INFJ

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INFJ stands for Introverted Intuitive Feeling Judger. The INFJ would be best suited acting or doing mechanical work. Easily spottable for sharp noses and “angry eyebrows,” the INFJ is comfortable in the physical world as well as in the world of ideas.

Leading with Fe (extroverted feeling), the INFJ can sense the feelings of their surrounding community. However, this does not necessarily mean that the INFJ innately cares about these feelings. The INFJ who prefers Ni (introverted intuition) falls in love with ideas; they are not afraid to discuss the complexities of conspiracy theories. However, if an INFJ prefers Se or Fe, they will prefer physical luxuries and participating in social outreach.

Like the interlocking pieces of broken-heart necklaces, INFJ women quite often fall for ESTP men, each enjoying the practical sensibility of the other. In friendship, INFJ’s and INTP’s get along swimmingly, given their appreciation for the other’s intellect; they are often referred to as the golden pair.

Well-developed INFJ’s use their strong sense of community awareness to bring harmony to a group. INFJ’s understand the language of sincere kindness, but beware; when wronged, they can burn their enemies to the ground.

ISFP

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(This is an article about MBTI types..)

ISFP stands for Introverted Sensing Feeling Perceiver. The ISFP would be best suited in a lab coat or artist’s smock, given their aptitude for physical precision. This comfortableness in the physical realm is seen in their well-formed skeletal structures, particularly in strong jawlines and cheekbones.

Leading with Introverted Feeling (Fi), the ISFP has an intense emotional investment in the people they love. Because of this emotional investment, they take things personally, even if no offence was meant.

Since the ISFP’s second function is Extroverted Sensing (Se), they are acutely aware of their environment. This makes it natural for them to express their emotions in physical ways, such as making food or exhibiting PDA’s.

Oftentimes, the ISFP’s idealism can make them seem like an INFP, but the key to distinguishing the two is in the facial math; The ISFP is usually slimmer and harsher, and has a sharp edge, inwardly harboring an INTJ-like disposition. When angered, the ISFP is not afraid to tell the offender exactly why they’re wrong.

Look for ISFPs anywhere there is coffee or chemistry sets. ISFPs, given to refinement and romance, are especially drawn to places like Paris and Vienna.

Dr. Beverly Crusher (Star Trek TNG), Se-dom ISFP.

Beverly Crusher, Se-dom ISFP.

Bury Yourself in Study

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Yale. A good place to hide, I’m sure.

People spend years in college burying themselves in study, because as long as they’re reading textbooks and writing papers, they don’t have to get to work.

The real world is a place of danger to face and jobs to do. But while you’re in college, you’re in a bubble where you can safely hide and read about the lifecycle of the Hungarian eggplant, and in the context of college life, this makes complete sense, and you don’t have to think about how the heck you’ll apply what you’ve learned. But once you step out into the real world, you realize that nobody gives a dime about the lifestyle of an eggplant, and actually, there are people everywhere who are doing things.

Reading a textbook won’t make you better at building Shaker furniture, nor will it give you fluency in Cantonese. But it will give you time; for as long as you’re studying, you don’t have to put what you know to the test. Studying is a walled city where the citizens know that as long as they have their noses in the books, they don’t have to walk out that front gate to forage for food, even though they’re starving.

Other Blogs

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I once kept a fabulous blog called House of Happy, and I was known in the blogosphere as J. P. Cabit. As life started gaining steam, though, I got distracted and found I didn’t have much time for it anymore. So, reluctantly, rather than disappointing my readership with few-and-far-between posts, I shut the blog down.

I found I couldn’t keep away from blogging for long, though. I went ahead and started a couple others, under the name of Mikel Maine. This blog, 73,000, was the first I started. In case you’re curious as to what I used to write, or as to what else I’ve been writing, here are the links to these three blogs.

House of Happy. Writing. This was my blog of three years, just recently started back up. Mostly imaginative wanderings.

Seventy-Three Thousand. Math, Science, Psychology. This blog you’re reading now. A place to cultivate my scientific curiosity.

Mr. Schliemann. Linguistics, Language Learning. Here, I document my efforts in learning Mandarin Chinese, as well as letting out other linguistic musings.

Speed Speaking

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Phew. My mouth feels like it just ran a marathon.

Fridays are my days off. So I spent like a million hours today on Chinese. On Thursday I shared a fun language secret, and today I’m sharing another one. Even though I originally thought I would hate hearing my recorded voice, I decided to go for it anyway. First, I wrote out a short story in Chinese, then I recorded myself saying it at a normal pace.

1 minute, 3 seconds, my iPhone voice recorder told me.

I wanted to see if I could do it quicker!

So I did it again, speaking faster and faster, falling into a rhythm that I’d heard in Chinese videos—each syllable takes its own beat, and it ends up sounding very syllabic and robotic. It felt really good. Like mouth therapy! I managed to get my speaking time down to thirty-nine seconds.

Right now, after doing this exercise, my confidence has skyrocketed and I feel more than ever ready for the HSK 3.

Speaking of native speakers, I found this awesome Taiwanese video. I expected it to be a gag but it made me want to cry, for whatever bizarre Laowai reason.

