Notes for Chapter B, “Leaving the Nest for ‘M.I.T.'”
This chapter has not been updated to the new format for 5-1/2 x 8″ trim size when shrunk down, since it was written from scratch (except for one panel) in 2019. When upgraded, it should increase in length — perhaps doubling to the “average” of 20 pages — primarily by spreading out existing material with more pictures. However, there will likely be some new material added, such as introducing Aspie Mouse’s siblings to witness him being “kicked out of the nest.” That will help set up the return to his life in Chapter G of his one brother D and youngest sister E. E will continue to appear occasionally in subsequent chapters, Especially Ch. I (Zoo chapter). There may also be a bit more shown of AM’s time at “M.I.T.”
By the way, the answer to Question B4c (last part) is any variation of “You wouldn’t be happy here” or “You probably wouldn’t fit here,” or in the extreme, “Why don’t you go back where you came from?” All of which is unfair and hurts — a lot! Toe/ Hashtag isn’t saying it to AM out of prejudice, but out of genuine concern for him; that still doesn’t reduce the potential hurt, or its possible effect in limiting AM’s choices if he listens to her, rather than what his heart is telling him he should do.
The author had a cousin who was pushed toward vocational high school because he wasn’t “smart enough” for an academic high school. He made a good living as a tool & die-maker, eventually starting his own business. His eldest son became an accountant (a profession known for high intelligence scores), then Chief Financial Officer, and then bought & ran a manufacturing business! Not smart enough??
This “you wouldn’t be happy here” argument was (& is) used to discourage women & minorities from entering certain high-paying “white male” professions, or moving to certain towns or neighborhoods. Might it be part of the reason people diagnosed as being on the Autism Spectrum often experience 70-80% unemployment rates?
Questions for Thought/ Discussion: Ch. B, “Leaving the Nest for ‘M.I.T.'”
B4: At the bottom of p. B8 and top of p. B9, Aspie Mouse and Toe/ Hashtag disagree as to the reason(s) AM can’t or shouldn’t be a “lab mouse.”
a. How did you react when Aspie Mouse said he couldn’t be a lab mouse because he’s grey, whereas lab mice are all white? Does he have a point? Does his complaint remind you of anything in the human world?
b. What reasons do Toe/ Hashtag give for why AM is not a suitable lab mouse? Does she have a point?
c. Summarize the final reason/ argument Toe/ Hashtag gives for discouraging AM for wanting to be a human lab mouse (in first panel on p.B9 following “besides …”) in a simple sentence of 10 words or fewer (even better if as few as 5 words). How might someone in power deny a person buying a house, renting an apartment, applying for a job, etc., by “creating” such an argument/ story? How might creating such a story take attention away from or justify (make seem reasonable; help disguise) a person in power’s possible discomfort/ prejudice about something superficial in the applicant — race, gender, ethnicity, age or disability? Then how might the person in power use that story to discourage an applicant (for the house, apartment, job) from moving forward?
d. Building on c, if you’re given the argument that Toe/ Hashtag gives Aspie Mouse, and you believe it should be challenged (whether you agree with it or not), how might you do so?