Jan. 21, 2015
Guess what? I’m an extrovert. To anyone who knows me at all, that is hardly a shocking statement. My family teases me about making friends with strangers who are only asking for directions and I was voted most talkative in my high school class. I love public speaking and being in a group is fun for me. So, I didn’t really need any test to tell me I’m an extrovert.
That said, a couple of coworkers and I decided to take an online Myers-Briggs personality test just for fun. The results and coordinating profiles were pretty spot-on. As we shared our results, it was almost scary how accurate a lot of it was. Though we work together and are friends, we’re all very different people. Some of us are more rational (not me), some of us are emotional (um, yep), some of us need order (ha!) and some of us crave a free flow of new ideas (without question). Yet, put us together and we make a really incredible team.
Our differing personalities complement each other and when woven together get the job done. The creative types need people to ground them. The numbers people need others to come up with ideas. Each one of us is important to the team, but together is where we really shine. Bottom line is we need each other and we need to be different.
Yet for all our differences, I still see characteristics that we all seem to have. No surprise, it’s really things that I see in all Spartans. Things like being determined. Whether it’s creating a graphic, researching a story, doing the budget, shooting video or any number of other things my colleagues do, each one is determined to do the best work they can. We’re all united in the work we do promoting the incredible things happening at MSU and beyond. And you won’t find a more genuine group of people anywhere. Mostly, we all want to make a difference. We are Spartans.
You can find Spartans of all kinds all over this world. Just last week my daughter was on a layover in the Amsterdam airport and saw a woman in an MSU shirt. My daughter walked by and said, “Go Green.” The woman responded, “Go White” and they both went on their way. I’ve heard countless similar stories and had them happen to me as well.
You can run into other Spartans in Nebraska, Rhode Island, France, China, Malawi and Thailand. You might even run into other Spartans, including a dean, right here in East Lansing while you’re at the gym sweating away on the elliptical singing “I Will Survive” to yourself. Yeah, good thing I’m an extrovert.
Recently you would have found a group of students who were with their professor on a research ship in the middle of the Pacific Ocean studying the ancient history of Earth’s geomagnetic field. I’m guessing that research team had all kinds of different personalities on it, but their common goal as Spartans brought them all together. John Greene, a senior from Grand Rapids, Michigan, studying environmental geosciences, was one of the students. Read his STUDENT VIEW: Spartans at Sea, to learn more about his adventure.
András Komáromy, an associate professor of ophthalmology in the MSU College of Veterinary Medicine, has a personality that won’t allow for him to follow just one career path. He not only researches inherited blinding diseases affecting both animals and humans, but is also a practicing clinician. In true Spartan fashion, he is determined to not only find answers but to implement solutions that will change lives. Read his FACULTY VOICE: Double Visions to learn more about his work.
Spartans are made up of extroverts, introverts, thinkers, feelers and everything in between. No one Spartan is exactly like the other, no matter how many traits we share.
I recently came across a video that we featured more than a year ago from
MSU alumnus William T. Langford IV—aka Will the Poet. His spoken-word poem “Schooled,” gives me chills every time I watch it. If you haven’t seen it, check it out. He focuses on differences, but inspires us all to celebrate those things that aren’t the same.
Will has said that he dedicates himself “to celebrating what makes each of us different and using that difference as a tool to create, educate and travel the world.” Wouldn’t it be great if more of us did that?
Photo by Derrick L. Turner