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Author Topic: Was Einstein thought "slow" in school?
Santa Mari-a
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Has anyone definitively shown that Einstein was slow to begin speaking and was once thought "retarded" in school? (There is an old thread debating his ability to do basic math, but it doesn't definitively answer this question.)I've always thought it sounds a little too pat--the kind of thing parents say to console themselves if their kid isn't doing well at school.

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Si hoc comprehendere potes, gratias age magistro Latinae.

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Arkcon
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Now this was about 10 years ago, so good luck verifying. But, as I recall from a Science Times (that's an add-in to the New York Times on Tuesday) article, he got B's mostly.

They graded on a number scale in his day, and switched scales after he had long since graduated. So he was ranked 2 and 3 when low numbers were good, then they made high numbers good and he looks dumb when you compare his report cards.

As I recall, he was good at math, natural history, violin, composition. A little slack in his French, 'tho. But like any good German kid in pre-WWI era Germany, he probably figured the French would be speaking German soon enough anyway. [Big Grin]

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fhabets
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I remember reading about that grade system flip-flop, too, from various sources.
So yeah, that story gets repeated as a carrot stick to parents of children not doing well in school.

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The Spider in the Ointment
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Some people say that Einstein was slightly autistic, and also that he couldn't express himself well in speech.

He spent years as a celebrity long after he'd come up with anything scientifically useful.

He was supposed to have humped Marilyn Monroe as well, according to the rumour mill. Was JFK involved?

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Santa Mari-a
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quote:
Originally posted by The Spider in the Ointment:

He was supposed to have humped Marilyn Monroe as well, according to the rumour mill.

MM allegedly said it would be wonderful if they could have a child with her looks and his brains--prompting either Einstein or someone else to quip that the child could also end up with his looks and her brains! This wisecrack is also attributed to George Bernard Shaw and a famous actress of his day (I forget who), so I would be inclined to doubt that MM and Einstein ever "did it."

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DerekT
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I do have to say, if you discover something that changes the worldview of the world itself (like Relativity), then you don't really need to find anything else scientificly useful
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fhabets
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Einstein spent a lot of his career trying to out-Einstein Einstein. That he didn't 'succeed' is not really indicative of failure.
BTW, famous physics dudes usually do their best work when young, as Einstein did.

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The Spider in the Ointment
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quote:
Originally posted by Mari:
quote:
Originally posted by The Spider in the Ointment:

He was supposed to have humped Marilyn Monroe as well, according to the rumour mill.

MM allegedly said it would be wonderful if they could have a child with her looks and his brains--prompting either Einstein or someone else to quip that the child could also end up with his looks and her brains! This wisecrack is also attributed to George Bernard Shaw and a famous actress of his day (I forget who), so I would be inclined to doubt that MM and Einstein ever "did it."
Well at least she didn't have a child with Einstein's looks and JFK's brains. That would be relatively impossible.
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snoozn
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quote:
Originally posted by Mari:
....the kind of thing parents say to console themselves if their kid isn't doing well at school.

As the parent of a child with developmental delays, I would say it's more often the kind of thing well-meaning friends and relatives try to console the parents with. Several other Moms of DD kids I know have had the same experience...we've heard a million times when discussing our children "well ya know Albert Einstein didn't say a word til he was 3 and then he started speaking in complete sentences." Note to well-meaning friends and relatives: this does not help the situation. Thank you!

snoozn

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Lola
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As someone with a learning disability, I was always told in school by my special ed. teachers and conselors that Einstein had an Learning disability. They also told us that Winston Churchill, Hans Christian Anderson, and John Lennon all had LD's as well.
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Christie
The Bills of St. Mary's


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quote:
Originally posted by Lola:
As someone with a learning disability, I was always told in school by my special ed. teachers and conselors that Einstein had an Learning disability. They also told us that Winston Churchill, Hans Christian Anderson, and John Lennon all had LD's as well.

My son has dyslexia and I've just about had it with those lists of "hey this guy made good and he was dyslexic". Ya know folks, *most* people are just average not Churchills or Einsteins or whatever and most parents of kids with learning difficulties just want their kids to have a normal life. We're not shooting for the moon here.

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If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, it's just possible you haven't grasped the situation. - Jean Kerr

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Lola
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quote:
Originally posted by Christie:
quote:
Originally posted by Lola:
As someone with a learning disability, I was always told in school by my special ed. teachers and conselors that Einstein had an Learning disability. They also told us that Winston Churchill, Hans Christian Anderson, and John Lennon all had LD's as well.

My son has dyslexia and I've just about had it with those lists of "hey this guy made good and he was dyslexic". Ya know folks, *most* people are just average not Churchills or Einsteins or whatever and most parents of kids with learning difficulties just want their kids to have a normal life. We're not shooting for the moon here.
I agree with you Christie, I don't think my parents cared who was on the made good lists. I remember I was 13 when I was diagnosed and put into special ed. classes and I was pretty upset at the whole thing and seeing those lists made me feel a bit better, but my parents were the ones that made me feel normal and much more accepting of my LD than any of those lists ever could.
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Christie
The Bills of St. Mary's


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quote:
Originally posted by Lola:
I agree with you Christie, I don't think my parents cared who was on the made good lists. I remember I was 13 when I was diagnosed and put into special ed. classes and I was pretty upset at the whole thing and seeing those lists made me feel a bit better, but my parents were the ones that made me feel normal and much more accepting of my LD than any of those lists ever could.

What really gets me so mad with those lists isn't that they might give a little much needed comfort to a kid with learning difficulties or their parents. What gets me flipping angry are the idjits out there who look at that list and then either:

(a) assume your kid SHOULD be able to achieve at that level

or

(b) assume your kid is some kind of idiot savant and if you could just find his special talent all will be happy and rosy and the birds will sing and the flowers will bloom

Sorry can you tell this really gets me irate?

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If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, it's just possible you haven't grasped the situation. - Jean Kerr

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trollface
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quote:
Originally posted by Christie:
My son has dyslexia and I've just about had it with those lists of "hey this guy made good and he was dyslexic".

If Einstein were dyslexic, he could have meant that m=Ec^2. The world could be a very different place.

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seriously , everyone on here , just trys to give someone crap about something they do !! , its shitting me to tears.

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Vicariously vacuous Thed
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Did Einstein have Aspergers syndrome?
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