Beyond IQ

Gifted Conference Planners presents

Beyond IQ Boston 2017

Young Adult Program

April 29 & 30, 2017


The Young Adult program seeks to address the needs of our teens by creating a safe and fun space and facilitating discussions on the following topics:

Identity management and understanding others
"Who am I?  Who do I want to be?" providing a broader range of factors to include in our search to identify who we are and guide us in shaping our future selves.  As part of identifying ourselves we learn of the many varieties of people and can try to use the process to describe those close to us and predict areas of agreement or confusion.

Developmental friendship patterns and dating
Understanding the kinds of friendship, the order in which these skills are developed in childhood, and the confusion caused by the fact that friendship seems to be strongly linked to mental age not physical. Often YA have experienced severe friendship trauma when the kind of friendship they were practicing was not the same as their agemates.  
A particular sort of friendship with some fascinating biological and social factors influencing it. Some of these factors and how they contribute to dating confusion will be described. We will also discuss dating and mating safety issues. Not a "sex ed" course on the biology but instead on the psychology and sociology. [though websites will be provided for the biology information]

Gifted/Intelligence: the basics and 
the implications

What does "“gifted"” mean? What are IQ's and IQ tests? What do we mean by Highly Gifted or Profoundly Gifted? - American social structure doesn't currently have a healthy functioning system for the gifted, especially for supporting and meeting the needs of gifted children. We will discuss the consequences of this and what we can do to find a satisfying place in our society.

Beyond IQ 2017 - Young Adult Program - Schedule


09:00-10:00 – Story Time! SF/F Books with Gifted, Queer, and Progressive Themes - Shannon Reilley

10:15-11:30 - What Is Self-Care and Why Should You Care? - Ray Lardie

11:45-01:00 - Lunch - YA Room Closed

01:15-02:15 - Lies, Damned Lies, and Social Norms.  Panel: Andy, Jade, Ray, Shannon

02:30-03:30 - Skills: How Well Do You Know What You Know? - Anna Caveney

04:00-05:00 - Room Is Open for Hanging Out. - Andy and Jade Piltser Cowan

 07:45-11:00 - Ice Cream Social (in one of the main areas)


09:00-10:00 - What Underachievement Isn’t (or other topics) - Josh Shaine

10:15-11:30 - Making Friends: Practical Tips - Shannon Reilley

11:45-01:00 - Lunch - YA Room Closed

01:15-02:15 - How to Stay Sane(r) on Social Media - Andy Piltser Cowan

02:45-03:45 - Live-Action Fandom: The Whys and Hows of Cosplay, LARPing, and the SCA – Kay and Ray

If you need to get in touch or ask a question please text:

Jade 413-422-0789 and/or Andy 917-324-4789

(text, including during sessions if you have a question)

We understand that people’s needs vary, both in terms of ability to sit still and external plans.  Therefore, we hope you will not stress out over your (or anyone else’s) need to get up and go or to come back.  Everyone is always encouraged to multitask, draw, fidget, knit, etc.

Beyond IQ 2017 - Young Adult Program - Descriptions


9:00-10:00 A.M. - Story Time! F/SF Books with Gifted, Queer, and Progressive Themes - Shannon Reilley

Come one, come all, let's talk about stories!  Or hang out in a room with a book list and audiobook recommendations. Or listen to Shannon read sections from books. This panel is aimed at helping you find some great stories—some new, some old—that are mostly sci-fi/fantasy and address being queer, gifted, and/or cover progressive themes.  If you've read something great recently, please tell us!  If not, come find something new to read.

10:15-11:30 - What Is Self-Care and Why Should You Care? - Ray Lardie

The term "self-care" is entering common usage, especially on the internet. What does it mean? Why should you care? What does self-care look like and how does one practice it?

11:45-01:00 - Lunch - YA Room Closed

01:15-02:15 - Lies, Damn Lies, and Social Norms - Andy, Jade, Ray, Shannon

All of us were raised with certain ideas about the "right" way to do school, work, relationships, and other aspects of our personal life.  Many of these ideas are based on the false proposition that there is only one right way to live one's life, and that dire consequences will follow from the slightest deviation.  These narratives can be quite harmful, but how is a young person to sort out the good advice from the baloney?  This will be a roundtable discussion of some norms that we have encountered in our own lives (and yours).

