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October 23, 2013

The Attention Deficit Difference

ADD is short for Attention Deficit Disorder. I have a problem with that term ... I don't consider it a disorder. I call it "Hunter" as opposed to "Farmer".

A farmer works methodically, step-by-step, to accomplish a predictable goal. Hunters wander about waiting for a disturbance in the patterns, a movement in the leaves, a color change, a rustle in the hedgerow.

Farmers tend to be ordinarily successful, hunters are either spectacular successes or total failures depending on the amount of discipline they can apply.

School is painful for hunters since it is aimed at farmers. Hunters get bored with the plodding and memorization. They are often pariahs since their skills cannot be easily quantified. They may do well on standardized tests, but their daily work will not predict this outcome. As a case in point, someone close to me went through high school with Ds and Fs, but achieved SAT scores of 700 in math and 750 in verbal.

Many hunters are omnivorous readers and autodidacts.

I finally figured out how my mind worked in mid-life. It was a revelation. My dependence on coffee, my love of rythmic music, my unproductive creativity all formed a clear picture.

It's good to know who and how I am. I don't spend time agonizing over the pain of being an "underachiever". I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam, as Popeye would say, and all-in-all what I yam is pretty damn good.

About the only good thing about the ADD terminology is that it gets me a prescription that helps when I need to stop being creative and start being productive. Since I limit the amount I take, it's a good thing I'm a fairly fast typist.

Hunters of the world arise, you have nothing to lose but your shame!