Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What Do You See?

This blog has been a little neglected lately. I'm hoping that posts will come with a little more regularity now that school has started up again in full force. (Or is that wishful thinking....?)

The other day, I was talking with a former physics major about that mysterious and elusive degree. I wondered out loud what kind of person would choose to major in physics.

"Everyone sees the world a certain way," she said. "You know someone will make a good physics major when they see the world in patterns."

Now, I'm definitely not a physics major and when I look at the ocean I don't see the patterns of light waves (like my mom, a former physics major, apparently does). But the conversation did make me wonder how I do see the world. I spent the next three days staring at random objects trying to answer the question.

Then, one afternoon, it occurred to me. I see the world in stories. Maybe it's just an English major thing. When I look at a clock or a car or a grain elevator, I wonder about the stories behind it. Who made it? Why is it there?

I saw a harvester working in the fields at sunset last night and wondered about the driver. When would he quit for the evening and go home? What was his family like? What made him choose farming?

When I see students walking through the school parking lots and wonder about their degree, their goals, their relationships. When I see the outline of the buildings of downtown, I wonder about the lives that play out inside their towering steel structures.

And now I'm wondering.....how do you see the world?


Anonymous said...

This is what decided me on English instead of music. I was a music major, and, talking to another music major, heard her say that when she looks at the world, she hears music. Well, I see stories, too. And that's how it happened. :)

Monica Jacobson said...

Me too, actually -- and I was intending to major in English before I got distracted. ;-) So I asked Marty, an Industrial Designer (an ID person basically reconstructs a product or creates a new product with only value to the user in mind, rather than the seller and their agenda for money-making), just to get a different view. When he sees a van riding especially low on the back axle, he doesn't wonder about the people driving it, what they do for a living, or what kind of family they have at home, he wonders if it's a problem with the axle. In short, if he's intrigued by something, it usually has absolutely nothing to do with the people involved. And when people don't act in a professional or even intelligent manner, it doesn't interest him that they are acting like, well, HUMANS--he would just prefer they act intelligent and actually try to make sense, rather than being completely blind to themselves.

Emily said...

BetweenBlueRocks, that's so interesting that you had a similar experience. I hadn't thought about the ways a musical person would perceive the world around them...but it's consistent!

Monica, that's hilarious. But, again, consistent. So interesting. Now I want to know how *everyone* sees the world....what do doctors see, I wonder?;-)

Anonymous said...

I see the world in color. When I close my eyes I see different colors. And the first thought I think when I see something is, "COLOR." ~Sarah