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Doctor Squared

March 29, 2010

Do you think that smart people are born smart? 

I often wonder about this.  My dad insists that brain power is just 10% of success and the rest is hard work, and while I agree with him to some extent, I do believe that there are some super special gifted people in this world that are blessed with a gene that allows them to excel in everything.  And then there are people like me who trudge along, just trying to make it to Friday.  Friday, 5pm to be exact.

My good friend Maie, for example, is not only a surgeon, but a wife, a mom of two boys, and the most patient person alive.  Maie is way too humble to talk about her many talents but when I Googled her to find out exactly what kind of doctor she is (I am a terrible friend for not knowing this!) I found out she also speaks four languages and has not only an MD but a PhD too. 

Despite keeping busy by doing surgery, research, and teaching all day long, Maie is also a dedicated mother who takes her kids to 5+ different activities each week and still has some time left over to organize really fun park dinners, one of which we attended last night.

The great thing about Maie is how completely humble she is.  I mean, if I were a doctor not only would I totally have the “God Complex” thing going on, but I’d be bragging to my patients about my ability to switch between French and Spanish with no problem, and I’d make it very clear that I was not just a doctor, but a doctor squared.  Instead Maie was telling everyone yesterday about my silly blog, as if writing about Maya’s diva-like behavior or Ali’s cable-addiction is even remotely on par with, I don’t know, saving a life?

While I usually have nothing in common with kids (Maya being no exception) I totally bonded with Maie’s 6-year-old son Zane who, incidentally, started reading at 3.  For those of you who don’t have children yet, Zane is basically a prodigy – not surprising considering who his mother is.  To give you a point of reference, Maya is 5 and can barely read her Hop on Pop books!  Again, not surprising considering who her mother is.

Anyway, I told Zane that I have big plans for him and Maya to get married down the line.  Zane and Maie, I assure you that I will work diligently with Maya so that my daughter will be able to write her “N’s” properly by then!

Maie you are an inspiration!

35 Comments leave one →
  1. March 29, 2010 7:24 pm

    I agree 1000%. Ibrhaim told me that when he was young, they (all the kids at the center) called Maie and her whole family “the super race”. And they are!!

  2. March 29, 2010 7:50 pm

    I agree with you…I do think some people are just intrinsically more gifted than others. I do also think there is a bit of the nature vs nurture aspect to it, too. For example, my dad had me calculating restaurant tips when I was 5 and anytime I had a question for him we would rush to the library together to research it…so some of that has stuck with me. I’m a whiz at calculating sales when I shop as well as bar tabs 😉 , and I now work as a research assistant in a laboratory!

    ps- I’m glad you liked my joke- there are plenty more too… What did one pizza say to the other pizza who was in his way? Pizza HUT!

  3. March 29, 2010 8:52 pm

    I definitely think it’s in the genes. 20 to 25 years from now when Maya reads this with her hubby Zane by her side, she’ll know what a genius you are 😉

  4. Danielle permalink
    March 29, 2010 9:07 pm

    I think it’s both genes & environment. In other words, some people have more potential than others but it depends on how it’s developed. haha did that sound rude? 🙂

  5. Nadia permalink
    March 29, 2010 9:39 pm

    wow maie, you’re my hero! i had no idea either, i mean yas is constantly bragging about you in every way, but double doc, come on! please rub some of that brain juice on my kids too, can i join the next playdate;) please?

  6. March 29, 2010 11:33 pm

    brain power is a genetic gift, a raw material, but it must be harnessed, channeled, and helped along so it can shine thru…and there must also be innate drive, the intangible aspect of hard work that some ppl have or dont. I have it, i work my ass off at everything i do. This is not a badge of honor, and in fact, i wish i could be more “whatever”. I love people like Maie, they are the best people ever to know and i know a few Maie’s in my life

  7. March 30, 2010 1:00 am

    I know quite a few people that were born with some super brain power and IQ but the nurturing and environment they grew up in made a big difference too. The environment/opportuities provided a background for them to thrive and be successful. You are a success in your own way Ameena.

  8. March 30, 2010 3:09 am

    I think intelligence is based on both genetics and the environment one grows up in. People can be naturally born smarter, but unless their gifts are nurtured as they grow older, they won’t reach their full potential. It’s the idea of “use it or lose it” 🙂

    Don’t sell yourself short, Ameena. You’re a wonderful mother and an incredibly talented woman.

  9. March 30, 2010 3:14 am

    I do think natural brain power is genetic.

    It just comes natural to some.

    For me, I have to work my tale off to study and study.
    My husband can read a book once and take a test…

  10. March 30, 2010 3:47 am

    Wow– she sounds amazing!!! Don’t you just hate people like that? 😀 Kidding. Kind of.

  11. March 30, 2010 3:55 am

    I know what u mean about doctors…I always think “holy crap…they are so so smart”. seriously.
    that said, i think no one is born smart. i think we are all born with something different about us maybe. Some may be stronger, prettier, richer, etc…but no one is better.

  12. fitandfortysomething permalink
    March 30, 2010 4:39 am

    so true so true and i think i would be like you bragging and such 🙂
    have a great day!

  13. March 30, 2010 5:28 am

    Some people are so amazing, they make you feel like a bad person for not doing more! Your friend sounds wonderful (jealous about the speaking 4 languages)! I try to use people like that as inspiration to get up and going!

