Students, Stress and the ENFP: Excerpt from an MBTI Webinar by Patrick L. Kerwin

“Students, Stress, and the MBTI,” is another fine 90-minute webinar from CPP–this time delivered by Patrick L. Kerwin, MBA. Rather than summarize my lengthy notes, I’ve decide to focus on my type–ENFP for self-help more than scholarship. Mr. Kerwin noted that he’s an ESFJ. At first in his college teaching career in San Diego, Mr. Kerwin gave advice most relevant to his type.He has divided this webinar into the following sections: (1)Avoiding Stress, (2)Function Preferences & the Pre-Interview Jitters, (3)When the Feeling (F) Preference Goes Wrong, (4)Preference Ranking (Dominant through Inferior), and (5) Conclusion.

On Avoiding Stress Pat Kerwin began by urging the webinar viewers to be mindful of your preferences in order to avoid stress. I’d like to add that it’s great to know whether your four preferences are mild, moderate, or extreme. The first part examined what happens to people when they use their opposite preference excessively. When Extroverts (E) spend too much time studying alone or something else introverted, they need to find a place to hang out in chat. Spending lots of time tracking data or doing one thing at a time drains Intuitives (N), activities preferred by Sensors (S). Intuitives can unwind by drawing, brainstorming, or journaling. When Feelers (F), do plenty of analytical work, such as logically organizing a paper or project, they need to do something like reflecting on the project or visiting a friend. Finally, Perceivers (P) become uncomfortable with Judger (J) activities, such as too many rules and regulations, or the pressure to get projects done in a hurry, so the next task can be started. Breaking routine can relieve the stressed or drained condition, perhaps by taking a different route home or making an unscheduled stop.
Preventive Measures Originally, Pat Kerwin gave advice for interns and job-hunters that matched his type: ESFJ. Then he examined what would work for his opposite, an INTP. Extroverts (E) need to start networking with lots of folks. Intutives (N) should brainstorm job opportunities and visualize what is great about them. Feelers (F) want to feel right in their new job, so they should check their support system and identify search techniques. Perceivers (P) should start with one of their options and see where it goes. That way the Perceiver isn’t paralyzed by a collection of choices.
Function Pairs and the Pre-Interview Jitters Function Pairs are the middle two preferences in one’s type–curiously overlapping with half of the preferences–both Intuitives. Thus,the Function Pairs are ST,SF,NT,and NF. NF Pre-Interview Jitters center around a fear of not making a connection with one’s interviewer and being dislike. To talk down your NF client, remind him or her of their ability to read others and knack for adjusting. The NF doesn’t have to become friends with the interviewer in order to have a satisfactory relationship. On Twitter during the webinar, I asked if certain MMPI profiles are correlated with preferences and types. Could the NF be more prone to a high scale 6-Paranoia, especially the Persecution subscale? Encourage the NF to be their most authentic self, for that’s most important to this function, type, and temperament. However, one should add that you can’t get away with being authentic in the wrong place for you.
When the Feeling (F) Preference Goes Wrong A Feeling (F) preference leads one to be intervention-happy. Jump in and make sure everything is okay. I call this tendency in myself playing “first responder.” Ask yourself if this would-be boss is good for your style through the right questions. If you bring something new to the interview, do your research. Administrators aren’t necessarily opposed to change, but they need to see research and specificity. The Feeling (F) job candidate should show examples of previous competence in earlier jobs or academia.
Preference Ranking Our preferences receive a rank: dominant, auxiliary, tertiary, and inferior. The inferior is the Achilles Heel. The ENFP are one of the Dominant Intuitives–along with ENTP, INTJ,and the INFJ. Let yourself brainstorm so you can see patterns and show your Intuitive (N) vision. Stress comes from too many rules and details (We’ve read this previously!) A focus on the present or past and constraints on brainstorming is stressful or draining. When stress leads to a Dominant Intuitive to overusing their dominant preference, they “see lots of possibilities, but nothing gets done.” A Dominant Feeler–our closest type relatives–will do anything for harmony when distressed. When Dominant Intuitives fall in the grip of their inferior function, they “overfocus on details and lose sight of possibilities.” Common Stress Reactions take two forms among Dominant Intutives. ENFP’s and ENTP’s are Obsessors while INTJ’s and INTP’s are Indulgers. During obsessing fits, remind the client of their competency. Give them permission to escape without asking for details or giving unsolicited advice.
On Stress by Others A couple of weeks after this webinar, I had a breakthrough regarding “frenemies” who cause one to stress. Classifying one’s competencies as the reason for downfall is particularly degrading. Imagine hearing how “book sense” is inferior to “common sense” and may even cause one to lose some of the latter. Actually, what passed for common sense was really the street sense of how to depress, bully and/or drain other’s money. Glad I changed my social circle! By the way, I won a big, beautiful MBTI coffee mug for finishing in the top six of tweets during this webinar.
Conclusion To conclude, Pat Kerwin urged his webinar viewers to examine their own type and see what they need to gain equilibrium. When students know their own type, they can better manage stress. Practical use of type and stress entails expressing what you need before it happens, when it happens, and asking what is needed. To improve as a counselor, practice giving others what they need during stress.

