Look me in the eye
Mary Ellis 8/6/12 Summer assignment Look Me In The Eyes Chapter 1:” Blue blocks went with blue blocks, and red blocks went with red blocks. But Doug would lean over and put a red block on top of the blue ones. Couldn’t he see how wrong that was? ” (pg. 7) This really stood out to me on the very first page in chapter one, simply because it gave me a better grasp of what Asperger’s was truly like. Chapter 2: ” I had learned something from my humiliations at the hands of Ronnie Ronson and Chuckie and all of the other kids ld tried and failed to make friends with. I was starting to figure out that I was different.
But I had a positive outlook. “(pg. 19-20) This displayed for me the way John carried the burden of his disease on his shoulders from a young age. Chapter 3: ” My mother sent me to a therapist, of whom focuses on the wrong things.
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“(pg. 30) This says to me that maybe in fact we haven’t found the correct way to cope with these struggles that people face from this particular disease. Chapter 4:” My father was mean, and he was dangerous to trick. ” When I read this I was sad, because when John begins to fit in he cant even feel comfortable in his own ome or feel open enough with his dad to communicate things.
Chapter 5: ” And that’s what I dreamed of being. A craftsman. An artist, working in automotive steel. ” (pg. 49) Among his struggles through being a misfit John still developed and created his own dreams and aspirations. Chapter 6: “My parents drove each other crazy, and they almost drove me crazy. Luckily, the Asperger’s isolated me from the worst of the insanity until I was old enough to escape it. ” (pg. 55) In this, I can clearly see John looking for a positive side to his disease, rather than Just eing miserable all the time.
Although it set him back at times, it also allowed him to escape when he needed too. Chapter 7: ” But I was far too shy and insecure to ever tell her how I feel about her. ” (pg. 68) This frustrates me, I understand he suffers from social awkwardness although at the same time in this situation I feel that he is making up excuses; simply because he is too scared to face his real emotions. Chapter 8: “There is a dark side to Asperger’s, and it comes from our childhood treated. ” (Chapter 8, pg. 69) To me this stood out among all the other quotes, due to he pure truth it displays.
Not only is it a raw statement but also, this particular quote allows you to see beyond his disease and see into his emotions. Chapter 9: “My Parents seemed oblivious to my struggles. After all, they were starring in their own epic, and I was Just the supporting player” (pg. 85) He felt invisible not only to others but to his own family; he was lost in his social anxiety’s. Chapter 10: “Somehow I was in the improbable position of scoring in the ninety- ninth percentile on the intelligence tests and still flunking out of high school. (pg. 97)
Although John may have suffered from developing normal social skills, he did not lack brains in the least, and he was Just struggling with the weight of the world on his shoulders. Chapter 1 1: “l had gone to see doctors of one sort or another all my life. ” (pg. 109) Through the spiral of not only adolescence, but also the diagnoses of his disease he spent his time drifting among doctors, continuing to look for answers. Chapter 12: ” I was getting pretty good at adapting to new people and places. I was even starting to see the world. “(pg. 14) As his experiences began to hold more depth, he world along with his life started to become less intimidating. Chapter 13: ” With an important Job to do, the gentle roll of the ship, the stars, and the sea air, it seemed like magic. ” (pg. 130) After all those years of feeling like such an outcast John now pauses to examine the progress he’s made. John finally reached a point in his life where he began to feel satisfaction with himself. Chapter 14: ” My experiments had so far been confined to childhood pranks-nothing on this scale” (pg. 34-135) Now the real world, full of the twist and turns of fait are ecoming Johns reality. He was no longer pranking others to escape his own world, but projecting himself in a position where he can solve real life experiments. Chapter 15: ” My little brother had no concept of the cost or trouble to bring him there, I didn’t either, but he didn’t know that. ” (pg. 148) Although his intelligence was more advanced and higher than others, John lacked many things one of which fully understood the concepts that came along with the adult world, such as money management.
