Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Your Intelligence Makeover by Edward F. Droge, Jr.

Droge, Edward F., Jr. Your Intelligence Makeover: An Easy Way to Learn All You Need to Know. New York: Free Press, 2005.

Your Intelligence Makeover is part essay on intelligence and learning, part instruction on learning techniques and part reference manual on a multitude of subjects. If you want to perform better in school, kick start new learning or plan to follow you intellectual dreams, Droge’s book is a good place to start.

Droge begins by discussing intelligence, particularly that there are many types of intelligence and the reader is likely to have a strength and at least one of them. Any of these intelligences can support the pursuit of your intellectual dreams to learn, study, grow, get a degree, write a book or any other intellectual pursuit. In the course of explaining this, Droge shares his own interesting personal story.

The pursuit of intellectual dreams is also supported by what Droge calls “super tools.” These are speed-reading, speaking and writing techniques and memorization techniques. He lays out a three-week program for learning these technique that will aid learning.

He also lays out a method for planning to achieve your intellectual dreams. This carries the reader from laying out their big picture goals down to the daily activities they’ll need to undertake to achieve them.

In the last section of the book, Droge introduces 13 areas of knowledge including history, literature, math, science, art and even sports. These chapters include many references, many suitable for an introduction or summary and some more specific, covering the subjects both in print and online.

Throughout the book are a series of quizzes. These quizzes allow the reader to evaluate their familiarity with 15 areas of knowledge. Using the results, a reader can quickly refer to appropriate chapters of the book to find a quick introduction to the subject and a host of resources including books, articles and web sites.

I found the quizzes tended to confirm may interests. I knew quite a bit about math, science and nature, as one might expect of an environmental engineer. I also did well in history and religion, which are subjects I find interesting. I didn’t do so well in music and psychology, but I don’t think they have a big enough place in my intellectual dreams to invest the effort into learning more except to support some other interest. I knew very few answers to the sports questions, but I care so little I didn’t even read the chapter on sports.

If you want to be well rounded, Droge’s book can help you get started. If you don’t care to be well rounded, but would rather delve into your interests, it can help you find many additional resources.