Multipally Intelligent

Look at me, late to the party. Not the kind where everyone is bored until the very moment I swing open the door, smartly dressed and full of confidence, ramping the vibe up full tilt.

No. This is the other kind, wherein I am late because I couldn't find my car keys, so I skipped applying any makeup, have toilet paper trailing off one shoe, and hobble in offering up all sorts of lame apologies.

Why, you may ask? Because I've been a mom for 18 years and JUST stumbled on Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences. I am much enlightened.

So here's the deal: according to his theory, people have eight core strengths.

1). Logical/mathematical (number/reasoning smarts)
2). Linguistic (word smarts)
3). Visual/spatial (picture smarts)
4). Musical (music smarts)
5). Bodily-kinesthetic (body smarts)
6). Interpersonal (people smarts)
7). Intrapersonal (self smarts)
8). Naturalist (nature smarts)

And this all clicked into focus in my mind, like when you finally understand the actual lyrics to a song you've belted out in public for the past several years. Like when you think Credence Clearwater Revival is singing that "there's a bathroom on the right" instead of there being a bad moon on the rise. And no, this is not the dawning of the Age of Asparagus. (The 5th Dimension reference, people.)

So what do you get when you... um... combine a visual with a linguistic? The short answer is Roman.* Although I would characterize him as more of the musical ilk.Recognizing yourself and other humans as individuals along a spectrum (poetic, I know) - multiple plot points on an eight point scale - holds us to better behavior standards. Theoretically. (Don't judge me for yelling at impatient motorists - some days your interpersonal smarts tank.)

The bottom line is that different people think differently. This is major, even though this theory is just now entering my consciousness.

Did I mention that I couldn't find my keys? <-- I guess this disqualifies me for visual/spatial, although my sister would tell you that I am VERY SPATIAL. Perhaps it could be quantified as a minor intelligence, as long as I remember to check for unwanted toilet paper streamers.


* Jeff is a visual artist, and I am bilingual in French and sometimes English. (I also speak Roman.)

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