Particular Passions

Particular Passions: Talks with Women who Shaped our Times

Grace Murray Hopper - On Curiosity.

Grace Murray HopperLynn Gilbert1 Comment

"I WAS BORN WITH CURIOSITY. I always claim that I had a strong resemblance to the elephant’s child in Kipling’s Just So Stories who pokes his nose into everybody’s business. Finally the alligator latches onto his nose and the elephant’s child is pulled away and his nose gets stretched. I remember when I was about seven, we had seven bedrooms up at our summer home for all the cousins to come visiting. Each room had an alarm clock, one of those round ones with two feet and a bell up on top that rings like crazy when the alarm goes off. When we were going on a trip, Mother would always go around at night and set all the alarm clocks. One night she went around to set them and they had all been taken apart. What had happened was that I’d taken the first one apart and I couldn’t get it together so I opened the next one. I ended up with all seven of them apart. After that I was restricted to one clock. It’s that kind of curiosity: How do things work?"

– Grace Murray Hopper, from 'Particular Passions, Talk with Women Who Shaped Our Times', By Lynn Gilbert.

The oral biography of Grace Murray Hopper, whose work with early computers transformed mathematical symbols into words, helping to usher in the era of technology.

This brief chapter is available for $0.99 on Amazon and Apple, one of 42 chapters that recounts the accomplishments, frustrations and passions of the great women of the 1920s-1970s.