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Advanced Reading and Vocabulary: 5 Child Prodigies

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As I get older, I become more and more depressed with the minute amount I have achieved in my life, particularly when compared to people such as these.

This is an article about 5 child prodigies, but there are some words missing.

I have supplied the words and their meanings.

All you have to do is put them in the correct gaps.

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Lesson by Caroline Devane

Key Words

Drain - a gradual depletion of energy or resources.
Slob - an unattractive, lazy person .
Fate - inevitable events occurring.
Techniques - practical methods or skills applied to a task.
Accomplishments- something completed successfully, an achievement.
Lecture - a speech that is open to the public or in a university.
Excel - to do very well at something.
Ironic - a situation which is different from the expected.


Child Prodigies

Ah, childhood. It's a magical time when you're still allowed to be a non-productive _1_ on society and not feel guilty about it. But while most of us spent our childhoods staring at cartoons over bowls of sugary breakfast cereal, some kids were more focused on things like composing symphonies, performing surgery or getting nominated for the Nobel Prize.

Here are some child prodigies who, to put it mildly, make us look worthless.

Akrit Jaswal, Child Surgeon:

This kid, India's youngest ever university student and physician, makes Doogie Howser look like an unmotivated _2_ "Oh that's cute," you say. "They're letting him play doctor." Play nothing, this kid was performing operations when he was seven. He also has quite the pint-sized ego on him.

"People saw my potential and wanted to help me _3_ in life," Akrit has said. "I think they're of above average intelligence, but not as clever as me." Doesn't it just make you want to smack the little scamp?

Although if Akrit's current work on a cure for cancer turns out to be successful he can spend all day shouting about how smart he is into a golden megaphone for all we care. That said, Akrit has also claimed he's going to make a dinosaur, so we'll believe he has the cure for cancer when he rides down the street with it on a stegosaurus.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart:

Some of you may have heard of this guy. Mozart is not only one of the greatest composers of all time, but probably history's most recognized child prodigy. There's not an elementary school music room that doesn't have a poster of Mozart up listing his early _4_ in order to shame the kids into playing "Hot Cross Buns" on their recorders instead of using them as lightsabers or spitball cannons.

Mozart learned to play the piano at the age of four, composed his first pieces at five and at eight, an age when most us probably couldn't even name half a dozen musical instruments if asked, Mozart wrote his first symphony. Young Mozart was quite the little celebrity, but sadly the _5_ of child stars was about the same then as it is now as his tumultuous life would end up lasting a mere 35 years.

William James Sidis:

Some consider William James Sidis the smartest man who ever lived, with an estimated IQ of 250 to 300. For the sake of comparison, you only have to have an IQ of 136 to be a mere run of the mill genius, and your average person is somewhere in the 85 to 115 range. Surprisingly pictures of Sidis reveal that his head was only marginally bigger than average and not a throbbing translucent beach ball-sized dome. Word is he wasn't even capable of shooting psychic death rays.

Sidis could read at 18 months, had written four books and was fluent in eight languages at age seven, gave a _6_ at Harvard at nine and entered Harvard at 11.

Okita Soji:

Okita Soji, who lived in mid-1800s Japan, is a bit different than the rest of the names found in this article. While the other people listed here were remarkable because of their mental abilities, Okita Soji was a prodigy at kicking ass. When most of us were still struggling with cutting our own meat, Okita began learning advanced sword fighting _7_ at age 9 and at the age of 12 he defeated a master swordsman in combat (legend has it he underestimated his young opponent, spending most of the battle pretending to steal Okita's nose).

Okita would officially become a master himself at age 18 and then become a founding member of the Shinsengumi, a legendary police force featured in TV, movies, comic books and video games in Japan to this day. While most of the guys on this list will make you feel stupid, Okita Soji isn't content unless he makes you feel like less of a man.

Pablo Picasso:

The popular image of Picasso (who's full name was, seriously, Pablo Diego Jose Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno Maria de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santisima Trinidad Martyr Patricio Clito Ruiz y Picasso) is of the artist in his later years when Picasso was a lovable mistress-hopping misogynist who created art so filthy it would make a construction worker blush. Well, assuming you could make out what was going on.

Picasso made art for most of his 91-year lifespan, and he got an early start. His artistic endeavors had to be briefly delayed until he learned to talk, but once that little hassle was out of the way he immediately insisted his father hand over his brushes and teach him to paint, and nobody says no to Picasso.

Before the age of 12, Picasso had a total grasp of the fundamentals of art and was producing photo-realistic anatomical sketches, and in his teens he was already considered to be a mature artist who was producing significant works. In an _8_ twist considering his amazing abilities as a youngster, as an old man Picasso largely took to drawing child-like pictures, often in crayon. But hey, he was Picasso, he could have taken to finger-painting in pudding and the pictures would still be selling for millions today.

To read the full article go to - http://www.cracked.com/article_16266_8-child-prodigies-so-amazing-theyll-ruin-your-day_p2.html

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