Define “Smart”

Max Larsen, Sports Editor

A person’s intelligence isn’t just measured by their math class. All through my elementary school years, people would spring their grade level in math on me. Being one of the youngest in my class, this never got to me the way it did to some others. In regard to myself, I am more naturally gifted in language and writing, which is why I don’t do as well in math as I do in English.

For most, including myself, being told you are not as smart as someone else can be a little annoyance that can be brushed off, but will always remain in the back of your head. Not being as good at a singular subject as someone else is nothing significant, but saying that subject is the only one that matters can really get beneath your skin. For many people in elementary or middle school, math class is the way of categorizing how smart someone is. Being in the math class of my grade level for all of my school life, most people would automatically assume that they were smarter than me, just because they could apply y=mx+b in the third grade. I, on many occasions, would see students with so much knowledge in reading, writing, science, other electives, or even non-academic skills be told that they were incapable compared to someone else just because of their math class.

Although math is an important subject, it is not more important than any of the other primary subjects, such as the humanities and science classes. All subjects group together to create a strong foundation for a student’s life. Although there are many other electives or classes that students can take, these are arguably the most influential. For me, I view all of these subjects equally, and see that these subjects link together to create a thorough education. Being good at language arts can help in math by being able to comprehend complex word problems. Math can help with solving equations in science, and science can help with expanding a student’s overall understanding and knowledge of life.

Most younger students who aren’t able to see this will place themselves above other students because of their math complexity level. This is a nuisance for everyone involved. I have always been bothered by the fact that students will put others down based on their academic level in a singular class. Seeing close friends and colleagues not having the enthusiasm they need to continue their school day, just because a person is ranked higher in math class, is extremely painful to see. According to Child Mind, a negative work environment will impact kids in hostile ways. Kids with less positivity in their work environment will not have the boost they need to do well in school.   

What I have learned from being told over and over how I’m not as smart as someone is to not let it get to you. Being naturally gifted in a singular topic doesn’t define the real intelligence of a person. Each person excels in their own areas, but no area is truly greater than one another.