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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, July 25, 2009

Art project: appeal for volunteers.

My brother in law, Hafiz Osman, is a professional artist (which long term readers of my blog will know). Right now, he is preparing for an exhibition. He has asked me, to ask you, to help him with one of his artworks. We would very much appreciate it, if you could help with the art work - or suggest someone who could do so.

The requirement is simple: Hafiz Osman would like volunteers who were residents in the former Hillview Estate to become involved in the art work. No art skill is necessary - just the kindness of a good heart and a moment of time. Involvement in the art work will cost the participants NOTHING at all. However, participants would get the satisfaction of knowing that they helped an art work happen. There is also an element of "immortalization" involved, in their participation, however indirectly, in that the way they interact with the art work will make a lasting impression.

I can't give details on this blog without revealing too much of this new art work, before the exhibition (which would spoil it for Hafiz). However, if you would like to help an art work happen and are kind enough to give a few minutes of your time (it will not take more than that), then please CONTACT HAFIZ OSMAN at hbo003@yahoo.com.sg I know that email address is confusing...it only contains two zeroes, in the first half...the other one is an o (comes before "p" in the alphabet). Alternatively, you can call him on 94786131.

So, if you are from the Hillview Estate - or you know someone who is - then please volunteer to help Hafiz with this piece of art work - or suggest to your friend that they should do so. Remember, it will cost you nothing, but allow you to help in the creation of a lasting work of art.

(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:http://scientific-child-prodigy.blogspot.com/2006/10/scientific-child-prodigy-guide.html 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.

We are the founders of Genghis Can, a copywriting, editing and proofreading agency, that handles all kinds of work, including technical and scientific material. If you need such services, or know someone who does, please go to: http://www.genghiscan.com/ Thanks.

IMDB is the Internet Movie Database for film and tv professionals.If you would like to look at my IMDb listing for which another fifteen credits are to be uploaded, (which will probably take several months before they are accepted) please go to: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3438598/ As I write, the listing is new and brief - however, by the time you read this it might have a dozen or a score of credits...so please do take a look. My son, Ainan Celeste Cawley, also has an IMDb listing. His is found at: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3305973/ My wife, Syahidah Osman Cawley, has a listing as well. Hers is found at: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3463926/

This blog is copyright Valentine Cawley. Unauthorized duplication prohibited. Use Only with Permission. Thank you.)

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Where news is no news.

In Singapore, sometimes news is no news. By this I mean, news that is news elsewhere, is strangely not news within this small island. I have always found this a very revealing phenomenon for it says much about the nature of the society. What puzzles me, however, is how the "masters" of this nation can delude themselves into thinking that people don't notice. They do...and it tells them much about what is really going on in their country.

A recent example concerns my son, Ainan. Now, as you probably know, child prodigies are famous for being the most narrow of specialists. Almost always in history, a prodigy excels in but one subject. Ainan, however, has recently shown himself to be unusual in that respect, in that he is showing gift in two areas (well, more, actually...but more of that another day). Not only is he studying Chemistry at Singapore Polytechnic and in his spare time, at a high level - but he is studying Physics, too. Recently, he passed the Physics O level (at the age of nine years and one month), making him not the only the youngest to do so, but also the only child to do so in both Chemistry and Physics, significantly underage. This shows that he has the makings of a binary scientific child prodigy - that is, a prodigy in two areas of science. This is very unusual, since all the historical examples of scientific child prodigies are in one area only. So, given the rarity of this circumstance one would have thought it news. Well, it was...in Malaysia...but not so much so in Singapore.

I shall expand. In Malaysia Ainan's recent achievements were front page news on the Harian Metro, and The Borneo Post and prominent in the Malay Mail, The Daily Express and the New Sabah Times. That is quite a lot of interest considering that Ainan is Singaporean (though one of his grandmothers is actually from Johor, in Malaysia). So, how did Singapore respond? Well, the ONLY newspaper in Singapore to remark on the situation in their print edition, so far, is the Lianhe Wanbao - a relatively small Chinese daily newspaper. The Lianhe Zaobao, followed suit, in its online edition once it saw that Wanbao had run with the story...other than that, ALL the major media in Singapore have maintained an odd, unaccountable silence on the issue of Ainan's continued achievements. I find this peculiar, for reasons I shall explain.

