What is your IQ?

The other day while applying for a job opening on Linkedin, a form popped-up with few questions. It had more questions than the forms I usually come across when applying for a job on Linkedin. One of the questions was “What is your IQ?”. I posed for a moment when I got to it. I did few IQ tests in the past and I remember that I usually get high score but it differs from a test to another. So I didn’t have the answer ready and I didn’t feel the question is appropriate as this stage. I ended up dismissing the form and not applying for the job.

I tend to think of myself of being smart. Probably because as a kid I was good in Math and Physics. In my early school years I had my math scores of 100/100 and in my last school year I was one of 3 classmates who scored a full mark in the physics mid-term national exam. At one point I wanted to study physics at college but I ended up doing computer science. I have so much interest in science and wish to be able to switch course at one point and contribute to science in a way or another. Having said that, I found myself verge into writing and found a new full-filling passion when I started blogging back in 2006. I used to hate languages at school, scoring lowest in Arabic and English, but then, today, I find joy in the power of words and love in imagining and telling stories.

The question about my IQ made me remember two incidents that till today makes me smile. One was at school in my 10th grade. It was a physics class and we had an exam about Newton’s physics. I used to love Newton’s physics and was very good at it. There was a question in the exam that I was sure I got it right. I remember checking with other students in class who all answered it differently. I knew that I was the only one who solved it correctly so when the teacher corrected our papers and was handing over our scores I was surprised to hear that others who answered the question differently got a full mark. I thought maybe I was wrong. But then when the teacher reached to my name, he paused. He said that he was correcting the papers and giving full marks but then when he reached to mine, he realized that what he thought was a correct answer for that question was actually wrong. He was correcting the papers wrongly. He didn’t want to go back and take out some marks he already gave, instead he rewarded me with an extra 2 marks on top of my full mark.

The class cheered and clapped for me and I felt so proud!

In a similar incident at college, I had a course about Computer Algorithms. I didn’t really enjoy that course. I think it has to do with the teacher. But then again in one of the classes, we were learning tree data structures. The teacher had a small test for us and he posted it on the black board. He asked who can solve this? I felt it was an easy job as I knew the solution instantly but I was shy to raise my hand to participate. I gave chance to others. Few raised their hands and tried but neither got it right. So the teacher raised the stakes. He said that whoever solves it, will get an extra 10 marks in final exam of the course. And that was a good motivation for me to overcome my shyness and step up. I raised my hand, he picked me, I walked to the board and solved it and got back to my seat. The teacher posed for a few seconds looking at my solution, then he said that during the past 15 years of him teaching this course, he has been posting the same problem every time and no one of his students have ever solved it. I was the first one to do so.

The class cheered for me and I felt proud again. I will never forget that moment.

Of course, I haven’t always felt smart and there has been some incidents where I felt and acted stupid. But I will leave that for another post!

Writing and reading are my new math and physics.

It is weird how time changes us and I am not talking about aging damage here. I was reading “The Help” yesterday in my bed before going to sleep, fighting my sleepy self and trying to get over as many pages as I can. The language of the book didn’t help either. I don’t like it. It feels weird and I have much difficulties understanding that an “at” is an “at” when it is written missing a “t”! In-spite that, I still intend to read it all, even-though it didn’t hooked me yet. Maybe it has to do with a recommendation of a friend who said that this book is amazing, along with the fact that it has been a best seller in the past months and was made into a movie.

The minute I put the book down, it hit me how much I enjoy reading novels now in comparison to my old school days. Back then, language was even a bigger barrier to me but it was not the only reason I hated that part of the English curriculum. I guess that at that age I failed to see the beauty words alone can carry. I failed to see  the art of putting words next to each other to form a story of another imaginary world that carries many of the emotions I face in my daily life in those few lines.

In class, we used to do a simultaneous readings. One in turn to read several paragraphs with stops in between for a short explanation by the teacher, or a question from her to generate a discussion about the issue presented in that part. I always shied of participating in these discussions as it wasn’t my thing. I focused more in trying to keep track of which line they stopped at so that I can pick up from there if my turn to read comes next and save myself the humiliation. Well, I kind of enjoyed the moments of hearing my voice read for I thought that I was fairly good at it and thus it would be a fair enough participation from my side in the class.

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