I’ve been quieter than usual on this blog because I’ve been thinking.
I’ve been thinking about how my daughter is going through the high school application process and how I’m worried that it will kill me because she is smart and sensitive and funny and lovely, but she is a thinker. And how bizarre it is to have the phrase “she is a thinker” preceded by a “but”.
And yet, there it is.
I worry that we don’t value thinkers, at least not those who don’t think out loud. That we are, as a society, suspicious of people who are not extroverts. Teachers want to see raised hands as proof of understanding. We want engagement and participation, we don’t embrace the people who are quiet.
Why are they quiet? Are they thinking? About WHAT? What proof do we have that they are focused on the subject matter at hand? They could be thinking about anything for all we know!
We want to see results, we take comfort in self-promotion. We know those things. They are familiar.
What do we make of someone who skips the beat, who waits before answering who doesn’t press the Jeopardy buzzer first to stun not only with the right answer but with the speed at which she got it.
Is there room for people like this?
Will the admissions people who interview my daughter recognize the qualities in her that I admire or will they penalize her for thinking?
When my daughter was interviewed in a group setting she told me that the other kid did most of the talking but that it was ok because the other kid had interesting things to say.
It’s one of the many things that I love about my daughter. The fact that she is interested in what others are saying.
And that she takes time to think about it.