Trying new things uncovers unusual interests
When I was younger, I had a few particular academic interests. I liked math and science but I hated writing. This educational perspective was very limiting. In high school, I started to branch out, take a wider variety of courses, and try new things. This led me to two unexpected interests that I am glad I have found.
Without curiosity and a new willingness to try new things, I would never have stumbled upon these two interests.
As a child, I enjoyed fantasy and fictional stories. However, as I got older, I found myself reading more and more non-fiction and news articles. The types of stories I once read didn't engage me any longer. That changed when I read my first drama, "The
Importance of Being Earnest" by Oscar Wilde. The wit and dramatic suspense captured my attention. I went on to read "King Lear" by William Shakespeare, in my English class. At first, I was worried that I would be lost by the Shakespearean syntax and vocabulary. However, the tension and anticipation of resolution in the play kept me absorbed. Next, I read the drama "Equus" by Peter Shaafer. Similarly to King Lear, I unexpectedly enjoyed it. Now, having finished "The Glass Menagerie" by Tennessee Williams, I found myself captivated by the archetypal themes. This play only has four characters, yet it was able to tell a universal story: one of longing for escape from a stagnant life. I have been hooked by dramas because of their cleverness and universal themes. I found myself pondering these universal themes and reflecting on them in my own life.
My other intellectual curiosity originates from NBC's comedy, "The Good Place." In this show, a morally reprehensible person, Eleanor Shellstrop, is accidentally allowed into a utopian afterlife society that is reserved for the most selfless and ethical people. With the help of a moral philosophy professor, she must secretly make herself a better person to not be discovered. The showengages in many different ethical conundrums. As I watched, I found myself enthralled by the intricacies of these situations. It piqued my interest in moral philosophy. I began to think about questions that I had not previously considered consciously. What does it mean to be a good person? What is one's duty to society?
When, if ever, is it ethical to lie? These questions and the moral implications interest me because they never have straightforward answers. For example, we know that stealing is unethical. But is stealing bread for your starving family justified? Some may say that stealing is always bad, while others may say there are exceptions. Others may find themselves in between. There is hardly ever a straight answer in ethics, but that is why ethics interested me. I enjoyed the moral struggle within these ideas.
My interests in dramas and moral conundrums have unconventional origins. These interests were not assigned or recommended, rather, I happened upon them and merely followed my curiosity. By exploring, and trying new things, I stumbled upon new and exciting interests. People shouldn't be afraid to explore different disciplines because they just might find something that excites them. Dramas and ethics are two areas I never thought I would be interested in. However, through an open mind, I was able to discover two new interests.
Brandon Kyung is a senior at Wilsonville High School.