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Here’s Why EVERYONE is Smart

We’ve all been there, hesitantly handing our parents our report cards and knowing there’s going to be some yelling when they notice that C in calc (or English, or science – for those of you who are actually good at math).  I don’t know about you guys but the yelling spree is usually not complete until an “appropriate” punishment has been selected and put into place. My punishments tend to range from not being able to go out, or even worse: my parent’s changing the Netflix password. Sometimes parents focus on the bad and fail to recognize smaller victories and accomplishments, like that award you received in band, or that A you received on your history presentation. It is our job to remind them that there are different types of smart, and that tests aren’t the most important thing in life.  

Book Smart

 

Some of us, not me, but some of us have this amazing ability to not need to look at the material before a test and still do well. I don’t know how you do it, and I beg you to share your secret, but whatever it is you do – you managed to impress your teachers and parents with a series of A’s. All parents want the “golden child” who gets that 4.0 and gets into a top med-school, and a few of them do have children with the traits necessary to fulfill their wishes. Ask them the exact date and time America was discovered, and they’ll answer right away, but that doesn’t make them all knowing. Not all of those who are book smart are always the best at expressing themselves or explaining themselves – it’s up to up to remember we are going to be better at somethings and worse at others.

 

Music Smart

I don’t know about you, but no matter how many times I’ve tried to learn – I still see musical notes as little scribbles on a lined piece of paper. I envy those of you who can learn to play by hearing someone perform, or just “messing around” with the piano. For some individuals, the notes speak to them, and making a tune out of thin air is what they succeed at. Musicians have that hidden knack for creating a song out of pressing random keys on a phone – while some of us can barely remember a phone number. Some of them can easily tell when an instrument is out of tune and effortlessly find a way they tune their cello or guitar –  putting those of us who have been known to break a couple strings in their lifetime (psh not me) to shame. They know exactly when to blow and how much air to blow at the precise time. Music might seem like a great big melody to you and me, but to certain people, every breath is taken and every key pressed while making a tune has a specific meaning. Their way to distinguish each instrument in a song is incredible and their intelligence definitely stands out.

Sports Smart

Do I know that I need to reach out my hand at a 45-degree angle at exactly 26 yards away from the quarterback while running 30 miles per hour to catch the ball? No. But a sports smart person does. He or she may not know the exact math of the equation, but their brain might function differently from our “traditional” mathematician. Their intelligence lies in their strength, speed and strategy – a different type of smart than those of us who ran a 12-minute mile, or nearly drowned swimming a lap across the pool,l have the ability to understand.

 

Street Smart

Laws, rules, regulations; these normal concepts are there to make people like me stay in line and follow societies norms and beliefs. I do not know how to sweet talk my way out of a bad grade or how to prove that it was the boy in the seat behind me who stuck gum underneath the table and not me. Street-smart people contain a confidence like no other. They “know” what they are talking about even when they don’t really know. Others’ weaknesses are their strengths – they might be able to manipulate you while complimenting you. Next time you want a free manicure, I suggest taking a street-smart friend to argue with the manicurist about how it is not up to your standards and that you refuse to pay for it – just make that the technician you’re dealing with is not street smart as well and might call the cops.

 

Whether you’re book smart, musical, athletic, street smart, or any other type of smart – you are still smart. No smartness is smarter than another, and we need to stop and remember that. Our society is built on the fact that everyone has different strengths and weaknesses that compliment one another. If we were all book smart, there wouldn’t be anyone to create melodies, or anyone to teach you how to blow off steam by throwing a ball across a field. So, the next time you get a C on a calc test, remind yourself (and your parents) that there’s more to you than the one test – like the band award you received or the A you got on your history presentation.

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