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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk
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    Default 14yo child prodigy takes own life...

    Mom Tries to Rationalize Prodigy's Death
    Sat Mar 19, 1:45 PM ET U.S. National - AP

    By SHARON COHEN, AP National Writer

    He started reading as a toddler, played piano at age 3 and delivered a high school commencement speech in cap and gown when he was just 10 — his eyes barely visible over the podium.

    Brandenn Bremmer was a child prodigy: He composed and recorded music, won piano competitions, breezed through college courses with an off-the-charts IQ and mastered everything from archery to photography, hurtling through life precociously. Then, last Tuesday, Brandenn was found dead in his Nebraska home from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head.

    He was just 14. He left no note.

    "Sometimes we wonder if maybe the physical, earthly world didn't offer him enough challenges and he felt it was time to move on and do something great," his mother, Patricia, said from the family home in Venango, Neb., a few miles from the Colorado border.

    Brandenn showed no signs of depression, she said. He had just shown his family the art for the cover of his new CD that was about to be released.

    He was, according to his family and teachers, an extraordinary blend of fun-loving child and serious adult. He loved Harry Potter (news - web sites) and Mozart. He watched cartoons and enjoyed video games but gave classical piano concerts for hundreds of people — without a hint of stage fright.

    "He wasn't just talented, he was just a really nice young man," said David Wohl, an assistant professor at Colorado State University, where Brandenn studied music after high school. "He had an easy smile. He really was unpretentious."

    Patricia Bremmer — who writes mysteries and has long raised dogs with her husband, Martin — said they both knew their son was special from the moment he was born. The brown-haired, blue-eyed boy was reading when he was 18 months old and entering classical piano competitions by age 4.

    "He was born an adult," his mother said. "We just watched his body grow bigger."

    He scored 178 on one IQ test — a test his mother said he was too bored to finish.

    Brandenn was home schooled. By age 6, when many little boys are learning to read, he was ready to tackle high school. He enrolled in the Independent Study High School in Lincoln through the University of Nebraska, taking most of his courses by mail.

    "He was such a breath of fresh air," recalls Lisa Bourlier, associate principal at the school. "It's unusual to find a student 6 years old willing to shake hands with adults and say, 'Hi, my name is Brandenn, this is what I want to do.'"

    In a college preparatory program, Brandenn took his classes in clusters — all science at one time, all social studies at another — and "zipped through," said Bourlier.

    His mother said his mind was so facile that if a topic interested him, he could complete a semester's work in 10 days. She sometimes worried she couldn't keep pace with her son's intellect, and the family hired tutors.

    "He set the pace," she said. "We only did what he wanted. (We might say) 'Instead of taking three classes, why don't you take one?' We let him make his own choices from the time he was an infant. ... He always made good choices."

    For his senior class photo, Brandenn temporarily darkened his hair, wore a red cape and round wire-rimmed glasses and posed with a suspended broom — the spitting image of Harry Potter.

    At age 10, he became the youngest graduate of his high school and he delivered a commencement speech, saying he was so unusual he practically "qualified for the endangered species list."

    "He carried himself very well," recalled Bourlier. "He did just a very nice job for being 10. During the ceremony, he gave this excellent little speech. He was just so composed. ... Then afterward, he was running around with his nieces and nephews just a few years younger than him."

    Brandenn was taking biology at Mid-Plains Community College in North Platte, Neb., and had recently decided he wanted to become an anesthesiologist. He also studied for years at Colorado State, polishing piano skills that had won him state competitions and a table-full of trophies.

    Brandenn turned away from his classical roots and started writing his own spiritual, New Age-style music, passing on a demo of one piano piece to the musician Yanni at a Nebraska concert. He released a CD called "Elements" and gave concerts in Colorado and Nebraska. He was booked for a concert in Kansas next year.

    His music will live on — the Bremmers plan to release his second CD for fans who range from nuns to cancer patients to the owners of a New York restaurant where diners can listen to the soothing melodies of Brandenn Bremmer.

    His family, meanwhile, wonders why he is gone.

    "We're trying to rationalize now," his mother said. "He had this excessive need to help people and teach people. ... He was so connected with the spiritual world. We felt he could hear people's needs and desires and their cries. We just felt like something touched him that day and he knew he had to leave" to save others.

    And so, she said, Brandenn's kidneys were donated to two people, his liver went to a 22-month-old and his heart to an 11-year-old boy.

