Do you remember your first deep dive?
I’m prone to deep dives that manifest as a frenzied few hours of research. Some go on for years as full-blown hobbies, while others simply cease once I’m satiated.
I’ve been thinking about how this deep diving all began…
When I was seven years old, Mrs. Nielson assigned individual research projects. This assignment included standing in an assembly dressed as my chosen hero and presenting a short biography, including why I idolized him.
I knew right away who I wanted to be.
I went to the Encyclopedia Brittanica with my 3x5 note-cards and started studying up and jotting down details. I was already dressing up like him with some frequency, so I had that part nailed.
During my research, I learned a new word: belch. I knew what a burp was (my dad was really good at it), but belch was way more awesome! And my hero was belching smoke!
He was also spitting blood and breathing fire, and he could fly. He had an enormously long tongue, as any demonic lizard ought to have, and he could also sing and play his electric bass while roaming around his domain on tremendously tall boots that were shaped like dragons with red eyes.
On the day of our presentation, my mother patiently helped me put on her black nylon stockings and painted my face exactly like the picture. I wanted to make the costume super real, so she taught me how to walk in her platform shoes. They weren’t dragon boots, but they were pretty tall!
I practiced my speech a dozen times that morning, relishing the moment I got to talk about his smoke belches.
When I got to school, Mrs. Nielson lined everyone up in front of the classroom filled with parents. I stood between Abraham Lincoln and Roger Staubach, my hair pulled up into a knot on my head, all the while trying not to stumble in my mom’s shoes.
I beamed as I told everyone how he used to be a school teacher before becoming a rock star, and all about his special powers when he got on stage.
Everyone listened and seemed very intrigued. My confidence soared, and I felt proud to be the only Gene Simmons in class. I was all about his odd comic-book persona and stage antics. I knew nothing about the shady rockstar lifestyle or the meaning of his song lyrics until many years later.
To this day, I am wowed that both my mom and Mrs. Nielson allowed me to be myself and research what interested me.
Since then, my deep dives have taken on a similar pattern. I get a little interested, and then I get more interested, then I tend to totally immerse myself — dorking out until I reach a saturation point.
I owe it all to a good public education. Thank you to all my teachers!
How about you? Do you deep dive?