Advanced Essay #1 Changing Perspective

I remember how the wooden floor creaks as I put my foot down, the smell of hot Chinese takeout  welcomed into my stuffed-up nostrils. The light from the last bit of the sun going down streams in, beaming off the white, black, and gray countertop, bouncing right back out the other window, but leaving an orange glow to the room. One person crowds the food while the others sit in front of the blaring TV, football storming the whole house as three people cheer and hiss at the winning and losing of their favorite sports team. Rice, splattered sauce, covers the counter, illustrating the frantic attempt to get food during the 30 second commercial breaks. Collecting a plate and utensils, I start my hunt for some food. I first find the spring rolls.  There are three spring rolls in the container, but there are four of us eating. My first thought is to ask if someone has already taken one.  Obviously, I want a full roll for myself, but I didn’t want to cheat anyone out of their portion.  I stroll into the living room, where they are all perched with their food, and stand there waiting until the commercial to ask my spring roll question. A second of silence goes by, then Dad starts screaming at me!  It is hard to understand his pointless, angry, rambling.

I tried to brush off the incident with my father, but it was harder than I anticipated. I’m sure my father has flown off the handle before, but for some reason, this time really had an impact on me.  I think that’s because it actually changed my perception of him.  Prior to that incident, I thought my father was perfect.  I mean, obviously nobody is “perfect”, but I thought he was the laid-back, patient father I had always known.  After a few days, I got over it, but it's not the moment itself that mattered, it was the change in my perspective, the moment of realization. Now that moment is cemented in my memory. When you're a little kid, everything is perfect all of the time; you don't question the boundaries of your parents’ world . The problem is that is not what the real world looks like, and the older you get, the more you understand that the world is not that perfect. That realization of imperfection starts with our parents.  Those moments that push the boundary are the moments that change you, they are the moments that shape your view of the world.

This change in perspective is constantly shifting when you're younger, as it develops. It’s similar to how your physical view changes as you get older.  When you're a baby, you're small and you see everything at your eye level. When you learn how to walk you’re obviously higher off the ground, therefore you have a different view. This continues when you're a teenager. You're taller than you were when you were a toddler, again forcing you to see things differently.  It’s the same idea, but instead of visual changes, perceptual changes occur as you get older.  The cycle is always the same: the older you get, the more your perspective changes; the more your perspective changes, the more you see things differently. I guess this is the cycle of growing into adulthood.  

The change in your perspective isn’t always a huge deal, sometimes it is just about one person who you barely know. An example of this happened to me about half way through tenth grade.  I remember sitting in math class, tapping my foot to the teacher’s endless rambling about a project, the due dates, and a bunch of other stuff that I don’t care about. My ears pique as I hear a long list of people with their partners being listed. Finally, after what feels like a millennia, the teacher gets to me.  I hear my name, Chloe Hart, followed by my partner’s name. Immediately I feel a rush of excitement, not for the project itself, but to hear and talk to my partner.  He is super popular and very smart.  I’m on the shy side, so I don’t get the opportunity to talk to people in the “in-crowd” very often.  This is going to be a fantastic opportunity for me.  Maybe this person will take a liking to me and I will be welcomed into his group of friends.  At the very least, we’ll create a great project together since this person is a straight-A student. Well, It doesn’t take long for me to lose the excitement. It feels almost like a thunder cloud lurks over him as he talks. He is not a nice person.  His words feel like a slap in the face; I couldn't have been more wrong about him. Everyday, he disappears from class, or leaves a little early, to grab a smoke outside. This small, daily action completely captures my new perception of him.

Overall, as a person’s behavior around you changes, so does your perception of the person.  These perceptual changes can be for the positive or for the negative. When someone does something that you don't agree with, or you find offensive, your opinion of the person immediately declines.  But, is the person fundamentally different than he was prior to this behavior, or did it just change your perception of him?  It’s a tricky question.  It’s like looking at someone through another person’s prescription glasses.  All of a sudden, the person looks like someone new, possibly unrecognizable, but you know that he is the same person. That’s important to keep in mind as your perception of people shifts.