Monday, March 31, 2008

Sensing vs. Intuition

The second dichotomy concerns how you learn or "how you prefer to take in information".

It is perhaps the most difficult one to understand. I do not even think I have it all down.

Anyways, we shall plunge into this and see what we get.

A sensor tends to focus on the details while those with intuition tend to see the big picture first. My instructor gave this example: We are given an assignment to build a Frisbee thrower. Our sensing teammates will immediately begin thinking of things like the length of the throwing arm and the height off the ground and many other things of that sort and move up. The intuitive teammates will begin instead with the general design and move down.

Like I said before, these two are more difficult to distinguish between. I'm hoping my explanations of them are fairly accurate as well as understandable to others.

Friday, March 28, 2008

When Research leads to Presentations

My college is having what they call the "Undergraduate Research Forum and Awards". It's basically like a research fair. Our advisors cajoled, threatened, or commanded many of us student researchers into preparing presentations for it.

That is today.

So I'll be dressing up in my suit soon and heading over at around twelve to the great hall where we'll be setting up posters. Then the judges will review our work and listen to our presentations from two to four. Then they will take an hour to decide which researchers presented the best. My teammate and I don't expect to make it very far in the rounds. But at least we can walk around in suits and sweat pounds away from sheer nervousness while talking to the judges.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Extrovert vs. Introvert

This is the first dichotomy.

Many people take the extrovert/introvert to mean how friendly or outgoing somebody is. This is not true at all. Like I said before, the words all have different meaning than what we are used to. My instructor claims it is because the MBTI was introduced the eighteen-hundreds when words meant things a little different than they do now.

This dichotomy is about where you get your energy from.

An Introvert will get energy from being by himself and having some "alone time".

An Extrovert will gain energy from interacting with others.

The analogy given to us by my instructor is as follows:
An Extrovert wakes up with an empty bag. Throughout the day, with each interaction with another person, he puts a coin into his bag.
An Introvert wakes up with a full bag. As he interacts with people throughout the day, he gives a coin for each interaction.

Some Introverts can be very outgoing, it will just take them a little more energy to interact than an Extrovert. And some Extrovert can be extremely shy. But it is where they gain their energy from that makes them one or the other.

Hardly anyone is completely one or the other, so you may remember times when you went to a party and came back exhausted, though normally you would be hyped after such an event. Or you may find interactions with others becoming easier over time than you initially found it.

And that is the end of the first part.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

What happens after Spring Break?

You get a bunch of exams! That's right! I've had three, one last week and two this week. I actually forgot about the one today until this morning. Fortunately for me it was only PD1 (Professional Development I) which asked all sorts of questions about the MBTI and which personality traits indicate which MBTI type, conflict management, and team performance models. I believe most of us engineers find this both easy and boring. Or, if we don't find it easy, we at least find it boring.

Speaking of which, have you ever heard of the MBTI?
That is an acronym for the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator. It is based on four dichotomies or scales that sort of go like this:





Each of those is a dichotomy. A person is measured by this and get a combination of four letters, each standing for the characteristic he most prefers.
A couple of things must be said first so you don't get the wrong idea.
First, the words up there don't mean what we use them to mean in our normal lives. They actually have different meaning, the last two dichotomies in particular.
Second, most people fall more in-between the two sides of each dichotomy. But there is usually one side they prefer a little more than the other. And by preferring, I mean which they naturally fall into, not which they choose to be (e.g. I may wish I was an extrovert, but I'm not. I'm an introvert. I "prefer" the introverted side more often that not)

So perhaps you are wondering now what each means (since I told you they don't mean what you think they do)?

Well, I guess this post is long enough. Maybe I'll post the rest later.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Spring Break

Yesterday was the halfway mark for spring break.
My brother has been quick to point this out.

But I have been accomplishing most of the things on my list. It makes me so happy.
This afternoon I played dolls with my younger siblings.
Actually, all of us played save the littlest one (one year olds don't understand that "playing" does not mean "chewing").

It was different. I hadn't played with dolls for a long time (in fact, very few twenty-year olds play with dolls). But it was different for other reasons too.
I think the strangest thing was that I had always played about being grown up and what I would be doing and setting up my house (I loved setting up the houses). But I am nearly grown up now, and have some idea of where I am going. And I get to set up real houses in the form of my apartment. And these I find even more fun then when I had to pretend all of it. So I had to play differently than I used just so as to have fun.

Instead, we got rather ridiculous and played that there were space raiders from the second universe coming to attack, but they were thrown into the third universe. Then some army planes flew in and were shot at by anti-aircraft which was actually the same thing as the space raider zapper. My brother loved it, though I'm not sure my younger sister found it quite as satisfying.

At least now I understand my mum's and aunts' plights when we begged them to play with us. I always wondered why they got so silly...

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

On becoming a "true" American...

According to one of my roommates, some Scottish guy was interviewed in People magazine about becoming an American citizen. He, apparently, mentioned that he already did a lot of American things such as bowling and watching the Super Bowl and complaining about it.
(This information, by the way, came from a roommate who never reads anything of less quality writing than the Wall Street Journal. She was not feeling well yesterday and went to the doctor's. The fact that she read People shows how bad she was feeling.)
This surprised me because I have never been bowling , but I consider myself a fairly thorough American. I said as much to my roommates and caused great shock and consternation amongst them. Immediately, I was invited to go bowling with another roommate that very evening. She had already made plans to go with a few friends, so asking me along was not a big deal.

So I have now gone bowling. You may all consider me to be a "true" American now. I had a great deal of fun, though I scored lowest in both games.
Those shoes, however...
Have you ever really looked at them? They are pretty strange. They are flattish and two-toned. I really wonder who decided to make them piebald like that. It's most peculiar.

Anyway, we rounded off our pleasant evening by observing our basement neighbor get arrested as we drove up. We have no idea why.