Thursday, March 01, 2007


As part of the unpacking process here at the new Berger residence, I have been looking through my old notebooks and tests and teacher evaluations. These stretch as far back as the 1st grade and they have gotten me to think about what might have been for me...although then again, I'm still doing pretty decently for myself, so this is a pretty conflicted post.

For example, last night I stumbled upon my second grade ERB scores. I scored in the 99th percentile on that test. Apparently my math and reasoning skills were at a 6th grade level! Then I saw my 6th grade math tests. My average score was a 104 (but then again, I was ready for that stuff in 2nd grade). Why did I stop taking math in college? That was dumb. But anyway, one reason why I seemed so smart back then was that my competition was so much worse. In those days, I was in a class of 100 in a school of 1,000 that was generally pretty smart, but had its share of mediocre students. By the time I got to Yale, I was studying with 5000+ of the smartest people in the entire world (well, mostly...), a large number of whom had probably been in that same 99th percentile all their lives as well. All of a sudden those 104s didn't look so amazing. So during college and since graduation, I've had a lot more humility about my intelligence, which is certainly a good thing (although I still know that I'm wicked smart). I have a much better sense of the many people out there who are more intelligent than myself. But at the same time, seeing these past accomplishments has rekindled a bit of competitive fire in me and has made me think about striving to use the intelligence that I have to do some more productive things. Most of all, I know that I really need to work harder to be more successful. I hope it lasts.

Too bad life isn't an algebra test.

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