Now you see it…Now it’s different

Nailea Gonzalez

Color is an illusion; it doesn’t exist in the outside world beyond people. People are able to see color  because, “color is a special effect added when you see by your brain with the help of 3 teams of special detectors in your eyes”. Color is created in our minds. Color is a psychological process, creating a scheme. More often than not, colors are associated with feelings and ideas. People are surrounded by countless colors every day, whether it’s in nature or in what people wear or eat; it is a part of life.  

  But what if someone is colorblind? Can experience be gained the same way without certain colors? Color blindness “is an abnormal condition characterized by the inability to clearly distinguish different colors of the spectrum.”  Color Blindness creates a new perspective for people, a way of interpreting and living life creating new memories on a daily basis.

  Jr. Linus Gugino lives with color blindness. After he took a color test around the age of 4 or 5 he found out he had deuteranopia, also known as red-green color blindness. Although Gugino has red-green color blindness, he can still experience color on a daily basis.

  Before he knew he was colorblind, he asked his mom for a jump rope. When she came home a few days later from the store, she pulled a jump rope out of the bag and showed it to him.  She was standing a decent distance away from him, and he excitedly exclaimed, “A red jump rope, just what I wanted!” The funny part was, it wasn’t red. His mother, confused, brought the jump rope closer to him.  She told him it was green, and he realized his mistake, realizing up close that it was in fact green. Soon later, after a couple other minor incidents of seeing the wrong color, Gugino’s parents took him to the doctor to confirm their suspicions.

  In his 6th grade social studies class, Gugino’s colorblindness created a unique challenge for him. He had an assignment on a map where he had to assign climate regions to the map based on color. The map colored certain areas in shades of orange, red, and green, which were the hardest for him to differentiate.  When he would go to get the map checked, his teacher told him he was wrong. Gugino would return and try again, coming up with a different layout that looked just as correct as the first. After many attempts at the assignment, he started to feel disappointed and angry. And then he remembered he was color blind.  His teacher allowed him to skip the assignment.

Surprisingly, Gugino’s color blindness does not have a massive effect on him every day, but instances are often enough that it is noticeable.  For example, when he is in his AP chemistry class he occasionally needs to ask the color of the substances in the test tube when they turn shades or orange, red, or green.  During the interview, Gugino said my shirt had red flowers, but at a glance, the flowers looked green. However, if he looked at them for a little longer, he could identify that the flowers are red.  

When others find out about Gugino’s colorblindness, the usual reaction is to quiz him on the color a variety of red and green colored objects in sight.  When he gets all of them right, they generally ask, “So you’re not actually colorblind.” Gugino has the most trouble seeing certain shades, muddy oranges and reds, light and olive greens, and some others.  Bright colors are not difficult for him to see, and neither are many other shades.

Color plays a vital role in people’s lives and can impact them physically and emotionally.  Color brings exclusive experiences for everyone, and that’s the beauty of it all. Color blindness is just a view of color that brings a new perspective, and shines a new light on the world.