Student Stories: Beth

Beth is a high-IQ, highly creative child. She mastered her academic work in grade school, but always felt frustrated and bored with the material. The challenge work her teachers gave her was always more of the same convergent-type thinking, and definitely didn’t exercise her percolating creativity. The only opportunities she had to apply her creativity seemed to get her in trouble, such as whispering jokes and puns in class, and passing notes.

In fourth grade, Beth attended an enrichment program that introduced her to creative writing, which ignited a life-long pathway for self-expression and application of her insights. She thrived in this setting that approached traditional subjects like math and science in a creative, hands-on manner. Her number one strength was her creativity, and in these classes she was able to dig deep and achieve truly meaningful learning where she felt like she was applying her whole mind.  This experience saved her from total disgruntlement with learning, as she could look back on it and keep up her writing on the side as the years went on. However, as she moved on through school, she often longed for those learning experiences that were uplifting and allowed her to think deeply as she applied her original thinking.

Beth had some experiences in English courses where her own insights and creative thinking were required, and in these she thrived. She made straight A’s and A+’s and attended an elite university, but almost always felt that something was missing and certainly felt inadequate to those of her classmates that seemed to effortlessly learn math and take multiple choice tests without reading too far into them. Upon graduating from college, it took her years to realize that creativity had been her strength all along. When she realized this, she was able to reflect on her experiences, understand her frustrations, and provide plenty of ways to nurture and apply her creative thinking as an adult.