I have written previously that I committed early to our school and have not wavered, but actually, that is not in line with my real personality type.
Have you ever taken one of those personality indicator tests? The ones that give you one of 16 different personality types made up of 4 letters? I stumbled upon this test my last semester of Law School in an elective class that I had to apply to get into – “Street Law.” The class would meet once a week, but the other hours would be spent being a guest teacher in an inner city high school civics class twice a week. The advisor for the workshop-like class didn’t give the test as part of the application process, but out of 12 of us that got in, I recall that all 12 of us were the same personality type. But, it got even more amazing when the advisor explained to us that this was the least likely personality type to be found in law school. How did we all end up there together and why the hell didn’t I take this test BEFORE I went to law school? Anyway, one of the attributes, the last letter, accounts for how you make decisions. Here is a question that explains this attribute: In dealing with the outside world, do you prefer to get things decided or do you prefer to stay open to new information and options? If you like to get things done, you are given the letter J, if you prefer to keep your options open, you are given a P. The other Street Law teachers and I were all strong Ps – and in fact, as I mentioned above, we all 12 of us had the same other 3 letters as well – indicating that we processed information more emotionally and less logically, that we were more extroverted than introverted (and thus hated long hours of reading law books by ourselves), etc. etc. and that we liked to keep our options open and were comfortable with the unknowns – because we knew it would all work out eventually, why pin us down too soon?
So, a friend of mine was just talking to me about this whole personality system, right around the time we were planning our school’s Halloween Spooktacular. Well, planning is a loose word. And, I wasn’t doing much of the planning myself. My husband and I offered to bring in live music (my brother’s eclectic performance art-like costume band “The Radioactive Chicken Heads“) so we felt we were doing our part already. The real planning was left to a new parent who dared to chair the event before understanding that our school has its own personality type when it comes to putting on events. It seems we are a little to heavy on the P aspect, that type category I described above that doesn’t like to be pinned down.
Weeks in advance the chair wasn’t getting enough response from other parents. The person who volunteered to bring tamales wouldn’t return emails to confirm they were coming – so more were purchased. We weren’t sure what other kind of food would materialize. No one committed to the decorations. It was a struggle to get people to commit to helping out. How would this all be pulled together without a real clear plan of action??
But, of course the event turned out great – the food was amazing, the games were fun, the band was a big hit and a beautiful Day of the Dead Altar was erected for the occasion. Sure, it wasn’t a professional carnival with rides or huge prizes, but there were arts and crafts, a penny toss and other games, some even involving green slime. There were hotdogs, popcorn, delicious homemade chili & pumpkin soup, savory salads, scrumptious baked goods and of course, loads of tamales (the left-overs were sold the following days). There were plenty of parents to help out. The kids played the games, ran around in their costumes (even alumni came back dressed up), they danced to the live music, and were sent out for an evening of trick or treating with a head start on candy collecting.
Maybe we could use some more parents at our school with some stronger J tendencies – the ones who commit early not only to the school, but to planning way in advance for special events. I for one, would be happy to follow their lead. But in the meantime, we should all just kick back and enjoy the ride. With more spontaneity in our lives, amazing things can happen!