Advantages of Curiosity

Last week or maybe a few weeks ago, my mom had the Roomba going. You know, the robot vacuum. All the dogs are scared of the Roomba, but it’s funny to watch Molly. She’s immensely curious about it. Sometimes, though, this stupid vacuum gets stuck under things like my mom’s bed, and I have to pull it out. I sat on the floor afterwards, still talking to mom about something, and suddenly the Roomba makes a musical noise and starts. Molly is standing near the Roomba and I laughed. I knew exactly why the Roomba suddenly turned on.

My mom asked what happened. I said, “Molly turned on the Roomba! She was sniffing the button and pressed it with her nose.” Molly had been trying to figure out what exactly the Roomba was, not that this is her first time around it since we’ve had it since Christmas. Molly will go up behind the Roomba to sniff it and run if it suddenly turns around. She’s so scared, and yet so immensely curious.

I feel like Molly most days. I am scared, and also immensely curious that I go and “sniff” things, only to run if it “turns around.” A better way to put it is, I’ll try anything, but I will abandon it if I can’t figure it out. Yet, I don’t feel like I’ve experienced a lot of different things, but I feel like I have done a lot. Just in school alone, I’ve taken so many different classes that are vastly different for so many reasons. I completed all of the ASL courses, and I still practice when I can. I am currently taking a Japanese course, and I plan to continue it going into university. I’ve also decided to mix computer programming with language, called computational linguistics. Two vastly different concepts, and yet they mix pretty well so far. I’ve also taken creative writing classes, just for fun. A lot of things I’ve done has been in the classroom even though I’m not a fan of school.

A “symptom” (which has a negative connotation thus the quotations around it, I like to think of it as more of a superpower) of Aspergers or Autism is that we will be experts in everything we love or are curious about. I am still teaching myself how to paint even though my drawing skills aren’t that great. Why? I love to look at paintings anyway, so why wouldn’t I want to try? I still prefer soft pastels as my medium of choice, but I love to learn watercolors and acrylics. Language too. I taught myself as much Japanese as I could before I finally signed up for conversational Japanese. That’s why I took ASL as well, I was curious about the language and about Deaf culture, that and I needed a world culture credit, or whatever its called. When speech credits could only be fulfilled with speech and debate classes, I won every debate even though I always chose the tougher arguments.

An example of this is one day the topic of my groups’ choice was if marijuana should be legalized. It was a very vague statement for the time, I know now. And thanks to California legalizing the medical version, there was all sorts of peer reviewed articles about the safety of medical marijuana. I chose to be on the side that said marijuana should be banned as a whole, and I was having a hard time with it. So, I just researched everything from the medical side, to the side effects, to the supposed horror stories, to the shady business practices that California was quickly trying to rectify. I convinced an entire class, using all of the logical fallacies I learned the previous year, that medical marijuana was bad. Afterward I remember saying to everyone, “I researched both sides and changed my own mind about it. I shouldn’t have won this debate. I don’t know how I won this debate.” To this day, I am still mystified that I won the debate, however, this goes to show that if we become passionate about something, we will do our research and argue for or against it.

My family also has a…I guess it’s a joke, I don’t find it very funny but for some reason everyone else laughs about it…honestly, I don’t get it. Anyway, my family has a…an inside “joke” that has something to do with google. I think it has something to do with me not-so-secretly double checking what everyone is saying to be factual. Again, I don’t think it’s very funny…jokes are supposed to be funny. Sometimes I take it as them making fun of me. Other times I take it as a compliment but depends on the context. I think of myself as a walking encyclopedia. I have so much knowledge that won’t make your life better, I just have it handy for conversation, really.

“When you’re curious, you find lots of interesting things to do.” -Walt Disney

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