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Einstein’s classmate

on February 25, 2013
English: Albert Einstein Français : portrait d...

English: Albert Einstein Français : portrait d’Albert Einstein (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Could you imagine being in class with Albert Einstein? Drawing upon the notions you have of him and his genius level accomplishments, what kind of classmate do you think he was? I am willing to bet that very few know some lesser known facts about Einstein. Did you know he was failing in school? He did poorly in public school. He struggled. You would be surprised about how many famous people have learning or other challenges.

I got to meet Henry Winkler, the Fonz from Happy Days, a popular TV show back in the 70’s. He has a great story about his struggle with dyslexia. I urge you to read more about his success and creative means of getting around tricky situations. He has  done a great job of adapting.

Other people you may not know that have learning challenges are Cher, Tom Cruise, George Patton, Walt Disney, and Danny Glover just to name a few. One that might not surprise you is Robin Williams, he is ADHD. One can easily see how his hyper behavior has led to some great opportunities for him. Please run a search to see the hundreds of people whom we often think are perfect who struggle in the same ways many of us do. These folks didn’t allow their challenges to weigh them down. They used the gifts that came along with the challenges to their advantage.

Gifts? Yes, I said that correctly. For every struggle there is usually a gift but you must look for it. Many dyslexic or learning challenged people are good comedians. They feed off of others expressions if they misunderstand and use a quick wit to distract so the other person isn’t aware they honestly didn’t know an answer. Laughter is a great distraction. Many are artists, gifted writers thanks to word processors now a day, scientist, researchers, etc. They found what they were good at doing and pursued those areas intensely. Also, they more often than not had someone who believed  in them which supported their drive to overcome the challenges.

I think most of Einstein’s classmates were pretty surprised at his accomplishments later in life.  You never know who might be the next Einstein. Test scores would not have put him at the top of the class. I often wonder why we relay on those so much. I wonder how many Einsteins are out there who were denied access to further education due to a low score? How many wonderful discoveries, cures, and wonders have we denied due to test scores and rote learning practices?

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2 responses to “Einstein’s classmate

  1. I couldn’t agree more. I wrote an article for a business site a couple of years ago, titled “Is Richard Branson Sweeping your floor?” I think I should dig it out and post it on my blog site. It’s not just the people with dyslexia – and other difficulties that can be barriers to test-score driven learning – who are losing out, but the rest of society who are not getting the benefit of their contributions. The film Goodwill Hunting also comes to mind…

    Great blog!

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