The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, December 14, 1984, Page Page 8, Image 8

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    Friday, December 14, 1984
Daily N-braskan
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1300 P St
Douglas Theatre Bldg.
Lincoln, Nebraska 68503
Limousines of nebraslca
323 "A" STREET. LINCOLN. NE 3310
474-1 eso
Divld CrtsitrOsSfy Nebrsskan
Kerr uses a viewing room to wstch students C3 they counsel pstisrita.
UNL center counsels gifted adults
living in 'anti-intellectual' atmosphere
By Colleen Kenney
A well-known, creative artist
had a problem something equal
to a writer's block. He needed to
consistently produce material,
but found that drawing from the
back seat of his car, making house
payments for an ex-wife and two
girlfriends and living a "Bohem
ian" lifestyle interferred with his
He came to the nation's only
counseling center for talented
adults, here at UNL in Bancroft
Barbara Kerr, the director of
the Guidance Laboratory for the
Gifted and Talented, showed him
how his life had too many "crazy
relationships," which caused a
creatively destructive environ
ment "I helped him to change his
lifestyle to have more stability,"
Kerr said.
Kerr started the center in 1982
and counsels about 50 gifted
people a year. She and five assist
ants deal with problems not usu
ally thought to be associated with
the gifted: Depression, anger, low
self-esteem and underachieve
ment. "Traditionally most psycholo
gists and counselors thought that
the gifted had everything going
for them. They just were not in
terested," Kerr said.
Sometimes gifted people think
they need to live stereotypical
roles, as the artist did, she said.
But most often they will suppress
their abilities so they don't fit into
the intellectual's "social worm"
"How many people do you know
that brag about having a 4.0 (GPA)
or a high I.Q.?" Kerr said. "Our
society is so anti-intellectual that
nobody who comes here will
even admit to being gifted."
If you've em wsr.sad
nht st die controls of 1 piece
of madtmery tha can howw
over 1 i?ime, rise Hnrghc
up, do fentatnc shifts "th
per tad air md pitch and
aerodynamics, you belong
Ae axwrcb of an Arraj
The Army ha opening!
in warrant kMKtr
Ttainint nrotnm Tn
tgussfy. you must tm a
hh school dioroa. and we
prefer at least 2 yean of
Prior to entering heli
copter tntnmg, you
must succetafuDy complete
basic training and pre -flight
When you've corn plead
the course wccetsfuHy,
you 11 be wearing the wings
of an Army Warrant Ocer.
For more information,
call the Army Recruiter
near you.
In Lincoln Call
A close friend or superior usu
ally points out to the gifted what
they probably already realized
that their unique abilities have
caused unique problems. This
word of mouth reference brings
them to UNL's center.
An artist has a block. A tal
ented writer can't make a living
freelancing. A classical musician
is "married" to his instrument.
These problems are individu
ally rooted, Kerr said. Her coun
seling sessions consist mostly of
talking and listening.
"We dont offer a package deal,"
she said. "It's whatever works."
For the blocked writer, she
might suggest an abstinance from
writing. She might help a musi
cian to understand that "Mozart
is perfect, but relationships are
not," Kerr said.
Unemployment is a main prob
lem root, Kerr said. ,
"We're living in a generation
where there's too many bright
young adults and, not enough
leadership positions" Kerr said.
"We redefine their lifestyles and
rechannel their energies in such
a way that they learn to distin
guish between a job and a voca
tion," she said.
"We get them past the feeling
that there's always a dollar value
that you can put to a talent or
gift," she said. "People can takp
away a job but no one can take
away a vocation."
Kerr is the author of "Smart
Girls," a book that will be released
in March. The book focuses on
the problems faced by gifted
Kerr says many women have
"camouflaged" their abilities to
meet society's standards.
"It's not too smart to be a smart
woman," she said.
Other women fear success, but
most become aware when it is
"too late" that they have cheated
themselves, Kerr said. Because
the gifted people in general are
well-adjusted, many gifted women
have compromised their talents
to fit society's expectations, Kerr
"For these women, under
achievement is the norm, not the
exception," she said.
Kerr says that since she started
researching her book five years
ago many more giited women are
entering the professions.
"More and more bright women
are realizing that marriage and a
career are not mutually exclu
sive," she said.
The Bancroft Hall center also
counsels gifted children and ado
lescents. Every Friday about 10
high school juniors from Nebraska
come to the center for special
career counseling.
"The gifted children of today
will become the leaders of tomor
row. But without adequate gui
dance it's not going to happen,"
Kerr said.
She devotes a large amount of
her free time to the center. It is
the first and only of its kinds for
talented adults. "There's an excite
ment in charting the unknown
and an excitement in helping the
very creative to be productive
and happy" Kerr said.
Kerr said she is considering
writing another book on talented
adults a year from now.
Non-traditional student. . .
Ccr&iiised from Page 0
still enjoys politics and keeps her
eye on the Legislature. She said
she did not run again for a Neb
raska legislative seat because she
is Rearing her graduation goaL
Her organ teacher, Quentin
Faulkner, associate professor of
music, also is Crosby's church
choir director. Crosby plays the
organ once a month at the church
Cathedral of the Risen Christ '
"I'm not a virtuoso but I'm ade
quate," Crosby said.
Robert Sittig, professor of polit
ical science, said Crosby really
adds to his American Presidency
427 class.
"Because of her experience, she
can clarify and add to what the
rest of us have to gleam from pub
lic sources," Sittig said.
Crosby said some of her friends
have a hard time realising the
commitment she has to make in
being a college student. She said
eventually people understand,
especially her close friends.
"I won't skip a class to go to a
meeting," Crosby said.