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What would you do/say if (she said, "my son's a genius") this happened to you?


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Dh and I were sitting at the local Homeschool Art program last Friday (Dh doesn't usually attend). Dh asked if her dd was enjoying the hs art class. She said yes, and then begins talking to us about her precious son who is in public high school 9th grade. We had not asked about her son, and wasn't interested in how great he was doing in Public School.

 

She does public school online at homes with her dd 12, like most of the kids who attend this program and very much unlike the Classical Ed. we have chosen for our children. So I have found discussing their academic progress not really equivalent and not really worth discussing. I tend to talk about my ds's and dds Artistic ability, Girl Scout (dd is one), therapies ds12 is in and other extra curricular activities just as though they were PS moms. So this conversation surprised me a bit.

 

She began telling us how her son is a genius, how he's going to go to MIT and then work at Apple. She spent the next 45 minutes telling us about this boy and his awesomeness which included a very long brag about his very high IQ score (130 adjusted). How he is not Asperger or anything... he's normal not one of those weird Autistic kids. [My 2nd son is Autistic, people just don't understand Autism] I just nodded my head a lot and my husband said, "Oh, that's great, and "Do you thing Apple will still be in business in 4 years?" The rest of the 45 min. were filled with her praise of her son. When we left we both felt a bit odd about it all.

 

We don't go around telling others our children's IQ scores. We might say yes, he's gifted if asked, but we have never told anyone IRL his score. In a forum like this it can sometimes make since to use the number or at least the G,HG, PG, EG & 2E labels to get a better understanding of the child being discussed. My oldest 13yo is PG, my 12 has Autism (the tester said ds is likely gifted despite a slightly above average non-gt score) so we usually say 2E for him, my 9yo and 6yo are academically accelerated, but not tested yet. They are a lot like their older brothers in development so they are probably close in IQ range to my oldest with dd being slightly quicker. So I do know how hard it can be to find people to talk with about your differently developing child.

 

Still, I found this conversation a bit odd. Had she been talking about her 5 or 6yo maybe it would have been less difficult for me to listen to. Dh was perplexed as well. My 13yo ds was sitting there listening to all that was said. I know it can be difficult not having others to discuss your child's gifts and struggles with and so we just listened and didn't leave. I have only one other time spoken with this mother about her dd, who is in the second art class (K-6th) with my own children and had limited the conversation to her artistic ability. I really don't know if this is her norm. or if it was just on her mind that day. Still it felt odd.

 

When we left ds13 asks, is that boy really a genius mom? Or just highly motivated? Ds's IQ is higher then this boys... he is not in the least Highly Motivated and has no desire to be a computer geek/tech. I wasn't really sure what to say. Dh said, "Well, if an IQ score makes you a genius then I guess you both are." Ds, just laughed and said, "Well, I know I'm not. So he's probably just motivated." And we dropped it.

 

As a 5-8yo we got a lot of "he must be a genius" along with "you pushing him" comments (another topic all together). Which we usually said, "He thinks differently then other people, is that what you mean?" I've never let ds think he is a genius, just because he has a high IQ. I guess I think of Rain Man or Albert Einstein when I think of genius. Not a person with 130 IQ or a 14yo who wasn't radically grade skipped.

 

Would you have just sat there and listened? Would you have said something? I let the Autism comment slide... I wonder if I should have said something. I don't suspect she really meant to be offensive. The other women sitting around us had a few raised eyebrows at that... they know ds12 is Autistic.

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Well, I am always interested in how children are doing with their education. Public school, private school, homeschool, unschool, classical or not, I really do want to know.

 

Briefly.

 

But why did you listen to her brag for 45 minutes? I would have had somewhere else to be if I was unable to turn the conversation after five minutes or so. I understand wanting to be supportive but talk about a hijack of your time! And in no way edifying for your child who had to sit there and listen.

I probably would have interrupted at the autism comment and said, "Of course, people with autism are not weird. (pause) I'm so glad little Johnny is doing so well in school! Have you been to the Reading Rainbow booth, because I'm going to head over there now. Great to see you!"

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I often use the term genius, but with the non-technical meaning and with a laugh. I don't actually know that any of my children meet the IQ requirements because we have only tested thus far if it is necessary for other purposes.  They are all genuis to me though. :)

 

I enjoy my children and am often surprised by them.  I like that they have specific characteristics and leanings and it is always fun when I see something new in one of them.  I try to be very cautious about who I speak to about them though.  Not everyone shares my enthusiausm.   I usually limit my revelations to relatives or people whose own children are already grown. 

