The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Gifted Children Edition

Recently, I’ve been puzzling over how exactly to feel about the progression of a child I met several years ago. When this boy was about ten, he gave one of the greatest presentations I’ve ever seen in a science fair environment. He had the most complex project there and knew it from top to bottom, answering every question that any judge could throw at him in a clear and concise manner. He was also one of the most popular kids there, running around and talking to most of the other children.

Needless to say, I was impressed, and I’ve occasionally Googled him just to keep tabs on how he’s doing. A few days ago, I found his MySpace page. Most of it was filled with a mix of corporate logos and some bragging about his physique and about skipping classes. I was stunned – I wouldn’t have believed it was the same kid if it weren’t for the pictures.

So I contacted a few people just to see what was up. It turns out that about a year after the science fair, his parents (who were extremely involved, wonderful people) had a very, very messy divorce, and after the divorce, neither parent was really capable of giving the child the same kind of attention and focus he received before. So he just drifted and now he’s a C and D student who is a regular in detention.

It’s troubled me a lot. Here was a kid with all of the intellectual and social opportunity in the world, and just at the point where he needed guidance the most, it all fell apart for him.

I didn’t have enough of a connection with this child to serve as a mentor myself, or else that’s what I would do. Instead, it just weighs heavy on my heart. I think I’ll be remembering him for a while, particularly as my own children begin to grow up.

On with some personal finance articles.

When Frugality Isn’t Enough This was a guest post I wrote over at Frugal Dad, who needed a hand in a pinch. (@ frugal dad)

Laddering Your Emergency Fund I’m actually thinking about doing this through ING, as I just have an emergency fund sitting there in cash at the moment. (@ blueprint for financial prosperity)

The Never Ending War Against Advertising This is a big reason why I’ve basically eliminated my exposure to television – it’s mostly just lots of product placements followed by ads followed by more product placements. (@ get rich slowly)

Really Simple Goal Setting My guiding principle for setting goals is to just brainstorm everything I’d like to do, then eliminate a lot of them because, while they’re nice, they’re not really in line with what I want to be doing. (@ zen habits)

28 Gift Ideas That Save Money for the Recipient My wife and I are starting to really strive for gifts along these lines. (@ personal finance advice)

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