Well-stated, Dude.

My DD is particularly lucky that she has two parents who have bucked the traditional gender stereotypes by BREAKING them completely-- me being a super-smart woman who dumbs down for nobody and actively punishes anyone that treats me like an airhead (oh, I'm socially appropriate, but nobody does it to me twice)-- and a dad that broke the "dumb jock" mold, and turned down a full football scholarship to major in a STEM field instead, and who loves the fine arts. So it's healthier than outright "rejection" in that we still do things that might be considered conforming (DH likes cop shows and sports and I sew and knit), but only on our terms.

Originally Posted by ultramarina
I am a former National Spelling Bee contestant. (The bee was less serious back then and I didn't study very much, but anyway.) I think the environment and prep is useful in the same way that any kind of elite competition is useful. Regardless, you get to the Bee by winning one smaller bee after another. I'm not sure Val's daughter set out to do it from the start as much as she has proven that she is highly competent and now is challenging herself to go farther. That's what happened with me, anyway--and I would certainly have been gobsmacked if someone had suggested that I stop. I got a free trip to DC out of it, after all, and it was a nice experience.

As I say, I did not study very much (I was a young competitor--only 11--and lacked discipline), but since school was easy for me at the time, I can't see how it would have harmed me and would likely have been good for me. OTOH, my parents left it up to me, which I respect. I did not do well, but knew that was my own doing. I was regionally competitive, but not nationally.

Same here-- I read widely (being an introverted only child and HG+ one) and it was effortless to qualify at the state level. Truly. smile It was just fun. I tanked when it started feeling like being under a microscope-- wasn't my thing to seek the limelight, even then.

Last edited by HowlerKarma; 03/03/14 10:51 AM.

Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.