No creo que el mar algún día
Pierda el sabor a sal
No creo en mi todavía
No creo en el azar
I just took another of those online personality tests, something I do just for fun when I’m a bit bored and procrastinating on doing my home-job. This latest one is a fairly new one that’s been in development for some time and, since I’m not really in the mood to hype someone else’s site, I’m not going to link to it or tell you what it is. *chuckles* That’s not really important, though, now is it?
Within each sub-grouping of “personality,” a person is given a main group to be placed into. Mine fell quite a bit into one main group (and a subordinate grouping) that is apparently within the smallest percentage of men and women (3.4% of women and 4.8% of men). The test is still in beta and they are requesting people who fall within this small group to answer several questions about relationships between the groups:
You scored high on Intellectual Curiosity. I am researching relational patterns of the intellectually curious so I would greatly appreciate if you would use the comment form below to answer the following questions.
1. Have you ever been in a relationship with someone as intellectually curious as you? How did it work out?
2. Have you ever been in a relationship with someone far less intellectually curious? How did it work out?
3. How have you met people that you have had relationships with generally?
4. What have you learned from experience regarding relationships?
I find these questions quite interesting, given the personality indicators that this test supposedly tells you about yourself, one of which is “more comfortable around adults as a child.”
I started thinking about the follow-up questions given and that one little line amongst all the other personality indicators, such as “regularly uses ideas and tools to transform understanding, enjoys playing with random interconnections between ideas and patterns, would describe self as a nerd in high school, feels both special and defective, knows the dark side of life well, is not bothered by going long periods without speaking with people,” etc.
“More comfortable around adults as a child.”
When I was younger, I was always told I acted older than my age. Of course, those friend who’ve known me a long time will attest to the fact that I finally have given up and grown down; however, I still find myself most comfortable among people who have had many interesting life experiences. I find myself attracted to people from whom I can learn something, not only about life itself but about myself as well. Fortunately or unforutnately, whichever way you look at it, these people usually tend to be older, something I recognized in myself in college when I realized I would rather discuss things with the non-trads and the professors than the other traditionals as myself. One of my favorite people was a woman of 53 years who had had so many interesting life experiences that just sitting and talking with her was a lesson in itself.
This made me stop and think, just now, about why this is. In college, it was obvious: I was there to learn, not because my friends were there or because I just thought it was what I was supposed to do. I wanted to know as much as possible and I wanted to glean it in as many ways as possible. Just sitting in a classroom gained me nothing, as I generally found myself bored there anyway, and prone to distracting others with my talking and discussing. *laughs* Just like all the other years of schooling I’ve had and one reason both I and my teachers liked me better in independent study classes. *laughs again*
This isn’t a question of identifying with people, although in some smaller way it is. It’s mainly, though, about learning. I grew up in a rural area but know more about life than a lot of people who grew up in large cities. People I’ve met throughout my life were amazed at the “knowledge” I’ve gleaned about human nature and my ability to “read” people. I’m not saying this with a pat on the back, though, because this all comes from letting others teach me, from being willing to let others influence my thinking to the point where I can take all of their ideas, mull them over, muddle through their meanings, and come out in the end with my own ideas, taken from so many but made my own.
I don’t do this to be different, no matter what it seems like to those outside. I’ve often been heard to say that you can’t have faith without, at some point, having doubt. How do you know it’s faith if it hasn’t been tested? That’s like saying I can float all over a pool and know the water will buoy me for hours on end without ever getting in the pool to test this theory. If you know me and my intense dislike for water, you’ll know that water does NOT buoy me because I usually fight it, for reasons that…just for reasons. My feet cannot leave the bottom of the pool. Without letting my feet leave the bottom, without giving myself that split second of wondering, “Will it carry me?” I won’t know the truly amazing feeling of being upheld by water. (The sad part of this, in an off-point side note, is that I have been buoyed by water and know the comfortable feeling it holds to be floating along…unfortunately, that faith is long gone for now.)
I love dichotomy, even within myself. I love solitude but also enjoy being around people, the extroverted person that I tend to be. I’m comfortable still and reading a book or dancing all over the place. I identify more with adults but also eight graders.
Wait…what? What did she just say? Let’s ask me a question, eh? What grade level, if given any choice, would I return to teaching? Junior high schoolers, preferably eighth graders. My cousins think I’m weird, as one wants to teach Pre-K and one just K. *winks* They think eighth graders are too mouthy and mean. *shrugs* They can be, oh yes. I’ve had to comfort students when others were downright cruel. *shrugs again* Let’s call that getting ready for the “real world,” shall we? Not excusing the behavior, just saying that it’s not uncommon, even among adults. Perhaps especially among adults. (Have you ever worked in my office or one like it? If so, you’ll know what I’m talking about…) However, I think of this grade level as the perfect mini-culture of adulthood, all pre-packaged for observation, yet still fresh enough to call a spade a spade without first checking to make sure that no other spades are around to be offended by being called a spade. They are also still fresh enough to discuss the whys of their behavior in shockingly adult ways yet in ways that adults are too world-”wise” to allow themselves to condescend to.
What the heck is this chick talking about and how does it pertain to being more comfortable around adults? Let’s put it this way: Eighth graders are on the cusp of adulthood, stereotypically enough. Yet they haven’t learned yet that their brains should be set in a certain way. They look around and are beginning to see that they either are or aren’t “NORMAL.” But, they are still willing to be openminded enough to state the ways that make them different. They are still willing to discuss the ways that they may not have fully discovered the world and what they “should” be. *sighs* They are able to take a good, hard look at themselves and see what the dislike and want to be something else without completely hating themselves most of the time.
