I just realized something awful.

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In summary, the conversation is about someone who feels that they are not intelligent and have struggled with learning and academics throughout their life. They have a 2.2 GPA in a major that they find difficult and have a hard time thinking and problem-solving. The conversation also touches on the possibility of having a learning disability and finding something they are passionate about and can excel in. The conversation ends with the person realizing that they are not stupid, but may just have a different way of learning and thinking.
  • #1

Joaquin

im dumb. I am seriously a dumb person and I've been in denial of this all my life. i failed high school but i brushed it off like "i didnt try" or i have "emotional intelligence". basically i kept saying to myself i didnt have book smarts but i had some "kind" of smart which is bullchit. it takes me ages to understand something...and when i finally do, i totally forget it within days.I pretty much have no memory.i don't know anything. seriously. I am a freakin air head, sometimes it feels like i have this "fog" in my head that doesn't let me think or learn.In the labs I am the slowest to learn,its like i can't engage my mind. my failure in high school was pathetic...sure i didnt care at the time and i never did homework ect but it was because it needed too much THOUGHT. i didnt want to think, it hurt me and it still hurts me today to think. I am horrible at solving problems, my mind just shuts off. i like to ponder, fantasize, imagine ect...but i HATE thinking in order to solve a problem or to learn something. now look what's happened. I am dumb. I have a 2.2gpa in a major that's too hard for me.
 
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  • #2
If you find yourself unintelligent now, it's likely because you were never interested in exercising your intellectual abilities before. Nobody is born a genius, just like nobody is born a super star athlete. The more time you spend using your brain to solve challenging problems, the better at it you will get. If you "HATE thinking in order to solve a problem," then you will probably remain dumb forever, but I think it's in your power to turn that around if you want.
 
  • #3
That attitude won't help you any; giving up is counter-productive. If science isn't your thing, you might do very well as an artist or musician or actor. You were correct when you thought that 'book smarts' aren't all that matters. The fact that you bothered to post here indicates that you want to succeed and are willing to seek outside help to do so. It might just turn out that the area in which you can excel isn't your first choice. The nice thing about that is that once you become good at something, you might start to like it more and more. I sure never thought of being a bartender, but ended up doing it for 20 years and loved it.
Have you consulted a physician? Your situation seems similar to mine in high-school. I finally got diagnosed with ADD and put on antidepressants which made a tremendous difference. Unfortunately, that didn't happen until I was 45 years old. It was a bit late to do me much good.

edit: Hi, Beast. You sneaked in on me. Good advice.
 
  • #4
Joaquin said:
im dumb. I am seriously a dumb person and I've been in denial of this all my life. i failed high school but i brushed it off like "i didnt try" or i have "emotional intelligence". basically i kept saying to myself i didnt have book smarts but i had some "kind" of smart which is bullchit. it takes me ages to understand something...and when i finally do, i totally forget it within days.I pretty much have no memory.i don't know anything. seriously. I am a freakin air head, sometimes it feels like i have this "fog" in my head that doesn't let me think or learn.In the labs I am the slowest to learn,its like i can't engage my mind. my failure in high school was pathetic...sure i didnt care at the time and i never did homework ect but it was because it needed too much THOUGHT. i didnt want to think, it hurt me and it still hurts me today to think. I am horrible at solving problems, my mind just shuts off. i like to ponder, fantasize, imagine ect...but i HATE thinking in order to solve a problem or to learn something. now look what's happened. I am dumb. I have a 2.2gpa in a major that's too hard for me.
If something requiring mental acuity is not for you, do you like things that you can do with your hands? It sounds like you have come to accept that you are not cut out for academics or science. Nothing at all wrong with that. As a matter of fact, skills like carpentry are to be admired. Perhaps you like working with machines. Move on to something that you *can* be good at.
 
  • #5
Have you considered that you may have a learning disability? That is that you tend to think and learn differently than most people? Calling it a disability seems a bit harsh.

I am personally dyslexic. In kindergarten I wrote my name entirely backwards including the individual letters and didn't notice. They passed it off as eccentric or something. I never received any help with my difference in learning and only passed high school by going to "adult school". No one seemed to notice the fact that I took extra credits in adult school just because I wanted to, including my parents. It was ceramics class. I love sculpting clay. Unfortunately I haven't a kiln of my own or I would probably be sculpting almost daily. Maybe that's an exaggeration. ;-p

I also had trouble reading in school. I read well enough but found it frustrating. I am now a bibliophile. I love reading.

