Typepad tells me this is Laid-Off Dad's 750th post. Which can mean only one thing: I'm zoning in on Barry Bonds's record and will one day be voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. And I've done it all steroid-free, relying instead solely on various parts of speech, fatherhood, insomnia, bourbon, joy, anguish, a WYSIWYG interface, and lots of fresh greens.
As fate would have it, the subject of this momentous monologuing milepost will be how I took my 10-year-old son to have his IQ tested. Because he will graduate (?) elementary school in the spring, and we're looking at all kinds of middle schools for him, and some of them think an IQ (or FSIQ, as they call it now) is a good piece of data to help reject sift through applicants.
The test is the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children—Fourth Edition, which a psychological assessment you can read about in this somewhat impenetrable APA report. It mentions Covariance Matrices and Kurtosis and First-Order Breadth Factors and lots of other highfalutin terms you will yearn to memorize and drop casually at your next holiday party. After which your boss will regard your false intellectual facade as a direct threat to his authority and trump up some bullshit reason to fire you.
The process was painless enough. We arrived at the doctor's house at 8:15am, he took my son into the other room for about 75 minutes of brain rigor, and an hour later we received a comprehensive and incomprehensible report from which I hope the middle schools will derive more value than I do.
The kid has not stopped begging us to tell him what his IQ is, and we keep telling him it's not going to happen. (Maybe on his 40th birthday, Moxie suggested.) Because one thing we do understand without doubt is that we don't really care how "gifted" he is. Achievement is a vector that requires direction AND magnitude. (OH YEAH!) Without direction, magnitude can veer off anywhere. My cousin tested off the charts when he was a kid and never lifted a finger in school, and after he served a couple of jail terms for various drug charges, he sort of fell off the grid.
The consensus says we need to laud effort, not intelligence. Otherwise, your kid will end up a drug user like my cousin. And Barry Bonds, allegedly. (I'm coming for you, you surly melonhead.)