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Myers-Briggs MBTI INTP Strikes Again: My Step-son's Graduation

Updated on March 10, 2019
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ME has spent most of his retirement from service to the United States studying, thinking, and writing about the country he served.

OK, SO HERE I AM, sitting high up in the bleachers in the Stephens C. O'Connell Center arena at the University of Florida (GO GATORS) in Gainesville, FL watching the first graduating senior walk up the stairs to the stage in order to take their Walk; thus marking the completion of many years of hard work leading one of the singular achievements in a young persons life. Waaaayyyy, down on the arena floor, this is a big areana, don't you know, are two great blocks of chairs, approximately 1250, broken into two 625 chair sets separated by an aisle running between them; both are chock full graduating seniors, about 800 of them from all sorts of Schools that comprise the University.

You have students earning Bachelor of Arts in such subjects as Business Administration and Education as well as Bachelor of Sciences in subjects like Engineering, Nursing, and Construction. When the students were marching in, they came in two diagonal columns, one from each corner of the arena behind the chairs and came together at the aisle between the chairs before marching to their assigned seats. As it turned out, most of the Bachelor of Arts students came from the left side of the arena and most of the Bachelor of Science students came from the right; below where I was sitting. Thus starts my story.

Why is the Left line Chaotic and the Right line Not?


It is Strange How the Mind Works. Isn't It?

AS AN INTP, I am prone to wonder about things; that is what we do. In this case, I was watching the the line coming from the left because this is where my step-son would be coming from; he was receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration (ironically, this was not a Bachelor of Arts, but it isn't engineering either, as you will see). Anyway, I have a military background and when people march in a line, I expect them to stay in line; these people weren't, which caught my attention; maybe they were practicing management by walking about, in any case, it got me wondering.

I started watching more closely to see how the disorder developed. It mainly occurred in two or three ways, 1) two people would walk side-by-side talking, losing cadence; 2) a person would turn-around and look up in the crowd behind them, perhaps looking for somebody, losing cadence, sometimes stumbling; and 3) simply slowing down or speeding up and thereby disrupting the procession. The result was the line seldom had a period of stability where one person followed another at roughly the same speed and distance; in physics, you could call this line turbulent. Now, I didn't identify this all at once, it was the end result of my pondering.

It akso came about because I happened to see the line on the right, which was coming from directly below me. It occurred to me almost immediately that I was looking at line of soldiers marching solemnly toward their seats; not looking left very much, not looking right very much; then I remembered I was looking at Science students. I looked back to the line on the left, then back to the line on the right; then I took the pictures at which you are looking.

It is fairly easy to guess part of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicators of the right line, the one made up of science graduates, as being 'NT' or iNtuitive Thinkers, with a sprinkling of 'ST', Sensing Thinkers. There was probably an overabundance of 'I's, or Iintroverts, as well, because I suspect 'I's generally go with 'T's. Finally, let me take a shot at the last letter, 'J' or 'P', Judgemental or Perceptive. 'J'-types project themselves to the world in terms of how they come to decisions, i.e., Feeling or Thinking, while 'P'-types appear as Sensors or Intuitives, how they receive information. Given, most of the people in the line to the right are mostly like '_ST_'s or '_NT_'s, chances seem bright for a weighting toward 'J'-types. Let's see what an INTJ might choose for a career.

  • Scientists
  • Engineers
  • Professors and Teachers
  • Corporate Strategists and Organization Builders
  • Medical Doctors / Dentists
  • Business Administrators / Managers
  • Military Leaders
  • Lawyers / Attorneys
  • Judges
  • Computer Programmers, Systems Analysts and Computer Specialists

As to the left line? I am not as certain; other than it is not INT_. For sure, there were a bunch of Extroverts, 'E's, because the world is full of 'E's; not so many 'I's, which dominated the right line. You moght also assume there would be an excess of Feelers, 'F's, people who make decisions via their heart, in that group as well. Why? Because you have educators, a whole suite of business administration functions, and the like. Granted, there are several of the business admin functions which are more technically, 'ST'- oriented, but there are quite a few that require an empathetic approach as well.

