September 20, 2010
By Anonymous

My grandma is the reason I’m a night owl instead of an early bird. She’s the reason the light from my room shines through the crack under my door after my family is tucked away, snoring, in bed.
I acquired the habit of staying up into the small hours of the morning during my annual two-week visits with my grandparents over the summer when, one night, my grandma introduced me to TV shows about crime, murder, and mystery. I would have never thought that my grandma—the same woman who went to church twice a week, who had found all my tickle spots as a child, and who read romance novels with a passion—would enjoy watching investigators solve brutal murders or search for missing children.
At first, I was just happy to be able to stay up past midnight; however, I soon began to love crime dramas as much as my grandma and eventually learned all the acronyms: CSI, NCIS, SVU. As a result of our shared interest, we grew closer, and our relationship grew stronger. We would spend commercial breaks talking about our crazy family or joking about the ridiculous infomercials and reality shows. I began to understand the attraction these shows held for her: it was reassuring to watch the bad guy get caught. With each new episode she would try to figure out which character had committed the crime before the criminal investigators did, and it wasn’t long before I was trying to identify the offender before she could.
In order to win these competitions I had to be aware and suspicious of any new characters that were introduced throughout the show because sometimes even the most seemingly innocent person would be revealed as the killer. Since the lines were scripted, the people were actors, and the crime scenes were staged, I became adept at recognizing the minute details hidden within each show that hinted toward the criminal. This required me to be curious and observant, two qualities that have heavily impacted my life.
Over the years, when faced with decisions, my curiosity has led me to choose the path that is less familiar to me. My curiosity about new experiences was a major factor in my decision to attend an International Baccalaureate school; when I excitedly tore open the acceptance letter, I thought, “Well, if I go and don’t like the program, I can always come back to my home school, but if I don’t go I’ll always be curious about what it would have been like.” Upon my arrival at an IB school, my observant nature combined with my curiosity helped me to remain engaged and eager to learn in every class. Without the late night sessions with my grandma trying to discern which character was guilty, time that I am truly grateful for, these qualities would not be so pronounced a part of my personality.
I continue watching these crime dramas at home—a habit that appalls my mother—so I can talk about them on the phone with my grandma and resume watching them with her when I visit each summer. Overall, our shared enjoyment of these shows has allowed our relationship to evolve from that of a child and her care-taking grandma to that of a teenager and her friend, and has allowed my inquisitive personality to flourish with each new crime to solve.

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