It seems that many Americans have some sort of unhealthy fascination with IQ measurements. You know that something is up, when parenting sites and magazines publish articles several times a year answering questions from parents of preschoolers wanting to test their children for “giftedness”. But mostly, I think, the parents want their children to be labeled as “advanced” hoping to open new educational opportunities for them. I think most of them would be somewhat dismayed if they had to deal with a truly gifted child. Why do I think so? Because in my mind truly gifted individuals are very different from the rest of us. I had a chance to study with a few of them, since I went to a school that had math and physics specialization, and specialization started in 7th grade. The gifted individuals I encountered had a very intense focus on something and no patience for the rest of the routine life. They didn’t interact well with their fellow students, because they existed in the world of their own. Not every teacher liked them – they asked inconvenient questions too often. They also competed rather ruthlessly in their selected area. All of them, of course, went to colleges of their choice, but I only know of one who became successful in “mainstream” kind of way – he is now a professor of mathematics in Utah. One committed suicide at 20, another had to be in and out of hospitals during his manic/depressive episodes. Considering the odds, I’ll go with “normal” any day – a happy, healthy, intelligent woman who knows how to live in a modern society, how to work in a team of people, and doesn’t carry too much angst that things are not working “the way they should”. In other words… I want her to be me :) Maybe it’s really bad that I don’t want her to give unique gifts, but in my mind it’s they are rather a curse than a blessing.