Interview With a 10 Year Old Genius
Is every child gifted in his or her own way?
The Gifted Child
They told me she’s gifted, a brilliant child. But honestly, isn’t every child gifted and brilliant? So just what did the school counselor mean when she told me my daughter was gifted? The school wanted my permission to place Bette in special classes that moved faster to hold her attention and make her work to her fullest potential. Well, heck. Who was I to hold my daughter back? As a proud mama I signed that permission form and never looked back. Sometimes my daughter can be downright creepy with her abilities. She was reading and performing simple math at age 4. She just seemed to already know things I would ask her. So anyways, I sat down with the little smarty and interviewed her for a couple reasons. One, she’s my daughter and I love finding out how and what she’s doing. Two, this is something she can look back on when she’s older (like a teen) and hates me.
The Bad Joke
My daughter and I sat down on the couch together, cozy under a blanket, with Spongebob Squarepants playing in the background. I could tell she was a little apprehensive at first by the glances she kept giving my notebook, trying to see what I had written there. So I eased into the interview with an easy, light question.
Ardie: What is your favorite joke?
Bette: Well, it’s actually a riddle, is that okay? (Ardie nods) Alright, you’re stuck in a hotel room and there’s no door or windows. How do you get out? (Ardie shrugs) You cut a table in half. The two halves make a whole. Then you can crawl out through the hole!
Ardie: Oh, that’s very…interesting. Clever really.
Bette: Well, I did have another joke but then I’d have to spell out a bad word. (crickets chirping because I was in shock) A little boy walked up to his mom and said “T-G-I-F, thank goodness it’s Friday!” The mom then replied “Oh, S-H-I-T. Sorry honey it's Thursday.” There was an awkward silence as I didn’t know how to respond to that.
Ardie: I don’t think that’s appropriate for an interview with a 10 year old genius, let’s move on.
As we sat in silence a moment Bette flipped through the pages of her book casually, pretending she was looking for a certain spot. I cleared my throat and started:
Ardie: I've heard people say you're a genius, do you believe that?
Bette: I dunno. And make sure you spell that d-u-n-n-o.
Ardie: What's your favorite subject in school?
Bette: Math because I'm good at it.
Ardie: So then, are you a math genius?
Bette: (flipping her hair like a mad woman) I. Dun. No.
Ardie: Okay, moving on again. Do you have any hobbies?
Bette: Uuum, playing Halo, playing on my DSi, reading, watching TV, petting the dog, and holding the cat.
Ardie: What do you want to be when you grow up?
Bette: A wildlife photographer.
Bette: (growling) I hate the why's! I guess because I like animal pictures...
Ardie: Who is your hero? Who do you want to be like and why?
Bette: My parents...because...they take care of me.
By this point my daughter was getting a lot more comfortable with the interview. She was even leaning towards me after answering so she could watch me write. I decided to set her back on edge by throwing out a WHAM question:
Ardie: I've heard some rumors lately. Are you seeing anyone right now?
Bette: Seeing them for what? Seeing how? (Good, she was stuttering)
Ardie: You know, seeing them and dating someone like a boyfriend...
Bette: (sitting straight up and glaring) NO (her arms are crossed, mission accomplished!)
Ardie: Ready for the rapid fire?
Bette: What does that mean?
Ardie: Everything I ask now will be one word and you will state your favorite of that one word
Bette: Ooooh, yes!
Bette: Journey to the Center of the Earth
Bette: The citrus group (meaning orange, yellow and green)
Bette: Pokemon action figures
Bette: Series, The Last Dragon Chronicles
Bette: Mmmm bacon
Ardie: Mmmm bacon. Holiday
Math and Urine
Bette had done very well under the pressure. I offered her a drink and a break but she simply wiped her brow and gestured for me to continue. The tension had built between us and I knew she was ready to end this. So I decided to add a little fun for her.
Ardie: I am going to give you a math problem to complete in your head while I time you. Let me know when you're ready.
Bette: (eyes aglow) okay, go.
Ardie: 46 times 13 (I started the timer)
I watched in anticipation, counting off every second, while Bette squeezed her eyes shut, pushed the pointer finger of each hand to the bridge of her nose, and silently moved her lips. After 32 seconds her eyes popped open.
Bette: Is it 598?
Ardie: Yes. Do you have any phobias, extreme fears?
Ardie: Because of the storm we had a few years back?
Bette: Yes - sissy pee'd her pants
Ardie: She was only 3
Bette: It was gross
I quickly realized we had lost track of the interview. There were only two questions left so I asked the next most important question of this entire ordeal:
Ardie: If you could be any Harry Potter character who would you be and why?
Bette: Ginny Weasley because she's hot and I want to be hot.
Ardie: Oh! Okay then. One more. What is the scariest thing you've ever done
Bette: Besides that tornado? Surgery. I didn't know what was going on and it sucked.
Ardie: Very well. You've done fantastic tonight and I thank you for your time.
Bette: Mommy, don't be weird.