Chapter 16: “Many people with Asperger’s have an affinity for machines. Sometimes I hink I can relate better to a good machine than any kind of person. “(pg. 1 51) Machines are the one thing John feels he has control over, people have emotions, and they carry Judgment, where as a machine cant voice its opinion, it Just does exactly what you direct it to do; unlike humans machines are predictable. just to scary for me. ” (pg. 166) His disease caused him to suffer from social anxieties, those of which prevented John from easily developing close relationships with others. Chapter 18: ” I was afraid to leave my parents. (pg. 172) Usually for average individual leaving the nest” would come as a natural and exciting transition; however for John it seems overwhelming and is something he fears. This is scary to him because now he wont Just has to deal wit his parents but new people he will encounter in his life. Chapter 19: ” For the first time in my life, I put on a nice button-down shirt and a tie each morning. ” (pg. 181) At this point in my opinion, John is realizing the adult world is something he can tackle, and even if it isn’t the biggest or fanciest Job in the world john was apart of something, he had developed a routine.
Chapter 20: “I’m a very logical guy. Psychologists say that’s an Aspergian trait. This can lead to trouble in common social situations, because ordinary conversation doesn’t always proceed logically. ” (Pg. 189) Going out and having fun is what the average person looks forward to each and everyday, although in John’s case he fears this. Fitting in is an obstacle for him, which as he grows older seems to become easier however it still has a grasp on him. Chapter 21: ” When I was a little older, I had tried out for Little League, but no one picked had picked me. I never tried out for a team after that. ” (Pg. 04) He felt alone, e hadn’t had answers yet, and so to him he felt even worse about himself. John was trapped in the rejection he experienced in his childhood. Chapter 22: ” I believe that there is a continuum from autism to Asperger’s to normal. ” (pg. 207) What John is trying to voice is that, although he notices his disease in himself, he also recognizes the normal aspects of his life and of himself, which helps ease his insecurities. Chapter 23: ” I knew I had a hard time with people, and I wanted Chubby to get along better than I had. ” (pg. 222) John knew the struggles he experienced throughout his ife, and the set backs it caused him.
He knows he wants a more improved life for his son so he can experience those things John couldn’t. Chapter 24: “It’s not a disease, he explained. It doesn’t need curing. Its Just how you are. ” (pg. 236) In my opinion after all the years of being told of all the things he lacks, john was now meant to feel that he didn’t suffer from a so called disease, but instead it was Just who he was. His flaws were now his own traits, each one individual and beautiful. Chapter 25: ” Names have been a source of difficulty for me as long as I can emember because the names I use are often not the ones other people expect. (pg. 241) This is part of John’s social awkwardness, instead of filtering his thoughts John’s Chapter 26: ” My skills at choosing people with whom I might form relationships was always less than my skill at choosing mechanical or electronic things. ” (pg. 247) He found that creating relationships with humans wasn’t black and white like a machine or something that was more logical, but it held color, unpredictability, this threw him off and made it more difficult for John to Just go with the flow of things.
Chapter 27: ” Some people say I never smile and I don’t have many facial expressions, but somehow she can get me to smile, and she can read what little expressions I may have. ” (pg. 254) Part of Asperger’s is the uncontrolled or awkward facial expressions made in social situations, however John is beginning to let his armor down and let his expressions become more natural. Chapter 28: ” Everywhere I’d lived, until now, I had carried the burden of Asperger’s with me. ” (pg. 260) The heavy weight of hatred John felt towards him begins to lessen along with his burdens.
He slowly starts the process of self-acceptance; I think John begins to find he is his own hardest critic. Chapter 29: “Why were we there? Because Aspergians are driven to learn all they can about subjects that interest them, and one of my favorite subjects had always been transportation machinery. ” (pg. 267) He engulfed himself in things which intrigued him, although machines were safe for him and was easily controlled; John still stepped out into the unknown. John although loved predictable machines he had enough self drive to push himself towards unpredictable things such as people and interactions with them.