White Poodle, Black Poodle

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

Sprite is very fortunate to have Paula, the Physicist as a mentor.
Not only does Paula share Sprite’s passion for astronomy, but she has also overcome the same learning difficulties that Sprite has and gained tertiary degrees.

Paula has been encouraging Sprite to accept the accommodations and extra support she needs and not to feel embarrassed about wearing one pink slipper when necessary.

But Sprite is still often reluctant to wear the pink slipper.
“People might say if I am clever enough to be in the gifted group I should not need any extra help” Sprite told Paula. “And if I do put on the pink slipper they might say I am faking and just looking for attention and that I can do well enough without it.
And some of the programs I was in last year have not continued this year.”

“So I wear the Can Do sandals or the Investigative grey sneakers and just try to do my assignments perfectly without any extra help but Intellectual Dabrowski brings me SO MUCH information that I cannot deal with all of it and then P’est Pour Parfait, the Perfectionist Poodle says what I have done is not good enough. He says I should have written more and that I have made spelling mistakes.
And he says to hurry because it has to be finished and handed in at the end of the lesson but not to hurry so much that I make more mistakes. And I get so tired that I just want to stop work and go home.”

Paula identified two issues from this conversation with Sprite.
She suggested that it was time to visit Dr Ed Needs, the education consultant,
again for a review of Sprite’s progress and recommendations for further provisions.

And she asked Sprite an interesting question.
“What colour is P’est Pour Parfait, the Perfectionist Poodle?”

“He is black” Sprite told her. “His coat is always very shiny and perfectly groomed with not a hair out of place.”

The next time Paula visited was after Sprite’s appointment with Dr Ed Needs.
Sprite was convalescing at home after an operation (more about that in another post) and she was sporting a new cast. Dr Ed had organized more formal support measures for her.

“In a way it is a relief” Sprite told Paula “because now I don’t have to worry about the pink slipper. But all this testing and therapy seem to be taking so long!  How long will it be before everything is perfect?”

Sprite is very fortunate to have Paula as a mentor!
“I have found” Paula told her “that being 2E is not something that goes away or that I could outgrow. But there have been people to support me and programs to help and I have still managed to be quite successful in spite of my difficulties. I would like to share some of those things with you. One day you will be able to do the same for someone else.”
And Paula had brought a gift to cheer Sprite up. It was a white soft toy poodle wearing a purple coat and purple framed sun glasses.

poodlementorgift

“I thought it would remind you of our time we have together because of the purple coat which is like the Purple Riding Boots Mentor Program” she said.

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

“And also it will remind you about what I am going to share with you now.
Poodles can be white as well as black and, in the same way, perfectionism can be both positive and negative.
Dr. Linda Silverman says that perfectionism is the root of excellence and the driving force that propels toward the attainment of higher goals.

poodlementor06

She also discusses perfectionism in an article Perfectionism: The Crucible of Giftedness which you can find at http://nmgifted.org/GAC%20Resources/Perfectionism%20The%20Crucible%20of%20Giftedness-SILVERMAN.pdf

Perfectionism can be a negative force when it causes you to procrastinate or prevents you from participating for fear of not excelling or if it causes you to never be satisfied with any effort and never feel that you have done well enough.

Some people say that no human can ever be perfect or create anything which is perfect because this is an attribute only of the Divine. In fact artists from Eastern traditions have been known to purposely include a slight flaw in their work.

That is why White Poodle is wearing sunglasses – so that he will not dazzle himself with his own brilliance!
White Poodle is here to remind you that it is great to strive for excellence and to attain the ecstasy of being totally in the state of Flow described by Csikszentmihalyi in 1990.
But White Poodle is also cautioning you to be gentle with yourself and not let the negative aspects of perfectionism rob you of your joy.

 

poodlementor08b

This is a post for the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum May Blog hop Perfectionism and Other Gifted/2E Quirks.
To read posts from others please go to
http://giftedhomeschoolers.org/blog-hops/perfectionism-gifted2e-quirks/

bloghop180515sm

19 thoughts on “White Poodle, Black Poodle

  1. ““People might say if I am clever enough to be in the gifted group I should not need any extra help” and. “And if I do put on the pink slipper they might say I am faking and just looking for attention and that I can do well enough without it.” <—Those are both sentiments my children have heard more than once in school, and these can be so paralyzing for gifted kids! Also, I am so happy you gave a name to the situation that I have not been able to put my finger on–a state of flow. Now, I am going to go read more about it since you pointed me in the right direction! I LOVED, this post so much. So much good information!

    • Thank you Celi! I do love the concept of being in the Flow when the level of challenge is appropriate to the level of ability and you can become completely engaged with the task

  2. I love the white poodle/black poodle illustration. I’m going to share it with my daughter, and when the black poodle gets in her way, she can act out a better plan with the white poodle. Thanks, Jo. I always enjoy your posts!

  3. Love this: “Poodles can be white as well as black and, in the same way, perfectionism can be both positive and negative. Dr. Linda Silverman says that perfectionism is the root of excellence and the driving force that propels toward the attainment of higher goals.” It is wonderful that Sprite has a mentor!

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