Then my grade four teacher told me i was struggling because i was too young. She knew i was moving school, so she said I should repeat grade four.
So i did, and from there on in, I excelled. Things came fairly easily to me, suddenly i was doing well in pop quizes, and started to be known as one of the 'smart' kids. As someone who had come from a school where i was known as the token class clown, who was a little slow, this was profoundly strange. My class clown act remained, but stopped being the thing i fell back on, cos i was engaging much more seriously with the work.
Come university time, this status quo remained. Until this year. Now I'm surrounded by geniuses, who are already tentatively exploring publishing options for some of their papers, and being invited to philosophy conferences with the professors and post-grads.
And me? Well, suddenly, I'm cracking more jokes in class. I have a whole routine about dinosaurs that gets the logic class laughing. When i don't entirely understand a concept, or I'm intimidated by someone's intelligence, i crack a philosophy joke.
Suddenly, I feel like I'm in grade three again and people appreciate me for the laughs i bring, rather than what i have to bring to the table intellectually.
This isn't a bad thing necessarily, but it's certainly a change, and something i haven't experienced since 1998.
If anything, it just confirms something i have long suspected: I make a better comedian than i do philosopher.