I’m often reminded of discussing cultural setting with my four eighth grade lit classes. Each class surprised me in their depth of realizing stereotypes and hatred of what’s different. They were willing to talk to me about perception. My first question, to get them to open up: “When I first walked into this classroom, what did you think about me?” I expounded on this: What personality traits did they automatically assumed I had? What influenced that? How did the way I dressed influence their belief that they knew who I was? How many were comfortable with me immediately? What if I were like [this] instead? Would they have felt comfortable with me? Able to joke and tell me more personal notes of self?
Surprisingly, in a mixed sub-culture classroom, I got these kids to talk about this, slowly moving outward from myself and what they thought of me (cool, fun, taskmaster, easy to talk to, a listener, etc., mainly based on my haircut, my clothing choices, my jewelry choices, and my first week in the classroom) to a more pervasive explanation of stereotyping within their classroom and their school. We read a story and this led to more discussion: Can we base our own moral issues on people from another culture just because their beliefs aren’t necessarily coinciding with ours? Can we say that this culture’s ideal woman is wrong? Just because she has full hips and a tummy? What if I told you that this particular story was set in this time period and culture? Would you think it wrong? No? Well, then, how can you say it’s wrong within the culture it SEEMS to be set in? (No exact places or dates are given, just mere guesses based on spoken language and family unit structure.)
Slowly, realization dawned on their faces and was voiced throughout the classroom. These kids were seeing something about themselves: I’m from somewhere different than any one of these other people in this room, in this world. I have seen things and done things they haven’t. I am made up of all of these thoughts and experiences. My desire to wear a padlock around my neck is not wrong in comparison to Ms. [last name]‘s decision to wear a bumblebee. It’s just…different.
We also discussed morality and wrongs that are “just wrong.” These kids opened up in a way that I was amazed with and I didn’t want that week of classes to end when we would move on to another story and plot device. I was saddened, knowing that most, if not all, saw something in themselves and in their classmates that many would probably later lose. I thought of something that has always comforted me, though. If letting one student see herself as a person of worth, even if someone who is “different,” lets her be herself and allows her to be a “good person”? If only one “got” this, then I’m content. And, having discussed this since and having realized that sometimes we have a greater, if seemingly fleeting, impact on people we meet, it makes me content to have this small part in someone’s life, this brief moment of opening a door and a window on themselves so they can see out and still allow others to see in.
I learned so much from those kids. The older the grade that I taught and the higher “level” the class I stood in front of, the less I learned myself, sadly enough. I’m quite fortunate, though, that I am still able to find those older people who’ve lived through bad marriages and good marriages, bitter divorces and amicable ones, awful losses of loved ones and amazing findings of others. I’m grateful to be able to say that who I am today is based a lot on the people I’ve found and what they’ve been able to teach me about themselves, about the world, about who I am and want to be. I’ve taken every idea that someone has given me, shaken it down and gnawed on it for all it’s worth, and then stood back to look at the mangled bits. Then, I’ve placed it beside another overly-chewed but similar idea from someone else and an opposing idea from yet another someone else. Then, and only then, have I taken all of those ideas, thoughtfully mangled and masticated, and discovered what I was within the pieces.
My ideas are all mine alone, yet none have come from me solely. I have reasoned out each reason, thought about each thought, and discovered thoroughly each discovery. I have beliefs that are mine because I’ve been given so many to learn from and think about.
When Neal says that I know the whys of my beliefs, he knows what he’s talking about, believe me. I don’t have a belief that was simply handed to me in my cradle. I have beliefs that I’ve fought for, that I’ve searched for, that I’ve given all to find the reasons for.
But. Oh, the dreaded “buts” of a discussion, eh? But, my friends and readers, know this: My beliefs, no matter how scarred my brain is from their conception, are no threat to you and yours. An opinion is just that, a belief that is mine. Yours are safe from outward blasts from me, especially if you know your own whys.
Do I believe that some things are “right” and some things are “wrong”? Is there a such thing as black and white, at least…in some things?
Oh, yes, my dear readers. In some things, there is a right and there is a wrong, no quotation marks needed to offset their supposed validity. But, a lot of the reason I’m here, much of the reason I began this notebook within the vastness of space and time that is Internet, is that I want to put some of my opinions out for scrutiny. I want to make you think. I want to hear your thoughts and, hopefully, continue to learn from you as well.
I want to be able to discuss those things that aren’t black and white. I want to know why you think what you do and what you think about my whys. Most of all, though, I want you to realize this one thing:
Just because I disagree with your opinions, no matter how longheld and precious to you, doesn’t mean I’m threatening your thoughts. We can disagree. That’s allowed in this society, luckily for us, right? We can always disagree. And that’s fine. That’s precious to me, actually, the ability to take what I’ve said and still disagree with me because of the road that’s led you here. But, what I want more than anything, is for civility to reign within these posts. I am not here to diminish your beliefs and your actions based on those beliefs. I shouldn’t hold that power over anyone.
I, most of all, want everyone to believe this: We can be different. We can think differently. We can come to different conclusions about things in life. But, we can still learn from one another and take things away to chew on later. And, if we end up still holding on to our previous belief? Then it’s stronger and less likely to be torn down by a simple argument. Letting someone’s differing belief be a sounding board for your own can help you determine your own whys. And can mean that you no longer need be threatened when someone’s opinion is different.
No creo en Venus ni en Marte
No creo en Carlos Marx
No creo en Jean Paul Sartre
No creo en Brian Weiss