  14. March 30, 2010 5:39 am

    A beautiful tribute to a truly gifted woman! She is also quite blessed and fortunate to have you as a wonderful friend! 🙂

  15. March 30, 2010 5:45 am

    I think being successful is a mix. Sure, the geniuses of the world don’t have to work so hard for it, but that doesn’t mean they’re better off. A lot of success, I think, comes from wanting it badly. It’s all well and good to be super smart, but if you don’t do anything with it, you’re no better than the only semi-smart person who works her butt off to do well.

    Of course, then there are those who are geniuses *and* want it badly. They win.

  16. March 30, 2010 6:20 am

    I’d agree that it’s a mix–gotta have the genes for it, but you must also have the drive and work ethic as well.

  17. March 30, 2010 6:32 am

    Gosh you make me laugh and you make me want to keep reading your wonderful posts.
    I do think that people can be born smart and naturally inclined to excel, but I think a lot of it is the ability and drive to use this gift.
    Maie sounds like a wonderful person and a talented doctor, mom, and linguist! I really notice how easily and eagerly you praise others. it’s so admirable that you are always quick to acknowledge the unique and beautiful qualities that people you love possess. Maie is luck to have you too. And so am I- to have your blog for endless entertainment and thought provoking reading.

  18. Susan permalink
    March 30, 2010 6:33 am

    First off, you are so gorgeous Ameena!

    I’m with your Dad. I think there is a teensy genetic element to smarts, but its all about how we nurture that element (ahem, our brains) that “keeps” us intelligent. Does that makes sense?

    Hire me as your cook haha! I kid, I kid (well kinda).

    Good luck on your matchmaking ; )

  19. March 30, 2010 6:41 am

    i get so jealous of smart, attractive, kind people. But everyone has a story that you don’t know about. I try to remember that not everyone is perfect.

  20. March 30, 2010 8:28 am

    I’m not sure people are born smart, but I think people can be born with a good memory, or drive, or other factors like that, which often equate to “smart.” People tend to think I’m smart, but I see it as I just worked very hard. I was a total perfectionist in school. In real life, I have many, many blond moments. On more than one occasion, when it’s raining and we drive under a freeway overpass, I exclaim, “The rain stopped!” I really wish I was kidding.

    I have some friends like Maie and I’m in awe. I figure these types of people have a capacity to handle stress, which I just don’t have. I can’t juggle that much. I don’t want kids for that reason. By the way, Maya is super smart too! She wants to learn other languages — hello! I think she’d make a great wife for Zane. The names sound cute together — Zane and Maya. I hope your friend isn’t reading this, as I realize I sound bizarre.

  21. March 30, 2010 8:53 am

    Maie has some super-charged gene that super-charge me cookies won’t give me! I think that success is a combination of intelligence and luck- being in the right place, at the right time. It amazes me when someone has the ability to turn everything they touch into gold… but it really amazes me when that person is humble about it!

  22. March 30, 2010 9:12 am

    wow props to maie. sounds like she is one heck of a person to know! i think that some people are born smart but i think that sometimes hard work and luck totally play into how successful a person is. determination is key no matter how inherently smart a person is

  23. whydeprive permalink
    March 30, 2010 10:51 am

    I think some people are definitely just born smart. That doesnt mean they’ll GO anywhere with their smarts of course. You need to be driven to get a PhD.
    Your friend sounds pretty amazing.
    But you are pretty awesome yourself.

  24. March 30, 2010 2:16 pm

    Maie sounds like a real sweetheart. Girl, you are truly blessed with good friends!

  25. March 30, 2010 2:18 pm

    Wow, what a woman!!! Most doctors (ok, many that I have come in contact with through my experience) definitely have the God-complex.
    But your blog is something to be proud of girl!!!

  26. March 30, 2010 2:19 pm

    Gosh Ameena, what a lovely and gifted friend you have there! I am so thrilled to see that people with such gifts use them to help others… and I do beleive we are all given gifts. Some have intelligence, some have artistic abilites, musical, mechanical…you name it.

    Nurturing those gifts is something else.
    Maie IS an inspiration! and so are YOU Ameena! I love your sweet and fun posts! You have a lot to give too…

    have a great day!

  27. March 30, 2010 2:51 pm

    Maie sounds like a great person. I think some people are born with more capabilities. And I think it has to do with the way they are raised too. But, we are all good at different things, don’t forget that! Does she have your awesome sense of humor?

  28. March 30, 2010 3:14 pm

    Being in Finance is not for the IQ challenged to be sure. Interesting question, I don’t have kids but my brother does and its interesting watching how they develop. I think its part you’re born with it and part how stimulating your environment is.

  29. March 30, 2010 5:34 pm

    you crack me up…. you love playing Ms. Matchmaker.. lol…. so I am assuming your brother is married off that’s why you are moving on to your daughter 😉

  30. March 30, 2010 6:09 pm

    Man, I could use some Brain power sprinkle powder right about now (Well if one exists). People like Maie are amazing and I am always in awe of them and their multitasking abilities.

  31. March 30, 2010 7:40 pm

    Haha love that you have found Maya’s mate!

    and to answer your question YES I believe some people are born brilliant (like Maie!)

    …and others are born chocolate addicts – just sayin 🙂

  32. March 31, 2010 12:15 pm

    hi ameena,

    frst time to ur blog…i lov to read ur posts…

    i think everyone is gifted on they own way….jux some ppl thhink tats not tat grt ..each n blah blah….

    as u said Maie is grt surgeon n an inspiration …

    U too a inspiration for some of us for ur grt posts n writing skills….

    Am ur latest follower…

  33. Med permalink
    April 1, 2010 6:07 pm

    Maya is a prodigy too! The other day she said “Where’s the water? I’m parched!”


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