You see, two years ago, there was a Chinese PRC family living in Singapore who distinguished themselves academically. One son of the family had done his O levels at FOURTEEN years old. Now, this story appeared on the same day that Ainan's O level achievement at 7 was recognized in the press as a world record. Guess which story was on the front pages, and which story was buried deep within the newspaper? Yes...you guessed it: Ainan's story was completely buried, in the newspaper, and the Chinese boy who was TWICE as old, was FRONT PAGE news on the Straits Times.

So, the situation here, in Singapore is clear. If you are a Chinese NON-Singaporean PRC, Singapore will esteem your achievements so highly as to put you on the front pages, to provide a distraction from the achievements of a half-Malay boy whose story will be buried deep in the newspaper. Now, we could not help notice this odd prioritization of stories, by the Straits Times, two years ago. The half-Malay story was buried, the Chinese PRC story was given prominence. However, the Straits Times has improved its game since then. Now, they DO NOT EVEN PRINT THE HALF-MALAY STORIES AT ALL. That is right. The Straits Times now ignores Ainan's achievements completely.

Now, don't misunderstand me. I am not saying that the Straits Times should cover anyone in particular. I am saying however that, if they cover a fourteen old boy who does O levels, from the PRC, then they are OBLIGED to cover ANY boy or girl of ANY race who does O levels at 14 or younger - out of fairness/impartiality. They have set their own standard of what is front page news. A fourteen year old doing O level is front page news: that is their own standard. So, why, then, is my son's achievement at 9, of doing O level Physics, while taking Chemistry at Singapore Polytechnic, NOT NEWS AT ALL? There are three differences between the boys that are pertinent. Firstly, the Chinese boy is NOT a Singaporean; Ainan IS a Singaporean. The Chinese boy is 14; Ainan is 9. The Chinese boy is Chinese...Ainan is half-Malay and half-Irish. Now, my question is this: which of these three differences has invalidated his news story? Why is he less newsworthy than the Chinese boy? Is it because he is five years younger? That would seem strange...in all countries, more youthful achievement is more newsworthy. Is it because Ainan is Singaporean: are Singaporeans inherently less worthy of news coverage than non-Singaporeans? That may be so, given Singapore's strange fascination with all things PRC. Is it, dare I ask, because the other boy is Chinese...and Ainan is half-Malay? If it is this latter reason, then the national media of Singapore have some explaining to do.

At this point, I do not know the reasoning that has led the editors of all the major media in Singapore to ignore Ainan's achievement - whereas the Straits Times feted the Chinese boy. I do know this, however: it seems a shameful thing, indeed, for Singapore, as a nation, that overseas countries should be showing LESS bias towards a Singaporean, than Singaporean media are. Ainan is front page news in Malaysia, but largely not news in Singapore: were the Singaporean media as impartial as the overseas media, this would not be so.

I am not upset at this. I am, in fact, grateful for the way in which the state is telling me its priorities. After all, we have to make decisions concerning where Ainan will make his contributions later. Surely, he should make them in a country which shows him welcome? The Singaporean media are hardly showing such a welcome. They are showing something else. They are showing that Singapore's news priorities depend on the identity of the person. A Chinese PRC will get more prominent coverage than a half-Malay Singaporean. That, to me, is a very serious matter. It shows that Singapore has yet to grow up, as a nation state. It also shows that Singapore is not being fair to all its citizens. Ainan is a citizen of Singapore; the PRC boy is not...yet the PRC boy is courted in a way that Ainan is not. I puzzle at this. To me, it looks a lot like this is a nation that doesn't know how to appreciate its people and their gifts. Of course, a nation which does that, loses those very people...and will end being nothing more than a transit point for temporary foreign "talent" on their way to a better job elsewhere. Perhaps, of course, that is just what the "powers-that-be" want. They would rather have a Singapore staffed by relatively mediocre PRC imports...than to encourage home-grown talents to stick around.

