Sunday, October 18, 2009

Questioning My Traits

I would like to question some of my traits. I am aware that I got most of my physical traits from my parents. People say that I look like my mom, got my eyebrows my dad and height from both parents. Nonetheless, there are certain traits of which I cannot trace their existence to.

Why do I have bad vision? My parents never had myopia, or nearsightedness, but they do have reading glasses, as a product of old age I assume. I begin to notice my vision blurring between third and fourth grade. As a result, I was the owner of a new pair of glasses in the beginning of fourth grade. I would consider my vision horrible right now; I cannot see with either glasses or contacts. Did the environment and my surroundings contribute to my poor vision?

Why do I have crooked teeth? My parents have teeth that are not perfectly straight but straight enough in order to not need any orthodontic aid. My brother’s teeth are fine as well. I had to get braces. Why me?

Where did I get my work ethic? I seem to spend a lot more time on studying and doing homework than both my brother and my parents. I try hard on everything that I do, especially in school. My parents are not the best at speaking English, and this led them to receive a mediocre education. However, my brother, born in the United States with good English skills, spends less time on homework and receives superior grades. I have heard that some people are slower than others. Does this characteristic come from the influences of others?

Why do I not enjoy the smell and taste of durian? If you do not know what durian is, it is an odiferous yellow fruit with a hard, prickly shell. This fruit is enjoyed in several parts of Southeast Asia, and both of my parents are fond of the fruit. On the other hand, both my brother and I do not find this fruit appealing. Taste is a product of our genes and environment. Our food preferences are determined by multiple factors, including genes, experience and age. Genes play a part by giving a person a predetermined taste preference, and our environment is a factor in learning new tastes. In looking at my example of durian, genes seem to play a small role. Speaking of taste, there is a fifth taste called umami, which is the taste of MSG (monosodium glutamate). Both of my parents claim to taste MSG, but I cannot distinguish it from other “good” tastes. In looking at my experiences, genes play a minimal role in taste detection.

These are only a few of the qualities that I notice to be not parallel with my genetics. Hmmm…that gives me something to think about…


  1. I believe that everything happens for a reason. Even though we are influenced, things will happen.

    My brother has a much easier time with his studies than me. I study very hard and do well while he studies some and does well. why me?

    We are who we are and it is probably who we have always been. But then again, why are we the way we are?.

  2. I explore these issues because family shares genetic traits, yet some of our behaviors are completely different. Then again, perhaps EVERYTHING cannot be attributed to either genetics or environment. Sometimes there are things that cannot be explained...