But I’m thinking about 12 things at once, a hundred thousand times a day. Most people do, I would imagine. – Dave Eggers
I always imagined too, Dave.
My overly-functioning brain may have been spoiled over the years. It’s been very rare I’ve come across people or environments which have caused me to slow my pace. I’ll have to touch base with Crazy Lady, but I’m pretty positive I have always been a busy thinker. Not just busy… quick. Part of my hidden competitive nature I guess, trying to reach the conclusion before others, trying to connect references, get to that winning witty joke that takes even me by surprise. I find those who keep up with me, or even out run me, are the most interesting people around. I love nothing more than a good banter, and an effortless, energetic conversation.
I need to be mentally challenged.
I know some people avoid being challenged, the idea is scary, or exhausting. Or there are those who believe they know all and choose to veer a wide circle around someone who may bring to light that which they do not know.
I pretend to know nothing, it’s easier that way.
I need to be challenged by others or I get bored real quick. This was a self-discovery made way, way, back in high school. My friends over the years, those I’ve stayed close to, even if it is over a ridiculous amount of miles, have shined in this area. They are interesting, well-rounded humans with a drive to explore the world around them.
I have friends who travel constantly, friends who create art, friends who are major foodies, friends who dive into literature with me (even when it’s joining the HP bandwagon 20 years late… here’s looking at you Pants), friends who critique films, friends who work with the mentally ill, friends who work in politics, friends who observe human nature with the same eagle eye as me. And a good chunk of them (ok, all of them) are also funny as heck.
Here’s the thing… I have two parents, who may not have realized this at the time, that taught their children how to be critical thinkers over the course of childhood. We were shown, not just told, to be socially aware of our environments. And then, gasp, actually put in a variety of environments. Even, gasp twice, when we weren’t always comfortable in them.
Katelyn what do you mean by critical thinking? Asks none of you. But I’ll explain anyway…
There are a few key parts to critical thinking, and chances are if you aren’t successful at these then you’re probably a very. boring. person.
Or a know it all.
# 1 and my favorite, interpretation – Receiving information, processing, understanding, then turning it around and communicating that information to others. This is when you spin something around in your head. This is when my brain suffocates an idea/thought/statement/fact to death. This is when you take into account facial expressions and body language. And if you can’t “read a room” then your scope is going to be extremely narrow. Instead of spinning that information around 100 times, it’s like… five. And I should mention much of this interpretation in day-to-day life is done rather quickly. (Think classrooms, work meetings, interviews, grocery store conversations, etc.)
I read this is when “cognitive flexibility” comes into play. The ability to expand your mind to think about multiple things at once, your ability to change how you think about something. Get. out. of. your. small. box! Or stop getting hung up on one facet of the conversation to the point that you’re left in the dust while everyone else moves on!
#2 Inference – Recognizing what might be missing from the information given, the pieces needed to be able to draw a conclusion. Sometimes a person isn’t going to reveal every detail of their life to you, you must use what it is they do say, how they say it, past experiences or knowledge to understand or make a conclusion.
This is where being involved in many different social scenes over the years comes into play. The more you spend time around a variety of people, listening and connecting, help in understanding where someone is coming from.
And for those who are like, what the heck does infer mean Katelyn? To infer is to make a well-informed guess.
Word of the day.
#3 Explanation – Can you hear me now? Taking your information and successfully communicating it with others; end goal: everyone in the room understands what it is you’re talking about. All you poor teachers, how do you do it with 30+ students? Explaining to someone may take more than quoting the user’s manual. Giving an extensive detailed lecture on the mechanics of your topic of conversation is going to instantly lead to slack jaws and drool.
That last sentence alone made me drool a little.
All of this is to say that my busy, quick brain has worked in my benefit over the years after developing critical thinking skills.
Or in other words learning how to empathize with people.
I suppose I could have just gotten straight to that point…
So yes, my brain is crazy at times, and I may talk about 12 different topics in a matter of minutes, or find the random tie between two subjects, or crack joke after sarcastic joke. But to semi-quote Marilyn… I would rather be seen as ridiculous than be described as boring.