I’ve always held a heavy disdain for Finals Week. I mean, how can you possibly create just one hour, one exam and one attempt to measure someone's worth? How can you prove the span of your intelligence with just one answer, one sheet of semi-filled bubbles?
Like with all of the exams we took growing up -- SATs, ACTs, AP Finals and college entrance exams -- there was always just one try and one grade that determined where we belonged. There was just one measure of our intelligence, and if you couldn't prove it there, well, you were a f*cking idiot.
So now it’s Finals Week and you’re up against another one-shot attempt to prove your worth. But why should that be? Why does this one exam determine if you pass or fail? Why does this one grade determine if you’re a scholar or a f*ck up?
Unfortunately, many schools choose to gauge their students' ability by just one measure of intelligence. They've decide to convert the vast array of our skills and traits into one formulaic approach.
What they refuse to tell students, however, is that there are six other measures of intelligence, and that you might be a genius -- just not in their class.
In 1983, Howard Gardner, a developmental psychologist and professor at Harvard, theorized the idea of multiple intelligences. In his book, "Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences," he outlined the seven different types of intelligences that humans may possess.
The basic question he was trying to answer was: Is intelligence a single thing or various independent intellectual faculties?
Gardner didn't believe a high IQ was an accurate measure of intelligence. In his definition,
Intelligence is a biopsychological potential to process information that can be activated in a cultural setting to solve problems or create products that are of value in a culture.
Just because someone has a high IQ does not mean he'll be productive in society. Just because someone can hold a certain set of information in her head doesn't mean she can capably apply that information in a real-world setting.
Intelligence is not one general ability, but diverse modalities that are expressed in many different facets of society.
Gardner's theory wasn't just an advancement in developmental psychology, but a liberation for mankind. Finally, those who felt trapped by their low marks, oppressed by their grades and forced to deny their own genius, were validated.
Just because they couldn't get the marks on calculus exams or the A's on English papers didn't mean they weren't gifted. It meant their intelligence didn't lie in those facets. Their intelligence stemmed from somewhere else, a place others would come to be jealous of.
So if you're just finishing finals, about to take them, or have already failed them, don't take it so seriously, because your genius could rightfully lie somewhere beyond that Scantron sheet.
Here are Gardner's seven theories of intelligence. Find yours and pursue that route to find your success.
Do you love reading? Do you thrive on poems and short stories and Spanish folktales? Do you dream of spending your life abroad, speaking with the natives and learning ancient dialects? Do you write lyrics and verses and plays in your spare time?
You're not a romantic; you're a goddamn intellect. You possess the intelligence to use language and communicate better than anyone. You grasp the notion of words and conversation on a level others never will.
You create stories they will read and write thoughts that will change them. That's brilliance.
You understand how to fix things and how other things work. You love putting things together. You're drawn to puzzles and problems. You're rational, you can analyze problems logically and scientifically.
You're good with numbers or riddles. You're not handyl you're smart. You possess the ability to detect patterns, reason deductively and think logically on a level higher than others.
You're a master of the world, and you know that everything is just a problem waiting to be solved.
That ear you have for a great guitar solo, that need to produce beats off hand and that drum progression you made up isn't a hobby, it's a gift.
You have the capacity to recognize and compose musical pitches, tones and rhythms, and that's not average. The ability to produce music and understand it is as complicated and impressive to some as solving a complex equation.
Being good at sports isn't for those who've hit their heads too many times; it's for the capable and the select few who have that specific intelligence to master something as technical as a sport.
Sports are fun to watch because they require skill, and that skill is as much of an intelligence as a math exam. Some people just understand how to use their bodies in ways that others will never comprehend.
There's an intelligence to being organized and aware of your surroundings. There's an ability in recognizing patterns in wide or confined spaces.
People who understand how to furnish a room, or design things for spaces you can't even contextualize are using a type of intelligence you just don't have.
Knowing how to work a room isn't just an enviable quality. Being able to understand people, their motives, desires and interests, is a gift. There's an art to being able to get something out of someone.
Being able to mold other people's decisions and actions is more than just an intelligence, it's evil genius.
Understanding yourself and appreciating every feeling and motivation you have is not something everyone can do. While others may be great at solving outside problems, they don't always understand themselves.
Having complete awareness and understanding of your own being is a triumph that will lead to great things. Once you understand yourself completely -- every urge, motivation and desire -- you're free to do anything.