This week I met someone who made me feel intellectually inept; his name is Eduardo Olivares. Eduardo is a sophomore mathematics major from Cabrillo High School in Long Beach. Unlike the past few weeks, he was the one to come up and talk to me instead of the other way around. Before I even looked all the way up, I noticed an extravagant book in his hand, the kind with the gold lining and intricate cover patterns, already indicating that he was an intellectual. This kind of intimidated me at first as I thought I’d have to step up my social skills in order to have a decent conversation with this guy. However, when I saw his face, he looked surprisingly friendly. Thankfully his personality was the same.
It turns out I guessed right when I thought he was an intellectual. His interests include math (obviously), reading, playing the violin, and just learning things in general. What was interesting was that Eduardo said he wasn’t always like this. In fact, he didn’t even like math until the latter half of his high school career. It was the study of calculus that made him want to study math in college. I for one have an extreme dislike towards math; just the thought of it gives me bad memories. So the fact that he wants to make it his career amazes me.
What I learned from him is that it’s never too late to become “smart.” There are a lot of things in today’s society that make it sound like getting older is the end of learning new things. For example, a common one is the “scientifically proven” fact that it’s extremely difficult to learn a new language once you pass a certain age. So difficult that it sounds practically impossible. To me this is wrong, yes it may be difficult, but not impossible.