I alluded slightly to the educational needs of introverts in an earlier post. Here is a so satisfying TED talk by Susan Cain on the state of the introverted individual in today’s society. I am now reading her book Quiet. Check out her website here.
She talks at one point in her book about how Microsoft and Pixar allow their people to have private personal spaces in which to do creative work as opposed to the open wall-less plan – offices without doors. As I read I suddenly realized that as a practicing introvert my office door what nearly always closed – really only open if a student was present. Despite the “Please Knock” sign I had rigged up, the effect was not welcoming and to many students probably intimidating. I do like to do my work in private particularly in the morning when no one is around like right now but I get few visitors even during office hours. Hence my new resolution – the open door default. My office door will be open unless I truly, urgently need to concentrate or create. I actually like visitors especially students who need help or want to talk math. Hopefully this new habit will make my introvertish exterior less forbidding.