funny-pictures-cat-has-obvious-hatIf you’ve seen the word “gunner” in law school-related forums, you’ve probably interpreted the word to mean something bad. I mean, you can basically replace it with the word “leper” without changing the intent of the sentence too drastically.

Just how bad is a gunner? Here’s an Urban Dictionary definition:

A person who is competitive,overly-ambitious and substantially exceeds minimum requirements. A gunner will compromise his/her peer relationships and/or reputation among peers in order to obtain recognition and praise from his/her superiors.

Oh my word. Kill it. With fire. Seriously though: What does the world have against the high-performing student? I say this based purely on anecdotal evidence, but it seems that, in a scholastic setting, achieving academic prowess is seen to be at odds with ascending the popularity ladder.

Researchers in the UK, who studied children ages 12 to 13, have now discovered how to be good at both. And how is that accomplished? The researchers concluded that you can avoid being called a “nerd” (or, in the case of law school, a gunner) by … wait for it … being thought of as good looking and fashionable by your classmates. Like, ZOMFG! Obvious researcher is obvious.

Telegraph education correspondent Julie Henry writes:

“A number of the pupils interviewed were aware of the tensions inherent in being clever and popular. Some mentioned being chided jokingly for being ‘boffs’ by friends.

There was evidence that some of the pupils were carefully negotiating the “balance”. One middle-class boy said: ‘Well, you try to make yourself be funny as well as do the right answers.’ “

Read the full article here. (via Neatorama)

Photo: I Can Has Cheezburger

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One Response to You can be smart and social in school. Just be pretty, researchers say

  1. Jansen says:

    It has nothing to do with academic prowess. A gunner is the person who lacks social skills. There’s no academic skill implied.

    Generally the smartest person in the class is not the one whose hand shoots up when someone else is called on.

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