Monday, June 13, 2011

Today's fortune: June 13, 2011

Today's fortune: You will gain the highest levels of intelligence.

There's no way to write this post without looking like an ass.

If I tell you that sometimes I feel like I'm reaching high levels of intelligence in certain areas (which is true), I look like an ass.

If I tell you that sometimes I feel like the dumbest man on earth and I've never been farther from high intelligence (equally true), I look like an ass.

If I write that I'm going to look like an ass, then... well, you get the point.

The truth is somewhere in the middle of the two extremes of genius and simpleton. I believe I have above average intelligence. When I was in elementary school, I tested every single year to be placed into a special course reserved for the most intelligent students in the school. Just being allowed to take the test, they told us, said a lot about our intelligence. I tested every year. And I apparently failed every year, because I was never included in the group.

If intelligence were judged by grades in school, the above average classification would ring true. You want to know my GPA? I'll tell you. In high school, it was about 3.5 on a 4.0 scale. I spent two years in community college and again I was right around 3.5. At my undergrad school, I earned a 4.0, good enough to graduate summa cum laude. I don't think I got smarter over the course of a summer, but I do believe I was able to focus on my major (communications).

I'm proud of the fact that I never got a "B" in my last couple years of college, but I don't think that fact necessarily makes me intelligent. In truth, many would argue grades are a pretty poor guage of intelligence.

If intelligence is measured by financial success within one's society, I'm average to below average. I've spent long stretches of unemployment on the government nickel, and most of the jobs I've held have been relatively low-paying (journalists generally make less than teachers). I'm making a nice salary now, but we've been able to save hardly nothing.

If the sum of knowledge is how intelligence is defined, I truly am attaining high levels. I am well read and I have a sharp memory for facts. In fact, my brain is crammed full of tidbits of information on subjects across the spectrum. But sometimes that clutter doesn't leave much room for true learning.

Maybe intelligence is measured by happiness. I have a terrific wife, a job that satisfies me, a supportive family, and I'm hardly ever sad. If happiness is the true mark of intelligence, I may just be the smartest man on the planet.

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