The mock exams should finally be graded today!
Once I get to school, everyone will see how smart I am.
I sure hope so anyways… I don't even want to count the amount of nights I spent studying for those.
This time I should finally come out on top though, so all that hard work should have payed off.
Let's see… my first class today is math.
I remember doing especially well during that exam last week, so it should be a no brainer.
I might as well enter the classroom while it's still early though.
I need to greet everyone properly, and act the "innocent smart girl" part so people can rely on me for the next exam.
Ugg, that kid is already here.
He's always staring out the window absent mindedly. Doesn't he even care about his grades?
Ugh, just thinking about it is so annoying.
I can't believe how last week, before the test, he didn't even know what a normal matrix was.
I had asked if he used one for the solution of one of the exercises we were given to prepare for the mock exams, but he seriously didn't know what I was talking about.
At this rate, I don't think he'll even pass the grade…
Good riddance in any case. People who don't even try aren't even worth it.
Oh, here comes everyone else. And the bell.
At least they could come before it rings.
Finally, the teacher came.
My name is second on the list, so any moment now and I'll get that test back.
There it is!
"Only two points from perfect! Try harder next time!"
Try harder?? Do you have any idea how much I studied for this?
Well, it's only 2 points. It's still probably way higher than most of the scores in this class.
I shouldn't act too confident though. I should at the very least act more innocent so that no one will realize I tried so hard.
Hell, the last time my friends tried to ask me to go shopping with them, I told them I was feeling under the weather so I could go study…
I wonder what that useless kid got.
The minute he got back his exam, he just put it straight in his bag.
I guess it really was that bad.
Oh, I know! I'll go to him during break and offer to help him for the next one!
People will think I'm so nice to help the struggling kid out.
I don't know how he made it so long in this school, but even I'll feel sorry for him if he needs to repeat.
The things I do for people.
Finally, the bell. Nows my chance!
"Show me yours! Maybe the genius will rub off on me if I see those perfect answers!"
Here comes idiot number 2.
Don't make me laugh though. Genius? Perfect answers!?
Oh shoot, I'm actually smiling. I need to hid it…
"I'm not that smart, don't give me so much credit. I didn't even know how to do the last question, so I just skipped it."
Don't kid yourself, kid. Wait, did he just say he couldn't do the last question?? Really!?
That was a one point question, and a classic textbook definition one at that!
"That last question was the easiest of all of them. If you look here, on page 173, it's these two lines."
Arg, why is he looking at me in an all "who are you" attitude?
I was just trying to be nice! Well, not really, but still!
Oh well, if I just get a little closer, I'll be able to se his score…
One point higher than me!?
How did he manage that?
He must have cheated, theres no other way!
"Oh, I figured out what a normal matrix was. It took me a while to figure it out since the question was asking for one, but it's this thing, right?"
Figured it out? When? During the test?
Is this guy for real?
I need to stay positive…
"Well, it wasn't that hard of an exam if you did the homework and payed attention in class."
That's right, lets see your reaction now.
Agreeing to that would be a lie though. After all, it would be impossible to just be good at mathematics without hours of practice.
"Oh, but this test was really easy to piece together, almost like a puzzle. You see this question here? It prepares the concepts for you to be able to do this next one here.
"The only question I couldn't piece together was that last one. Maybe I should have payed more attention in class after all…"
I can't contain myself any longer.
He's being serious!
Oh well, maybe he's just good at math.
Oh, chemistry is starting.
Let's see how well you do in this one!
I memorized the full reaction series table that was in the book so I wouldn't be slowed down looking up the numbers.
Especially on this teacher's tests which are usually longer than the period themselves.
I finished it in the nick of time.
As I recall, you were… oh yeah, that's right, you were happily napping away.
Ah, five points off… so close, but considering I was being rushed, I don't blame myself for making those silly mistakes.
Let's see yours now…
Don't just shove it in your bag without looking!!
I'm beginning to think he doesn't even care about school…
Finally, the break.
I'll just ask him how he solved question 7. He'll need his exam to do that one…
"Oh, that was the one with the water of crystallization, right? It was simply if you assumed the water was absent, since the substance was heated first…"
Did he really just recall it from memory!?
"Can I see how you did it?"
There, that way he'll have to show me.
"I don't see how looking at my answer will help, but here you go:"
A full score? But he was sleeping during the exam!!
"Wow, you must have known all the answers before hand, didn't you!"
Shoot, I think I said that too loud, everyone is looking…
"Nah, I just liked watching science programs on TV as a kid, so it was fun to apply it all. I was actually watching them all night the night before the exam, so I kinda fell asleep during it haha."
I'm not even gonna bother asking for biology… the results are probably gonna be the same.
But still, how is he doing so well?
Watching TV can hardly explain being able to ace that math exam as well.
I'll wait until lunch break and take a sneak at his answers…
I'm sure he must have cheated for most of these. I just can't buy his story.
Ah, come on stupid bell.
Any moment now…
Now shoo! go get food or something so I can steal your tests!
Ok, lets see here…
Ugh, I can hardly read these…
Why'd he write so much? And why is most of it scratched out?
Hmm lets see… So he started here, re-derived his identities… proved the theorem…
He… he actually did figure it all out during the exam…
That's not fair! Why is he so smart??
No wonder he just looks bored in class all the time…
He should just let his teachers know and he'll be able to skip a grade, instead of falling behind on one…
I'll just ask him after school myself…
I mean, there must be some reason he's holding himself back…
Ah, I'm so glad the day is over.
