Einstein Says Everybody Is a Genius

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

-Albert Einstein

I first enrolled in classes at my local community college when I was only a sophomore in high school and fifteen years old. Since then, I have completed a total of twelve courses, averaging a grade of an A or B in each. I am currently enrolled in three more courses–one math and two sciences–currently holding high B’s and an A. I am an excellent student, as my transcripts and past grades have shown.

Yet to the leaders of our modern-day education system, all I’ve accomplished still is not enough.

You see, I am an extremely visual, hands-on, active learner. I cannot simply read something and retain it, or hear something and understand it. I have to have it thoroughly shown, clearly drawn-out, and explained before I finally grasp it; but once I do grasp it, it stays with me and I become a walking encyclopedia about that particular topic. For example, ethics was a difficult class for me to get into because the material itself was–to be blunt–extremely boring. However, my teacher was exceptional and had a massive amount of talent. She was able to utilize interactive learning and exercises so I was able to truly grasp each ethical approach we studied. Now I can tell you all about the details of egoism or about the philosopher Immanual Kant or about what it means to be a sentient being, and that is all thanks to a brilliant teacher who actually CARED ABOUT LEARNING.

Oddly enough, that is a trait which most leaders in the educational system lack today: the care for actual learning. Everything now is SAT this and ACT that. I often hear the usual “you won’t get into a good college if your SAT scores don’t improve,” as well as “you will never get accepted for that hefty scholarship if your ACT scores don’t at least reach this specific minimum.”

SAT this. ACT that.

You know what I have to say? ENOUGH.

Enough of this conformity and confinement. Everyone is a genius in their own way. Everyone can learn in their own way. Everyone can succeed in their own way. Stop trying to make us all prove our worth in the same way.

^This is what it looks like to set the majority up for failure. It’s time that we overthrow this vicious dictatorship of standardized test scores. I demand more than what I am being offered in terms of education. I deserve more than what my standardized test scores are allowing, because–in spite of what they convey to society–I am a smart person.

Let me show it in the ways I can best.


Lenten Reflections

What are you giving up for Lent? 

Those seven words have brought me many mixed emotions growing up. Being raised Catholic, Lent has been a regularly celebrated season in my household. I always thought I understood exactly what it was. We pick something to give up for the 40 week days in between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday and we suffer through it. Right?

WRONG. So wrong.

What Lent is NOT About

Lent is not about cutting things out of our lives completely for five and a half weeks and feeling miserable about it the entire time. It’s not about trying to prove to ourselves that we have self-control. It’s not about trying to impress God with our awesome ability to sacrifice material things.

It’s not about us. 

Lent is about Him.

The reason we give things up for Lent is to humble ourselves before Christ. He made the ultimate sacrifice for us–He died on the cross for our sins so that we could be redeemed. Nothing can ever exceed that.

We make sacrifices each Lent to honor Him and glorify His most perfect, sacrificial love for us. Our small sacrifices–whether it be giving up our smart phones, cutting sweets out of our diets, unplugging our televisions, etc–are all ways in which we can draw closer to Christ.

Lent is a time of preparation. It is a solemn season, yes, but it is by no means depressing. Our sacrifices should be made with joyful hearts because they are our stepping stones toward Christ.

“If Lent was just about giving up stuff then I wouldn’t find any grace. . .

But because Lent is about life with Jesus Christ, these crosses, these small inconveniences or struggles help me grow in virtue and holiness. They help me become a whole person. They make me come alive.”

Ryan Miller, LifeTeen author

Are you ready to come alive with Christ this Lent?