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Message Subject Were You Part Of The "Mentally Gifted Minds" Program In California Scools back in the 70's?
Poster Handle ArmchairObserver
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i just stumbled on this website. I was in one of the first mentally gifted programs in Los Angeles, in the late 60's. In retrospect, i feel like we were guinea pigs -- see how much they could throw at us and see how much we could absorb. I basically got most of my high school education before i finished the 6th grade. The trouble was that I was thrown back into a regular school after that, (we called it Junior High in those days, not middle school). I was a freak -- no social skills, because I had been isolated all those years with the others in my class. The same students moved together to each grade. We never interacted with the others in the school. It was like they didn't know what to do with us afterwards, made no provisions beyond elementary school. BTW -- although I understand many of us DID go on to brilliant lives and careers, I ended up totally burned outpoop by the time I had finished 9th grade. I would love to find information about any studies that were done to follow what happened to us "freaks" after they put us back into the general population.
 Quoting: ndgeller

Welcome to the Internet's Insane Asylum. You'll get that if you leave this thread to look at other threads here. The fact that we're so relatively stable and pragmatic on this thread is a comfort considering the location of the discourse.

I, too, felt pretty burnt out early on and like a guinea pig. Had a lot of resentment that I vented out in a variety of subtle ways from boundary pushing to deliberately mocking testing through pattern creation on the scantrons throughout high school. Biggest one was informing that I had plans to join the Socialist party at age 18 (was not serious, btw). May have been a significant mistake on my part in hindsight, lol. :(

As far as following up on us freaks (god I know that feeling well), the only evidence that I found of follow up examination was with Project Talent (the first tagging of the herd) and Terman's Termites. There are hints of perhaps something going wrong in that gifted "educators" (aka psychologists, psychiatrists and hypnotherapists) noted a possible increase in drug/alcohol abuse and problems with depression/suicide. *Almost forgot--they also noted that we were socially isolated but addressed that isolation not in repairing it properly but in attempts to find ways to make us so that we would still have the drive to be socially beneficial at the end of the day. However, no statistics were ever laid out publicly on that one and instead, the excuse of why this wasn't properly quantified was that it would be "too difficult" to measure. I saw the same excuse one other time in my life and that was in regards to atomic veterans and their families. The health disorders that possibly emanated from radiation exposure were also "too difficult" to adequately measure. I take it as they really didn't want to look in either case because that would have indicated that something went wrong.

It grieves me that you, too, felt like a freak and a guinea pig at the end of it all. No child should have ever grown up feeling like that, especially due to the activities of adults who should have known better. The biggest crime of the gifted program was their god damn group think.
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