barrel

Today we’ll score our personality tests. Or so we were told by our torso of a psych professor. Not fat, but an astonishingly barrel-like man. He rolls back and forth across the front of the lecture hall, confidently pronouncing about the distribution of different personality types in our class. Since we’ve got 80-100 students in the class, there ought to be enough to get fairly even dispersal.

For homework, we’d been instructed to fill out an online questionnaire and designate his email to receive the results. Walking in at 9:25, I took the proffered score sheet, an indecipherable alphanumeric jumble.

The barrel spews out words. Anyone with an EX score over 3.5 should raise their hands. Maybe half of our number raise the trademarked college student bent-armed salute, refined over the generations to convey as much participatory reluctance as possible. These, we’re told, are the room’s extroverts. They thrive on social interaction.

My score is way lower, a 1.6, so I don’t do anything. The barrel starts again. Now he wants everyone with an EX score below 1.75 to raise their hands. I do so. In my sleepy state, it takes a few moments to realize everyone’s looking at me. I’m the only one with a hand in the air.

Perfect. Of course the other introverts wouldn’t identify themselves. My professor addresses me. What traits do I think make me an introvert? How about the fact that I never speak up in class and I never do things to draw attention to myself? He nods, deeply contemplative of my sarcasm. “Fascinating,” he says.

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