By Karla Perez

Student, Bronx Center for Science and Mathematics

There are people in this world who live with a jumping man inside of them. No, the jumping man is not associated with a genetic disease. No, he did not just hop right into their physical being. The jumping man just lives inside the mind; but I must say, sometimes one can even fall into believing he lives inside the body. I know this because the jumping man lives inside of me. He’s actually a pretty good friend of mine.

So, let me tell you about this jumping man. First of all, he’s eager and restless. He’s continuously creating loops and knots. Especially during the night. Boy is he loud. He won’t let you sleep with all the chit chatter. But, when you do eventually rest, he wakes you up again with an alarming jump and questions he couldn’t speak with you about the night before.

The jumping man won’t even let you eat your morning cereal before it gets soggy. The jumping man will disturb your daily reading and constantly stop you to converse. The jumping man also loves to hear and look at what he hasn’t before; he reacts so effervescently. You can’t even take a peaceful walk to the park with him, he is just so thunderous.

But, overall, the jumping man is a good friend. He comes in pretty handy at times. He develops strategies, thinks critically to solve problems, handles details, coordinates and completes tasks, and even manages projects effectively. The jumping man forecasts and predicts, identifies and gathers appropriate resources, and even helps set and achieve goals.

Despite the lack of sleep and other disturbances the jumping man has caused, he has helped me build the person I am today. The jumping man forced me to take the subway to the American Museum of Natural History for two years and has helped me learn about topics like Astrophysics and Anthropology. The jumping man has influenced me to do research on a harmful, industrial chemical; he even assisted me so well that he was able to persuade me to compete in a citywide science fair competition. The jumping man has also assisted me in laboratory work with PhD students this summer. The jumping man has even helped me in my AP English Literature class – he has helped me write better papers and ask intriguing questions in open-ended discussions. The jumping man even makes me question life and purpose. He’s pretty handy, eh?

Now, I must reveal who this jumping man is and how to obtain him, for you must be really interested in making some sort of negotiation to acquire him for yourself.

The jumping man is curiosity. He’s simply curiosity, nothing more, but most definitely nothing less.

Curiosity has been the essential growth factor of my academic, spiritual, and personal success, and will continue to be my co-pilot as I navigate the next chapters of my life.