Journal Assignment #1

Posted: February 2, 2011 in Weekly Journal Entries

I’ve attempted so many online blogs prior to this one (Xanga, Livejournal to name a few) but really never bothered updating.  I guess it has always been easier for me to just sit back and escape into my own mind and think to myself then to spill it out into visualized text online or in a notebook. I’ve always enjoyed the idea of a personal mental escape, as it’s during those times where I really am able to reflect without feeling a need to do anything.  Considering the assignment nature of this first blog, I’ll admit that it’s slightly awkward as I feel as if there is a standard I should be pertaining to, yet at the same time I’d rather be comfortable in typing things as my mind continues to spill out.

Coming into this course, I was a tad wary. I had read favorable reviews for the professor and wanted to fulfill my Philosophy and Values breadth requirement.  Guess it’s obvious where that’s led me. I was surprised to come into lecture with such a, for the lack of a better term, enthusiastic professor for a course on personal ethics. Having not taken a course related to this field beforehand, I had expected a professor who would deliver heavy theories in an overly “intellectual” manner that would drive me to sleep. Needless to say, Professor Phillips has kept me engaged for all lectures thus far, though I also must admit that a dark lecture hall combined with images of the universe beyond does cause me to (excuse the pun) “space out”.

The meditation (or “centering”) aspect of the course is something I really enjoy. It has always been something I wanted to fit into my daily life, but always considered too difficult with the amount of things that my mind. Even now, it only comes easy when the professor is leading the centering as my mind seems to only process what he says, whereas my time spent centering on my own has often been unsuccessful due to intrusive thoughts.  Although it should come easier with time, I fear that it won’t for me as the semester continues to build up and influence more urgency and stress in daily matters. For now, lecture and discussion have honestly been the best escapes from my school and organization schedules.

Having read through the enneagram readings, I at first felt confident that I am a type 5 – the observer. The flaws and strong points of that type as well as its associated types seem to fit best as I read through the descriptions.  I, as I’m sure others may have felt, did find some connections with the other types that were explained.  At times, I go back and review the types again and wonder whether I actually overlap between types.  With the professor denying that idea in class, though, I want to say that I am a 5.

I am the type to sit back and attempt to understand all points of view involved before making my own judgement or giving my input. My behavior in these sort of situations is what caused confusion when identifying “my type”.  At times I feel as if I’m a mediator as I usually stand in the middle and attempt to quell the tension between differing opinions in hopes of a “can’t we all just get along” sort of environment.  While reflecting on my behavior in the past definitely pushes for that type, observing myself now, as a coordinator within my organization, as a person who has to act as a leader to so many others, I feel as if my behavior has developed into that of an observer, and sometimes more. As a student leader, being the observer definitely did not benefit the organization on a whole and I tried to adapt a more passionate/”aggressive” sort of role.  Though I have recognized such behavior, it was definitely out of my comfort zone. While I am able to approach the styles of different types, I still feel ultimately that I am an observer in my simplest state.

Though I have chosen a type now, I hope that through this course that I am continually challenged to think further and to explore deeper.  Perhaps I have actually only penetrated the superficial layer of the membrane embracing my essence.

Speaking of membrane, it is quite interesting how much Professor Phillips is able to talk about the more science related aspects of personality development/evolution.  At first I was confused, lost, and wondering why the heck he went on about cells and the growing universe.  Is it already starting to tie together?  Or will he be continuing to throw curve balls in future lectures?

  1. stacymarple says:

    I believe Prof. Phillips will continue to throw curve balls. Some of our work in section will be about trying to figure out how to catch which ones, and where to volley them back, if at all.
    It sounds like you have settled on a personality type, which is great. However here you describe mostly behaviors. remember Prof Phillips urged us to look past behaviors to motivations. This may only strengthen your position as a 5, but for your paper I think it is important to remember this distinction.

  2. stacymarple says:

    ps I just noticed your title, really like it.

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