Okay so my mom and I have an ongoing debate about what makes a person smart, not intelligent, but a good student.
I was of the opinion that smart people are not born, but made. Yes, there are the enviable geniuses who would be brilliant no matter what the circumstances of their lives, but for the rest of us who for whatever reason, want to be smart, it takes work.
Mom is always saying that I am a natural, and that I just “don’t get it, not everyone is like you!”
But it always peeved me, because I feel like I have to work really hard to be what I would consider smart, and I do it because I WANT to be smart, not because I AM.
But something clicked tonight. I propose a compromise of sorts-
Smart people (generally speaking still) are people who possess BOTH the desire for more intelligence, and natural affinity for absorbing information.
I realized this because as I was sitting here at work (2:44 AM) with nothing to do, I decided to do some internet research on AIDS, I don’t know why. I guess because I was watching a documentary about the sexual revolution, and I realized I really didn’t know that much about AIDS. Well that research turned into more reading about HIV, and then THAT turned into MORE reading on simian immunodeficiency virus or SIV, the presumed monkey-origin of the HIV virus. It was then that I realized, you know I don’t think most people are sitting at work (at least not people who work graveyard at hotels) researching the DNA discrepancies and mutations within groups of Chimpanzee’s in Cameroon on a Tuesday night… For FUN!
BTW Chimps are very tribe oriented and most scientist believe you can actually trace HIV back to one specific group of Chimps in Western Africa! So far I can’t find just a whole lot of SIV itself since most people are more concerned with it’s crossover to Human Primates as the HIV virus, but what if we knew what caused SIV in this one particular group of chimps in the first place? I think its fascinating! I mean the implications of it being from one small tight-knit community of Chimps really gets me thinking! What was different about this family group that caused SIV to thrive in them, and not other chimp groups? Diet? Exposure to toxins not preset elsewhere? A genetic random anomaly that got passed down in DNA? I’m sure the answer is probably out there somewhere, but all the info about SIVis shrouded in Biological lingo and I’m not so much brushed up on modern medical vernacular, so I’ll just have to wait for the Wiki version. :p
Anyway, Mom, seeing as how I don’t actually benefit personally from knowing about this stuff, I will concede that at least part of my nerdom I must have come by naturally and I will admit, I myself am probably an anomaly of sorts, especially since I am a freakin’ art/media student!