The funny thing about this behaviour of the media is that it is a clear declaration to the world, of what sort of nation Singapore is...and they don't even realize that they are giving such a clear picture of their nature and intent. To see this kind of thing at work, all you have to do is consistently read the Straits Times. It won't be long before the news prioritization becomes clear. Especially, if you read other news sources at the same time, to make a comparison. Singapore's media is playing strange games with what is to be seen as important and what is not.

It seems that the excellence of one half-Malay child is not to be given much attention. However, the excellence of any PRC import, must be accorded front page status. This is the game. The only question is: why are they playing it? Can't they see the self-defeating nature of such games, in which you "diss" your own people and ass lick the foreign PRC? What sort of nation "disses" its own people...and butters up foreigners? I find myself quietly shocked.

When I first saw the Straits Times do this, I was appalled. Now, however, I am so used to what they do, that my wife and I actually make a point of PREDICTING what the Straits Times will do, to spoil the story/distract from the story/bury the news. You know what: we are right each time, about how the Straits Times will approach the situation. Yet, our predictions are never "nice" in character. Nor are they fair. Yet, they are what the Straits Times does.

There is one possibility of course. Perhaps this apparent "bias" is unconscious on the part of the editors and journalists. Perhaps they are not self-aware and not able to see the inherent oddness of their choices. Maybe they just don't know that they are marginalizing the half-Malay boy - and elevating the Chinese PRC one. That is, of course, being generous in assessing the situation. However, whether unconscious or not, the fact remains that the Straits Times has odd news priorities that don't reflect the true importance of the news items in question. More important news items can get buried - and less important ones raised to prominence. If one was being impartial this kind of thing would never happen.

So, this week, the big news for me, is that Ainan was NOT news in The Straits Times...nor in the Berita Harian, ostensibly the newspaper of the Malay community. It was not a surprise to me that Ainan would not be in the Straits Times, because the Straits Times has ignored him before, or practised "news burying"...however, it was a surprise that the Berita Harian didn't write about him. The Berita Harian is the voice of the Malay community, but, this time around, it ignored Ainan. It has never done that before. However, there might be reasons for that. Since Ainan was last in the news in Singapore (well over a year ago), ALL the staff who had had contact with us, previously, have moved on. They now have different writers....people who have never met us and don't know us. Perhaps that played a role. Then again, perhaps even the Berita Harian, is not truly covering the Malay community, in the way it should be. It seems odd to ignore the Malay community's most unusual young boy. One would have thought they would be proud of Ainan...in the way that the Straits Times (with a Chinese editor) is proud of the Chinese PRC boy. However, apparently not.

Singapore is an interesting place to live in. It is filled with the unexpected. For me, discovering that the Berita Harian won't necessarily cover the unusual achievements of a Malay boy was one such surprise. I wonder what that says about what we get the chance to learn about, in Singapore, about what is going on. Perhaps we don't get to hear lots of things that are going on in the Malay community. I know that no-one in that community got to hear directly of Ainan's achievement this time...what else are they never hearing? What do we never get to know?

(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:http://scientific-child-prodigy.blogspot.com/2006/10/scientific-child-prodigy-guide.html 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.

We are the founders of Genghis Can, a copywriting, editing and proofreading agency, that handles all kinds of work, including technical and scientific material. If you need such services, or know someone who does, please go to: http://www.genghiscan.com/ Thanks.

IMDB is the Internet Movie Database for film and tv professionals.If you would like to look at my IMDb listing for which another fifteen credits are to be uploaded, (which will probably take several months before they are accepted) please go to: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3438598/ As I write, the listing is new and brief - however, by the time you read this it might have a dozen or a score of credits...so please do take a look. My son, Ainan Celeste Cawley, also has an IMDb listing. His is found at: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3305973/ My wife, Syahidah Osman Cawley, has a listing as well. Hers is found at: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3463926/

This blog is copyright Valentine Cawley. Unauthorized duplication prohibited. Use Only with Permission. Thank you.)

