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Gifted

so the children, so the parents? Maybe not.....

This is Dark Cloud on Wednesday, December 09, 2009.

I’d like to take the time today to clarify my superiority in all spheres by discussing a subject upon which, you will all agree, I am an undisputed authority: other people’s children, lives, and opinions. Further, my obvious and clearly objective superiority in these matters has been achieved because I myself have no children, a blessing for which I and numerous others sacrificed small, harmless animals to the principalities of the cosmos for many bloody years until I went to jail. After that, I have simply taken quiet pleasure in noting the term “family” applied to anything like entertainment, restaurant or holiday is something to avoid at all costs, and preferably at great distance.

My satisfaction in these superior conclusions has arisen again solely because of the recent effort to obtain a separate school in the Boulder Valley public school system for what are referred to – and referred to with hushed intake of breath - as “gifted” children.“Gifted” apparently can mean anything from near savant autistic talent in a narrow field to prolific prodigy in many. It is such an unspecific term that only the word “therapist” equals it in ballast hereabouts. The declaration by loud, often whiney, and certainly irritating people that their children are gifted annoys me in the same way all stage parents do: it’s an arguable excuse to fluff themselves by parading their children, much in the manner Patsy Ramsey attached herself to her soon to be murdered child in Boulder’s holiday parade in a previous December. The same effect is achieved by writing letters to the Editor, announcing the plight of honest, hard working parents like, oh, themselves who have generously blessed their zygotes with the superior genetic material that makes their children glow with otherworldly light if only the plantlife that composes school boards and their peers, who only see another kid with a runny nose, could be enlightened to the world-saving potential of their little thumb sucker.

Despite this seething mass of superior parents, a school – but a private school – composed exclusively for these children of Boulder Leonardos and Einsteins closed last Spring after what seems to have been only one year of existence. Administrative incompetence, we’re told. After this business fiasco - another subject upon which I’m an authority, unfortunately - many of the same people involved have tried to get a charter school going, to be called, and I quote, “The Boulder Valley Academy for Gifted and Exceptionally Motivated Students,” to be referenced as the "Gifted Academy"? What parent wouldn’t want to announce over foie gras their child went to Gifted?In fact, this Saturday they’re watching their child’s soccer match against The Boulder Valley Dump for Mediocre and Inferior Students. Goooooooooooooo GIFTED!

I myself thought the name, the Gifted Academy, was somewhat shy and inaccurate. So, I suggested upon the Daily Camera website that it should be called “The Boulder Valley Academy for the Sons and Daughters of Social Climbing and Insecure Parvenu,” to be referenced as the “School for Scions of Squittering Douchebags and Junior League Detritus with Hyphenated Names.” Those not familiar with the fact that the Camera had recently front paged an article listing CU as the nation’s 12th douchiest college – I myself graduated from the 8th douchiest – expressed in the many subtle ways of superior people their displeasure, apparently over the mainstreaming of the word douche bag, at least as applied to themselves. They should have been more concerned with the word squittering, but no doubt their gifted children will so inform them.

The suggested name for this school is important. It correctly underlines the motivations at work, to stamp their children for future success implied by its name. Further, has any study been done that justifies separating out gifted children at an early age and comparing it to eventual product? Sure, some succeed beyond belief, but would they anyway, being so smart? If after years of superior schooling these schools overall don’t produce a higher rate of superior success in life, what is the point, especially at public expense? We assume a higher majority do better. Do they?If so, is it due these schools or connections and inheritance?

It’s a valid question, because Tuesday night, the two charter application review teams, one made up of Boulder Valley directors and the other of parents and teachers, recommended board members reject it because it was incomplete, and failed to meet "minimum standards." The vote was 6-0 to reject.

Such is the product of the parents and proponents of the gifted.