Thursday, May 31, 2012

The benefits of a Transuranic IQ.

This article's a little tongue-in-cheek, but I suppose most of them are, by now. I'm always forgetting the last digit, but I have an IQ in the 120 range. That's not really a mark of intelligence on its own, of course (you need education and knowledge retention for that), but as an indicator of the capacity to learn an adapt, it's an all right measure.

This is, however, a problem to many of my instructors. When faced with a question I do not know the answer for (typically because I was working when the lesson was taught), I can usually derive it. While fields without a lot of rigour require educated guesses, fields involving maths (as most of mine are) can often find precise answers with imprecise methods. It is possible, for example, to derive on-the-spot a formula for calculating compound interest that strongly resembles the textbook formula and yields the same answer.

It makes them crazy. And if they happen to wander into me outside of the school, they universally comment upon it. Comments range from innocuous compliments to sarcastic comments about being even better in sales than I am in (insert instructor's field here). It should be noted that with a single exception I have above-average marks in all courses, and in the case of that exception, my grades, while below mean, are certainly above the actual median.

It's not the marks that are bothering me. It's the continued insistence by parties on both sides that I should be ignoring the one for the other. Economics instructors who are firmly convinced that students simply should not be employed, both for the purposes of calculating unemployment margins and the purposes of practical academia. This would be true, I suppose, if I couldn't actually handle it. Work has affected my ability to handle my course-load, but the impact has not been negative. In fact, my assignment completion ratios have actually increased across all courses since taking the job at Teavanna.

There's two reasons for that. The first is that, on any given shift of greater than seven hours, I get a lunch break that I usually use to stuff my face and then work on one assignment or another. The other is that, if I'm not at the school and being bored by the subject matter all day, it's much easier to focus on the part of my schooling that actually matters: the assignments that make up our marks.

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