DSM: Re: living death

From: Mary Rose Murrin (mmurrin@tampabay.rr.com)
Date: Fri Mar 01 2002 - 09:14:53 EST

Sam from Sacramento saying - WHAT!

 When talking about the living death- I was talking about the 33% of the
gifted that dropped out of high school or didn't make it in society. This
was a statistic that was quoted to me by my son's 4th grade teacher in front
of a dozen education professionals of various types. I am talking about my
father, my brothers, my ex-husbands, some of my sisters. I am talking about
the life the educational system was ready to pronounce on my son. I am
talking about the gifted who became mentally ill. The gifted who became
substance abusers. I am talking about a friend of mine who is able to build
a clinical practice treating substance abuse, depression and PTSD (all three
in combination) just on those gifted who blame the educational system for
their problems. She wants to write a book on the tragic waste of life on
those who are the what she calls the 3%ers. I am talking about the gifted
who won Nobel Prizes in spite of the educational system because they were
able to circumvent it- and their anger. (for the anger see:

I am talking about a society that refuses to integrate existing knowledge
about giftedness into an educational system despite years of research. As
an example see : www.gifteddevelopment.com where she details the significant
risk factors of many gifted.

For a really scholarly work on how we, as a society, do not incorporate
existing knowledge into programs to solve real problems see: Jeffrey
Reiman's The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Prison. In my opinion, the
only problem with this book is that it doesn't look at how ALL the systems
of the society, including the educational system, perpetuate the same
biases. The book points out that if we went and designed a criminal justice
system to keep the poor in poverty and a significant portion of the poor
committing the types of wrongful acts that we define as crime, based on
available research, then we would the criminal justice system exactly as it
exists now.

Have you ever thought where you would be if you had grown up in Sudbury
schools where your talents were nourished and encouraged, rather than the
public education system where hours every day is wasted on maintaining order
and where you are actually kept out of the library because you refuse to
participate in learning exercises that are too easy for you?

My opinions are just my opinions. But they are based on years of research
into what I can do to help my child avoid the fate of his fathers. I have
always believed that my child will be the Walt Disney of the 21st century.
He'd rather be more avant garde but that's OK- we live in a more avant garde
century. It's more than OK if he did something else, but this idea was
based on his talents, abilities, and interests- which have always supported
this idea in my mind. If he had remained in public school then he would
have missed the things that he learned from months of designing amusement
parks, months of studying the physics and mechanics of amusement rides,
months of studying the directorial styles of the world's directors, and now
some time trying to develop his drawing style. He's taught himself to write
at the college level in the process.

How can you take a child who goes to bed with his cherished books and turn
him into a child who hates learning and reading within 1 month of starting
kindergarten? Then have him love to learn again within a year of being
unschooled? How can you not say that school has damaged him?

I agree that this does not apply only to gifted children- and that all
children deserve this kind of education.
This cut from a recent post is great-

To me, the challenge is to give everyone -- not equality but -- equal
opportunity: the "gifted", the "average", the "learning disabled". . .

" . . . Each of us, WITHOUT EXCEPTION, has our own unique contribution to
make to the development of human culture . . ."

" . . . Every person I have ever met has some special interest, something he
or she is really good at. It is that special spark in each human being that
makes them interesting, and ,makes us want to seek out their wisdom and
counsel . . ."

 I only argue that to not have any alternatives for those gifted and
talented- those children who require more development time than normal- is a
tragedy of unbelievable proportions and something that I would like to
remedy in some way.

Sorry not to provide more facts in the midst of my passion and in a
relatively short e-mail, but to make the point would take many, many books.

And even though you made it, you do admit being damaged, and you do admit
that you didn't make it as far as you might have with the economic

That's my point.

Mary Rose


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