IQ, GPA, and SAT: these are the tree tools used to measure every child who wants to go to college. IQ measures your potential, GPA tells how you measure up to that potential, and SAT tells what colleges will look at you. However there are plenty of examples of people we think of as intelligent without these three numbers. Men like Steve jobs, who lacked the GPA, John F Kennedy who had a mediocre SAT score, and the discoverers of DNA (Watson and Crick) neither of whom had “gifted” IQ scores. Based on these and many other examples, it is reasonable to believe that these three numbers are a flawed system of measurement. Yet we still use them as our primary tool for measuring people’s intelligence. In a strange paradox, our culture idolizes the stories of the aforementioned people as being brilliant on their own terms while simultaneously telling its youth to fall in line.
My credentials for giving this talk are not professional, but personal. As someone who was diagnosed with learning disabilities at a young age, I have been handicapped, not by lack of intelligence, but by inability to fit into other people’s definition of intelligence. This has given me a special appreciation for falling outside of standard measures of intelligence.