I always wondered…

Really, I have guessed I was what the elementary schools would have labeled “gifted” when I was in school. (Being homeschooled most of my elementary experience I didn’t really have many to compare myself to.)

A comment in my latest read made me think of it:

A piano teacher told me gifted children were the very hardest to teach because they expected to be able to sit at a piano and instantly play.

I can *so* relate to this.

So many things have happened easily for me that when something is challenging I find myself wagging my head for a moment like a dizzy puppy before deciding whether to continue.

My rational side says, Of course. This is a skill, it requires investment.

My {whatever you want to call the} other side whines It’s just not *natural* for it to be this hard!

This happens mainly for me with instruments, but also with my current stage of noveling.

This commentary of Bittner’s (author of the book linked above) on the topic of giftedness is so good:

Capable children must learn to struggle through challenging tasks.

There is no possible way they can get through their entire lives without encountering something they can’t do well, and it’s better for them to learn how to work hard at something when they are still young enough to receive your guidance and encouragement…

When he pleads to quit, or loses his temper because the subject isn’t going well, be gentle and encouraging, but firm. Tell him he must continue to work at this, but show him how to tackle the project.

This is the role I’d been trying to get Jay to take in relation to something— anything— challenging that I’m drawn to. I finally asked him if he could chose something for me. Something he liked that he could own as important to him too.

I wanted to be able to “plead to quit, or lose [my] temper because [X] isn’t going well” and still have that gentle encouragement I need to keep on.

Jay picked the novel, and I felt this lovely rush of relief (almost like the other options were even more work) and thanked him for his choice.

So, while the process isn’t moving much faster than it was, my mental energy is less scattered, and that’s what I attribute this week’s successes to.

I am “almost” done with my first draft, but my structure and time-frame have changed significantly, requiring another read-through with cutting and re-ordering.

I have a printout sitting on my desk that is intimidating in it’s hight.

“And it’s not not even a whole novel!” I moaned, thinking of the amount of work left.

Jay’s calm answer: “It’s a whole lot of a novel.”

See, he’s already doing his job. :)

3 thoughts on “I always wondered…

  1. Hi there! How are you???? You’re almost done with your first draft? I am so doggone proud of you, girl!

    My daughter is in the gifted program (as is my oldest) and your post here was so timely! I’ve missed you. I’m going to have to move you over to the other blog so I can continue to visit you regularly!

    Have a great day!

    (chrisd from write and whine and from NaNo 2006)

  2. I understand about having scattered mental energies. And not being disciplined enough to work through a difficult task. In school, I didn’t write rough drafts. Just final ones. Those were always good enough for the teacher.

    My piano teacher didn’t realize I couldn’t read music very well untill she had taught me for 5 or 6 years. She always introduces me to a piece by playing it for me–then I could remember it when I sat down and would only use note reading when my ear didn’t remember the notes. I’m not a musical genius, but I remembered enough to slide by.

    I can’t take credit fro making myself play piano this summer. I have a new boss for the fall, and she heard I play piano and has asked me to accompany the school as they sing patriotic songs every morning. Yikes! So I’m only hoping I can learn these fast enough to play for the whole school! (Since I still can’t read music very well.)

    I like how you involve your husband as a support in this area. I didn’t even know I had a problem with focus until I was married and James pointed it out.

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