 

It may very well have just been on her mind that day.  If you were someone who never considered MIT a possibility and found that your child might actually be able to handle the courseload, it would probably be pretty exciting.  I have a tendency to point out to my own children when they are able to understand or achieve something that I could not.  She probably just overshared. 

 

Does it bother you that someone else chooses to use the term when you choose forego it for your own children?

 

 

 

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I would probably assume she was just bursting to share for some reason (did the IQ score just come or something), and you were the first people who would sit and listen.

 

I am sure there have been times when I have said too much about my kids.  I'm fairly sure I never went on for 45 minutes though.  It usually only takes about 45 seconds for other parents to find something or someone irresistably calling them from across the room.  :P  That's my clue that I've done it again  :P.

 

It was really nice of you guys to be an ear for this lady, but she was definitely out of line.  Who know what her issue is.  I'm glad her kid is doing well.

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Actually, come to think about it, I know a couple of people who have done that (the "my kid is a genius" comment, not the 45 minute speech).  In both cases the child is in a family which is generally average or below in IQ, and then they have this one outlier who, to them, seems just astounding.  Those of us who grew up in a relatively "smart" family would think, "oh, 130 IQ, that's good" but since most of us fall around that number or above, it doesn't seem newsworthy to us, outside of reporting to Grandma etc.

 

My brother (whose IQ is 132) has a son who has a higher IQ.  My brother was blown away by his son's IQ but he refused to tell anyone what it is.  It's just not the way we do things.  Of course I'm curious, but I could always tell he was out there by the way he talks about certain things.

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I would have had no problem listening. It's great that she's proud of her son, and as someone pointed out up-thread, that may be a high IQ in their family. All of my friends have children in the public school system and I enjoy sharing in their brags, stories, etc about their children, just as they listen to me :)

 

I would not have been happy about the Autism comment, though, and I'm not sure I could have kept my mouth shut. I do not have a child with Autism, but I also do not have a filter (so I'm told).

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We are a bit of a captive audience since we are not allowed to leave our children at the Art Center alone even if they are in class. The class is about 50 minutes long and there isn't really anywhere else to go. Dh kept picking up his book and trying to read it, but she was sort of forcing the one sided conversation.

 

As far as bragging... I guess I could have... but I'm not really very good at RL bragging. I guess I can brag on forums where people will likely never really meet my kids or me.

 

Come to think of it there have been times when parents have gone on and on about their Athletic kid who just won some meet I couldn't care less about. Which I just find really annoying since I hate the whole sport scene (I do like soccer though). I guess this was just the first time someone IRL cornered me about something academic and I never thought of my own children as geniuses so yeah. The IQ score was obtained in elementary school so not a new thing for her.

 

SKL I'd say this family is probably average or slightly below average IQ just from the behavior I observed. Not an abnormal vocabulary or extensive quirkiness going on aside from the long brag. But maybe you are right about my view of high IQ being more really high IQ.

 

As far as Autism comments: I still can't find a balance as to when and when not to speak. My MIL tends to make a lot of rude comments about ds's autism and his "odd, weird, childish and stupid" behaviors. She has no understanding of his differences and doesn't care to learn... so we've both learned to pass the bean dip with her.

 

 

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You all are so much nicer than I am.  I would probably not have been so cordial. I may or may not have said that technically an IQ of 130 is not genius. And I definitely would have responded to her comment about her genius son being normal, not having aspergers or like a weird autistic kid. 

But, hey, I am the mom of a genius, slightly weird, anything but normal son. And I wouldn't change him for the world.

 

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I've been at gymnastics and had several parents talking about the school GT programs, how their child made principal's list, what AR level they're in, and so on (DD is young enough that the parents usually aren't talking about colleges yet). I generally respond "DD is homeschooled. We don't have to worry about that sort of thing", and try to change the subject. There are a few friends who know more and who I'll go more into detail with, but usually not in the gymnastics waiting room.

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I probably would have listened...though maybe not for 45 min without trying to redirect the conversation. I know I would have had to say something in response to the comments about autistic children. I work with children who have autism and my boys have a friend who has autism (high functioning but not Aspergers). Those comments would make me angry enough to say something. I would have kept my thoughts concerning her misinformation about IQ and genius to myself. 

