A Social Drawback to Being Well-Educated

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In 9th grade my dad asked a question of the teacher. The children behind him giggled while my dad laid out his query. After getting his answer, my dad asked his friend, "Why were they giggling?"

"They didn't understand a word you were saying."

My dad realized he wanted to communicate with everyone. From that day on, he tried to speak in a way that everyone around him could understand.

Ike, my friend of Discover & Do Level K fame, hangs out with Jr. Highers and says "dude" all the time. He's also one of the smartest guys I know. But he doesn't let on. Why? Because he wants to connect with people more than he wants to prove he's an intellectual.

Because homeschooling is such a fantastic way to learn, it's possible to become "smart" without realizing it. Sadly, your student's knowledge may elicit giggles from the other children--which does little more than demonstrate their poor socialization and the pressure to not be a nerd. In response to the giggles, I know I've purposely obfuscated my statements to separate myself from the masses mocking me.

The better response is to learn how to communicate with those who are less familiar with the topic at hand. This isn't about "stooping" to someone's level, but rather enabling him or her to climb up to yours. Great teachers can make the complex make sense.

May we all learn to communicate clearly with those around us, especially when we have the opportunity to learn far more than our peers about a particular topic.

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Empty Nester

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