    Patricia Bremmer said in the days since her son's death, she and others have felt his presence. Her husband, she said, was comforted to find a message under his computer mouse pad their son had written six years ago: "I love you dad. No matter what happens, I'll always love you."

    She wished that she, too, could have that sort of solace. She started rummaging through drawers to stay busy and came across five handmade cards from Brandenn with the same loving message.

    Finding them, she said, "just made it so much easier."

  2. #2
    Good Enough SassyLassy's Avatar
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    Terrible story
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  3. #3
    Sinner's Swing!
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    Sounds like his parents enjoyed his existence considerably more than he did, which is telling.

    What was probably a "breath of fresh air" to those 2 geeks was likely a never-ending Hell for him. How selfish of them to assume that he should endure such Hell for their enjoyment. He owed them nothing. They owed him everything.

    I'm sure it was great going through highschool being 4'9" and having hairless balls and no muscles.

  4. #4
    Atomic Punk
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    sad.......

    "Sometimes we wonder if maybe the physical, earthly world didn't offer him enough challenges and he felt it was time to move on and do something great," his mother

  5. #5
    Hot sauce on everything Red's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Majestic
    How selfish of them to assume that he should endure such Hell for their enjoyment.
    How ridiculous of you to assume you know what the hell you're talking about.

  6. #6
    The Joker BradS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red
    How ridiculous of you to assume you know what the hell you're talking about.
    Ridiculous? Majestic seems to have a point to me. The boy did kill himself….not something one does when one is happy with their life.

  7. #7
    Atomic Punk WinterlessIceness's Avatar
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    Indeed, Red, parents of most prodigies try to push them into the shpere where their child is capable of, neglecting normal life ordinary kids have. With that said, prodigies almost always have a very bitter fate. Thomas Young comes to mind.

    It's very pitty for a boy

  8. #8
    Hot sauce on everything Red's Avatar
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    Did you guys read the same article I did? I think it's highly judgemental to blame his parents. Who knows why the kid took his life. The article painted a picture of a bright, happy kid that meant a lot to a lot of people, and to somehow infer that his parents are "geeks" who put their kid through hell is not only baseless, but extremely mean-spirited.

    (heavy sigh) Why do I even bother.......

  9. #9
    Atomic Punk WinterlessIceness's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red
    Did you guys read the same article I did? I think it's highly judgemental to blame his parents. Who knows why the kid took his life. The article painted a picture of a bright, happy kid that meant a lot to a lot of people, and to somehow infer that his parents are "geeks" who put their kid through hell is not only baseless, but extremely mean-spirited.

    (heavy sigh) Why do I even bother.......
    That only implies there is much more behind the article. His parents could have been extremely kind-spirited, but in such cases it can be only worse. Mozart and Paganini didn't kill themselves, and they were prodigies and were forced by parents to play music. When a prodigy is given too much freedom it results in them loosing point in life. And it's sad when they choose that way as a solution because it's so wrong!
    Last edited by Mishar McLeud; 03.20.05 at 10:22 AM.

  10. #10
    On Fire vheddyrmv8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red
    Did you guys read the same article I did? I think it's highly judgemental to blame his parents. Who knows why the kid took his life. The article painted a picture of a bright, happy kid that meant a lot to a lot of people, and to somehow infer that his parents are "geeks" who put their kid through hell is not only baseless, but extremely mean-spirited.

    (heavy sigh) Why do I even bother.......
    Great minds need to do what they want, they need to build on their own and not be forced to do things. Einstein comes to mind. He failed his classes because he didn't like what they were teaching, he wanted to do things his own way. From what the article says we made him enroll in a year of this, and he got bored taking this test, to me does signify that maybe his parents could of pushed him to a point. Or he could of just seen that it was the end, there wasn't much more he could do, he had released cds, and practically gone through a whole life in 14 years. This reminds me of when my cousin killed himself, he was an FBI agent and before that a lawyer and before that a state trooper. It's mysterious why good people do that to themselves.
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  11. #11
    Atomic Punk
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    Quote Originally Posted by Majestic
    Sounds like his parents enjoyed his existence considerably more than he did, which is telling.

    What was probably a "breath of fresh air" to those 2 geeks was likely a never-ending Hell for him. How selfish of them to assume that he should endure such Hell for their enjoyment. He owed them nothing. They owed him everything.

    I'm sure it was great going through highschool being 4'9" and having hairless balls and no muscles.
    So true.