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Friday, July 24, 2009

Brotherly love vs. Harry Potter.

Which is more powerful in the life of a child: brotherly love or the magical wizard, Harry Potter, lord of the box office? Well, yesterday, that was put to the test.

Syahidah had planned to take Fintan and Tiarnan to see Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. This seems quite apt since they are both "half-bloods", themselves...though, I have yet to secure the title "Prince" for them!

When Syahidah arrived at the cinema, where I waited, she had only Tiarnan in tow. Fintan was nowhere to be seen.

The story turned out to be a sweet one. On leaving for Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince, Syahidah noted that Fintan was hesitating.

"Are you coming?", she asked him.

"I don't want to see Harry Potter: Ainan will be lonely.", he said, looking at his brother who was soon to be left behind.

Syahidah objected that he would not.

"You can't see it...but he is very upset.", he said, concernedly. Perhaps the "upset" he thought he saw, was the thought of being left home alone, without his brothers.

Syahidah relented and let Fintan stay with his brother. She was touched to see that he cared so much about his elder brother that he would forego the film she knew he so wanted to watch.

As it went, however, it was lucky that Fintan didn't go to see Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince - for it was a dire concoction. Syahidah judged it as being up there with Transformers 2 as among the worst films she can recall seeing. Truly, Hollywood is churning out trash these days. She particularly criticized the PLOT as utter nonsense - and that would seem to be J.K "I don't plagiarize, honest" Rowling's fault. She also observed that it had disturbingly close similarities to elements of the Lord of the Rings - except that LOTR was fun, well put together and skillful - none of which could be claimed for Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince.

Now, I wasn't able to see Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince myself, at that time...even though I had gone to the cinema: so I consider myself lucky not to have wasted another couple of hours in a darkened room.

Given the creative poverty of Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince, it is fortunate that Fintan's brotherly love is stronger than his taste for all things Potter. It seems, therefore, that his brotherly love has wisdom in it, too, as well as sweetness.

(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:http://scientific-child-prodigy.blogspot.com/2006/10/scientific-child-prodigy-guide.html 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.

We are the founders of Genghis Can, a copywriting, editing and proofreading agency, that handles all kinds of work, including technical and scientific material. If you need such services, or know someone who does, please go to: http://www.genghiscan.com/ Thanks.

IMDB is the Internet Movie Database for film and tv professionals.If you would like to look at my IMDb listing for which another fifteen credits are to be uploaded, (which will probably take several months before they are accepted) please go to: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3438598/ As I write, the listing is new and brief - however, by the time you read this it might have a dozen or a score of credits...so please do take a look. My son, Ainan Celeste Cawley, also has an IMDb listing. His is found at: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3305973/ My wife, Syahidah Osman Cawley, has a listing as well. Hers is found at: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3463926/

This blog is copyright Valentine Cawley. Unauthorized duplication prohibited. Use Only with Permission. Thank you.)

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

On personal experience and scientific study.

I feel that I should express my intention when I write this blog. It is to capture one person's experience and distil it into a readable form. It is not meant to be a scientific study.

Now, you may wonder why I trouble myself to draw this distinction - well, I do so, because I have to. Some people have, rather bizarrely in my view, criticized some of my articles on the basis that they are founded on "personal experience" rather than a large scale scientific study involving hundreds or thousands of cases. I think their criticism says more about them, than it does about me. It says that they do not admit the validity of personal experience into the discussion of life when life is just a collection of personal experiences and so, of course, a discussion of it should admit personal experience as a reasonable foundation for comment.

Those who attack my posts for not being large scale scientific studies are showing a narrowness of mind which is, I have observed, frequently seen among those who think of themselves as "scientific". Unfortunately, however, these "scientists" have learnt the wrong lessons from science. They have learnt to ignore as inadmissible, everything that is not a large scale scientific study, instead of opening their minds to the fullness of the world and what it has to offer.