But before that…
"You! Can you come with me for a moment?"
Ugh, why is every one staring…
Good, follow me away from all these people…
I don't want anyone hearing my confession after all…
"I… I wasn't always able to get the best of grades.
"And it upset me so much that those that did get good grades were praised so much, while those that didn't were cast aside as trash…
"So I tried and tried, studied many hours, and gave up my hobbies, just so I wouldn't stay like that, just so I could get better grades, and go to a better school, and get a good career…
"So why, why is it that you, who sleep in class, don't even bother to look at the book, and don't even care that you have the best grades in the class… Why do you need to sacrifice nothing for this!
"WHY ARE YOU SO MUCH SMARTER THAN ME!"
No, I can't cry like this in front of him…
Not that I care anymo…
"I should ask you the same thing…"
"Why do you need to try so hard just for a number? It's not like I'm the smartest in the class.
"I failed the history exam, and last I checked, I still don't know my multiplication tables.
"However, I just see the exams as a puzzle that I can solve to make the teachers happy.
"I don't care about school, nor about grades, not because I've given up on my future, but because I chose to enjoy my life in the present.
"I already decided I wanted to make things, make things that solve problems for people, and figure out the best way to solve those problems.
"I've given up studying because I'm not suited for it, and my history exam is proof of that.
"But just like you are good at studying, I'm good at solving puzzles. So if it's a puzzle, I will be able to solve it. If it can be studied, you will master it!"
What a guy. He's right though, I completely mislabeled him…
All he had was a skill that I didn't, but it was one that made up for his own shortcomings.
I'm so blind, I didn't even try to notice the situation from his point of view.
I guess I'll forgive him for beating me in everything except history!
This doesn't mean I lost though… I'll prove to him next time that my studying is better than his problem solving skills!
Originally published on February 5th, 2012 by Dimitri Bouniol.
I officially give up denying people when they call me smart(er than them). Guys, I'm coming out. I am smart.
As smart as I am, I still can't do mental math though. Nor do I know the order of major events in History… nor can I tell you which of 2 x 3 and 2 + 3 equals 5 or 6.
That being said, because I made up my mind about what I wanted to do when I was 16, and am capable at solving problems and puzzles quickly, people call me smart.
I personally think I'm just impatient, which leads me to want to know the answer and be done with it, but I truly can't relate to people who start at a problem for hours and just say that they don't get it.
Also, I hardly ever think about people being smart or not when I judge them, which may be why I'm bad at dealing with it when people call me smart.
Before going to far, of course I judge people, who does't, but I generally concentrate on traits such as how nice they are, picky-ness, how they act towards others, their willing-ness to do a favor without asking for anything in return…
And finally, their curiosity. I generally assume most people are curious (or at least as much as I am), so I'll without holding back share anything I think they'll be interested in.
But as a result, most people just say I'm smarter than them as a result, and I honestly don't know how to deal with that.
I'm not even sure how they arrive to such a conclusion. If I meet somebody who knows something that I don't, I don't just sit there blankly and call them smart, I try to learn more directly from them.
I'll even offer my own knowledge as a part of the discourse.
I therefore come to the conclusion that people who simply respond with the other party being smart as being either uninterested, asking you to shut up, or simply not curious.
So I guess my problem is more along the lines of not understanding what makes people not curious.
I used to think it was something that came with age, the unwillingness to learn something new.
I first realized it when trying to teach my aunt how to count in binary. She understood the basic concepts, but gave up as soon as it became "too hard".
Although unfamiliar to most, there is nothing hard about counting in binary. It's just a thing you learn and be done with.
So why did she decide that it was beyond her? The frustration of not understanding the method?
Was it due to the fact that she has 30 years on me, and the saying "you can't teach an old dog new tricks" really applies?
I don't think thats the case for two reasons. My father, for one, just learned how to use a computer a little over 2 years ago. He never learned how to use one before that.
He also taught himself trinary for the sake of a magic trick. So I don't think it has to do with being old.
Additionally, friends who are my age express the same dissatisfaction when learning something new, so I don't think it has to do with age at all.
Why are some people so incapable of being curious enough to solve a new problem.
Are we really so different in terms of individuals that some are just smarter than others? I don't think that's the case, but that doesn't explain much.
I remember asking my dad what would happen if all the stupid people were to suddenly disappear, and his response really was thought provoking for me.
After all, if there were no more stupid people, then anyone who was considered smart wouldn't be anymore, since there was no one that they could be compared to.
But then, if everyone is more or less at the same level of smartness, then there would be no difference.
Evolutionary-wise, I think that we are all at the same level. After all, the less smart would be at a disadvantage, and are, when you think about individuals with mental abnormalities.
But for the rest of us, there is nothing that makes any one of us smarter than the other.
The only difference, I think is that some (like myself), are simply just more curious than others.
This curiosity lends to the imagination of others that no hard work is put into anything, simply because the work itself no longer is hard, but interesting.
Anything is perceived as a challenge, and the challenge is also easy to overcome because you yourself don't perceive it as one.
So although I believe we are all more or less at the same level of smarts, our curiosities differ greatly.
That is what I think people recognize in others when they think they are smarter than they themselves are - they are simply seeing an individual who is more curious than they are.
That being said, if you ever meet someone you feel is "smarter" than you, tell them they are curious instead. Likewise, if you get told you are smarter than someone else, correct them by telling them you are simply a little more curious.
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