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I think some people use the term genius pretty loosely.  If someone comes up with a good idea they might say, "Hey that is genius!".  Or if someone is smart or clever they say, "Wow, he is like a genius or something."

 

I wouldn't harp on someone for that. 

 

I admit, I would say something about it if the person was going on and on like the OP stated. I know that sometimes people use the word "genius" loosely; however, this parent wasn't. She was referring to her child as a genius. The comment about her son being normal, not like aspergers or weird autistic kids would put me over the top.

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I am not a genius, but I occasionally exclaim "I'm a genius" when I figure something out.  Like, how to get the toilet tank to stop leaking, or similar "save the world" type of stuff.  Now that I think about it, why isn't that offensive, like it would be if I said "I'm retarded" after spilling my coffee for the 10,000th time?  (Of course these occur in the privacy of my own home....)

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My grandfather once told me, "There is no need to brag about yourself.  If you are great at something, people will know it." More often than not, I have found this to be true. People who need to bolster themselves or others often are not as fantastical and they would like you to believe, and those who are amazing are normally the most humble.  I'm not talking about the excited "Wahoo!  Guess what?!" kind of brag that happens from time to time that is celebratory for any person, but the long winded babble. 

My husband doesn't stand and listen.  He actually will say something on the verge of snotty.  I am a listener.  It is hard for me to see someone so desperately insecure.

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I would've said something about how MIT is a fantastic school and we have friends who went there undergrad and here are the interesting things they're doing now, etc., etc. to try to direct the conversation in another direction.

 

I don't talk about my kids being gifted IRL outside of gatherings that are specifically for families with gifted kids. It's like how it's impolite to talk about how much money one has.

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You all are so much nicer than I am.  I would probably not have been so cordial. I may or may not have said that technically an IQ of 130 is not genius. 

 

This probably would've burst out of me without filter.  I was surprised to read it in the original post, and would've been caught so off guard to hear it in real life that I probably would've stuck my foot in my mouth about it.  And from there the conversation surely would've spiraled downward ....

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Unfortunately, I do know geniuses and parents of geniuses who advertise their genius (using the word 'genius' here to represent the generally accepted >145IQ definition). One can't always separate one's personality from it, I guess?

 

I'm a listener too. I might have listened attentively because she has a kid older than mine and I might have asked some leading questions like pp's have suggested. If she was talking only about that for 45 minutes though I might have felt a little sick afterwards (I often process things slowly). If my son had been there and asked me about it, I would have suggested to be happy for her and her son and not mind the IQ bit. We have talked about IQ and how different people perceive it differently (some thinking of IQ as be all and end all and others being much more down to earth and as a result, often nicer to be with). We also automatically steer conversations about intelligence around persistence and effort.

 

I might nod and smile but will probably avoid having another long conversation with her the next time I have to be at the same venue.

 

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Maybe she was clueless and slightly freaked out about her ds? I tend to overshare when I'm freaked out about something with one of my kids and am looking for understanding. Or maybe she was just obnoxious.

 

And you never know what she was told by the person who tested the child...many people don't really understand levels of giftedness, and the psychologist might have told her something along the lines of "your child will be able to do whatever they want" with no qualifications about what kind of effort it takes or what competition the child will face. Even psychologists who work with gifted kids tend to make blanket statements at times. I've heard two directly opposing statements from different psychs who both work with gifted/2e and are respected in the local gifted community. One psych pointed out that the average IQ of medical students is 125 (I have no idea how current this stat is). Another psych said something like "all medical folks are profoundly gifted." Huh?

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It's also possible that in the kid's school, 130 is an outlier and the school's comments have the parent a little overwhelmed as college approaches. In the urban school I used to teach in, the GT program was 115 IQ or 90% on state tests. A 6th grader doing pre-algebra was rare (and I got to teach them), and often really was treated like they were destined to go to the Ivys. But the fact is, that was a school where the goal was to get the kids to stay in school until age 18 and to graduate with some sort of diploma. The average 5 yr old entered school with a 2 yr old level of language development, and kids able to read on grade level at age 8 hovered right around 25%. A lot of our kids were homeless for at least part of the year, and it was a food desert.