    I don't know if the schools still test IQs but I scored a 170, my life went to hell in so many ways after that. Just because I had this IQ, which is just a score denoting aptitude and not actual intelligence, my family had high expectations and nothing less than an A was acceptable. The problem was that I got this test in 1971 and it wasn't until 1985 that I also tested high on a score for dyslexia, and by then it was too late. Math was a nightmare for me because the numbers litterally crawl on the paper. Later on I found algebra was easier because of the abstract sybols used but it was still a struggle. I was accused of being lazy, I had to be because I had this high IQ, right? The lectures I got from my mother, the groundings because my math scores were so bad, summer school while my younger brothers got to go to camp.

    Then there were the "Gifted Classes" with other "Gifted Kids", the best thing about them was that I was often with other kids who had no clue why anybody thought that they were automatic brains. In 6th Grade, while the "Normal" kids got to read the "Martian Chronicals", we had to suffer through "Don Quixote'". Have you ever tried to read Servantes? The fucking book was 50% anotation. Don't get me wrong, it's a neat story but come on! I was eleven years old for chrissakes. The second semester was spent reading the Odysey and studying the Declaration of Independance. Luckly I got put in a "Normal" math class with a quality teacher and I was able to catch up to the sixth grade level in math in about a month.

    Our "Gifted Class" ended up with six suicides before we were fifteen years old. All for the same reasons - the parents unreasonable expectations. I was tested in the fifth grade by a doctor (of education), had the school allowed it I could have gone to junior college that year and then onto Johns Hopkins. I had a sponsor and everything but the school stepped in and said no, it was a bullshit reason but in a back-handed way they saved my life. I could have been Doogie Hauser M.D. but I don't know if I would have been happy. If my mother had been rich then who knows? I do know that I was already misserable and college would have made things worse.

    We had a few of the "Gifted Kids" go onto great things. A couple of lawyers, one worked at the U.N. and a few are down in Hollywood. The rest are contractors, hospitality workers (like myself) and just good average hard working folks. On the flip side, at my class reunion we had six MD's and shitloads of lawyers who were "Normal"and the one guy who worked at NASA (then Microsoft, X-Box) was a big-time stoner in highschool.

    All I wanted to do when I was a kid was...be a kid, and more importantly - be normal. It's no fun being beat up and harrassed because you threw off the Bell Curve.

    This poor kid, my guess is that his parents never actually knew him. He was their science experament, not their son.
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  12. #12
    Atomic Punk WinterlessIceness's Avatar
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    Great post Ax. I've been also studying in one class with one girl, and one guy, who were 4 years younger then all of us there, enrolled in a higher grade because of parent's request, and it was really pitty to watch them, since they couldn't make any friends.

    BTW, with your IQ... Have you already tracked the guy who've messed with your truck ?

  13. #13
    Hot For Teacher Fan4Life's Avatar
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    Wow, that's terrible.

  14. #14
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    You know, the more and more I think about this thread the more I get pissed off. Whether the parents treated him wrong or not….some parents do. What really ticks me off as well are the parents who push their children in the realm of sports. I mean the way parents act at these games are just idiotic and embarrassing. They treat the children in the same way “smart” kids are treated. It really is sad.

    When I have children someday, if they want to play sports or advance quickly due to their intelligence, then I will let them do that. I will also tell them to have fun with it, and when it stops being fun and starts becoming work—quit. I won’t make them feel like they have to do it. It should be their choice.

    Taking things that seriously is a sure path to disaster. Life is too short.

  15. #15
    On Fire vheddyrmv8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BradS
    You know, the more and more I think about this thread the more I get pissed off. Whether the parents treated him wrong or not….some parents do. What really ticks me off as well are the parents who push their children in the realm of sports. I mean the way parents act at these games are just idiotic and embarrassing. They treat the children in the same way “smart” kids are treated. It really is sad.

    When I have children someday, if they want to play sports or advance quickly due to their intelligence, then I will let them do that. I will also tell them to have fun with it, and when it stops being fun and starts becoming work—quit. I won’t make them feel like they have to do it. It should be their choice.

    Taking things that seriously is a sure path to disaster. Life is too short.
    That's true about the sports, they all cheer like it's a fricking NFL game. They sit and talk about the school sports when some of them look like they havent walked a block in 15 years. I have friends who can't even get a job cause their parents force them to do sports. Then they complain when they ask for money. That pisses me off. Let the kids do what they want, let them develop into what they want to, don't shape them into what you want them to be. Parents are just there to guide, not control.
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