Monday, December 29, 2008


I spent three summers at math camp as a teen; I got my degree from one of the strongest schools in the home country; I've been working in IT all my life. So it shouldn't come as a surprise when I say I've been surrounded by people of above-average intelligence for, well, as long as I remember. I never gave it much thought until last year or so. Last year, through a social networking site, I found many people I went to math camp/college with. Seeing what my classmates did with their lives so far was a tad of a wake-up call.

Take my math camp. Everyone I've talked to has been doing well for themselves. Nice careers, research work, teaching at universities etc. Two guys from our camp made it big. One manages power plants across Russia. The other one is a successful play director at an up & coming theater in Moscow. I barely remember the scrawny, dorky kid from my '83 camp. Now he's a celebrity. That shook me up pretty bad. When I tell people about it, they think I'm upset because these two have the fame and money, and I don't. It's not that. When I look at my classmates, the question I ask myself is, We all started out as, for lack of a better word, gifted kids. They made their gifts work, so now they're happy and satisfied, because their talents did not go to waste. What about me? It's like that parable of the talents. "Where's the talent I gave you, Goldie?" - "Oh shit, what'd I do with it? Wait a sec, lemme look, I'm sure I had it here somewhere. Nope, can't find it. The dog must've dragged it off. Shit, sorry."

That's what my writing class is all about, finally pulling my head out of my ass and putting my abilities to work. We'll see how it works out, or what else I can come up with. At any rate, a large part of my life has already been flushed down the drain.

Then I remember that, back at math camp, I wasn't considered that good, average in fact, and that the first two years of college were an uphill struggle. This makes me feel better. Maybe I didn't have that much, after all. Maybe the loss is not that big.

If you're reading this and you do have a brain, I urge you - use it. Don't let it lay around and gather dust. If you do, you will regret it when you're my age. This goes especially for you, LP, and you, CB. You heard me. Now go do your homework.

The Goldie has spoken at 11:57 AM

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