 

I could easily see a child with a 130 IQ, especially one who is fairly high performing and motivated in a specific area, getting heralded as a genius and the parent truly believing that the child was destined for MIT and Apple, when a couple of miles away, the kid would just be one of a bunch of bright kids.

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I would hope I would hold my tongue and not point out that 130 is not a genius IQ. If I failed to hold my tongue it wouldn't be because I wanted to put the woman down, but because I have a tendency to correct factual information without thinking through the social or emotional effect of such correction.

 

My bigger concern is that she has already decided her moderately gifted 9th grade son will go to MIT and work for Apple. I would imagine 130 is a lower IQ for those places, and it seems like a lot of pressure on a young kid if that is her expectation. I might try to gently point out that it he has a lot of time before he has to choose a school and career path. Of course since she was bragging, maybe she leans toward the high achieving side and he will be wildly successful, since a combo of high achiever and moderate giftedness can be easier to deal with than actually being a genius.

 

Of course if she was going on for 45 minutes my mind might wander, and I likely might make some factual off-hand remark that would offend.

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My brother that I mentioned with the 132 IQ (I'm mentioning the IQ because it's comparable to the one in the OP) was also a math/science/computer brainiac.  He was so into it, and I remember him talking about MIT.  But he was also kind of out there (probably undiagnosed ASD) and he had lousy grades.  He couldn't bring himself to do anything that seemed like a waste of time.  He did end up in computers, but not at the fancy level he originally imagined.

 

I bring him up because I think that a person who is very focused with an IQ of 130 could very well be highly successful in the techie field.  Probably not the highest, but I would not write off the idea that he'd do well at MIT.  I do think it's very odd that he is 12yo and they are already stating where he's going to work after college, but maybe he won some sort of scholarship from Apple or something.  I don't know how else you'd be that sure about where a 12yo will end up.  :p  And since it seems really unrealistic to be *so sure*, I wonder what other unrealistic declarations / expectations are being spoken in this boy's environment.

 

My concern would be that he will think that because he blows high school away, he'll also blow the MIT coursework away without much effort.  He might be in for a rude awakening someday soon.

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The only thing about this mother's communication that would bother me is using the term "genius" so openly in public.  That's bound to ruffle feathers: she has no idea about the experiences or preconceived notions of the person with whom she's communicating.  But... the usage of the "genius" word follows with her use of the judgmental adjective "weird" applied to kids with Autism, so...  Sounds like she has some issues.  If I didn't enjoy the conversation I would likely change the topic or move myself away.  I agree with the pp who suggested that she may be reacting this way based on what people she trusts have told her (school administrators, teachers, the psychologist who gave the test).  Some really do use the term "genius" to describe a 130+ IQ, and the way people react has a lot to do with their measuring stick.  i think another pp mentioned that she might not be around very many high IQ kids/adults.  Her judgment is skewed: her kid could be a big fish in a small pond.  That's a tricky place to be and still come out with your head screwed on straight.

 

I think it's neat that a 12 year old has a university and a place of employment in mind already.  Plenty of 12 year olds think about that kind of thing, and I would encourage it.  It's ALWAYS good to have a goal.  And if he's determined, and works hard to reach his goal, I have no doubt that he is likely capable of doing so.  Good luck to him!

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It's also possible that in the kid's school, 130 is an outlier and the school's comments have the parent a little overwhelmed as college approaches. In the urban school I used to teach in, the GT program was 115 IQ or 90% on state tests. A 6th grader doing pre-algebra was rare (and I got to teach them), and often really was treated like they were destined to go to the Ivys. But the fact is, that was a school where the goal was to get the kids to stay in school until age 18 and to graduate with some sort of diploma. The average 5 yr old entered school with a 2 yr old level of language development, and kids able to read on grade level at age 8 hovered right around 25%. A lot of our kids were homeless for at least part of the year, and it was a food desert.

 

I could easily see a child with a 130 IQ, especially one who is fairly high performing and motivated in a specific area, getting heralded as a genius and the parent truly believing that the child was destined for MIT and Apple, when a couple of miles away, the kid would just be one of a bunch of bright kids.

 

This kids school district is the same as my kids are slated for...  so I know that 98% of elementary students are on the breakfast/lunch program, they met only 12 of the 26 indicators that are required to continue operations. 30% of students leaving 8th grade have a juvenile record. They are basically a failing school that in allowed to continue only because each year they're score is improving. At the rate of improvement in 10 years they will be a passing school. I feel bad for all the kids in that ten years though.

