Thursday, October 13, 2016

Huh, that's interesting

So, I couldn't quite face reading about World War I (or rather: the stupid decisions by world leaders that led up to it) last night, so I switched over to the "next nonfiction book" which promises to be an account of the 1918 flu epidemic.

Right now, the author is providing a fair amount of background on medical history (which seems a bit much, but perhaps it will become clear why he is doing this). Lots of talk of Hippocrates and Galen and later Vesalius and Jenner.

Anyway, he mentioned the Four Greek Temperaments, which used to be thought of as the dominant forces in people's life and health: choleric ("Yellow bile"), sanguine (blood), melancholic ("black bile"), and phlegmatic (phlegm, but you probably guessed that). (Corrected 10/15: I had choleric and melancholic biles reversed. I....don't think there actually IS  a "black bile" in the body - yellow bile could be regular bile, blood is blood, and phlegm is phelgm. But I've never heard of black bile as an actual bodily fluid. (Unless it's lymph? But lymph is clear and I don't think the ancient Greeks knew of lymph)

The idea was, these "humors" corresponded to temperaments. Wikipedia lists them as this:

Choleric: short-tempered and irritable
Sanguine: optimistic and social
Phlegmatic: relaxed and peaceful
Melancholic: analytical and quiet.

(Those last two surprise me; I always thought of "phlegmatic" as "sort of sluggish, slow to respond to things, someone who often can't be bothered to act" and "melancholic" as "sort of sad, not exactly depressive but someone who isn't, as a rule, cheerful")

Anyway, I then thought of those "four dimensions of" graphs....where, for example, they look at "authoritarian vs. libertarian and statist vs. market-driven" and you can take quizzes to find out where you fall, and I wondered if there was one for the four temperaments. (And I speculated that I might be phlegmatic - my definition, not Wiki's - with a side of melancholic - again, my definition, not wiki's).

And behold: there's a personality test.

And yes, I know the whole four humors thing has been TOTALLY debunked but I kind of enjoy those weird old archaic things. So I took it.

And behold:

"Your temperament is melancholic. The melancholic temperament is fundamentally introverted and thoughtful. Melancholic people often were perceived as very (or overly) pondering and considerate, getting rather worried when they could not be on time for events. Melancholics can be highly creative in activities such as poetry and art - and can become preoccupied with the tragedy and cruelty in the world. Often they are perfectionists. They are self-reliant and independent; one negative part of being a melancholic is that they can get so involved in what they are doing they forget to think of others."

I can't copy the "bar chart" they provide, but my next-highest (not that far off of melancholic's numbers) is phlegmatic, so I guess I was close. (I scored lowest on choleric, despite being the kind of person who gets momentarily aggravated by stuff like malfunctioning self-checkouts).

But yeah, some of that fits - the whole "preoccupied with cruelty in the world" thing, and the perfectionism. I'm not sure I'm that creative. And I've been self-reliant to the point where I realize now it's hurt me a little: everyone thinks of me as the person who has got it worked out, who can manage on their own, who doesn't need other people's help or support.....and so there are some days when I am sitting there going "I could really use a hug or an offer of some help" and not finding them offered, and also not knowing how to ask for them.

I dunno. This is the tired time of the week for me: Thursday and Friday are often bad days as I start to feel kind of "used up." It's tougher this semester to as I have more students coming in for help (one person every Tuesday and Thursday at 7:15 am). I mean, that's good - and hopefully it will be reflected in my evaluations and all - but it's also tiring because it's more people to deal with and more people's emotions to sort out.

I also haven't done much knitting this week; Monday night was piano and CWF, much of Tuesday evening was spent beginning to prep the sermon for Sunday, and last night was meetings at church (including the discussion of the fence).

I'm telling myself that maybe tonight I can just go home and relax for once (but I do have to do laundry). Saturday, I don't know: going "out" to do anything isn't really viable right now because of the additional time to get to Sherman (which is pretty much the only viable shopping area near me). I do need to work on my talk for early November; they are already advertising it.

I don't know. Next week is mid-fall break and so far no plans. I need to see if Laura is free and able to meet up, and what might be a good thing to do. Failing that, maybe I take the Friday and go to Whitesboro and do some yarn shopping and also eat at Lovejoy's again. 

No comments: