Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Tall Poppy Syndrome

our_california_poppies

This is our spring growth of California Poppies.  Every year, they sprout in somewhat random configurations and densities in our front yard.  Indeed, they have spread as far as three blocks since the Lady F planted a packet about a decade ago.

School children are very much analogous to these poppies.  They have obvious similarities to one another, but they come in different configurations with each year’s “crop,” seeds blowing in the wind landing in nurturing spots and growing in isolation or in groups.  While approximately the same size, they do vary and you will see some in this picture that are obviously shorter or taller than the others.

Now, these poppies are allowed to do what they wish, because we like it that way.  Humorously, in some ways, it is also against the law to pull out a California Poppy – although we can’t imagine how or why they would want to enforce that!  We clean up around them and I took this picture right before we did some weeding and cleanup of our front yard.  We are quite pleased with the results.

Back to the kids.  They also tend to be somewhat the same size in abilities, somewhat homogeneous as a group.  Every so often, we have a runt intellectually or physically and we give that child extra nurturance and care, trying to achieve the best result we can for them.

But, also every so often, we have a tall kid, physically or intellectually.  They are often not helped with their slightly-out-of-normal capacities, because the assumption is that they will get along just fine!

Unfortunately, what we often do by this assumption, by the process of concern about the normal sized poppies, we trim that poppy back to normal size without further consideration.

I have always thought of Mensa as an elitist organization.  However, after reading the following article about America’s youngest member, I am reconsidering what may indeed be a nurturing organization as essential and as compassionate as the organizations that help the handicapped and disabled.  I invite you to read:

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/47233631/ns/today-good_news/

11 comments:

  1. Interesting - but when they say Sometimes bored and smart is a dangerous combination I'd say it's always dangerous. Innumerble bad-guys and bad-girls fit the smart, bored mold. As to Mensa - someone who tests well can pass their tests easily. That doesn't mean a damn thing. But Fossil - why would you consider an organization of the top 2% elitist any more than a redneck militia group? It's nothing more than a group with a shared interest/ability.

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    1. Again, you always come in in the spam folder and I apologize for not getting your comments out into the light of day earlier.

      I think the testing means something, although it is often overemphasized. But, then, that would account for why I felt it was a bit elitist until I learned a bit further. I felt it was the equivalent of wearing a badge showing you were in the top 2%.

      Of course, one in every 50 people could wear it potentially, so it really wouldn't be THAT elite anyway. But, thinking of them more as an advocacy group makes me feel better.

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  2. Mensa is a much misunderstood organisation. I was also under the same impression till I met an office bearer who came to India to train some teachers for a high end baccalaureate school here and I learnt for the first time about children with special needs who need to be given a different teaching environment. In a way, in a normal environment, a high IQ child could be considered as being handicapped!

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    1. As long as we stick to principles and a system designed for an agrarian economy R IMHO we will never adequately address the education of our youth regardless of their IQs

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    2. In a sense, that is true. It sometimes leads to unnecessary behavioral problems and unhappiness.

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    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    4. Editor's note: my original reply came before I retrieved the comment from shackman (worthy as always) so it may not make sense following. Then, I put in a note similar to this and had a typo that changed the meaning just enough that I deleted it. In Blogger, I am unsure how or if I can just edit a comment.

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  3. I love your poppies; they are pretty and bright … bring joy to the day.
    Blessings - Maxi

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    1. Thanks, Maxi! They certainly do that for us.

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  4. Absolutely WONERFUL--the poppies. Now if we could get dandelions the same respect, against the law to pull them, everybody would be happy with a sea of yellow & no more weeding.

    bikehikebabe

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