 

I know to be a part of the gt program (a once a week pullout) in 4th grade you have to have a state test of 90% or IQ score of 128. In the Middle School they have honors and advanced placement (no gt program). To take Honors or AP classes in high school you have to have B's in 8th grade (doesn't matter if you had honors or basic classes.

 

I have looked at the work offered in each grade level 4th-6th for the gt pull out and the honors and AP classes for Middle School and it just looked like busy work to me. For example, in the 4th grade gt math pull out at the beginning of the year the worksheets given (no books) the students were expected to be able to do 123 x 23 and 5/30. They still had to do their regular math work 4 x 8  2/8. I don't know if this is really gt, I just know it wouldn't be enough of a challenge for my children at that grade level. My not gt in math son was able to do these problems in 3rd grade. They don't have pre-algebra before 8th grade and it's just one class of 15 kids or less out of 300.

 

So this kid is probably at the top of his 9th grade class. I guess I tend to compare my kids skills/levels with a different population then our local PS.

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My brother that I mentioned with the 132 IQ (I'm mentioning the IQ because it's comparable to the one in the OP) was also a math/science/computer brainiac.  He was so into it, and I remember him talking about MIT.  But he was also kind of out here (probably undiagnosed ASD) and he had lousy grades.  He couldn't bring himself to do anything that seemed like a waste of time.  He did end up in computers, but not at the fancy level he originally imagined.

 

I bring him up because I think that a person who is very focused with an IQ of 130 could very well be highly successful in the techie field.  Probably not the highest, but I would not write off the idea that he'd do well at MIT.  I do think it's very odd that he is 12yo and they are already stating where he's going to work after college, but maybe he won some sort of scholarship from Apple or something.  I don't know how else you'd be that sure about where a 12yo will end up.  :p  And since it seems really unrealistic to be *so sure*, I wonder what other unrealistic declarations / expectations are being spoken in this boy's environment.

 

My concern would be that he will think that because he blows high school away, he'll also blow the MIT coursework away without much effort.  He might be in for a rude awakening someday soon.

 

The boy is 14 and according to her this is his plan not her plan... she went on a few minutes about how expensive MIT is going to be and how he was working on developing an app for Apple to pay for it.

 

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I would print out some info on Aspergers and Autism and bring it with me to this class. If she corners you again you can bring out the printouts and say "oh hey, I'm glad we have a chance to talk. Last time you made a comment about weird autistic kids. I've been hoping I could give you some info on Autism."

 

Then spend 45 minutes educating her about it.

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I wouldn't worry too much about any of it.  If you don't want to listen to her talk for so long about herself/her kid, bring something else to do for distraction and to make it look like you're obviously not into talking/listening.

 

As for the content - if the school situation is as you describe, the kid is probably a relative genius in the school.  The Google says the average IQ of an MIT student is 140, so 130 is not beyond the pale; likely the kid will end up somewhere else, but what the hey.  When I was 12 I planned to be an astronaut.  

 

The autism comment doesn't strike me as all that offensive.  Autistic kids are weird, for the most part.  That's often how you realize they might be on the spectrum, right?  It's not meant (likely, unless you saw something in her tone that was exceptional) as any more pejorative than speaking frankly/casually normally is.  

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I think there's also a perception, mostly fed by things like the Big Bang Theory, that all "Geniuses" are in that high functioning academic, world of their own, cloudcuckoolander state that many people seem to think is autism and that this is what Aspergers is. And in some circles, it seems almost like your child is assumed to be less gifted if they DON'T have social issues and strange behaviors.

 

Realistically, it sounds like she's pretty uninformed on giftedness in general, so it's not all that surprising she's also uninformed about autism and twice-exceptionality.

 

 

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The poor kid. Amongst my friends growing up those parents who created an entire identity for themselves that revolved around their kid's IQ score weren't the best parents to motivate their child.  Focusing on the gift has a way to reinforce the perfectionist yet lazy tendencies that gifted children already tend towards anyway.

 

I hope that he does get in.  Or get over the disappointment when he doesn't.  I hope he manages to get a degree at all.  Too many "genius" kids I went to school with dropped out for the lack of motivation to work.

