By Kate Williams
Perfectionism is a quality that I struggle with first hand. Even as an adult, I find myself obsessing over errors in my weekend softball games and silently competing with the runner on the next treadmill at the gym. As a child, I would spend countless hours tearing out pages of sketchbooks and notebooks because there was a misspelled word, a fragmented sentence or even a smudge from my left-handed cursive. A mistake meant that the entire project had to be redone, because if everything didn’t line up perfectly, including my penmanship, it wasn’t worth turning in. Projects and deadlines became daunting, because how could the perfect drawing be executed in just one weekend? After spending time with gifted adolescents throughout the summer, I realized that this was a common trait in gifted students and that I was not alone. I have found ways to focus this perfectionism into more constructive goals as I’ve gotten older, but I still see the importance (especially with gifted children) of addressing the ever “strangling” concept of failure.
Read more about Perfectionism and the Gifted here!
By Lisa Hartwig
Lisa is the mother of 3 gifted children and lives outside of San Francisco.
In high school, I was identified as a gifted and talented student by the Research and Guidance Laboratory for Superior Students at the University of Wisconsin. I know this because my mother saved 2 reports from the laboratory. The reports contained testing results and interviews.
The first question on the report asked about my reaction to being identified as talented. My answer:
“I believe I am not exceptionally talented and that 8th grade reading scores couldn’t possibly tell. I have no feelings about it.”
I was 17 at the time I said this. I was one of 1800 students in my high school and deeply involved in the theater program. I was popular among my peers and I had a serious boyfriend. I also got a “C” in French that year. No wonder I was dismissive of my academic “talents”.
Read more of Lisa’s exploration of what it means to be