When ‘introvert’ isn’t a complete description


During the summer of 2007, as I was wrapping up my year in Los Angeles, our little volunteer community took some personality inventories.

I don’t know why we took these assessments at the end of our volunteer experience. Perhaps it was meant to serve as confirmation of behavior and preferences rather than uncover new insight. I walked away with some enlightening information and yet there were still plenty of questions.

I learned I was considered very introverted. Scoring 9 or possibly 10 out of 10.

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Plea to teachers: Be patient with questions


Every teacher has a moment at least once a day when a student asks a question about something that has just been explained, and the teacher’s natural reaction is “Weren’t you listening?”

Asking questions in class and seeking clarification is scary. At some point, a person gets ridiculed for asking. Maybe it seems like poor timing, even in a situation like this:

Teacher: (wrapping up a long discussion of what to expect and what sections to review) The test will be Friday. … (Brief pause) … Any questions?

Student: When’s the test?

I know it seems easy to write off a scenario like this as the kid zoned out or was clearly not paying attention. I’m sure there are ways of judging that.

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Two-Face living and after-school meltdowns

Looking back, I am so amazed at my level of awareness to surroundings. I knew being in public meant needing to put forth as much effort to be “good.” I distinctly remember being on my best behavior with relatives visiting, trying to smile and be happy. Once they left, my attitude changed almost instantly. I didn’t understand why it was so difficult to just stay happy.

It’s also why in high school I termed this phenomenon “being two-faced.” I was pleasant, trying to be as easy-going as possible at school and then all the emotions and irritations were let loose at home.

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