I often wonder how well I would do in college. Unfortunately I can not afford to live on my own and go to school. My work takes up most of my time and doesn't pay all that much. But I don't consider myself stupid. I obviously post on here as if I know what I am talking about with impunity. ;-)
 
  • #6
You could at least try capitalizing a word or two. That'll at least help make you *seem* intelligent.
 
  • #7
Joaquin said:
I have a 2.2gpa in a major that's too hard for me.

But, isn't gpa goes like:

Lower Second Class Honours GPA 2.00 – 2.99
Third Class Honours GPA 1.50 – 1.99
Pass GPA 1.00 – 1.49

It's not easy to get that gpa.

People who think fast aren't better than slow thinkers. Personally, I find people who think fast are prone to more mistakes than who go slow. There is simply no relationship between thinking fast and doing good in academics.

And, not everyone likes to work hard/think (i.e. majority of people). I would say you were bit slow in figuring that out :rofl:
 
  • #8
Jack21222 said:
You could at least try capitalizing a word or two. That'll at least help make you *seem* intelligent.
English is obviously not their first language, or third or fourth.

Slang words, lack of capitalization, lack of punctuation, lack of sentence structure, lack of paragraph structure. :eek:

Joaquin, when is the last time you met with your councelors to talk about what *you* want? Surely your English teacher has threatened to commit harakiri. :biggrin:
 
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  • #9
I agree with others here...you really should start with you doctor. You could have an underlining medical condition. How's your sleep pattern?
 
  • #10
Jack21222 said:
You could at least try capitalizing a word or two. That'll at least help make you *seem* intelligent.

Evo said:
English is obviously not their first language, or third or fourth.

Slang words, lack of capitalization, lack of punctuation, lack of sentence structure, lack of paragraph structure. :eek:

Joaquin, when is the last time you met with your councelors to talk about what *you* want? Surely your English teacher has threatened to commit harakiri. :biggrin:

Nothing like giving someone an inferiority complex to spur their academic growth. :-/
 
  • #11
I earned an MS in physics while living with a serious mental illness, schizoaffective disorder.

My suggestions for your doing better include visiting a psychologist or psychiatrist to consider the no-fault diagnosis of ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder), rejecting all nonprescribed drugs, engaging in meditation, and taking a good-faith interest of your professors and fellow students.
 
  • #12
Loren Booda said:
I earned an MS in physics while living with a serious mental illness, schizoaffective disorder.

My suggestions for your doing better include visiting a psychologist or psychiatrist to consider the no-fault diagnosis of ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder), rejecting all nonprescribed drugs, engaging in meditation, and taking a good-faith interest of your professors and fellow students.

I personally never resorted to professional help. Perhaps I was just stuborn. I also often felt I was a burden on my parent and so only raised complaints when I felt is was absolutely necessary...
Wow, and I just had a rather emotional outburst at even typing that lol.
Erm...
So any way...
Self examination is rather important and you seem to already have that in hand. The next step is to do something about it. Perhaps seeing a psychologist even if you don't like the idea. Self reliance was something I felt I had to learn to get by and as a result I rarely have resorted to any outside help. And here I am in a dead end job with no prospects for anything better. If you are in college I suggest you stick with it and seek what ever help you can at doing better. The alternative is not so good. Its not terrible but I am sure you can do better. :-)
 
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  • #13
Evo said:
English is obviously not their first language, or third or fourth.
I'm not getting that. It seems more that this is someone who grew up with the net rather than books, but definitely a native English speaker. Lack of capitalization is common to folks who use non-case-sensitive search engines and passwords. It could also be a hold-over from chat-room or texting activities. He writes the way he talks.
 
  • #14
Go into politics
 
  • #15
I will agree with the others who have suggested discussing this with a doctor. If you were just not studying, or studying and not getting anywhere with it, it could be a matter of ability. But, when your description added that you feel like you're in a haze and that you can commit something to short-term memory, but then it doesn't stick in long-term memory, I'd consider that you might have either a learning disability or some other sort of neural disorder that's hindering your ability to focus on tasks and retain information. Talk to a psychiatrist first. They might refer you further to a neurologist, or might be able to provide a diagnosis based on just talking with you.

