With this title, I refer not only to my eclectic variety of genres I enjoy writing, but also to the mixture of subjects I have chosen to study.
I possess what’s called ‘searchlight intelligence’, where I do not stick to one discipline very often. I have found this effecting me ever since I was smaller; I have simple wanted to do everything, to stick as many fingers in as many different honey pots as possible. Of course this backfires. Often. And I never learn.
I do wonder whether I would benefit more from a laser-like intelligence, which focuses on one discipline or talent. I would like to hone one…one day, when I’m not busy distracting myself with the temptations of the others.
Let’s look at the subjects I have taken this year: Latin = language; Religious Studies = humanity; Psychology = [social] science. (I’d like to point out here that all do involve essay-writing questions for exams, so there is some similarity in that.) It gets more varied if we extrapolate to the two additional subjects I took last year: Drama and Theatre Studies = arts; Physics = [hard] science.
Of course, my success rates in various subjects differ, but there’s no strong correlation between the type of discipline and the success rate.
I won’t say I’ve been given too much choice. Oh, I love how I have been provided with such a selection. I’m lucky, but it doesn’t help control my urge to know everything. Although I don’t regret giving them up, there are times in which I miss those subjects I have left behind.
The point I’m making is: it’s strange. My interest lies not in the sciences, or the arts, or the languages or the humanities (or any categories of academia that I’ve neglected), but in all of them. It’s as if my mind cannot sit still on one type of interest – or, to bring in the writing, one genre of novel.
Even now, when one would have thought that I would have selected just one discipline to study for the rest of my life, I go for a bipartite degree of Psychology and Philosophy, in one place applying for Linguistics on the top of that. I simply won’t – or can’t – break away into one line of work.
Why? *shrugs* I’m quite a fan of the cognitive model of Psychology and this is where I would suppose comes in the acquisition of intelligence; perhaps if one is exposed to a multitude of stimuli during childhood, one learns to build all of the talents needed to cover a range of traditions. Like any skill, it takes practise and rehearsal to retrieve the needed application, and, whilst the knowledge and skill waxes and wanes, the ability is still present for many years after the rehearsal has stopped. I can still string a pretty decent sentence together in French, though I haven’t taken classes for two years; I still have a (albeit paled) passion for chess and a mind on moves, even though I don’t play as often as I should. My Physics shall remain because I will force the information to return when I will need it. It’s knowledge I cannot forgo.
But, I reckon, I can’t be the only one suffering and thriving at the same time because of my crazy desire to do everything.
So: what sort of intelligence do you have? Searchlight, laser-light, or somewhere in the middle? How has this affected your studies or your habits and occupations?
And my final, slightly-unrelated thought for the day: is knowledge power? I’m throwing in a question to make it less certain. Answers on a postcard, please! 😉