Further, I would suspect how people in this arena receive their information, through their Senses, 'S', or Intuitively, 'I', may be split somewhat evenly. How about the 'J's and 'P's? All I can say here is there are more 'J's in the world, just as there are Extroverts, than there are 'P's and I don't see anything driving the selection one way or the other. Consequently, my guess is the majority of the people in the left line might be ESFJs or ENFJs. What kind of jobs do these people lean toward?

  • Home Economics
  • Nursing
  • Teaching
  • Administrators
  • Child Care
  • Family Practice Physician
  • Clergy or other religious work
  • Office Managers
  • Counselors / Social Work
  • Bookkeeping / Accounting
  • Administrative Assistants
  • Facilitator
  • Consultant
  • Psychologist
  • Social Worker / Counselor
  • Teacher
  • Sales Representative
  • Human Resources
  • Events Coordinator
  • Sales Representative
  • Politicians / Diplomats
  • Writers

Now, in comparing these two lists, I will let you make your own judgement as to which group would be more likely to be precision marchers and which might take in the sights as they moved toward their seats.

Hair and Myers-Briggs

AFTER ALL OF THE GRADUATING seniors and taken their seats, the proceedings began. They weren't what I remembered, there were no long speeches, the valedictorians didn't get up to give inspirational talks, nor did the deans; they basically got right down to it after a few awards.

Starting from the left, the graduates stood up in their row and marched up to the stage to be announced, take their Walk, shake hands with some dignitaries, do a Tebow or celebratory shake, walk off-stage downstairs to get their picture taken, and then return to their seat, one at a time; all 850 of them. It was going to take some time and my mind began to wander. It went here and there but came back into focus when the School of Education reached the stage, I noticed the line waiting to mount the stage appeared to be all female; I perked up. As it turned out, of the 64 graduates waiting to take the Walk, 62 of them were female and two very lucky guys; by the way, the great majority of the women were blonds with more than shoulder length hair (and I am not being a male-chauvinist pig here either, more about that in a bit).

I had missed observing the 200 or 300 students that had come before them, but started watching the remaining 500 or so. Next up were almost 400 engineering students. What was their make up? As would be expected, probably 80% male. Of the roughly 80 females in that class, there might have been a total of 4 blonds and two with what would be considered long hair (I didn't look at the men); incidentally, there were only 3 black females in the group that I noticed. Compare the four blonds out of the 80 females in the engineering class to the number of blonds in the education class.

Back to the less science oriented majors, Fine Arts and Journalism. In these cases, the mix of males and females as well as light and dark colored hair were not remarkable, but hair lengths were. For the Fine Arts, most of the female cuts were roughly shoulder length, similar to the engineering females which were short to shoulder length, while the Journalism majors tended toward long hair, but not as long as the education majors; the males followed suit in this major.

I am not sure what to make of all of this, but to me, there are clear differences between choices in majors and grooming; more specifically the personality types that are behind the decisions of which major to pursue and personal choices as to how one wants to appear to the world. So, what do we have?

  • Educators: ESFJ/ENFJs-Female-Blond-Very long female hair
  • Journalists: ?-Mixed sex-All color female hair-Long hair
  • Fine Arts: _NF_-Mixed sex-All color female hair-Medium length female hair
  • Engineers: ISTJ/INTJ-Male-Dark female hair-Short to medium length female hair

Now that I have put this out here, does anyone care to take a shot at explaining it while I ponder its deep mysteries?

Now a Word About my Step-Son

A MAGNIFICIENT ACHIEVEMENT, for sure!! Even more so since Randall Milton holds down a full-time job that sometimes takes him across the country and sometimes across the world. At 36, he decided it was time, if he was going to get where he wants to be in life, to get his college degree in business administration. On Saturday, Dec 17, 2011, Randy finished his Walk across the stage and received his Bachelor of Science Degree, Cum Laude, no less, in Business Administration after three long, grueling years of studying, homework, and testing.

I was proud of him, his mother, sister, and long-time girlfriend were prouder still, and he was proudest of all; deservedly so.


© 2011 Scott Belford


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