Skip to comments.13-Year-Old Prodigy Cries Discrimination After University Denied Him Ecology Class
Posted on 03/13/2010 9:14:31 AM PST by camerakid400
He may be young but Colin Carlson said he is no stranger to discrimination.
Carlson, a gifted child, was at age 12 turned away from his dream school, Connecticut College, amid concerns that he was too young for a dormitory, even though he agreed to live off campus with his mother.
Now, more than a year later, 13-year-old Carlson said he has faced trouble again at the University of Connecticut, where he maintains a 3.9 GPA as a double-degree candidate in ecology and evolutionary biology, and in environmental studies.
The university barred his entry into an African field ecology class that required a three-week trip to Johannesburg, South Africa, because the professor thought Carlson was too young for the journey, Carlson and his mother, Jessica Offir, said.
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Damn, this kid has the rest of his life ahead of him. Why the pressure to get him through college this quickly? Give him a skateboard, a Kid Rock CD and a summer off already.
The mother is nutty and is infecting her young son. SHame the prodigy is wasting his time on pseudo science as opposed to the real stuff. Methinks Mom is living out her fantasies.
If they admitted him, they should let him take classes.
Agreed. I had an EEP (Early Entrance Program) 14-yr-old in my English class @ uni. He got a paper back with a ‘B’ on it.....and proceeded to rip it up in front of the class. Couldn’t cope emotionally. Sad.
There could be an age limit on trips. After all, colleges generally expect the students will be old enough to be treated as adults, and the kid obviously can’t be.
I guess his mother could go with him?
He’s still a kid. I know he’s smart, smart, smart; but there’s more to maturity than being intelligent.
If he was that smart, he’d get a degree in something useful.
Ya, even though he’s very intelligent and “gifted” if that’s the right word, he has the emotional maturity of a 13 year old.
I feel like a broken record sometimes about absurd lawsuits and such. But, can you imagine a lawsuit like this happening in 1960? Can you imagine a previous generation thinking that they have a constitutional right to anything, and if they don’t get what they want, it’s cause for a lawsuit????
I think the age limit is dangerous. Eons ago I won a 4-H contest that awarded a trip to my state capitol. I was, however, two years too young so the second-place winner got the trip. (I got a nifty purple ribbon instead.) It turned me into an ax murderer.
Seriously, this kid needs to be taught, soon, that everyone has limitations on what they can or should do. Otherwise they might become a failing POTUS.
My girlfriends daughter just enrolled in a similar dual enrollment program in Florida. Her plan - Graduate high school with her BS, then go to the Air Force Academy upon high school graduation.
I’ve known some of these “gifted” kids. They are very bright and eager to learn. On the other hand, they are kids in that they are emotionally very immature. And, they can be very vain, self-aborbed, and feel that they are better than everybody else. They think that they are smarter than adults around them and can make others around them frustrated with their behavior.
Suppose this kid came up with a sockdollager of a proof that there never was and unlikely will ever be enough AGW to matter?
I have noted the same thing. I think it is because they spend so much of their time reading, studying, etc, that they don’t spend enough time with peers. It deprives them of valuable social and coping skills.
Would they accept her for a second undergraduate degree? I am sure they would want her, but are they equiped especially if she wants to do graduate studies? I guess she could pursue an unrelated major (like get a foreign language major first and then an engineering degree??).
Clearly then the answer is he needs more public school. /sarc
Which is it...Conn College or U. Conn? They are not the same.More top notch reporting?
I have taken ecology students for field work in South Africa and Namibia. The stuff we do is dirty and can be dangerous. Over time, the tensions, close quarters, and familiarity can lead to some pretty raunchy behavior. I absolutely love it - the kids, the dirt, the smell, the beauty - but it is no place for a 13 year old.
No, what he needs is time learning how to deal with people, many of them who are jerks, idiots and loons. This takes time. It takes a certain amount of brain maturity. It takes the form of being exposed to situations where everyone has to work out their differences. If it happens at school, ok. Most of us also learn this in the neighborhood, in the family, at church outings, organized sports, scouting groups, whatever. I get the feeling this kid gets none of these experiences.
