I Was A Mentally Gifted Midget, As They Called Me...

it was either that or Mentally Gifted Moron. At first I didn't want to be in the program. None of my friends had been invited. The few of us who were chosen didn't know each other, as we were from different classes or even other schools and got bussed all together to a special classroom at another school. It felt weird to be singled out, and I expressed my antagonism in the first assignment, journal writing. But the next project won me over. An artist came in and taught us how to draw on film, changing each picture very slightly from frame to frame. I was completely entranced and my animation was very successful. On the bus ride home I thought to myself, Tell no one. I didn't want my friends to know how lucky I was. I even blocked out most of my memories of the class. Something seemed wrong with this system. Why didn't everyone get the chance to explore activities that were so much more fun than regular school?
persymphony persymphony
2 Responses Jul 18, 2010

I was also in MGM. My experience of it was entirely different. When I was put in the class, I did not feel superior or inferior to any of the other students. The first thing I was handed was Geometry work in I believe the 3rd or 4th grade. I became alive with excitement for I understood all that was written and I was filled with excitement for I was bored with regular classes.

We too were called "mentally gifted morons" by the other students. I didn't care for I liked all the work we were given. I don't recall so many "fun" "playful" activities but rather a reading program that was really challenging for me. This was a whole new world that was speaking at a level I could grasp. The math was a breeze for me but the English was challenging. (I just recently requested transcripts from my elementary school and apparently I was reading and writing at a 12th grade level in 3rd grade).

So my experience was not of a "fun" playground experience but rather of really interesting work that my mind could grasp. I was not a pretty....but I knew I was smart. I had been observing other humans since I was six years old. I spoke and felt like an adult. Did I find this unfair? Well, since my further research led me into other topics-I must ask you if it's fair that some (a small percentage) of humans are born beautiful? I remember looking at the two pretty girls in class and noticed how they were treated differently. I decided that it was a toss of the coin as to what assets one is born with and one is not born with. And it doesn't come out even in the end, for I was thrown many bad tosses like a kidney illness as a child, an abusive and sick home which led to one of my biological parents being prosecuted by the DA and Long Beach Social Services. My company was sabotaged with "intentional misrepresentation in order to profit-a tort cause of action", I had a freak stroke when I was 40 so I lost much of my "gifted" abilities and had to learn to write and read again. Life is not a level playing field. So what if I got to be able to understand the things adults could understand at the age of 8-geez, I am entitled to at least something good in my life. I am a proud and grateful previous MGM individual.

If not for the ability to take advantage of my one good card in the deck, well I wouldn't have had much. And I don't say it in a way that makes me think I'm superior to anyone else. I think if I could choose, I just might have chosen the pretty card, but that was not my choice to make. So, I made best with what I had. We had hard work and after talking to many adults now who don't seem to get basic 5th grade math, I seriously doubt the other students would have liked the material in the program. I know there are numerous errors in my grammar and spelling for I could only re-learn so much and still suffer from deficits from the stroke till this day. So, I am even more grateful that I had something in my life that was exciting, interesting, and probably has allowed to even be able to put words on paper-even if not the eloquent writing I later became able to do.

I'm a bit older than you so I was in the beginning of the program and can't speak for the later years. But I can say that it is the one shinning light out of what has been a rough life for me-and not because of my choices but because of other's actions and things beyond my control. I thank the MGM program with all my heart!

Because some of had fathers who did not know what a gifted child's needs were!