Learning Mandarin Words Quick(ly)

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怎么记住汉字记得很快
Zěnme jìzhù hànzi jì de hěn kuài

How to learn Chinese words quickly.

For the HSK 3 (The official Chinese proficiency test) I have to learn 600 of these. I’m at about 550 at this point—But I still have a good way to go.

For some reason, though, in the past week my comprehension has exploded. A professor was late for a class, and in those fifteen minutes I pulled out my vocabulary-to-learn list and started copying characters. Kept at it on and off through class. By the end of the class I had learned (by heart) about 8 new characters!

So I’ve started to use this new technique and it’s worked amazingly.

1. Write down (pinyin/character) the words you’re learning.

2. Write the Hanzi/Pinyin in black, and the corresponding English in red.

3. Put each new word in a Chinese sentence.

4. Rest your eyes and mind for a moment. Come back to the words every few minutes, repeating, solidifying the words in your mind.

It’s worked wonders. The HSK 3 in May. I hope I’ll be ready. Any other aspiring Chinese-speakers care to share quick-learning secrets?

 

2020 Goal

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When I was little, whenever I read a Gideon Bible, I’d go directly to the back of the book so I could stare at the different languages. (My favorite was Sinhalese.)

I learned Italian in my early high school years, but have since forgotten it. At sixteen, I tried to learn Spanish. Tamil was next in 2008. This was one of my most influential languages, because it introduced me to everything non-English. I had no concept of the distinction between nominative and accusative, (most people, I’ve found, don’t know how to use “Who” and “Whom” properly,) we think of sounds in terms of letters (an alphabet, I’ve found, is a pretty inefficient way of writing), and we don’t recognize the difference between aspirated and un-aspirated consonants (We aspirate the T but don’t aspirate the G in the word “tourguide”). In short, English is the weird language.

My five most-familiar languages (chronologically) are Italian, Russian, ASL, Portuguese, and Chinese. While I’m not technically a polyglot yet—I’m truly fluent in none of these—I realized recently, if I just work at these five languages, I could speak six languages total. And that’s my goal by the year 2020.

Aspergers – Blocking Out Extra Noise

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Asperger’s Syndrome automatically scares people. When I tell people that I experience it, the first response I get is usually, “No, I don’t think you have it.” It’s because when people think of Aspergers, they think of extreme cases of social impairment. What they don’t realize is that Asperger’s Syndrome is a spectrum, and chances are, most people are somewhere on there.

I started learning about Asperger’s Syndrome six months ago, and at first I wholly rejected the notion that I might have it. Because I, like the people I mentioned at the beginning, had always assumed that “Aspies” are impaired, and that they view life as a cold equation. I eventually realized that it’s not like that. Having Asperger’s just means needing certain conditions to relax.

Once I embraced the notion that I might have AS, I started allowing myself to make concessions for my over-processing of noise. And now everyone knows that when I put on my soundproof earmuffs, I’m shutting off all the extra noise so I can read, write, or even just think. On a bus or in a cafeteria, with my headphones on, I can block out all the noise and just enjoy silence.

My Peltor Earmuffs…you can purchase them on Amazon for $21.

My Peltor Earmuffs…you can purchase them on Amazon for $21.

Polyglotism

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There’s a seventeen-year-old in New York who has taught himself twenty-three languages. Insane! Here’s a list of what he speaks…

English
French
Hausa
Wolof
Russian
German
Yiddish
Hebrew
Arabic
Pashto
Farsi
Mandarin
Italian
Turkish
Indonesian
Dutch
isiXhosa(?)
Swahili
Hindi
Ojibwe
Persian
Croatian
Spanish

I am by no means a polyglot, but it is a life goal of mine. Currently, I speak only English fluently, and on top of that I can speak “moderate-beginner” Russian and Chinese, and “super-beginner” Portuguese and American Sign Language. I know that this is not really anything to brag about in terms of really “knowing your stuff,” so I’m still reaching for the stars. Or, the dictionaries I guess.

But I’m looking at the young polyglot’s situation…he’s young and bright. He’s got all the time in the world to learn languages. But I’m still working through Chinese, and I need to get cracking if I want to become a polyglot. And I’m looking ahead, and seeing Korean in the distance with very little in between. I’m wondering if, and hoping that, I’ll have time to build up my portfolio before I get old and become an “If I Had Only.”

Introvert Mythology II

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To read Part 1, click here

All introverts are really deep. While this is true for many introverts, it is also true for extroverts. The definition of “shallowness” often varies from person to person. If you say of someone else, “They’re really shallow,” that’s all good and wonderful, and may very well be true. But as soon as you start lumping groups of people together, you’re bound to run into a wall. It boils down to prejudice, really.

When it comes to introverts and extroverts, introverts are better at interacting one-on-one. Some of my best one-on-one hang-out times have been with other extroverts. Many times people overlook dynamics completely. Could it be that, simply, homoverted types get along more smoothly than heteroverted types?

Introverts are superior. As with any other prejudice, this one falls short of being true by a mile. It’s the same as saying that extroverts are superior, or that Pepsi is superior to Coke.

Responding to Extrovert Pride by going Introvert Proud will get you nowhere—you’ll just become the thing you hate. To become balanced people, we have to reject stereotypes and dogma, and learn to see the good in each side.