And by “three things,” I mean personality traits.
The English teacher in me feels a need to explain what personality traits are. So please indulge me, and I’ll explain it the way I would to my kiddos:
Personality traits aren’t things that make you pretty, or at least not in the purely superficial, outer appearance kind of way. Instead they are the things that make you an individual. When looking at characters in stories, books, movies, or television shows, you have to be able to determine a person’s personality (or moral character) by looking at their actions, or how they say things. A character who beats up another character for his lunch money is probably a bully. His actions might be that he speaks angrily, or that he inflicts pain without thinking about his actions. Thus his personality traits might be described as: insensitive, rude, brash, or (if we want to give him a positive spin) forceful.
“These things are inferred….”
And then the lesson could continue. For my purposes here, I don’t think I need to give anyone a reading assignment. Of course, if you want one, let me know, and by all means I will oblige with an appropriately relevant passage and questions.
A passage from The Story of O would make for an interesting character study…
“To say that from the moment her lover had left, O began to await his return would be an understatement. She turned into pure vigil, darkness in waiting expectation of light.” —Pauline Réage
As for me, well, if you’ve been keeping up on here, you already know I’m quite a character*. I make mistakes, and I share them with the world…which may or may not be the best way to handle such things. But I do have a few things that I’m proud of.
I am Honest
Now, that doesn’t mean that I’m the 100% brutally, painfully honest type of gal. I do sugar coat things, and contrary to popular opinion (or at least contrary to the Artist), that doesn’t make me a big fat liar. Instead, it means that I keep other people’s feelings in mind when I tell them something. I’m learning this may be one of the things that makes me unique.
But more on that in a minute…
I have a friend, whom I refer to as the Olde Man, and he has a quote that I’ve heard before from another Old Man, but that has become something of a mantra for me:
It makes a lot of sense when you think about it, and I know that my life has become a lot less chaotic since I stopped trying to change who I am for the various people who have come waltzing in and out of my life. There is something strangely rewarding about knowing that the people who choose to stick around in my life are doing so because they are dealing with (and like!) the real me.
I am Compassionate.
Those people who don’t stick around, and even some of the ones I have chosen to keep around as friends find it difficult to show compassion when giving bad news or when offering advice. Apparently being nice is an art form.
I suppose that last wasn’t very nice, but I’ve been on the wrong end of some “well-meaning advice” that left me feeling worse than whatever bad thing the person was supposedly trying to help me deal with.
Teachers are given advice about how to deal with students and parents alike that I thought made fairly common sense, but perhaps that’s because I inherently do it. They teach teachers to begin criticism with a positive statement. Spin it in a positive direction before you crush a student’s soul by telling them they are wrong.
Kids (especially the teenaged ones) are exceedingly sensitive and need to believe that they are right, and the center of the universe.
And they get this from their parents (for the most part) who like to make them feel like they are the center of the universe, effectively putting them on a pedestal that, as a teacher, from which it is potentially career ending to knock the poor kid down.
The necessary “spin” comes somewhat naturally to me. It’s not a lie, but sugar coated to fit the necessary situation.
This skill also comes in handy when trying to work through a loophole. I’m awesome at loopholes!
This comes up a bit–probably because I am REALLY proud of this trait… And it’s constantly under attack. I have lived through multiple experiences with students in which they tried to accuse me of being racist because they were in trouble.
That particular argument drives me somewhat insane! I have friends of different races, cultures, age ranges, sexual orientations, and any other superfluous way we separate and categorize ourselves. My main determining factor on whether or not a person is a worthwhile individual has to do with their ability to have an intelligent conversation and on whether or not they care about the people around them, NOT the color of their skin or who they choose to love.
And I think we should stop there, I can feel myself about to jump on a soap box, and there’s no need for that right now. Besides, this particular post feels more like boasting than anything else, and that’s not what I think it was meant to be.
*Side note: I am running on very little sleep, so forgive the oddly campy sense of humor in today’s post.