Personally, I prefer an open mind, attentive to every little detail, than to restrict myself to worshipping large scale scientific studies as the only means to knowledge. There are other means to such, if your mind is prepared and you know how to think. Insight into the world can be enough, on its own, to tell us something of interest. It is that insight that I apply to my daily life to come up with my commentary on personal experience. What I say may not have been produced through a large scale scientific study - but that does not mean that it is without value. It may still be an insightful comment or an intelligent observation on some aspect of life. Not being a large scale scientific study does not make all information worthless or uninteresting - for it may still be of value and may still teach us something. Of course, it won't satisfy the "studyophiles", but then no form of written discussion could ever satisfy them. Only the spending of millions of dollars on a large scale scientific study would satisfy their need for "rigour". Of course, it never occurs to them that some questions may be answered quite satisfactorily with less of a sledgehammer approach. Some questions are answered just by asking them, so obvious is the conclusion. Then again, they wouldn't like that method either, since I find such people suspicious of actual reasoning - they prefer "hard data" - which means numbers that need not be thought of. There is no guarantee that people driven by "hard data" are, in fact, good thinkers. They may, in fact, be too uncomfortable with the grey areas of life, to be able to make much sense of it. They could, therefore, be even more unsuited to understanding life than is the average person.

So, the next time you find yourself asking why I haven't written a scientific study in my blog post, that is because I wasn't trying to. Some of my posts ARE based on scientific studies - but most of them are based on something closer to home: personal experience. My life is my subject, in this blog and the lives of those close to me. I need not apologize for that. It is what, in fact, I have set out to write. However, if you find yourself seeking a scientific study, please find one in a journal...and don't complain that it is not what I have written. Thank you.

(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:http://scientific-child-prodigy.blogspot.com/2006/10/scientific-child-prodigy-guide.html 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.

We are the founders of Genghis Can, a copywriting, editing and proofreading agency, that handles all kinds of work, including technical and scientific material. If you need such services, or know someone who does, please go to: http://www.genghiscan.com/ Thanks.

IMDB is the Internet Movie Database for film and tv professionals.If you would like to look at my IMDb listing for which another fifteen credits are to be uploaded, (which will probably take several months before they are accepted) please go to: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3438598/ As I write, the listing is new and brief - however, by the time you read this it might have a dozen or a score of credits...so please do take a look. My son, Ainan Celeste Cawley, also has an IMDb listing. His is found at: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3305973/ My wife, Syahidah Osman Cawley, has a listing as well. Hers is found at: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3463926/

This blog is copyright Valentine Cawley. Unauthorized duplication prohibited. Use Only with Permission. Thank you.)

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 11:46 PM  4 comments

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I can't stop loving you.

Yesterday, Tiarnan heard a song, in a supermarket. There is nothing particularly unusual about that, of course. However, he made a sweet moment out of it.

My wife, turned to me and said: "Tiarnan has something to say to you."

My three year old son then looked up at me and sang a line from the song he had just heard: "I can't stop LOVING you!"

It was sweet. He captured the tune and rendered it in his tiny voice. There was a smile on his lips and earnestness in his eyes. These visual inflections made his words even more special to hear. Notably, it was the first time he had heard the song...yet managed to sing it, immediately.

I can't stop loving you, either, Tiarnan...nor any of my family. Thank you for your words, to me.


(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:http://scientific-child-prodigy.blogspot.com/2006/10/scientific-child-prodigy-guide.html 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.

We are the founders of Genghis Can, a copywriting, editing and proofreading agency, that handles all kinds of work, including technical and scientific material. If you need such services, or know someone who does, please go to: http://www.genghiscan.com/ Thanks.

IMDB is the Internet Movie Database for film and tv professionals.If you would like to look at my IMDb listing for which another fifteen credits are to be uploaded, (which will probably take several months before they are accepted) please go to: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3438598/ As I write, the listing is new and brief - however, by the time you read this it might have a dozen or a score of credits...so please do take a look. My son, Ainan Celeste Cawley, also has an IMDb listing. His is found at: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3305973/ My wife, Syahidah Osman Cawley, has a listing as well. Hers is found at: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3463926/

This blog is copyright Valentine Cawley. Unauthorized duplication prohibited. Use Only with Permission. Thank you.)