And there is a difference between maturoty and book learning. This kid still goes everywhere with “Mom” so he hardly qualifies for what could be a dangerous trip. Just because he is in the university doesn’t guarantee him a seat in any class
they are just not that one
Such a waste...studying junkscience!
lern to reed, wuz knot aloud too atttend Connecticut College,
sew wendt two UCONN insted.
considerable...this is one of the areas that I teach a high school course on.
You teach a course in “junckscience”? Why?
Oh, I’m sure he’ll stay at the university and do ‘research’ on stupid things on the taxpayer’s dime.
I don’t teach junkscience. I teach a class that compares evolution and special creation, coupled with critical thinking and Information Theory.
I see, you teach apologetics. When you get around to science, look me up.
Codswallop. You haven’t a clue.
Just finished the science module. What did you have in mind?
They called me a lot of things but never a prodigy.
Mark, Book, Mark I
I have some experience with this. There is no way a mom or dad can force a child like this to not learn. It's like demanding that they not breathe. They **love** it. Sentencing a child like this to a summer of “Kid Rock” and skate boarding would be like demanding that they watch paint dry for 3 months.
I am the mother of homeschoolers who entered college at the ages of 13, 12, and 13. All three finished all college requirements and Calculus III by the age of 15. The two younger earned B.S. degrees in math by the age of 18. The oldest was equally successful in his interests.
Parents of children like mine are not “demanding” that their kids study calculus. There is no possible way that a parent would have any success in doing that. I compare it to sneezing. For the child loving to study is as natural ( and irrepressible) as sneezing.
By the way when my two younger kids were about 13, and 14, we spent half a summer in Costa Rica while we all attended language school. The girls earned six college credits in Spanish while thoroughly enjoying the cultural immersion. There's not that much difference between this and going to Johannesburg.
What I'm trying to say is there are a thousand other things that this 13-year-old can be doing besides that ecology course in Africa that this university says he's too young to take along for.
If he'd rather keep learning, he can do something else geared along those lines.
You are likely right, and I would counsel against it. It is far better to have cooperative relationship with the school than an antagonistic one. This child would be better to find a different course to take.
Our kids got along great with the teachers and the administration. Naturally, they were hesitant about admitting my kids. They started off taking just one course in math. As the children proved their maturity and ability the attitude changed from a hesitant, “Well?...We'll see how they do.” to actually being invited to take on more and more challenges.
They made great friends with a wacky bunch, (of all ages), in the math tutoring lab, and by 14 were formally paid ( by the college) to be tutors there.
Our children were the first to be admitted at such a young age to our local community college. The state university was not at all welcoming but, by law, they had to admit them. It was very satisfying to see the admissions officer of the university gradually change from being completely hostile to being a cheerleader. The success of our kids made it far easier for the early admission homeschoolers who followed in their footsteps. By the time our kids graduated , it is not uncommon to see very young homeschoolers on campus taking classes.
They are smarter that everyone else around them, but lack the life experiences that would make them wise. Healthy relationships with the adults in their families ( who are likely also very smart) helps them grow the roots they need for success in life.
As for vanity: My kids quickly realized their limitations when sitting in classes with other math majors. When everyone in the class has an IQ of 140 or better they quickly learn that giftedness in their field of interest is **NOT** unique.
We chose to homeschool. We did not want the children in gifted and talented classes where they would be marked as being "special". We felt that having strong social relationships with the members of our extended family ( especially grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins) would give them the socialization that they needed for success in life. Finally, being in challenging colleges classes with others who were also very smart taught them humility.
Finally, we are very committed and active in church. Knowing that we are children of God, that everyone has been given unique gifts, that we use our gifts to serve others, and being active in community service, helps **all** children ( regardless of IQ) from being "self absorbed" or "emotionally immature".
Is this a public high school?