Posts tagged melancholy

My Highly Choleric Kazakh Students

Sixty-four percent of my Kazakh university students are choleric according to a Temperament test that I gave them the first week of classes.  The sampling of 80 of my students gave a self report when they ticked off about 18 adjectives for each of the four different temperaments: choleric, phlegmatic, melancholy and sanguine.  The breakdown with all of my classes combined obviously shows that I am working with future leaders of Kazakhstan.

64% – choleric
21% – sanguine
10% – melancholy
5% – phlegmatic

I’m puzzled by these percentages and when I asked my first class (75% are choleric) about the attributes of a choleric personality they readily agreed and were satisfied with the results. I’m wondering if this percentage is true of our university or if it shows the kind of students I attract to register for my classes??? The following are the adjectives they see as their own:  optimistic, goal-oriented, self-confident, self-sufficient, activist, domineering, aggressive, leadership ability, stick-to-itiveness, strong-willed, hot-tempered, insensitive, unsympathetic, determined, decisive, sarcastic, practical and outgoing.

You can see what kind of students I have, they are standing on the shoulders of their brave and hardworking ancestors.  Take another look at Kazakhstan’s leaders in the photos I blogged about yesterday.  I regret that I forgot to take a photo of my masters class last night.  I will do so tomorrow night, their learning style and temperament profiles are no different than the undergraduate students I have.

I’m wondering what the typical Kazakh university student in Almaty might look like in terms of their learning style and temperament.

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Madame Guyon’s Musings on Design


I’d like to know the meaning of this mosiac design that is in a prominent place close to our university in Almaty.  Probably each inset mosiac piece was laid by melancholy artists in the 1960s with significance to Kazakh nationals but also done according to Soviet specifications from Moscow.  I’m beginning to understand why plagiarism was encouraged during the Soviet period, you had to be very careful to write just what the party officials deemed as appropriate.  If you veered off the party message, then you were in trouble with the authorities of the communist party elite in Moscow.  So, “copy and paste mentality” goes a long way back before computers ever arrived on the scene.  I need to learn more about the Soviet art which used cubism and portrayed happy proletariat workers doing their job with a smile.  Underneath there was no doubt despondency and melancholy.  That is probably why I appreciate the Christian mystic, Madame Guyon’s musings on design, God’s design:

“I entreat you, give no place to despondency.  This is a dangerous temptation–a refined, not a gross temptation of the adversary.  Melancholy contracts and withers the heart, and renders it unfit to receive the impressions of grace.  It magnifies and gives a false coloring to objects, and thus renders your burdens too heavy to bear.  God’s designs regarding you, and His methods of bringing about these designs are infinitely wise.” 

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