December 16, 1992

Science. E doesn’t pay attention to science. I listen, but don’t really pay attention either. I just leave my mind blank and the information plants itself there. For some reason, I’m good at science. I don’t know why. We were discussing the atom. I came up with a nice metaphor for the atom. A dead rat surrounded by flies.

I told you there would be more dead animals.

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A Ratom. Illustration by E, caption by me.

The flies are the electrons. They can move around and go to other dead rats. The bones are protons. They do not change. The flesh of the rat is the neutrons. They can be changed and therefore create an isotope of the dead rat.

This was a year before I took chemistry and realized science made the world a wonderful and understandable place. Still, I’m glad I knew I was good at it this early on.

Once when I was in 2nd grade or younger, I got a book out at the library called Where Does the Butterfly go when it Rains? Throughout the whole book, it kept asking, where does the frog go when it rains? etc. etc. But at the end it never answered the question… I was very upset.

Twenty-four years later and I am still pissed about this book. When I was in second grade, I borrowed a lot of books about things like volcanoes on library day. So, I probably was expecting something more scientific from this one.

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E’s illustrations. At 15, she was not as happy with how this turned out as the card she created for S (from a previous post) and asked me not to show it to people. Sorry!

At this point, I switch pens and start writing in a bright, kicky red.

I think that although I use both parts of my brain, the Reasoning and the Imagination, I use them at different times. I can chart usually which part is being used when.

I have an undergraduate degree in neuroscience and can tell you that this is not how the brain works.

In the morning, I use neither. I fulfill the survival needs. Eat and Clothe. Then I go to school. Since school appalls my sense of Reason, I switch to Imagination so I don’t have to deal with the reality of school which I find not only monotonous, but oppressive.

I sincerely don’t know whether I took out a different pen just to write the word “oppressive” or if I couldn’t think of the right word and left a blank for it so I could fill it in later. I commonly have trouble generating the right word I want to use when I write and speak, so I’m guessing the latter.

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This doodle by S was pasted into the empty corner and can be folded up so you can read the text.

There’s a brief interlude where I talk about how much I like to wear tights and it’s really boring. Then

E told me the other day that she feels illiterate beside me. It made me feel good, because I usually deem myself less intelligent than E, but it’s not true. I just talk more about books I read than she does.

And I did talk about books an awful lot.

I’m glad I was able to be frank here. I have withheld things I want to write before, because I knew E would probably read it. I don’t really want her to and since she hasn’t been very cooperative in, A. showing me hers, B. theologizing with me, I might as well try to analyze things in these pages to an extent where I can be frank.

I’ll show you mine if you, A. show me yours, B. theologize with me.

I came up with an Idea about people and I want them to do this sort of… shall I say, survey in which I ask them to picture a room and the articles inside it. They list the objects and write fast the first thing that comes to mind from each and what they think that object could mean. I think if I gathered enough data, I could derive a list from it saying what each object meant. Therefore, a person could realize what’s important to them. What is maybe wrong with their life. The Room is supposed to symbolize either the person or the person’s life. I don’t know, I haven’t figured it out yet. I had S and E do the test/survey thing, then E made me do it too. I [don’t?] know exactly how it turned out yet I need more surveys.

Many years later, in college, someone will introduce me to the “cube” personality test, which is pretty similar. You are in a desert and you see a cube. Describe it. You see a horse. Describe it. Is it interacting with the cube? Etc. The cube is supposed to be your ego and the horse is like your love life or something. I remember that I imagined the cube as so big that when they started introducing other elements, like the horse, there wasn’t any room for them. I think what I was trying to do here was to base the personality test on real data that I would first collect about what people thought, say, a lamp or a pencil meant to them.

I can’t even say how much I wish I had this survey data today. I probably had everyone do it on loose pieces of paper which is NOT how you keep a proper lab notebook.

The entry ends with

One very good thing about this book is I’m learning to write in straight lines. I used to always slant a lot.

 

Note: Originally, I formatted the journal entries in green because it was a color 15 year-old me probably would have approved of. From now on, I’ve decided to try to reflect the color pen she was writing with since, occasionally, it matters.

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