I understand why it is important to know about our country's history: so that we realize how we got here and what to do with the future of our country. But when I was younger, I did not grasp it nor care to learn. I think back to the other kids in my class, and they all picked up on the subject and knew why it was relevant, while I just sat there completely lost. Why was this so?
Having autism meant that I was always in my own individual world, absorbed in my own thoughts and uninterested in reality. This was especially so when I was much younger, when the thing that I was most concerned about was watching SpongeBob Squarepants at 8:00 that night. Even as a teenager I had no desire to know who John Hancock was or what the Civil Rights Movement was all about. This is a very common thing for anyone growing up on the spectrum: having little to no response to terms of reality.
This is still true to me today. I virtually never follow the news, and even when I do I am not responsive to it. I feel like I have to force myself to read a news article in order to feel educated about what's happening in the world, yet many of the articles on breaking news are written in a style that I am unable to relate to because of the subject matter. The only things that happen in the media that I can actually fully grasp are things related to movies. This is something that I plan to change about myself.
I wish that I paid attention in school when I was growing up, and I wish that I actually cared about what I was being taught. But gladly, I have improved on that now with the college courses I'm taking. As far as knowing about U.S. history, I still wish I could return to what I was instructed in the past so I could know my country better. In studying film this past year, I learned that every movie reflects the time that it was made; which means that studying film means knowing what was happening in America from the 1920s up until now. I have heard about several events in America's history during this time that I have a little knowledge about, such as World War II, the coming of television, the Vietnam War, the Watergate Scandal, and the 911 terrorist attacks. But I wish to learn more and become more of an integrated member of society, and not always secluded in my own world. So I have already made plans to change that: I will be taking a course in the fall about German media in the 1940s.