Posted by Alice on September 23, 2011 at 3:12 pm
(Makes you cringe a little inside isn’t it? )
Watch out section kids, here’s a real genius coming your way. And he doesn’t even have to try that hard. Second on our Fresh Five edition is…
2. That Spelling Bee Guy On CNN
No less, Evan O’Dorney has graced Harvard compound for the past one month as a member of class 2015. At the age of fourteen, he had memorized the whole English dictionary (ergo the spelling prowess), taken college-level math courses at the UC Berkeley, and survived a lifetime of home schooling. Last March, O’Dorney once again flexed his mighty brainpower by clinching the prestigious Intel Science Talent Search award, pocketing a cash prize of $100 000.
Looking a lot more composed and appealing than his fourteen-year-old self, O’Dorney eagerly answered every question and kindly corrected every mispronunciation I made.
It’s home-school-ed. Your -ed wasn’t audible. It’s been great. I make new friends and get involved in new activities. I’m enjoying my time here. For example last saturday I went for Glee Club retreat and we sang and played games the whole day. On Sunday we performed at a Unitarian Church, even though I’m a Catholic. So it’s a new experience.
Do you feel that being home-school-ed has disadvantaged you when it comes to making social interactions? What do you make out of the social scene in Harvard?
I don’t know whether it’s due to being home-schooled or my personality, but I prefer to spend my time alone and I feel awkward when I have to strike a conversation with someone new. I’m busy with my studies and personal projects, so I don’t have much time for socializing. That being said, I’m consciously trying to improve and everybody here is really nice and friendly.
Is it because you find most students here don’t operate on the same wavelength as you do? Do you find everyday conversation boring?
Sometimes yes. But sometimes it’s pleasant to meet and interact with new people in Annenberg.
So certainly no college parties on your agenda?
How do you find the lectures? Are they challenging enough for you?
They are wonderful. My mom home-schooled me because I learned much faster than most students my age, and I got bored quickly in normal schools. However in Harvard, you meet so many people with varying level of intelligence. For the first time I feel like I belong to a community. I’m taking Math 114 and Math 213 this semester, and a lot of my class mates are grad students. Currently I’m working on a personal project on linear algebra equations. I also play the piano. I’m taking Music 150.
Any last word for your batch mates?
Yes, I’m sorry if I don’t remember your names when you know mine. The thing is, everybody seems to know who I am but I can’t remember everyone I met casually in Annenberg.