch with others of about the same popularity. We graded them from A to E.
A tables were full of football players and cheerleaders and so on. E tables contained the kids with mild cases of Down's Syndrome, what in the language of the time we called "retards.
We were not being especially candid to grade ourselves as D. It would have taken a deliberate lie to say otherwise. Everyone in the school knew exactly how popular everyone else was, including us. My stock gradually rose during high school.
Puberty finally arrived; I became a decent soccer player; I started a scandalous underground newspaper. So I've seen a good part of the popularity landscape. I know a lot of people who were nerds in school, and they all tell the same story: Being smart seems to make you unpopular.
To someone in school now, that may seem an odd question to ask. The mere fact is so overwhelming that it may seem strange to imagine that it could be any other way. Being smart doesn't make you an outcast in elementary school.
Nor does it harm you in the real world.
Nor, as far as I can tell, is the problem so bad in most other countries. But in a typical American secondary school, being smart is likely to make your life difficult. The key to this mystery is to rephrase the question slightly. Why don't smart kids make themselves popular? If they're so smart, why don't they figure out how popularity works and beat the system, just as they do for standardized tests?
One argument says that this would be impossible, that the smart kids are unpopular because the other kids envy them for being smart, and nothing they could do could make them popular.
If the other kids in junior high school envied me, they did a great job of concealing it. And in any case, if being smart were really an enviable quality, the girls would have broken ranks. The guys that guys envy, girls like. In the schools I went to, being smart just didn't matter much.
Kids didn't admire it or despise it. All other things being equal, they would have preferred to be on the smart side of average rather than the dumb side, but intelligence counted far less than, say, physical appearance, charisma, or athletic ability.
So if intelligence in itself is not a factor in popularity, why are smart kids so consistently unpopular? The answer, I think, is that they don't really want to be popular. If someone had told me that at the time, I would have laughed at him. Being unpopular in school makes kids miserable, some of them so miserable that they commit suicide.
Telling me that I didn't want to be popular would have seemed like telling someone dying of thirst in a desert that he didn't want a glass of water. Of course I wanted to be popular. But in fact I didn't, not enough. There was something else I wanted more: Not simply to do well in school, though that counted for something, but to design beautiful rockets, or to write well, or to understand how to program computers.
In general, to make great things.
At the time I never tried to separate my wants and weigh them against one another. If I had, I would have seen that being smart was more important. If someone had offered me the chance to be the most popular kid in school, but only at the price of being of average intelligence humor me hereI wouldn't have taken it.
Much as they suffer from their unpopularity, I don't think many nerds would.No Protection for Wayward Professor Prof.
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Katz wrote: Despite its rhetoric about the glories of academic freedom, the priesthood of teachers, and the value of robust and wide-open debate in the classroom, the [U.S. Supreme] Court has relegated the procedural rights of nonretained academicians to those of the "common herd" of city, state, and federal employees.
Essay Writing Guide. Learn the art of brilliant essay writing with help from our teachers. Learn more. IELTS Writing Task 2 Introduction. This post will help you write better introductions in your Task 2 IELTS essays and show the specific sentences I advise all of my students to use when writing IELTS Writing Task 2 introductions.
February When we were in junior high school, my friend Rich and I made a map of the school lunch tables according to popularity.
This was easy to do, because kids only ate lunch with others of about the same popularity. Here's my full essay for the 'positive or negative development' question that we've been looking at over the last few weeks. In some countries, many more people are choosing to live alone nowadays than in the past.
Do you think this is a positive or negative development? In recent years it has become far more normal for people to live alone, . Good teachers are rare, and few people, including school administrators who hire teachers, know what it takes to be one. Although some of the qualities of good teachers .