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        Tuesday, March 6, 2012

        ISFX. Those were the four letters that rolled off the conveyor belt the first time I took the Myers-Briggs test, more than a decade ago, one evening during my sophomore year in college. I remember being particularly pleased with the “X.” It felt like I had defied the test, you know? What it meant was that I had scored a dead split between Judgment and Perception, which put two archetypes on the table: I could be an Artisan or a Guardian.

        It wasn’t like I had my pick, I don’t think. I mean, personality is innate, after all, and if I were able to switch between two types at will, some prescription meds would’ve been in order, never mind a stupid little test. Still, I think it was the option that pleased me. This was a far cry from the career evaluation I had taken in grade school, a Scantron affair that had summarily declared chemistry would be my life’s calling. I’m pretty sure I took that career path out to pasture when I got a D- in Chem 103. Did you know, though, that you can spell “concubine” using elements from the period table? I bet you did not.

        Last week, I took the ol’ Myers-Briggs out for another spin. Could a decade change a person, I wondered? It just might. My new letters are ENTJ. No X-factors this time, no hedging. A Fieldmarshal! That sounded pimp, frankly, and the fact that I could evince the “charm and finesse of a world leader” or “the insensitivity of a cult leader” made it even better. Now, part of me knows this test, grounded in science as it may be, might not be all that different from the “Which Harry Potter character are you?” quiz. But even if this Wikipedia entry fails to serve in a descriptive capacity, perhaps it can shoulder a more aspirational one. And in case you were wondering, I’m Harry Potter.

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