Saturday, February 21, 2009

Geology: Bringing Families Together

My younger brother is not much of a phone person. He actually isn't much of a continuous conversationalist in general, due to a combination of autism and a wide array of interests. In person, this makes him the King Of The Non-Sequitur, and a single conversation could contain traces of politics, football, recaps of favorite TV shows, NASCAR, video games, and whoever he's decided he thinks is hot. Sometimes these may all happen in a single paragraph.

He's just never really gotten the hang of the phone, though. A typical conversation with him consists of, "Hi, how are you?" And I'll respond, and he'll go, "Ok, bye!" He usually has to be prodded to talk to someone to begin with.

But this week, when I was on the phone with my parents, he specifically asked to talk to me. The reason for this? He's enrolled in Callan's intro geology course at Northern Virginia Community College, and clearly knew this would be something I'd be glad to discuss with him. (I think he's finally catching on that I don't care about NASCAR in the slightest.) To my utmost surprise, he talked with me about the topic of igneous rocks for fifteen minutes straight, with no changes of subject or express of unease about the phone itself. Fifteen whole minutes!

I was, of course, thrilled that he expressed such enthusiasm about the subject matter (and Callan, I'm sure you'll want to know that he got almost everything right when I quizzed him on things), but I think I was even more excited about the evolution of his conversation skills. It was really wonderful to talk with him for that long, especially since I only get to see him twice a year. Even though he didn't tell me directly how he's doing - he never does - I can tell he's getting along well and happily, based just on how vivid and prolonged that conversation on rocks was.

(And because I am so happy, I am going to embarrass him on the internet! Hah! Sibling duty! Even though I'm absolutely certain he doesn't read blogs. Love ya, M!)


Callan Bentley said...

Ha! Glad to hear it. "M" is doing well in class -- he's invariably the first to answer a question; a clever lad indeed.

Julian said...

Hahah, yay! I am entirely not surprised that he's the first to speak up. (It, uh, kind of runs in the family. I try to let other people answer stuff before I jump in...) Did I not warn you he'd be the loud one?

Annalisa said...

This post inspired a big smile.