Don’t Be an Old Dog

-Bethani Thomas, Opinions Editor

“I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.” – Albert Einstein

I am no Einstein. In fact, there is really nothing in me that enjoys math or numbers in any way. Also, I’m pretty sure that he had a little bit more than just curiosity to fuel the creation of his world-renowned equations. But even still, in my opinion, this quote is gold. Basically, Einstein is saying that he hadn’t gotten to his present state because he made all A’s in his math courses, or even because he’d studied hard all night to get a stamp and some signature on a paper diploma with a ribbon tied around it—instead, he was crediting passion and curiosity for his success.

Last year in Dr. Patterson’s Circus Arts class, we learned about the history of the circus, different aspects of circus acts, and how to juggle. He told us one day to never stop learning things, but to always push ourselves to pursue new experiences. In this case, he was referring to juggling! I was surprised to find, midway through the semester, how successful I felt when I finally completed a few full cycles of juggling without dropping one of the three colorful balls. I felt so awesome! And even though I wasn’t the best, or even in the top five of the class, I still felt accomplished because I had learned something new, even something as small and silly as juggling.

I am in my fourth year here at MC. No longer a freshman, I have become an old man—also known as a senior. Coming into school this semester I felt everything but “passionately curious.” I felt gravely out of place and unendingly anti-social, but definitely not passionately curious. I felt these things until I got into some of my classes. In order to be constantly learning new things I signed up for a printmaking class in the art department. I have taken drawing and really liked the look that I saw produced by woodcuts, so I went for it knowing that my artsy self would really enjoy the elective. The only non-art or art education major in the class, I soak up every minute. I have learned not only how to make a woodcut, but also about intaglio (which is a fascinating art that includes the use of zinc plates, a protective wax/tar coating, and acid!) aquatint, and monoprint.

Apart from this art elective, I also signed up for ballet as an elective. This has been a little more interesting and outside of my comfort zone. The only student who has never had dance experience, I leap and tiptoe and spin haphazardly, hoping I don’t hurt myself or anyone else. But through both these classes I’ve understood the meaning of what Dr. Patterson told us, and that is: never get bored with life—there is so much juice to be squeezed out of it. And hopefully, through my small insignificant curiosities, maybe I’ll begin to understand Einstein’s passionate curiosity.

There are some days when I doze a little during an artwork slideshow, or when pirouettes frustrate me, but I write this all to say, don’t be an old dog. Learn new tricks. Pursue a hobby that is super bizarre, or acquire a new skill that no one’s ever heard of. I promise you won’t regret it, and it’ll add some spice to life that makes you happy to be alive.


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