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 +

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Portrait of the writer, in the eyes of others.

Have you ever wondered how others see you? Well, the other day, I thought I would ask.

I was having a discussion with two Koreans and a Chinese mainlander. They have all known me for some time, so they have had enough to exposure to form sufficient impressions worth expressing. I set them a collective task: to describe my personality.

They responded with some enthusiasm. They each had something to say, something to note. Gradually, a coherent portrait emerged, one that I found myself agreeing with, even finding myself surprised by their astuteness, in some respects.

The first thing that was observed came from a Korean girl: "You look pure, when you smile."

Then the Chinese woman: "You have very expressive body language."

The second Korean girl: "You are jovial: always laughing."

Other observations soon followed: "Gentle and calm...but always moving"; "Polite with careful speech."; "Knowledgeable, shown by the use of less common words, in speech"; "Calm and thoughtful, you evoke speech in others, then listen, quietly."; "Cool in manner."; "You are mysterious - difficult to know. Your facial expressions cannot be read, easily." and, finally, "You are not too concerned about what other people think about you."

It was interesting to hear what they had come to understand of me. It was also interesting to learn what aspects of myself were visible to others and to realize what they could not see.

Their portrait is by no means complete. It is, though, a glimpse, of what I appear to be from the outside, as witnessed by people who actually know very little about my life story (I haven't told them anything much about myself: I rarely do). Perhaps it might give you, too, an idea of what I might be like to meet, at least, from an Oriental perspective.

I see, though, that most of my interior life is not visible to them. There is so much that they have not observed. I suppose that all of that would be hidden in the "mysterious" part of me that they could not see through. I think they are right: much of me cannot be seen, readily - it takes too much time and too much exposure to become known. Then, again, many people do not have eyes readily equipped to see such things, or recognize them for what they are.

The portrait, though, has value for it is how others see me. It is not how I see myself. I realize that they have a partial impression. They are not wrong, in their view...just incomplete. They are not to be faulted, for this, however, for the things they cannot see, are not so visible. Then, again, there is no need for all things to be visible. I am satisfied with the way they see me. As for that which they could not see: let that remain "mysterious"!

(If you would like to learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, a scientific child prodigy, aged eight years and seven months, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, five years exactly, and Tiarnan, twenty-eight 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.

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 8:52 PM 


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It would be rude to say anything bad about you though

12:28 AM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

Of course, it would be rude, to do so. However, that does not mean that they had censored themselves, or that there was anything rude that they could have said. They are sincere and straightforward people and I am sure that they simply said what they saw. Indeed, "Doesn't care what other people think about him", could be construed as negative in some conformist societies...yet they said it. I think they were being frank. Anyway, it was interesting to hear their view and understand what they saw.

7:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most people would say I'm very easy to get on with. Have a strange but sometimes funny sense of humour.

Young people find me understanding, easy going and enjoy my company.

Professionally I always give 100% and support people who need help with work too.

I believe the responses were genuine and these two really enjoy your company and friendship :)

12:00 AM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

Thank you for your self-portrait, Riverman.

Yes, I think they were genuine, too. If I doubted for a second that they weren't, there is no way that I would have posted it...except as, perhaps, an example of how people can be insincere...

Best wishes

8:46 PM  

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