02:30-03:30 - Skills: How Well Do You Know What You Know? - Anna Caveney

Skill acquisition as a process begins with wanting/needing a skill and ends with dismissing the challenge of a skill as it has become trivial.  When you can pretend sufficient mastery to pass a test or complete an assignment by temporarily loading the information in your short term memory, you can spend many years thinking you “know” something when you don't.  Further skills require building on these working-memory-draining pseudo-skills.  This skill-building can work until you are tired or run out of working memory.  The experience of discovering that you don't actually know what you thought you knew can be quite shocking and contributes substantially to impostor syndrome.

04:00-05:00 - Room Is Open for Hanging Out - Andy and Jade Piltser Cowan

07:45 - Ice Cream Social (in one of the main areas)

Beyond IQ 2017 - Young Adult Program - Descriptions


09:00-10:00 - What Underachievement Isn’t, or Other Topics - Josh Shaine

A lot of people have been labeled "underachievers," but what exactly does that mean?  Mostly, we like to think that we know what it means, but we actually don't have a formal definition that means much of anything.  In our discussion, we will attempt to address what underachievement is, what it isn't, and why I almost always refer to it with quotation marks around it.

10:15-11:30 - Making Friends: Practical Tips - Shannon Reilley

Making friends can be difficult, but there are a handful of tips that can help.  This class is focused more on "where do I look"-type questions rather than the nitty-gritty of maintaining a friendship, but will also include a few pointers in that direction.  If you're feeling adrift and looking for clues on where to find your tribe, or if you're heading toward a change in school/hometown/social group and want to be prepared, this is a great discussion for you.

11:45-01:00 - Lunch - YA Room Closed

01:15-02:15 - How to Stay Sane(r) on Social Media - Andy Piltser Cowan

Snopes has been calling BS on fake internet memes since the 1990s, but the BS reached an all-time high in late 2016, when it was first cited as having successfully influenced a political event.  Andy will talk about how to become a more skeptical consumer of news and memes without spending your entire life face-first down a research hole.

02:45-03:45 - Live-Action Fandom: The Whys and Hows of Cosplay, LARPing, and the SCA - Kay L., Ray Lardie

Heard of cosplay, LARP, or the SCA? Curious about what these things entail, what you can do with them, or how to get started? Come chat with us about it!

Beyond IQ 2017 - Young Adult Program - Presenter Bios

Anna Caveney is the former BIQYA Coordinator and former Director of the MIT ESP summer program for gifted high schoolers. Anna viewed parenting from the outside before jumping in with a teenager.  Since then, she has embarked on a lifelong study of parenting from the beginning of the process with the assistance of her 4-year-old daughter. Anna and her family have recently returned from 5 years in England.

Kay L. likes to tell people she minored in cosplay in college, which is a bit of an exaggeration. She did study biochemistry and English, and currently works as a lab technician in Boston. When not doing bench work, she likes to craft things, read, or poke at her family tree for interesting stories

Ray Lardie, to shamelessly steal a bio line from a LARP writer, consumes oxygen and is generally not on fire. Their* current hobby cycle is set to figure skating, cosplay, SCA, and writing, and their big projects right now are completing an herbal apprenticeship and blogging regularly. *Ray's pronouns are they/them or he/him

Andy Piltser Cowan grew up as a university brat in Ames, Iowa, where his K12 student evaluations told him time after time that he was "not living up to perceived ability."  After dragging himself kicking and screaming through an undergrad degree in physics and astronomy, Andy started law school with the motto, "I have three years to get my executive function sorted out before shit gets real." Twelve years later, he is pleasantly surprised that it mostly worked.  He is also less-pleasantly surprised that nobody thinks of him as a "young" adult anymore, although being an "adult" has other perks.  

Jade Piltser Cowan immigrated to the US at age 9 and started learning English for real when she was about 14.  After a tumultuous high school experience that did not involve "graduating" in the traditional sense, Jade earned an undergraduate degree in Computer Science.  After leaving the tech industry in 2012, Jade started coaching and now focuses on wellness support for entrepreneurs and gifted YA's with chronic challenges.  Jade is also the business architect for the law firm that she and Andy have been building since 2013, where she focuses on high-level strategy and wrangling gifted kittens (AKA the HR department).  

Shannon Reilley stumbled through her K12 years and college before running off to work on big sailboats for a few years.  She now works with 15 to 22-year-old foster youth, helping ease their transition into adulthood.  Outside of work, she loves reading, singing, fiber arts, archery, sailing, historical reenactment/costuming, and photography.  This will be her fourth BIQ, and third as part of the YA program.

Josh Shaine is a migrant teacher, working for homeschool families, public and private schools, and whatever else comes down the pike. He works predominantly with gifted children, with a focus on underachievers and HG/PG issues. He is also slowly researching non-linear thinking styles.

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