I received this comment from an online student:

Hi Magister,

This was triggered by “If you come to Latin class every day for 30 minutes you will learn Latin…”

I heard an interesting quote on a different definition of intelligence. The speaker did not believe in a fixed level of intelligence, but rather defined intelligence as the relative rate of learning a given subject. This means of course that one could have different intelligence across different subjects. We see this. In high school I had a scary french horn tutor. She was a known genius in music and mathematics, but just those. Also the famous quote by Einstein (I love Einstein) comes to mind:

“It is not that I am smarter than you are, I just stay with a problem longer (MUCH longer).”

And while I am on Einstein quotes, there is also this one:

“Do not be troubled by your problems with mathematics. I assure you mine are far greater.” This from the father of calculus.

Hope this is of interest to you. I find that new definition at the top inspiring, hope you do as well.


Here is my reply:

Hi, Brad!

Thanks very much for sending this my way!  I appreciate your words and the quotes.

It’s funny.  I barely scraped through high school and college.  Then, I taught myself a bunch of languages.  This puts me in an odd place.

People think I am really smart.  Mark Twain summed it up perfectly.  “By all means, learn another language.  It will not make you any smarter.  But, everyone will think you are smarter.” 

I experience this all the time.  I cannot convince people otherwise.  When it comes to languages, I can relate to Einstein’s quote.  “It’s not that I am smarter than you are, I just stay with the problem (language, in my case) longer.