Once you figure out if you really do have something treatable, you will probably have to back-up and retake some classes...or at least audit them to learn what you missed the first time.
 
  • #16
rootX said:
But, isn't gpa goes like:

...

I'm not sure where you pulled that from...some European system perhaps? In the states, GPA is calculated as follows:

A=4 grade points
B=3 grade points
C=2 grade points
D=1 grade point
WF/F=0 grade points

Although another school might have increased precision (like below), or some schools increase an A+ to 4.3 (which is really unfair, because it makes all their students have higher GPA's compared to the rest of the country).

A+ = 4 points,
A = 4 points,
A- = 3.7 points,
B+ = 3.3 points,
B = 3 points,
B- = 2.7 points,
C+ = 2.3 points,
C = 2 points,
C- = 1.7,
D+ = 1.3 points,
D = 1 point,
D- = .7 points and
F = 0 points

The grade points are then multiplied by the course credit hours. Most courses have 3 credit hours (but they can generally vary from 5 to 1). Your total GPA is then total grade points earned divided by maximum grade points earned.

So, a 2.2 GPA is basically a C average...which "technically" is supposed to be the average grade, although I don't think that's the case these days. The average grade is probably at least a B.
 
  • #17
Joaquin said:
A 2.2 gpa is pathetic, its barely above passing.whats worst is that i actually study and try to do good, but i always find someway to fail. I am an ee major and in way over my head.

how long have you been in? an EE major is not for everyone, and the first year is usually enough to weed out those who do not think this way. sometimes, even the first quarter.

and just from personal experience, i was not prepared for the math sequence when i got there, and started bogging down around Calc II. so i gave myself an honest assessment and realized i was deficient in trig. went all the way back to precalculus I, and from then on got straight As in my math sequence.

i can't really emphasize this enough. it's critically important that you never get behind on your math and core major coursework. too much of it is dependent on the prior coursework, and if you ever get behind it can be almost impossible to catch back up.
 
  • #18
Danger said:
I'm not getting that. It seems more that this is someone who grew up with the net rather than books, but definitely a native English speaker. Lack of capitalization is common to folks who use non-case-sensitive search engines and passwords. It could also be a hold-over from chat-room or texting activities. He writes the way he talks.

shift keys are a pain in the ***. too much stress on the hands. the brain reads lower case just fine, it's upper case that doesn't read well.
 
  • #19
Joaquin said:
...i actually study and try to do good, ...


...try to do well, :approve:

How are you doing compared to the rest of the class? EE is a difficult subject, try auditing some business classes for a comparison.
 
  • #20
Joaquin said:
im afraid of going to a doctor. its easy coming up w/ excuses for my idiocy when i haven't officially been diagnosed with a mental deficiency.

Honestly, it sounds like you may have ADD. My wife has this and wasn't diagnosed until she was an adult. Our son has it too, but was diagnosed at a young age. They are both very intelligent (IQ>140 as determined through testing), but you would never know from watching them because they can't focus very well. The ability to focus is very critical to problem solving skills, so either you would need medication, or go into a line of work and lifestyle that doesn't need too much focus. Our son decided not to take medication. He tried if for a while, but didn't like it.

There is nothing wrong with just being yourself and developing coping skills. My wife does amazing things. She is constantly active working and volunteering around the clock. She runs circles around me. I can focus my mind like a laser beam for days on end until I solve a problem, - that's why I'm and engineer. But, I would never say that I'm better or more intelligent than my wife and son. They are very smart, and most likely, you are too.
 
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  • #21
I would start assembling the the skill sets that you would need to become self-dependent. You may find that you enjoy doing those things. You would then be able to teach those skills to others.
 
  • #22
Just curious, what does the skin color of your classmates have to do with anything?
 
  • #23
Joaquin said:
SAT scores
fig14.jpg

you know, the bigger question is what sort of culture you want to belong to.
 
  • #24
Joaquin said:
But still I am competing with white kids whose freaking parents have masters and ph.d's and I am suppose to compete with that??Give me a break, i don't have that sort of lineage, I am not bred to be smart.


If you tell yourself that you're going to fail, then you will. You can't change your upbringing even if it did have a negative effect on you (and I'm not saying that it necessarily did). Not going to the doctor (that is, if you feel that you need to) because you're afraid that he'll tell you that you have a problem won't make it any better. In fact, it tends to make the problem worse.
 
