A is for Aptitude

Einstein was good at music AND math.

This is the first post of my A-to-Z Blogging Challenge. This month, I’ll post a blog for each letter of the alphabet as it relates to something geeky–the theme of this blog.

I’m going to tackle the word “aptitude” today.
Like many geeks, I was told that I had a ‘high aptitude’ for academics when I was younger. Keep in mind, this was back before being a geek was cool and before everyone had a personal computer.
When I was in public school, I was put into a ‘TEC’ (The Enriched Child) class in which we were able to skip recess (oh joy) for advanced learning. I was far ahead when it came to vocabulary, language, and this hip new thing called computer software–but I had no aptitude for math.
This was further evident when I started attending private school at age 10. Math is just rough for me. However, I learned some life lessons from my aptitude for one thing and my lack of it for another:
  • Focus on the positive. I try to focus on what works rather than what doesn’t. I know I’m not the best when it comes to math, so I try to avoid job opportunities that focus on math.
  • Ask for help. I’m bad at math. I have a good accountant. I listen to him. It’s a beneficial arrangement and eliminates my frustration over numbers.
  • Deal with expectations. Since I was always such a nerd, people always expected me to be super smart about everything. However, my mind doesn’t work ‘genius’ in all ways. Words? Sure. Obscure facts? No problem. I was still expected to know things about computer hardware, fixing cars, and math. Um, yuck? I don’t know that stuff. 
  • Confront expectations. Instead of getting angry over people disappointed with my lack of math skills, I confronted expectations and crafted my image. Yes! I am totally a word nerd and proud of it. I proved that I was so strong in one area, people had little need to focus on other areas. When I went to college and grad school, my education became more specialized and I was not expected to know everything about everything.
How do you feel about aptitude? In what subject do you excel?
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About Tara M. Clapper 274 Articles
Tara is a lifelong geek and the founder and publisher of The Geek Initiative. Her interests were forged in an early appreciation for "Star Trek: The Next Generation," "Jurassic Park," and many historical fiction and fantasy novels. Tara is a game designer, LARPer, and frequent convention attendee. The author of over 1,000 individual blogs, her content has been featured on HelloGiggles, nordiclarp.org, LARPing.org, and The Billfold. She holds a B.A. in English from McDaniel College and has attended many events as press (including New York Comic Con). Tara has a professional background in marketing and publishing. She lives in the Philadelphia area. A Marvel fan, her favorite superhero is undoubtedly Thor. View her portfolio at: tmc.pressfolios.com.

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