Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Do I talk too much?

I ask this question largely because I have already reached my own conclusion.

I've been thinking about this a lot lately. When I was really little, I was painfully shy. I didn't even smile in public, actually. Even if I wanted to smile - if I could feel it happening - I would bite the inside of my cheek to keep my lips from spreading. As I got a little bit older and continued through high school, I continued to repress most of my thoughts and feelings. I think there was just too much going on inside to even want to make sense of it outside.

In undergrad I found my footing. I made new friends for the first time since kindergarten. It took me four years, but I realized that I could make friends on my own and perhaps some people (some people) did actually enjoy my company. Becoming increasingly vocal, I joined the conversation.

Now in grad school, more is demanded of me than ever before. The academic bit is something, but the social/personal aspects are really having an effect on my presentation. Teaching and organizing and generally being an adult-type-person means that I am constantly talking. My throat gets dry much more often than I care to admit. Now it feels more like I unnecessarily dominate the conversation. And, by this I mean all conversations. Except in class. Well...some classes.

So, today while this conclusion lolled around in my head, as it has for the past few weeks, I came upon something interesting. While looking at the grade rubric for one of my grad courses this semester, I found that the rubric stipulates than an A student "listens listens listens and responds thoughtfully to class discussion."

I get it. Loud and clear.

I've been looking for a project recently, and I think I've now found it.

I'm going to listen three times (italicized) more than I respond. Because, honestly, I have demonstrated my ability to throw myself into the outspoken, chatty place. Now I need to sit back and moderate the voice I've found.

This can only mean good things.


LP said...

This made me laugh, the part about not smiling in public as a child, even though it's sad!

You don't seem to talk too much. It's good you acquired speaking skills over the years...I haven't, and it makes the listeners more comfortable when other people talk!

That's crazy we're both cancers, and I think we have the same black bowls.

The Empress said...

I've never found that you talk too much, but maybe it's because I talk too much to let you?