  • #25
Joaquin said:
SAT scores
fig14.jpg

Regardless of what you might think, your future hasn't been decided for you. It's still entirely up to you.
 
  • #26
Joaquin said:
i just don't want to work. simple as that.

If you had unlimmited money and didn't have to work, what would you do with your life? Sit and think about this question. Once you have the answer, try to develop a plan that will enable you to do this (or something close enough) even though you don't have unlimmited money. A winner always finds a way to achieve the goal, no matter what obstacles are in the way.

If you can't answer the above question, then I pity you. You are totally lost and have no compass. Nothing anyone says can help you and you can not even help yourself. The first step is to answer that question. If you know that answer, at least you can dream of that when you sleep at night, and perhaps your subconscious mind will guide you.
 
  • #27
Joaquin said:
my parents want me to be educated and succesful, but where the hell do they want me to get my smarts from??My mom is a total idiot, she's a great MOM and i love her, but she's a complete idiot, i can't even hold a normal conversation with her without getting frustrated after a few minutes, sometimes she makes no sense.My dad isn't dumb although he only went up to the 4th grade or something, he did teach himself english and speaks it fairly well.But still I am competing with white kids whose freaking parents have masters and ph.d's and I am suppose to compete with that??Give me a break, i don't have that sort of lineage, I am not bred to be smart.

Joaquin, take http://psychcentral.com/addquiz.htm" [Broken] and see what you think. ADD or ADHD has a genetic link so your family could be suffering as well.

Genetic Causes of ADD/ADHD
There are likely genetic roots to ADD/ADHD. Many children with the disorder have at least one close relative who also suffers from it. Scientists are currently studying the incidence of a child having ADD/ADHD when at least one parent is a carrier of the gene.
http://addadhd.suite101.com/article.cfm/causes_of_addadhd

If you suspect that you are ADD, http://borntoexplore.org/addcar~2.htm"
 
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  • #28
chemisttree said:
Joaquin, take http://psychcentral.com/addquiz.htm" [Broken] and see what you think. ADD or ADHD has a genetic link so your family could be suffering as well.

http://addadhd.suite101.com/article.cfm/causes_of_addadhd

I do not like this test. By answering 'Not at all' to the majority of questions and 'Just a little' to a few of them, it diagnosed me as 'Borderline ADD.' That's complete BS, and it mirrors my feelings about diagnosis of ADD in general.

Nobody likes studying for tests. It's hard and it goes against our natural instincts. If you can't force yourself to study to pull off the grades you need, it's most likely because you lack self control and motivation, not because you have a mental disability.
 
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  • #29
I don't think that test is particularly useful either, and it isn't how ADD is really diagnosed anyway. One of my friends recently was diagnosed with ADD, and I can certainly see it in her behavior, but it's mild in her case. The diagnosis was made by a psychiatrist, and the diagnosis didn't come from asking her about those sorts of questions, though they were asked, but rather from her focus on the conversation they were having. The psychiatrist picked up on something I notice about her too...she tends to change topics in conversation very often. Before completing one thought, she's moving on to another, and never comes back to the original topic.

I have a student with ADD as well, and she's the same way, very disorganized in her conversation even though she's very smart. She can tell you a million things about whatever she should be studying for class, but she heads down tangents that distract her and forgets to answer the original question.

I'm not about to try diagnosing Joachim online, but some of the symptoms described are general for a number of different things, including ADD/ADHD, and anxiety disorders. We're not talking things like brain tumors, but relatively common disorders that can hinder learning but are treatable.

And, one should not consider that just because your parents didn't graduate high school that you can't succeed in school yourself. That's an excuse, not a valid reason for not doing well.
 
  • #30
Joaquin said:
My dad isn't dumb although he only went up to the 4th grade or something, he did teach himself english and speaks it fairly well.But still I am competing with white kids
You might have noticed that pretty much everyone on PF is colour-blind. Since you seem to be hung up on it, though, how about letting us know which ethnic category you inhabit and why it makes you feel inferior. Some people are disadvantaged by race, dependent upon where they live, but a lot of it is a socially-driven misperception.

Joaquin said:
white kids whose freaking parents have masters and ph.d's and I am suppose to compete with that??

You are not competing with the parents—not even with other students. You are competing with only yourself and the material. If you pass, it doesn't matter whether you're at the top of your class or the bottom. The stupidest student at one school might be far ahead of the brightest at another. You don't have to satisfy anyone's expectations other than your own.
 
