Sarah and I have been continuing the #reverb challenge into 2016 with monthly prompts, and two of the previous founders of this great project, Meredith and Kat are rejoining us! You can join in anytime by signing up here. There is no obligation to write every month or even post what you write, signing up is just about receiving a prompt and using it as you wish. Use the #reverb16 hashtag when posting on social media so we can find you!
Back To School | Back when you were in grade school, what were your favorite and least favorite subjects and why? Did you become what you dreamed you would be when you grew up? Or did your interests completely change?
If I were to tell you just one thing about my childhood that would clue you in to my entire personality, development of my future self, and my personal desires (which have not significantly changed at all since I was young), it would be that I asked Santa Claus every year to bring me logic puzzles and IQ testing books. I basically asked for math homework for Christmas. I also asked for Legos and TinkerToys and K'Nex, but the straight up pencil-to-paper IQ tests are the most telling.
I actually still love that stuff to this day. I am a bonafide nerd. But I wore it well, because I also played the violin in the school orchestra, swam year-round on swim teams, and loved to dabble in very questionable fashion and makeup experiments. My left and right brain activity are nearly equal, but the left always wins out when they're in direct competition.
So what subjects... naturally Math and Science. Is it because I'm half Chinese and the Asian in me has the Mathlete Gene? Who knows. The reason I think I always loved math and science is because the outcomes to all questions about it are always either Right or Wrong. The answers are never subjective or left up to interpretation. Until you get to proofs and math theory in college... that's a whole different story!
I've talked a lot about my hangups with the concept that people are different and think differently. It perplexes me. Math simplifies everything. Because two people can think very differently about how to add two numbers together, but at the end of the day, One Plus One Always Equals Two. And I don't care how you got there, I only care that our answer is the same.
Or, put another, less appealing way... I like for my correctness to be validated.
The blunt honesty of that assertion is hilarious to me, btw.
There is just something very comforting to me in knowing that what I think is true, and it is a consensus of many, not just in my own head. I'm absolutely fine being corrected, also. But with facts, not opinions.
So the interpretation of poetry in English Lit? I have no interest in. It brings me no closure to derive an answer that I think is true, only to receive hundreds of other potential interpretations, none of which are either right or wrong. I feel absolutely lost in the process of that. And, I always resented being graded on how closely my teachers agreed with whatever interpretation I gave them, resulting in a debate about why I think what I do. No matter how clearly I stated my position and reasoning, it was a loosing battle for me.
Today, I price out billions of dollars of contracts every year in complex analytical models. I like the accuracy of it. The right or wrongness of it. The closure of submittal and the competition of award. But, I also manage a team of analysts. And they all think differently. I have to get them to the correct outcome, but I do my best to listen to their approach, allow them to follow their own logical path, and learn a new way whenever I can. It's the best of both worlds.