Thursday, March 25, 2010
The Girl with 2 Brains
Last Thursday I wrote about the Yin to my Yang exploring the synergy between my left brain and my wife's right brain.
My daughter Lara turns 17 next week and she's definitely the girl with 2 brains (or a whole brain).
I cannot draw a stick figure (my attempts at drawing a human look more like a dinner fork than the Venus de Milo).
My daughter took a blank piece of paper and a pencil then drew the self portrait above.
Her greatest academic strength is math. She can visualize problems involving vector forces, geometry, or trigonometric functions then break them into solvable component parts. To me, the hardest part of advanced math and engineering is setting up the problem correctly, not solving it.
She's just completed her first resume. Today's high school students are expected to master college level topics, develop disciplined work habits at an early age, and complement their academics with sports/music/art/volunteer work, which she's tried to do in a balanced way. My own experience as a student was that I was not the smartest student in the class, but I was the most persistent due to minimal sleep needs, a great tolerance for any kind of discomfort - cold/fatigue/hunger, and a sense of impatience for the future.
My daughter has a different set of skills - a whole brain that can process the analytical and visual with equal competency, an ability to think about the greater good rather than personal gain, and a sense that anything is possible. She does not believe in political half truths. She does not judge success by a bank balance. She does not believe the ends justifies the means. She believes that the nice guy (or gal) can finish first.
I would like to believe that idealists can succeed through persistence and determination, always staying true to their values. Watching day to day activities in Washington has convinced me that it's critically important to have a strong moral compass.
Her current college search criteria on CollegeBoard.com are
Rural or Suburban location
Under 10,000 students
Strong Asian Studies/Japanese language program (for the right brain)
Strong Environmental Engineering program (for the left brain)
Studio art resources
If possible, a competitive collegiate archery team (she's ranked 6th in the US)
It's my hope that she has the best of both her parents without the downsides of either.
At very least, she can write a college essay entitled "Why I have a whole brain"!
Posted by John Halamka at 3:00 AM