  • #31
TheStatutoryApe said:
I am personally dyslexic. In kindergarten I wrote my name entirely backwards including the individual letters and didn't notice. They passed it off as eccentric or something.

You mean like mirror? Leonardo da Vinci was like that. It doesn't preclude achievement, maybe he wasn't in a system that told him it did.
 
  • #32
epenguin said:
Leonardo da Vinci was like that.

He was pretty much in a class by himself, though. I don't know whether or not it's true, but I once read somewhere that he could write two entirely different things with both hands at the same time. (Someone here posted a video of an artist doing a drawing with both at once, but that's a bit different.) I'm ambidextrous, but there's no way in the world that I could do that. Maybe his corpus callosum didn't work, so as to give total hemispherical independence. (Just a guess.)
 
  • #33
Moonbear said:
The diagnosis was made by a psychiatrist, and the diagnosis didn't come from asking her about those sorts of questions, though they were asked, but rather from her focus on the conversation they were having. The psychiatrist picked up on something I notice about her too...she tends to change topics in conversation very often. Before completing one thought, she's moving on to another, and never comes back to the original topic.

When I was about 8 years old I had some behavior issues and I saw a psychiatrist. She invited me into her office and told me that I could play with 1 toy from her shelf, if I wanted. She had a lot of toys so I carefully surveyed them one by one, to find the best toy. Afterwards she told my mom that I had ADD because of the way that I had moved my focus from one toy to the next without instantly focusing in on one toy. My mother rightly told the psychiatrist she was a crack pot and we left. Just because a psychiatrist tells you something doesn't mean it's true.

ADD is a mental disorder, not a behavioral characteristic. There are a lot more plausible explanations for why someone would frequently change the topic of a conversation...such as making small talk and not really caring about the subject. A lot of people (girls in particular) also just have a habit of running their mouths non stop. That doesn't make them mentally deficient any more than a guy who mumbles or says "um..." a lot.
 
  • #34
Motivation trumps natural ability. Sounds to me like you aren't motivated to do what you are doing. Maybe you are doing it because you think it is what is expected from you by your parents or society? If this were the only problem then I would say you just need to do your own thing regardless of what anyone else thinks of you. I don't get the impression that you will find contentment by satisfying people's expectations of you. But I don't believe this is really the problem at all. If you aren't taking the responsibility for your own happiness then it's doubtful that you will find it by placing blame on others.

I think problem is that you are not content with yourself. Having goals and interests is good for self esteem and generates motivation. I recommend, if you haven't already, making some friends with some of your classmates. Join study groups. Hang out with them on and off campus. Get involved in some other school activities. It might be awkward at first, but I've always found it's worth it when someone is glad to see me show up rather than when they are pushing me to go. That's always helped motivate me. Having an investment in my peers gives purpose to my actions, which drives my motivation. Maybe that's what you are lacking at school? The differences between you and your classmates are not necessarily any impedence to you or them. Let them accept or reject before dismissing yourself.

See your guidance councilor. Talk to someone qualified to help you. Maybe you do have ADD or some other mental disability, but I wouldn't start with that assumption. Take responsibility for your situation, and if it upsets you then do something to change it. If you aren't content with yourself then it will be difficult to succeed at anything you try to do. If you tell yourself that you'll fail before you even begin then you rob yourself of any motivation to try. You lower your personal standards and under value yourself. Find your cornerstone of contentment before you try to build a foundation for personal achievement.
 
  • #35
Proton Soup said:
how long have you been in? an EE major is not for everyone, and the first year is usually enough to weed out those who do not think this way. sometimes, even the first quarter.

Evo said:
If something requiring mental acuity is not for you, do you like things that you can do with your hands? It sounds like you have come to accept that you are not cut out for academics or science. Nothing at all wrong with that. As a matter of fact, skills like carpentry are to be admired. Perhaps you like working with machines. Move on to something that you *can* be good at.

Joaquin said:
my parents want me to be educated and succesful,

You're going to run into problems if you pick a career that only makes your parents happy. You want a realistic career that gives you satisfaction and enough money to meet the most important other goals of your life (like enough to feed your wife and kids). If you find a career that makes both you and your parents happy, then that's great. I think your own personal goals should take a little higher priority than your parents' goals, though.
 

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