I still remember the placement test at elementary school. My beloved school taught an experimental program, so the model and curriculum were different from other elementary schools. Therefore, to enter Grade one, we had to go through an IQ test.
Perhaps thanks to the good foundation from the beginning, my study was quite convenient. I find myself studying steadily, never excellent, but almost always in the top-ranked classes of the school. My friends all studied hard and well. Every teacher mentioned our class in a proud voice.
However, the education system that values scores, valuing theory better than practice, focusing only on social science subjects, decentralizing the pupils with high scores – the pupils with low scores has created a deep line in my perception that only people like us are talented people. We, the biased education and society with blind faith have unknowingly made those who do not achieve high scores at schools feel inferior and many of them were seriously hurt.
My university has two faculties: Business and Design. In the first year, students of both faculties studied in the same English class, so I had a chance to interact with people who were different from me and I was wakened up. There were various activities during classes such as writing essays, presentations, crosswords, etc. which were so familiar that I felt nothing difficult. But my group had a student majoring in fashion design who found it very difficult to keep up with the others. I also briefly thought “this girl doesn’t seem to be very smart?!”.
But then, the teacher assigned the homework for everyone to create a useful item for life. It was okay to have a strange idea. We could use our imagination to draw the item and to use the drawing to make a presentation. At that moment, I really felt stuck, because no teacher had ever told me to create something by my self before. Even if I wrote a document according to my own thoughts, not by the teachers’ grading criteria, I would not get high marks. I cried silently in pain. And that time, the girl that I thought was a bit unintelligent was the person who shone the most in the group when she kept coming up with ideas and even drew very beautiful pictures.
I suddenly realized: “We are all talented in a certain area. The important thing is whether we can exploit our strengths and put our talents in the right place.”
One of my friends is very skillful. She can turn old things into new ones in just a few seconds.
Another friend has a very good sense of color, always impressing me with the color scheme on her art products.
One of my friends has a really good taste, and she can make super delicious creams.
A guy who is a mutual friend of my husband and I can learn to play musical instruments from a young age.
My mother has the ability to cook a dish a hundred times, all with the same taste.
My second mother is totally good at gardening; her garden is always full of flowers, vegetables, fruits, and full of life.
My best friend, together with her sister, is gifted in foreign languages. They all learn English by themselves, not at any center, but when they took the university entrance exam into the University of pedagogy, Faculty of English, she was the valedictorian.
Howard Gardner’s multi-intelligence theory has shown that there are 9 types of intelligence: Linguistic intelligence (linguistically capable), Logic intelligence (ability to identify causes, sequences of things, to seek rules based on concepts), Spatial intelligence (visual thinking, symbol thinking and the ability to perceive, transform and reproduce different angles of the intuitive space world), Musical intelligence (the ability to perceive, enjoy and create rhythms), Kinaesthetic intelligence (talent in controlling physical activities), Interpersonal intelligence (the ability to see through others’ minds, from which to see the outside vision with their own eyes), Intrapersonal intelligence (self-awareness, a person with this interlligence can easily access and clearly see his or her own emotions), Natural intelligence (adept at identifying and distributing countless types of animals and plants in the environment), Existence intelligence (determining oneself to the farthest reaches of the universe, the importance of life, the meaning of death, the ultimate fate of the material world, the spirit, the deep experiences such as human love or passion for art). (Source: Wikipedia).
The most recent example of me experiencing the English classes at the University again was when I joined the dance class. I myself love music, but dancing for me was a new thing and it took me time to practice. Joining the class with me is my “twin” sister with the face, height, temperament, and hobbies,… many things totally like mine. But whenever the girl started dancing, everyone could tell the difference right away. She feels the music very well and her body is very flexible, so with any song, even if it’s new, she will practice very quickly. In the class, there are many friends like me – struggling to memorize a song, and also some friends like my twin sister – dancing are inherently instinctive, just need to be cultivated. Or in the drawing class, I felt my classmates were excellent, and I …, had to try so hard to finish the drawings.
You see, no matter who we are, where we start, no matter who we look like, we are just an independent individual. Why not become the best version of yourself? If you still feel you’re not good enough, it is simply because you have not developed your talents yet. Try to do something you can do best and have fun, be proud of it, don’t care what people say. The opinion of society is formed from the perspective of each individual in society. So before changing society’s prejudice about a group of people, a certain career, just start by changing your own thoughts. Remember, we are all talented (and beautiful)!
Photo by Phúc Cơ Bắp