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I Am Intelligent, Whether You Like or Not

Hep, hep…don’t frown, don’t raise your eyebrows. I am just as honest as I can be. I am intelligent, whether you like it or not! And why not?

Psychologists, sociologists and other men of science are still in debate on what intelligence really is – a simple term with many different notions. Charles Spearman suggests that intelligence is a general cognitive construct that can be numerically quantified by using factor analysis and called it as the g factor. Richard Cattell and John Horn capitalized the g and put another letter to it to make it Gf for fluid intelligence, the ability to reason abstractly and solve problems independent of prior knowledge or experience and Gc for crystallized intelligence or the ability to recognize and put into action culturally determined solution to current situation based on prior learning and experience. I know that my fluid intelligence declines as I grow older but the opposite happens with my crystallized knowledge.

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Daniel Coleman proposes that intelligence does not only involve our thinking ability. He contends that emotional intelligence is a better determinant of individual’s success in life, emphasizing the interpersonal, intrapersonal and physical aspects of intelligence. Not to be undone, Robert Sternberg stipulates that a successful individual made a balance of his triarchic abilities, which includes analytical, creative and practical abilities. Someone also describes an intelligent person who has the ability to learn, pose problem and solve it.

Three is also the number of David Perkins when he posits that the dimensions of intelligence consist of neural, experiential and reflective intelligence.  On the other hand, Louis Thurstone does not agree in a single or three types of abilities by specifying 7 primary mental abilities that comprise intelligence. These are verbal comprehension, reasoning, perceptual speed, numerical ability, word fluency, associative memory, and spatial visualization.

Howard Gardner is very smart when he encompasses all the components of intelligence and suggests that every individual has multiple intelligences manifesting in different degrees. I made a mnemonic for these 9 intelligences. It goes:

Itay, eh bakit mo iniwang litung-lito si Neneng? ( I = interpersonal; e = existential; b = bodily-kinesthetic; m = musical; I = intrapersonal; l = linguistic; l = logical-mathematical; s = spatial; and N = naturalistic).

On top of the above definitions, most of them believe that intelligence is an inherent quality that can be nurtured through social, physical, psychological and emotional interactions.

With the above qualification of an intelligent human being, I can say that I possess at least one of those abilities. I firmly believe that my capabilities are already within me when I was born. It was manifested throughout my young life studying and getting medals and citations along the way. But not only me, all my other 6 siblings got their share of the bounty when they graduated in elementary and high school. This can be explained by biology or inherited genes transferred to us by my parents and ancestors. It can also be the neural intelligence suggested by Perkins which can be improved by nourishment like vitamins or deteriorated by drugs like cocaine and alcohol.

Intelligence can be enhanced or nurtured.  I observed it from my father. Finishing only the second grade because he and his siblings became orphans early in life, my father plays chess without reading a chess book. His constant observation of chess players and practice playing here and there makes him more knowledgeable than I am who reads the mechanics of the games so many times. I never win against him probably because I seldom play the game.

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I am intelligent because I can learn, recognize a problem and come out with a solution. I am intelligent because I can hum a tune but not like an expert singer does. I can manifest logical and mathematical ability when I am reciting the multiplication table in memory in elementary. My 99+ percentile mark in Mathematics in my NCEE is also a proof.

I cannot draw like Michaelangelo but I made these cross stitches below:

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I am not as good as Usain Bolt, the Jamaican who runs the 100 meter in just 9.58 seconds but I was a runner and a volleyball player in my sophomore year in high school.

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I writes novels and comics script in Filipino but not as good as Gilda Olvidado or Carlo Caparas.

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I understand my self and my feelings and my few friends understand me as I understand their beings and emotions. I cannot perform well when I am sad and when jobs and colleagues give me stress. I am in hype and active when I overcome my emotional instability.

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I can speak and understand a few words and sentences in Spanish and Arabic but not like Rizal.

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I can identify plants and animals but not like my younger brother who study forestry nor his wife who is a microbiologist nor by other brother who is a veterinarian.

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I can identify some local fish but not as expert as my parents who spent most of their times in the market selling fish.

I am intelligent because I know I have a purpose in life and the Creator who gave me all these strengths and weaknesses know that I can enhanced and overcome them.

Lastly, I know I am intelligent because I was able to reflect and write these things. So whether you like it or not, I am an  intelligent person, LIKE YOU!


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