I remember as a kid being different in any way could be very traumatizing. For me, it was pale skin, big glasses, (in the early years), being chubby, (for a couple of years), not having a father, and awkward displays of intelligence. (Even post glasses.) In elementary school, it's not such a big deal. When I reached around fifth grade, I moved away from my friends, and was trying to make new friends in the new school.
My best topics were math and creative writing. I remember writing some essay for DARE. Innocent small town girl, I had very little knowledge and no experience of drugs. I wrote the essay quickly at the last minute one night, trying to imagine whatever I was writing about to be true. (A completely fiction story.) I turned in the essay, and they were judged, (it was a contest.) I was sick that day, but apparently I had won. Got to school and all the kids told me the news. The teacher came up to me and had this intense stare in her eyes and asked bluntly where this came from, and what experience was I drawing from. (She probably thought I had an awful home life.) I said, (smiling from ear to ear),"None! I just imagined the scenario and the words came on their own!" She asked me to read at some big state wide conference, (I turned it down, I didn't want to read in front of people.) The next minute I remember my best friend getting really mad and crying and didn't talk to me for three days.
My teachers used to make these really huge spectacles of all my writing in class, invariably reading every story I made to the whole class. Sometimes they tried to be anonymous, but I started to get these awful glares from fellow classmates. I was so proud of my work, but I didn't like the negative attention at all. (On top of this, I had somehow figured out the last name vs. schedule system in my school and if someone could tell me their last name I could tell them what class they were going to. All fun and games until kids start snickering behind my back and "accidentally" dropping books on my head.)
Finally after one too many people asked me if I had been reading a dictionary lately, (apparently big words are weird), I just thought it was easier to act normal and make light of the more average side of my personality.
(Bolding the next part for those who wanted to skip to the point. )
Based on a lot of stuff I've read on this site, I'm guessing a lot of people can relate. Did you find that you were forced to stifle certain things about yourself to get by in school? I think that this kind of mindset rings true in adulthood (to a lesser extent) as well. A lot of people are outstanding in some way- why can't outstanding be the norm?