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  • 2 weeks later...

 

She began telling us how her son is a genius, how he's going to go to MIT and then work at Apple. 

 

Wow, I didn't realize it was simply a matter of deciding my child would attend MIT to make that happen.  Can I also decide who she gets to marry?  

 

Sometimes I tend to veer into bragging territory, and what really reins me in is when someone sincerely expresses astonishment at my and my children's accomplishments.  Something along the lines of, "Wow, you must be so  so proud!"  "Wow, that is amazing!" but without any hint of sarcasm or snarkiness.  Just the tiniest bit over the top.  That stops me in my tracks, probably because I'm afraid of jinxing myself, lol.  

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I have a very dear friend who seems to brag about her kids, but her life has been very hard and she has experienced such tragedy. I think by talking about her kids' successes and even how gifted they are is a way for her to put attention on the little joy she's had. I don't think I would be as sympathetic if I didn't know the background.

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Wow, I didn't realize it was simply a matter of deciding my child would attend MIT to make that happen.

That actually could be the kid talking. I decided at age 12 after visiting Stanford for the first time that I wanted to go there. That desire motivated me all throughout high school and I was fortunate enough to get accepted.

 

It's good to have high educational goals, though these days it's important to not get one's heart set too much on any one particular college.

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That actually could be the kid talking. I decided at age 12 after visiting Stanford for the first time that I wanted to go there. That desire motivated me all throughout high school and I was fortunate enough to get accepted.

 

It's good to have high educational goals, though these days it's important to not get one's heart set too much on any one particular college.

 

I agree with this.  Two of my friends and I decided (in fourth grade) that we were going to law school.  We are all attorneys today.  My son also has a clear vision of what he wants (he has since age 11), and he has the requisite ability to achieve those goals.  I will say, though, that none of us in my family speak to outsiders about curricular matters, goals, performance etc.. because the entire scenario changes, and everyone treats you/your children differently.

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She began telling us how her son is a genius, how he's going to go to MIT and then work at Apple. 

 

 

 

I am still really puzzled over this. Does she think going to MIT is the only way to get hired at Apple?? If she does, she is very wrong, and has no real clue about the tech field. If you go to MIT, the only way you get a regular tech job at Apple is if you, well, nearly flunk out.

 

If you apply to MIT and tell them that you want to go there because you want to work at Apple, they'll respond with a rejection letter. In no way does MIT think it is their mission to train Apple techs.

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I am still really puzzled over this. Does she think going to MIT is the only way to get hired at Apple?? If she does, she is very wrong, and has no real clue about the tech field. If you go to MIT, the only way you get a regular tech job at Apple is if you, well, nearly flunk out.

This doesn't make sense to me. We have a couple of friends who work at Apple, and they both graduated from Stanford with decent grades. Why would Apple not hire an engineer from MIT if one applied for a position? MIT has a strong CS program.

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If she does, she is very wrong, and has no real clue about the tech field. If you go to MIT, the only way you get a regular tech job at Apple is if you, well, nearly flunk out.

......In no way does MIT think it is their mission to train Apple techs. 

 

Tech firms do happen to like MIT according to MIT Facts 2014

 

"The top employers for bachelor’s degree recipients were Google, Apple, Oracle, Accenture, Boeing, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, Palantir, McKinsey, and Vecna.

The top employers for master’s degree recipients were McKinsey, Amazon, Google, Oracle, US Navy, Schlumberger, Boston Consulting Group, US Air Force, Bain & Company, Microsoft, Apple, and Nike"

 

Also on that page

 

"Average Salaries Earned by MIT Graduates Entering Industry Positions

Bachelor's degree  $73,567

Master of Science $85,587

Master of Engineering $94,804"

 

Apple take MIT students for internships too.

 

"Employers: Hire First-Year Students for Summer Internships

Join the likes of Morgan Stanley, Booz Allen Hamilton, Thomson Reuters, and Apple and begin developing your relationships with MIT students through the Freshmen/Alumni Summer Internship Program (F/ASIP) at MIT."

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I'm kind of scratching my  head at the MIT/Apple connection (or rather, lack thereof) too.  My kid brother seems to be in the crowd that has his masters from MIT and is a software engineer for Google.  Not Apple, true, but Google doesn't seem to be holding his MIT degree against him.  

