Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Problems With Blogging and Personal Assessment Inventories

My main problem with blogging, like journaling before it, is picking out the time to do it. At least I feel like I can type faster than I can write so that I feel like I'm getting somewhere. I set this thing up on Sunday night and here it is Wednesday before I find a chance to write in it again. I've got to figure out how to make this work better. Plus I haven't even started exploring options like how to set it up to email posts to my friends in China who can't access blogspot. The only people I've told about my blog can't even see it. Oh well. There wasn't anything to see yet, so they hadn't really missed anything anyway. One of my concerns about starting a blog was whether I would have the time to do it, and more than the time, the motivation. I've got a lot of stuff to do. I can't imagine how much harder it would be if I had someone to relate to, like a wife, or someone to rear, like a kid.
Like Bart Simpson, I need structure and discipline or I start flying kites on the lawn at night with a psychotic expression. On my own I tend to bounce from one interest to another. I am, in my own leaden way, flighty, like a balloon full of radon. Since my job is pretty much self-structured, life can get interesting. I think a good image of my work structure is a pot of spaghetti that has been spilled on the floor. That is why I appreciate Non-Sequitur Month (April, for the few readers who might find this blog and who also use loofas) so much. It fits my experience of reality and life in general. One thing happens after another which it may or may not be related to. Then another thing happens. Then I eat lunch. Then it rains. You get the idea. Anyway, like I said, I need to work this blogging stuff more seemlessly (bonus points for anyone who can tell me what that sentence means).

One of the classes I'm taking now is Personal Assessment/Ministry Orientation. It is a one hour class that is required of all beginning M.Div. and M.A.R. students here at Trinity. It was not actually a requirement for me since I took a similar class in my first try at seminary but I took it anyway. I was hoping it would help me work out issues of calling and personal SHAPE for ministry, that I should perhaps have worked out several years ago. Parts of it have been very helpful, especially the lifemap exercise, but it's harder to see the personal assessment inventories we have to do as very helpful. I have a lot of trouble with personality tests of any sort. I hate the MBTI and Keirsey type tests. I actually think they can work quite well in terms of their results but I hate, hate, hate, taking them. I'm usually comfortable with the questions to that identify as an introvert or an extrovert but the rest of them usually leave me very frustrated. You have to pick one or they other and they either don't seem to conflict or don't seem to have a preponderately true or false answer, e.g. either they seem equally valid or equally valid at different times. I also don't trust tests that are based on my self evaluative answers based on a grid or continuum of 1-4 or 5 possibilities (or less, occasionally more). As I indicated above I don't experience things in patterns but as unrelated so it's very hard for me to confidently answer what is "usually true" in most cases (obviously there are some things that are very clear, viz. it is usually true that I am really frustrated by personality tests). Also I struggle with the difference between usually, frequently, sometimes, occasionally, seldom, rarely true. How do I know where it fits on that vague continuum, furthermore, what if the event itself is rare but when it happens has a usual occurance? Then where does it go. Finally, what does it say about a person's individuality that they can be summed up by these few questions with these vague answers. It may be that this approach is valid, there's reportedly a lot of research that's been done on it and people I respect accept its general validity, but I don't trust it and I don't like it, even if I do like my type. Research or reading project for somewhere down the line, I guess.

And that's what I did tonight instead of writing my paper that was due in March.


Jenn-Jenn, the Mother Hen said...

I write on my blog when I'm at work and should be, well, working. As to finding the time to write, your mom will occassionally e-mail me and say, "Hurry up and post something already," if I haven't written anything in a week or so.

I'll definitely add your blog to my favorites list, I already have Lydia and Geron's there. Now all I need is for Ann/Daniel and your mom/dad to get blogs, then I can keep up with the whole Clan Meadors!

P.S. Your mom is the one who gave me your blog address, so now you have someone in Texas reading your blog!

Anonymous said...

And of course your mom is reading it. Love you, Bubba.

Lydia said...

Wow!! I'm proud of your entrance into blogdom. We'll have to add each other to our favorites lists. I love you, big brother soon to be uncle!

Everett said...

Thanks for the greetings, y'all.