Friday, November 2, 2012

Your Kind of Smart

I can't turn in my
because I don't live
at home anymore.
My classes aren’t overflowing with smart students, but I’d rather deal with a student that has an I.Q. of 80 than deal with one that’s your kind of smart. Now, I don’t have a problem with most smart students, mind you.  There are some, of course, that annoy me…the most obvious and ubiquitous of them are the kind of smart that makes them talk over other students, grade grub, and brown-nose, all in equal parts.  Their kind of smart makes them all “LOOKIT ME!” in their smartness.  But at least they are always prepared, and they always work.    

You are smart, but you are not one of those, in part because you are not always prepared, and you don’t always work.  That’s fine, but on the days you are not prepared you seem to feel compelled to correct me or argue with me concerning small things that have nothing to do with class, like whether when I say “next Tuesday” it means the following Tuesday or the Tuesday after it. Your kind of smart makes you think that you not knowing the answers is somehow my fault.  Because of this, your kind of smart feels the necessity to assert your intellect in meaningless ways. 

Your kind of smart also lulled you into not preparing for the most recent test, and then cued you to demand extra time because you “knew everything” but just didn’t have the time to write it down.  Unfortunately, your kind of smart makes you oblivious to the fact that part of the test-taking process involves not only studying, but time management. These are not facts that your grade-grubbing, brown-nosing, show-off peers overlooked, I can assure you, as each of them managed to get an A.  You, however, achieved an F…minus. 

Their kind of Tracy Flick smart may not win them the life or friends that I personally admire, but they will succeed.  They are motivated to prove they are smart by being smart in obvious ways. This, combined with their extroversion and their generally good hygiene, will take them far.  But again, you are not their kind of smart.  

Your kind of smart, unfortunately, is the worst kind of smart.  Your kind of smart makes you think you can get away with not being prepared and not working because your smartness will save you.  It won’t.  You need connections and well-heeled relatives for that, which you do not have.  You have only your kind of smart.

So I will tell you what your kind of smart will do, if you don’t watch out. Your kind of smart will deprive you of the ability to use your intelligence to your advantage.  When others do not immediately see and recognize your smartness, and reward you accordingly despite the fact that you have not performed, your kind of smart will tell you that this is because life is unfair.  This is true. Life is indeed unfair, and the world may kick you in the taint and take your shit, no matter who you are. But it is counterproductive to dwell on this fact as if it is a personal insult against you.  As a result, your kind of smart will not only deprive you of your ability to use your intelligence, but it will deprive you of the ability to be of any use whatsoever.  You will be too busy coveting the life you could have made for yourself if you had not been your kind of smart.    

In the end, your kind of smart will see you writhing in the dust, because people with your kind of smart are never quite smart enough to recognize the devil himself, whispering in your ear, telling you how smart you are.   


  1. Yeah, well, that's not even how you spell "writing in the dust," that how smart I am.

    Oh, yeah! Love this smack down.

  2. Wait, are you me? I was just logging in to post about this same student. Only with more expletives. I am so infernally tired of muttered pompous comments and smug looks. Ugh. And OF COURSE it is always because *I* am somehow lacking and he is condescendingly amused yet annoyed by it. Grrrrrrr....

  3. Level of Awesome achieved: EPIC. I vote POW.

    1. Thirded.

      I once had this student, who used "H.R.H." in his name, being some minor Arabian prince. His kind of smart prompted him to point out a minor typo in the syllabus on the first day, in front of the class, and also to sue the student government for enforcing its rules about posting campaign fliers in designated places. He did not, however, pass any of my exams, nor come close to winning the student election based on votes. Still, he blamed various circumstances other than himself for these failures, and apparently continued life with his confidence untarnished.

  4. "Life is indeed unfair,. . . (b)ut it is counterproductive to dwell on this fact as if it is a personal insult against you."

    I LOVE IT!!!!!!!

    And I will also use it the next time I hear someone whining about life's unfairness.