This photo above was taken by Dorie Griggs, my wife, last year during my time interviewing Dr. Charlie Weiss.

This past week my daughter said her friend liked that I was direct with conversation. They used the gaming term “Speedrun”.

So with some research I found this about Speedruns.

Speedruns are artistry. Not only do they demonstrate complete mastery over a game, but they also poke away at the edges of what a game intends you to do. Watching a perfect speedrun is similar, I imagine, to watching good gymnastics, but they’re more than just skill-based. They’re borne of a curiosity about the edges of games: the things we’re not meant to see and the things we aren’t supposed to do.

There’s a whole science behind speedruns. Players spend weeks and sometimes years chiselling a perfect path through a game. They exploit minor traversal bugs to gain speed, they tap away at the outer limits of a game world in search of hidden routes, and then they move to execute all these tricks in one graceful swoop. There’s a strong collaborative spirit among speedrun communities, because in the end, it’s all about what’s possible, not who wins.

These are some of the strengths I have as one with Asperger’s. For each of these there is an equally opposite trait. You will find many with Asperger’s are direct.

Before I am sitting down to interview someone on camera, I have done lots of research and prepared for the path I need to take to get what I have as content needs to tell the story. I have done many informal interviews before I sit down.

I become focused just like a kid on an Easter Egg hunt. I know what I am looking for and I go for it.

Professor of Math at Georgia Tech works with his student Gary Clark Alexander on a math problem.

It is very important at times for you to have this kind of focus like the “Speedrunner”, however, there are times you need to slow down.

This little boy shepherd is part of the Fulani tribe which is known for being herdsmen and is working in the village of Soubakamedougou, Burkina Faso on October 15, 2005. The Marlboro company gives hats to the young boy cowboys to promote their product in Burkina Faso.

One of the times I slowed down was in my first time in Burkina Faso, West Africa with a writer. African time or Africa time is the perceived cultural tendency, in parts of Africa and the Caribbean toward a more relaxed attitude to time.

I knew what we needed, but realized very quickly that over three weeks there we had the time to get our content and even more. So, I learned to look around while the writer was interviewing and just observed.

Chelle’s “Hip Hop” dance class invited the parents to photograph and see her work the last 15 minutes of the class time.

The one thing that helped me to observe even more was having children. I would take my camera and just enjoy seeing them take in the world and grow up in front of my eyes.

Taylor during a T-Ball baseball game

Speedrun vs Taking in the Roses

My mentor and friend Don Rutledge took me on many assignments that he self-assigned himself. I did this with Don for many, many years. We traveled around the country doing some of these stories.

John Howard Griffin & Don Rutledge –– This is a photo of Don from 1955 when he worked with John Howard Griffin on the book “Black Like Me”.

When I asked Don why he did so many of these smaller self-assigned stories he said he liked it when he was able to take his time. Sometimes he would go back over a few days to work getting everything he could think of to make a strong visual story as well as the written story he also would craft.

He said these stories let him really master his craft at a slower speed so that when he was working on stories where the time was limited, he like the “Speedrunner” was able to make the most of his time.

Pam Goldsmith, world renowned violist and sister-in-law to our family

Most professional musicians like Pam Goldsmith, who sits first chair on many of the movies you see in Hollywood, must practice for hours each day. Most professional musicians practice 6 to 8 hours a day, 6 out of 7 days a week.

When Pam goes in to play on the latest movie, she and all the other studio musicians have never seen the music before. It has never been played by an orchestra. They take a moment to look it over. They may make a note or two, like bowing motions and then they play it. By the way they record it that first time as well. Then they are done. Seldom do they go back and redo something.

When they do go back it is because the composer may see they made a mistake and need to change something.

Asperger’s also are processing a lot before they are “Speedrunning”.

This may sound contradictory, but it is what I do. Time is such a precious commodity in life. It is the most important thing you can give to anyone. So in order to make the most of my time with people I must know when to ”Speedrun” and when to just “Chill”.