Wednesday, August 01, 2012

The Closer is ending, and summer is coming to a close, too

I think my favorite tv show of all time is TNT's The Closer. Starring Kyra Sedgewick as a Deputy Chief of Police in LA, she is known for her ability to get a confession and thus 'close' a case. The show began in 2005 and I saw the first episode and loved it right away.

The acting is incredible, the writing is phenomenal, and the stories are absorbing and endlessly varied, though always around a murder, finding the perp, and bringing him or her on for the confession. I particularly enjoyed the first season where the Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh began working in a male-dominated hostile squad, and how she won over her men through strength and extreme ability. It was up from there and only got better as the years went on. It was an intelligent, well-done show and I'll miss it.

I say 'was' because the show is ending. Kyra is moving on. You can't have the show The Closer without the closer. There are only two more episodes left, and that makes me sad. However, most of the same cast will roll right over, even as the concluding credits roll on The Closer, into their new show Major Crimes which follows the finale of The Closer that same night.

The next episode will feature the long awaited moment the audience gets to find out the identify of the leak that has caused Brenda Leigh so much pain, and then the last show will wrap things up. I am already way too invested in the show, skulking chat forums to read discussions of who the mole could be, and looking for early release promos of the next episode to see if I can get a clue. Summers, nice to have all this time to waste!

That will all come to a crashing end Monday. I go back to school. Mon-Thu are pre-planning days and Friday the kids come back. I know the schedule is done so I'll be anxious to see how and where the higher ups will use me this year. I'll look forward to reading up on the new little guys I'll be helping with. All I've done is sit around all summer so the first few weeks are a real shock to the system, physically.

The school always looks SO GREAT when I get back. The crews in the kitchen and the custodial crews do such a great job. The HVAC guys were in over the summer installing new units, I understand, so our heat and AC will be pretty spiffy.

I remember I packed up pretty fast. "Pack" [snicker] ...more like dump everything I had in the desk into a box, seal it up and left without looking back... I will untangle all that when I arrive on Monday.

The only hard part for me is all the people coming back saying hello and all the small talk chit chat. I have spent my summer in seclusion almost, except for church and one or two social outings. When the people return to school they want to get caught up on all the chitchat. I am not good at chitchat. I do not understand chitchat or how to do it. Tom Ranier of Lifeway Resources wrote about introverts. I AM each one of these--

"Over a year ago, I wrote an article on introverted leadership. Much to my surprise, many people wrote and affirmed the sentiments I expressed. Many of them were introverts who felt misunderstood and often relegated to lesser opportunities because of their reticent personalities. I  understand. I am an introvert.

In the article, I offered some suggestions to introverted leaders to help us navigate what we perceive to be a noisy and energy-draining world. Now I want to address those who are not introverts. You are the people who have to work with us, live with us, and interact with us. Perhaps you even get frustrated with us. And while we introverts can certainly do more on our part, I hope these eight statements will help you understand us a little bit better.
  1. Our aversion to small talk can make us appear rude. Okay, maybe we are rude. When someone asks us how we are doing, we really don’t believe most people want to know how we are doing. If someone tells us that they are so glad to see us, we have our doubts. As a result, our responses are often not warm or chatty.
  2. We value close friendships. We may do poorly connecting to tons of people, but we connect well to those we consider close friends. Indeed we tend to be extremely loyal. We introverts often process relationships mentally and emotionally. If we find a loyal friend, we treasure the relationship as a precious gift. If we perceive someone uses us or is disloyal to us, we struggle greatly with that person. Indeed some would say we have an “off switch” for those persons.
  3. We like to have a reason to talk. Some people are surprised to discover certain people are introverts because they have witnessed the introvert engaged in a lively conversation. When an introvert is truly engaged, he or she is talking about something that evokes his or her passion. It is a fallacy to say introverts don’t like to talk. We just like to have a meaningful purpose to our conversations.
  4. Meetings and public interaction don’t really bother us; long meetings and long public interaction do. Think of an introvert as an automobile with a tank of fuel. The longer we are in meetings or similar settings, the more fuel is depleted. At some point we run out of fuel and become almost non-functional. We can only get refueled and refreshed by moving to a more private setting.
  5. Don’t assume we introverts don’t like to have fun. Most of us do have fun. We typically enjoy cutting up with people we know and trust. And our idea of a fun place for relaxation or vacation is typically a quiet and out-of-the-way spot. I must admit that my love for college football is an exception to this pattern.
  6. We are not always quick to speak. Sometimes our reticence can make us look thoughtful; at other times we may appear to be clueless. We are often processing information and the environment of the moment. We tend to be especially aware of the feelings of others who may be present.
  7. We like written communication. We often tune out long-winded explanations and reports. Countless times in my life I have said, “Let me see that in writing.” That gives me the time to process the information and reflect upon it. By the way, we introverts really do like written affirmation in cards, letters, and emails. That tends to be one of our love languages.
  8. You can’t fix us introverts. Our introversion is not a disease that needs a cure. For the most part, we like our personalities and have no desire to be like the extrovert. Spouses who try to change introverts into extroverts have an uphill battle and a likely conflicted marriage.
Of course, all of this information is the perspective of an introvert to the rest of the world. I do not mean to imply that everyone should adjust to us. We have to make our own adjustments to communicate and function in this world.

So that's why I take my lunch alone, cut to the chase in a conversation, and really appreciate my boss's penchant for short meetings!!!

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