Monday, January 14, 2013

Inventor in Training

Big Kid has to invent something for school. A real thing with a prototype and a patent application.

(Yes, yet another school project that involves way too much participation from me).

He has agonized over this because he has a ton of great ideas--so great that they are already in production. This is not an easy assignment for a 4th grader. Or his mom.

The other day in the car he sighed and said, "I wish I was a genius," with great frustration, and I knew he was thinking about the invention again.

I paused before saying, "You actually are a genius. We just didn't tell you because we didn't want you to be lazy or conceited."

He rolled his eyes. "Mom, I mean like a real genius, not like 'your mom thinks you're a genius', like a Nobel Prize winner."

"I'm serious. You've been tested a few times and you have a very high IQ. I just read an article that said Richard Feynman, a Nobel Prize winner, had an IQ in the 120s. Yours is significantly higher."

"How high?"

"I don't need a 9 year old with all kinds of swagger, you're lucky I'm telling you at all and you better not make me regret it. You can't tell other people, I know that's weird but don't. A lot of really smart people do absolutely nothing with it because they're lazy so you're not special for it until you do something with it, you know?"

And then for the sake of his sorely-in-need self esteem, I added, "In the range of Einstein high."

He looked surprised and settled back into his seat and stared out the window for a second.

"What does this mean?" He asked, a question I've asked myself a few times.

"It means you did really well on a test, and that you can and will figure out something for this project without a ton of help from me. You might have a higher IQ than Edison himself. But remember, with great power comes great responsibility. "

"Edison was really just a good businessman, Tesla was the smart one."

"Okay, choose either. Let's just get the project done."

6 comments:

Tara said...

Right there you know he's smart because he's not buying the crap about Edison that's fed to them at school...he's right, Edison was a businessman & good at marketing himself...Tesla was the brilliant scientist & inventor. He really must've loved when the Oatmeal guy did the whole huge thing on Tesla.

Ashley said...

I think that's probably where he got his passionate views about Edison. He went on an Edison-related field trip recently and I had to remind him frequently that he had to be respectful and polite, even if he was anti-Edison.

Anonymous said...

I like that you told him IQ doesn't matter unless you do something with it.

Bethany

Mommy Wis(h)dom said...

I wish I could channel you when I talk to my kids. You have great answers. :)

Ashley said...

I have some terrible answers too, Mommy Wis(h)dom, I just don't blog about those. ;-)

Desiree said...

Just saw this on woot and thought of this post about your big kid.
http://shirt.woot.com/offers/team-tesla
:D