The boy who knew too much: a child prodigy

This is the true story of scientific child prodigy, and former baby genius, Ainan Celeste Cawley, written by his father. It is the true story, too, of his gifted brothers and of all the Cawley family. I write also of child prodigy and genius in general: what it is, and how it is so often neglected in the modern world. As a society, we so often fail those we should most hope to see succeed: our gifted children and the gifted adults they become. Site Copyright: Valentine Cawley, 2006 +

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Career ambitions of Vietnamese students.

I am privy to an informal survey of the ambitions of Vietnamese students. They make curious reading.

Of a group of twenty young students aged from 12 to 17, a number of interesting career choices were made - and a couple of worrying omissions, too.

Two out of twenty wanted to be scientists, which is encouraging; three wanted to be business people (two boys, one girl); four wanted to be doctors, one wanted to be a lawyer (a girl), two wanted to be architects (a boy and a girl); two wanted to be inventors (both boys); one wanted to be President (a boy); one wanted to go into computers; one wanted to be in Public Relations (a girl); one wanted to be an artist (a girl) and one just wanted to sleep (a boy, usually sleeping in class, or trying to.)

The interesting omissions were that none of the twenty wanted to be a teacher - and none of them wanted to be an engineer, of any kind.

If these children are representative of the attitudes of Vietnamese youth, there is some hope - and some concerns. The hope is that quite a few of them chose creative professions: artist, architect, scientist and inventor - amounting to 35% of the class. The concern is that Vietnam might be a country with few teachers - or teachers who wished they were doing something else.

I don't know what role models they have for engineers in their society - but, since engineers create the structural backbone of a society that it is not among their aspirations is a worry, for Vietnam.

Amusingly, the boy who wanted to be President is the second laziest in class (second only to the one who likes to sleep): he also appears to be one of the least bright. He does, however, have big dreams and is quite clearly able to imagine himself in the role.

Interestingly, none of them would admit, at first, to being ambitious in any way: it seemed not the thing to aspire to. They would only answer when asked, more directly, what they wanted to do in their lives.

(If you would like to learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, a scientific child prodigy, aged eight years and five months, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, four years and ten months, and Tiarnan, twenty-seven months, please go to: I also write of gifted education, IQ, intelligence, the Irish, the Malays, Singapore, College, University, Chemistry, Science, genetics, left-handedness, precocity, child prodigy, child genius, baby genius, adult genius, savant, wunderkind, wonderkind, genio, гений ребенок prodigy, genie, μεγαλοφυία θαύμα παιδιών, bambino, kind, niño, gênio criança, gifted adults and gifted children in general. Thanks.)

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 9:17 PM 


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