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 12:05 AM  0 comments

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Differential support of the gifted.

There are, no doubt, gifted children in all nations of the world, however, are they all treated as well?

Recently, I corresponded with a Malaysian writer. She was very interested in what kind of support Ainan was receiving. Her assumption was that Ainan would be supported directly by the government, in some way - or by private sector involvement, to optimize his chances and development and remove as many barriers as possible. I had to let her down on that one. You see, Ainan is receiving no direct governmental support and no private sector assistance either. The only, though valuable, support is his attendance at Singapore Polytechnic to do Chemistry, which we arranged ourselves. That, however, was not the kind of support she was thinking of. She was thinking of the kind of assistance that allows special personalized programmes to be put in place and the funds provided for them. Yet, Ainan, despite his evident need has no such support.

Singapore has a "Gifted Branch" which, ostensibly, is supposed to support gifted children. As long term readers of this blog will know, Ainan was involved with them from the age of seven. However, we gave up on them because they were repeatedly and consistently unhelpful and obstructive. Their mantras were two fold: "There are no resources available" and "If we do it for him, they will all want it." Thus, little or nothing was done by them to support Ainan and many obvious interventions were point blank refused - for reasons similar to those above.

Singapore prides itself on being a leading nation in the South East Asian region yet, surprisingly, it is not leading in the way it supports prodigious children. The Malaysian writer assumed Ainan would be receiving special support because, in her nation, that is what happens to prodigies: they tend to get direct state support. I have heard of cases where the local government has funded the special educational needs of prodigies, in Malaysia. This, however, just does not happen in Singapore. In Singapore, the parents of prodigious children (of which there appear to be very few, since it is hard to think of any), will experience nothing but frustration at the hands of the Ministry of Education.

My question is, therefore: how is it that a developing nation, like Malaysia, has the wit to realize the importance of special support for its most unusual children...whereas a "developed" nation, like Singapore does not support them, getting hung up, instead, on the idea that no-one should receive any "special treatment".

There is, of course, a short-sightedness here on the part of Singapore, which, perhaps, explains its lack of contribution to the world's greatest thinkers. By not supporting its most able children, on an individual basis, Singapore is hampering the growth of its most promising minds. This can only lead to a stunted intellectual future for the nation. However, perhaps that is what they want: maybe they are uncomfortable that anyone should rise too far from the communal pack...standing out, here, is "just not done".

In a way, it is truly surprising that Singapore should be less able to respond to a prodigious child productively, than Malaysia. It is not what one would think. However, it does tell me something. Perhaps countries like Malaysia, while lagging in some ways, may go on to produce a sprinkling of thinkers, who bring lustre to their national name.

Will Singapore have any such shining individuals or will it just have a great big herd of conformist, rubber-stamped, cookie cutter educated people?

(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:http://scientific-child-prodigy.blogspot.com/2006/10/scientific-child-prodigy-guide.html 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.

We are the founders of Genghis Can, a copywriting, editing and proofreading agency, that handles all kinds of work, including technical and scientific material. If you need such services, or know someone who does, please go to: http://www.genghiscan.com/ Thanks.

IMDB is the Internet Movie Database for film and tv professionals.If you would like to look at my IMDb listing for which another fifteen credits are to be uploaded, (which will probably take several months before they are accepted) please go to: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3438598/ As I write, the listing is new and brief - however, by the time you read this it might have a dozen or a score of credits...so please do take a look. My son, Ainan Celeste Cawley, also has an IMDb listing. His is found at: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3305973/ My wife, Syahidah Osman Cawley, has a listing as well. Hers is found at: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3463926/

This blog is copyright Valentine Cawley. Unauthorized duplication prohibited. Use Only with Permission. Thank you.)

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 12:54 PM  9 comments

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