For that matter, neither did Intel, his previous employer…   :001_huh:

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I'm not sure I would have been able to control a giggle or possible a snort as when she revealed that Mr Genius was only 130.  As for the rest - the autism comment would rile me, and the going on would bore me.  I might have foudn something very interesting to talk to my DH about.  Or maybe an urgent call on my phone.

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This doesn't make sense to me. We have a couple of friends who work at Apple, and they both graduated from Stanford with decent grades. Why would Apple not hire an engineer from MIT if one applied for a position? MIT has a strong CS program.

 

 

That's not what I meant. Sorry if it came across that way.

 

Apple will take an MIT grad, sure thing. But MIT doesn't think that turning out techs for Apple is its goal. MIT wants to turn out techs who make software that Apple will buy. If you're not good enough to make your own software, "working at Apple" is okay. But that really is not the aspiration of most of the student body of MIT.

 

 

ETA: There are specifics and then there are specifics. My overall point (if I can try to explain it another way) if the son really is a genius and really does go to MIT, he has a whole 'nother HUGE HORIZON before him, one much bigger than just "working at Apple." If the mother thinks "working at Apple" is the career pinnacle of her Genius at MIT son, she has a lot to learn. 

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I seem to attract this kind of behavior, and some well-grained sense of politeness prevents me from brushing it off. (I have a Jehovah's Witness who's been coming by my house for close to a year now, and by now I don't have the heart to tell her that I'm a content Catholic.) 

 

I do think experiences like this help me to remember what's worth sharing with others, and why. It reminds me to ask more questions, both of my own experiences ("is this normal? what would you do? how can I help him do XXX?") but also to engage the other person in the conversation. No one likes to be monologued. 

 

I'd also try really, really had to have a charitable opinion of someone who needed to share all of this information, but fail. 

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That's not what I meant. Sorry if it came across that way.

 

Apple will take an MIT grad, sure thing. But MIT doesn't think that turning out techs for Apple is its goal. MIT wants to turn out techs who make software that Apple will buy. If you're not good enough to make your own software, "working at Apple" is okay. But that really is not the aspiration of most of the student body of MIT.

 

ETA: There are specifics and then there are specifics. My overall point (if I can try to explain it another way) if the son really is a genius and really does go to MIT, he has a whole 'nother HUGE HORIZON before him, one much bigger than just "working at Apple." If the mother thinks "working at Apple" is the career pinnacle of her Genius at MIT son, she has a lot to learn. 

 

:confused1:  You do know that Apple is not a just store at the mall that sells nifty doodads?  That there's a company headquarters that develops that stuff - the company that came up with the graphical user interface, that's driven the whole handheld and tablet revolution along with coming up with the human interface that made it all work.  Don't know if that kind of visionary stuff will continue with Steve Jobs gone, but I don't understand how working for a company like that would be beneath an MIT grad.  They'd rather make an app?  An app is nothing compared to coming up with the whole concepts that have forever changed the way people interact with technology.  Anyone can write an app.  Apps did not exist before Apple came up with the iPhone/Pad. :confused1:

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I'll admit it.. I worked at Apple for 5 years.. I left for another opportunity that I thought fit where I was headed at the time. There are many, many non-geniuses working there. :-)

 

Well, of course.  There are lots of non-geniuses working at every company.  Geniuses are not so common that you can fill companies with them.

I suspect the kid in the OP is no genius either. ;)  It does sound like he has goals he'd like to work toward.  Hopefully his mama doesn't give him such a big head he doesn't make a Plan B, though... 

 

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Maybe she just though that, as a parent of gifted kids, you were 'safe' to talk to. But it's still inconsiderate to go on for that long, especially when there's another kid present. I think you were very kind and patient to put up with it (I would have changed the subject much sooner).

 

 

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Do you have a beautiful college aged daughter or something?  It's funny and I know you will LOL but that actually was the possible explanation that popped into my head.  If I was going to throw my son at someone, it would be a young lady not a couple in their mid forties sitting with their 13yo son.  

 

LOL!!!

 

Who knows?  Maybe she was just lonely and you were so kind and polite, that she felt she should go on.  

 

I mean, the more cynical side of me wants to say that she feels intimidated by homeschoolers and wants to be very vocal about how public schools can also help produce "geniuses" but I prefer to give people the benefit of the doubt.

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