During our trip to Hong Kong, I heard many of you discussing the Enneagram, and various reflections on your “2-ness” or “8-ness.” I was curious about this, so I decided to take the assessment myself. My result: over-the-top-3. After assessing my type, I fell down the rabbit hole of discovery. Apparently, this is common for threes. I gathered as much information as I could (in-between Bayard and Rowntree, of course). A few of my cohort friends even added to my “three library.” In true three fashion, I was determined to be the best three possible.
The more I read and understand my three-ness, the more I wish I could have stayed blissfully oblivious. Until now, I thought my inner questions of “How does this lead to success?” and “How does this resource drive me forward?” were simply avenues to positive achievement. Now, I realize they have been the directional signs I use to guide me toward the approval of others. Thanks so much, Enneagram, for introducing me to my “shadow self.” Now, I am responsible for this information and am presented with a decision as to how to move forward in personal growth. I will add this to my ever-growing Three to-do-list.
Rowntree compounded my conviction in his chapter on studying and learning. I now realize that I approach study in the same way I approach other areas of my life: look for the items that will generate “success” and move on. Rather than actively listening and reflecting on what I am studying, I too often peruse for what will help me be successful or impressive in the course and leave the rest out. I typically have a singular purpose: get an impressive grade. This utilitarian approach to study is the opposite of what Rowntree suggests when he says, “In general, it is better to have more than one purpose in studying. The more reasons you can find for doing what you have to do, the more energy you’re likely to put into it – and the more you are likely to get out of it.” This was difficult to read. In the past, I have moved fairly easily through academic endeavors, only to be dissatisfied in the end when I had the honors, but not the application. I accomplished the academic expectation, but I didn’t allow the study to become meaningful.
I can already see that this program will be different in the most beautifully uncomfortable way. I resonate with Rowntree’s words, “Students who remain open to the unexpected will often find themselves getting more out of a course than they bargained for.” I know this reading was supposed to teach us about studying, but for possibly the first time, I am allowing myself to learn more from the read. Perhaps this program is a pivot-point for me. I am choosing to take the advice of many and trust the process.
A newly assessed but recovering three “Achiever”
 Last name, first name. “Looking into the Shadow…A Hero’s Journey.” Typology. Podcast audio, August15, 2018. https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/part-2-2-looking-into-shadow-heros-journey-feat-claire/id1254061093?i=1000417917882&mt=2
 Derek Rowntree, Learn How to Study: Developing the Study Skills and Approaches to Learning That Will Help You Succeed in University — a Virtual Tutorial With Professor Derek Rowntree, 6 ed. (Amazon Digital Services: Kindle Edition, 2016).