Sunday, October 20, 1974
THE MICHIGAN DAILY
Sunday 1 Ocoe 0 94TEMCIA ALaeFv
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Do they belong in universities?..--- ---------.-..
Day Calendar Monday, October 21 PEP Project," P&A Coiloq Rm
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(Continued from Page 3)
the feeling of being odd." Even
parents who are aware of the
problem find it difficult to deal
with, and the reactions of other
adults are always unnredict-
able. "Greg is shy, a little bit
tense," Ketcham says from his
experience with the boy. "He's
a little bit tentative when he
meets someone. He suspects
everybody's looking at him as
being way out or bizarre .
I suspect that Greg Wellman,
when he meets a new person,
he's wondering what they're
thinking." Overall, though, he
considers Greg "well-adjusted."
But Bookstein was by his own
admission a totally different
case, a case in which the atti-
tudes of adults and the prob-
lem of playing up to the image
of "the genius" profoundly col-
ored all his social relations.
"MATH PRODIGIES ARE
treated with whimsical ad-
miration and confusion . . . I
felt adults were treating me as
unusual and I used it as ego
food. It's all sugar: there's no
protein in it and the result is
It seems that the intellectual
and social habits he developed
in high school and college are
things he would like to forget.
Talking about that part of the
past, he' never cracks a smile.'
"I lived in Frost House in
Markley. People thought I was
'cute' so I played up to that.
I picked up some obnoxious
habits and touted my superior-
ity. I lost a lot of chances to
public exposre ten years agyo.
One prof'ssor who knows him
rem., rked, 'The poor kid was
gobbled up as a twele-year-old.
People would come up to him
at MSU and say. "Hey, genius,
what are you going to discover
(O THE QUESTION is still un-
answered. No one is quite
sure what to do with children
who demonstrate an intellectual
ability that is years ahead of
"'1'yin; in high school would
he stoiltifyirig," says Dr. Julian
Stanley, director of the Hopkins
project, "and that would cause
emotional and social problems
. . . Getting ahead in academic
affairs promotes personal and
'THERE IS ONE POINT on
which they all agree. Just
as the popular belief in the dan-
gerous nature of childhood pre-
cocity goes far back in our cul-
Sunday, October 20
TV Ctr.: TheMusic Shop: Mak-
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nel 4, noon.
Music School: Susan Charney,
violin, Recital Hall, 2:30 pm.
Musical Society: Alvin Alley
Amer. Dance Thtr., Power Ctr., 3
Faculty Chamber Concert: Moz-
art, Schubert, Rackham Aud., 4 pm.
City Ctr. Acting Co.: Chekhov's
Three Sisters, Power Ctr., 7 pm.
Music School: Symphony Orches-
tra, Theo Aleantra, conductor, Hill
Aud., 8 pm.
WUOM: Panel discus
day's Congress," with se
leader, Hugh Scott, &1
ard Bolling, house ref
cate, 10 am.
Ctr. Russian; E. Europe
Lawrence Orton, Oaklaw
lish Politics and the Uk
tionai Movement in Galic
Commons Rm., Lane Hal
STAFS: Faculty semi:
Mazrui. "Africa Towards
W. Conf. Rm., Rackha
High Energy Seminar:
son. U. of Calif., Berk
n, "To- A-v Ctr.: Totem; Pas de Deux;
minority Paul Taylor and Co.: AnAArtist and
p, Rich- his Work, Pendelton, Arts Info.
advo- Ctr.. 8 pm.
UM-Dearborn: James Tatum
Studies: Trio, Sisson Rm., Fair Lane Ctr,
U., "Po- 8 pm.
Ian Na- Career Planning & Placement
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Interestingly e n o u g h, the
same things that Wellman
likes about pure math are the
things that ultimately drove
Bookstein away from the field.
It was never made clear to
him how"to apply his'mathe-
matical knowledge, he claims, Bruno B
and when he entered graduate their peers. A local psychoio-
school at Harvard, he became terpes oa scoo
painfully aware of the "lack of gist, Dr. Donald Rossi, agrees
continuity between mathemati- with Bettleheim that rapid ac-
cal thoyueteandathemngi-gceleration can be dangerous and
cal thoughts and the ongong. advises creating academic pro-
world." While Wellman doesn't avsscetn cdmcpo
warnt.WhimathpiWedmndontgrams that would challenge
want his math pinned down to these children while keeping
"little physical bodies moving: them as close as possible to
around," Bookstein feels the their own age group. Even
tendency to keep the two realmst Lewis Terman, an early author-
divorced is what distorted his ity on the subject who recoi-
perception. "The undergradu- mended acceleration for most
ate mathematician doesn't have genedclern 19rm ,s
to relate to people because he gifted children, wrote in 1950,
o elsth sp mole e s "Although there are some chil-
only deals with symbos." dren who could be made ready
for ninth grade at nine or ten
HE ENTIRE VENTURE has years, and for college at 13 or
left him with many regrets. 14, such extreme instances of
"I enjoyed being called a 'gen- acceleration in our gifted group
ius,' but a ghastly feeling of have usually had unfortunate
fraud came over me later. I results."
was never a genius . . . I was On the other hand, psvcholo-
simply a math prodigy of a gists at Johns Hopkins Univer-
particular type: a good problem sity in Baltimore have been
solver with a quick and reten- seeking out mathematically
tive mind." precocious children and enroll-
He quit the math department ing them at the university at
at Harvard after only four thirteen, fourteen, and fifteen
weeks and transferred into so- years of age since 1970. They
ciology. He wasn't happy there claim they have had enormous
either, and after five dilatory success, and the old stereotype
years of study in the depart- of the emotional infant inside
ment, he was finally given a the body of the intellectually ad-
masters degree. But in the vanced student simply does not
process, he learned something, stand up.
he says. His social ability de-
veloped through his part-time
tutoring activities and he slow-
ly learned to be gentle. He got
married four months ago,' and
though his social behavior "is
still very erratic and I have a NCwAccepting
habit of dumping on people," hefNoweAcceptgng
feels he's come a long way.
There have been other exam- SPRIN G
ples of highly gifted students at
the University; in fact, one ofDirector
the most amazing stories of
childhood precocity in recent Choreog
times involves' a student now
on the campus. Michael Grost, Mus
who made nationwide news in
1964 when he entered Michigan Pick up application in
State University at the age of of Mich. Union and sic
11, is now a doctoral candidate For info.--call 763-11 0
and teaching fellow in the math
department. He declined to be: APPLICATIONS
interviewed for this article, very
possibly due to a distaste fore
publicity that stems from his
tural history (Shakespeare
wrote, "So wise so young, they
say, do never live long"), the
rapid advancement and aca-
demic success of children is
nothing new either. As Dr. Ket-
charn points out, "Goethe took
his baccalaureate from the Uni-
versity of Heidleberg at the age
Hove a flair for
If you are interest-
ed in revoi e w in
or wr iting feature_
stories about the
drama. dance, film
airts: Contact Arts
Editor, c/'o The
iTTAWILL R Lf.CT
de ev db4 c HUJZ
UAC office, 2nd floor
gn up for an interview.
P DUE OCT. 21
MOM ~1,J~jI ~1 ' '
tat H ILL EL
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