Thursday, October 20, 2016

I'm Back - Sorry about the Silence

The month of October has been brutal for my blogging, and it made me consider this question: Am I a writer?

In "the life I have imagined" (per the advice of Henry David Thoreau), I would be transitioning from the blogger/teacher/administrator of the past twenty years to the writer, speaker, and cultural critic that I want to be for the next twenty or so. But what is a writer if he doesn't write. When my dailiness gets in the way, and I head home in the evening to some time on the couch watching nonsense and surfing social media, I wonder if that will ever happen.

Today, I am pondering several ideas, but the one that I have become focused on is the idea of "gifted and talented," or GT. At a school of incredibly high performing students, there are numerous kids who are signficantly beyond the norm - they are GT. And that's not something you can be with a lot of hard work. It's not a matter of Malcolm Gladwell's mis-interpretation of the "10,000 hour of practice to mastery" idea. There are people who are simply exceptional to the highest levels of achievement. And Colorado has recently expanded GT identification beyond the basic four - math, langauge arts, both, and other. Now there are twelve identifications of gifted and exceptional, and that includes as it should physical gifts and athletics.

Cam Newton is a GT football player, Yo Yo Ma is a GT cellist, Michael Phelps is a GT swimmer, Picasso is a GT painter, Banksy is a GT "artist." There are people who are simply so far beyond the norm that no amount of practice will enable non-GT people to reach their levels of mastery and virtuousity. I mean, just take a look at this and tell me that anyone could do it with enough practice.

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