Daily Archives: August 12, 2007

Not-so-stupid questions.


I have heard over and over from teachers, that for everyone who asks what they think is a stupid question, there are at least five other students who wanted to ask the question but couldn’t get up the nerve to actually do it, and will now get it answered. (And who will maybe acquire more courage after seeing someone ask the question they were thinking of and not get laughed at by the teacher.) And so, the “stupid” questions are not so stupid after all.

There are a lot of things that I find difficult to blog about. But I do it anyway, for a reason that is related to the whole concept of there being no stupid questions.

So far, every time I have been terrified and ashamed to blog about something, afraid people will laugh at me or worse, it has been something that someone else relates to on some level or another. And often someone will even say that it an experience they have had but had always been afraid to say so, or that it helped them see an experience in a new light, or that they now have some clue how to word an experience they’d had but never been able to articulate.

That is actually the main reason that I do some of the posts that do talk about how my mind or body functions. It’s because I’ve had that experience, from the other end, been afraid to say something and gained insight or courage or language or loss of (undue) shame from someone else saying it. And I want to be like the student who shows it’s possible to survive saying and doing ‘dumb’ things or asking ‘dumb’ questions, if that makes any sense. I want to be able to possibly give others the good experience others have often given me.

And that’s why, despite the fact that I have a real problem with being pigeonholed as a self-narrating zoo exhibit, I still write things that could be seen that way. It’s not because I want to be a zoo exhibit for curious onlookers. It’s because I want other people (whether autie or not) to be able to have that experience of “Oh cool this person said what I was thinking but couldn’t or wouldn’t say,” and then for them to (if they want to) be able to pass that on themselves.

I guess one reason that I feel strongly about that is because I spent a long time bumbling where I didn’t have to bumble. That happened because I was not exposed to much in the way of information from people whose minds or bodies functioned like mine. Not much in the way of political information, and not much in the way of everyday body/mind-functioning information. And I had to figure out things in a way that was rougher and harder than it had to be. Not that I expect people to take all information from me as gospel or anything, that’d be ridiculous. But I do hope that the information I and others put out there will affect someone’s life so they don’t have to take the long hard way around when they don’t have to. The same way information from others has affected me, when available and relevant. Just so that everyone doesn’t have to work out the same things over and over, each person alone and mapless but bumbling eventually in roughly the same direction.

So, I might say ‘dumb’ stuff, but I hope it’s the same kind of ‘dumb’ as in ‘dumb’ questions that lots of people actually secretly want to ask.