Bilingual Academic All-Level Vocabulary (BALAV) with Attention to Cognates & Influence from Robert Marzano

Introduction: Academic vocabulary is more difficult to learn than conversational language. In fact, low intermediate English speakers with some conversational English ability are assumed by the general public to know far more English than they really do. My folksy way of summarizing my thesis for Bilingual All-Level Academic Vocabulary  (BALAV) is the following, “If the newcomer just learned how to say, ‘Mr. Meyer is complaining again.’ then the newcomer better have the chance to read about the recession, tectonics, hyperbole and the quadratic formula in Spanish.” To quote Jane Spalding–a French/German professor: “To understand the culture, you need to understand the language.” This applies to content language too. Dr. Spalding made this remark during her address at the kickoff event for the University of Texas at Tyler’s Global Awareness through Education (GATE) program on September 25, 2011.

One particular situation really bothers me in secondary education for Limited English Proficiency (LEP) students. Beginners often copy material from the textbook, and they have no idea what the book or the teacher is talking about when they are not in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). The study guide for ESOL certification declares that the “linguistic challenge of content should determine the method of instruction; it’s the first consideration of planning.” Fortunately, most secondary Texas textbooks have Spanish glossaries; strangely, English is the major exception. I like the glossaries that do not separate the English Glossary from the Spanish Glossary but instead repeat the same term in English then in Spanish. That way, it’s easier for the student to notice the cognates between the two languages.

I. The National Council for the Teachers of English (NCTE) calls for Limited English Proficient (LEP) students the chance to use their first language to achieve competence in English and develop an understanding of content in the curriculum. “IRA/NCTE 12 Standards for the Teaching of the English Language.” Standard #10 pertains to allowing English language learners to make use of their first language. Cognates study forms a bridge from Spanish to English, and cognates can be grouped by prefixes and suffixes. According to Dr. Jill Mora “Of the twenty thousand most commonly used words in English, four thousand–or 20 percent–have prefixes. Fifteen prefixes make up 82 percent of the total usage of all prefixes.” Here’s a chart with 2000 roots, prefixes, and suffixes.

II. Technical and formal English have roots in Latin and French—the main ancestors and a relative of Spanish—a Romance language. Thus, cognate study is more important for technical and formal English than informal English, which is German in origin. Furthermore, cognates seem to be far more common in essential vocabulary for English and Social Studies than in overall English a difference of roughly 85% to 62% in a preliminary survey. So this program is a type of transitional bilingual education that is never all Spanish. It’s not a dual immersion program.

III Bilingual education is not confined to the U.S. Edmonton, Canada is the leader in bilingual education in North America with several bilingual programs, not just French, but eleven languages at the Institute for Innovation in Second Language Education (IISLE). India is another country with extensive bilingual education programs. Some feel that bilingual education is a case of Americans being too nice and not a legitimate program. Becoming fully bilingual improves mental flexibility.

IV. Bilingual assistance for secondary age children could lower the dropout rate. Concern for the dropout rate is a component of national urban planning together with education. Lessening gaps in achievement between the various ethnic groups and socioeconomic levels seems to be a universal goal for all school districts.

V. Immersion (English only) does not provide comprehensible language. Comprehensible input lowers the affective filter. Success in one’s first language is the best predictor of success in the second language. Once you can read, you can read, according to Dr. Stephen Krashen. This is the transfer of literacy. Go to this article by James Crawford, “Does Bilingual Education Really Work?”

The Tennessee Academic Vocabulary Project by Connie Mayo and Deborah Boyd, is based on the research of Robert Marzano and Debra Pickering, the recognized leaders in vocabulary instruction. Marzano and Pickering wrote a book with even more vocabulary terms that has over 7900 words.

VII. Let’s group vocabulary according to essential as well as unit, chapter, and section. Testing students over essential vocabulary in their native language in past grades would be an important way of assessing their education in their homeland. The LUCHA program at the University of Texas at Austin examines the transcripts of Mexican students, and it offers Spanish courses on-line to help with the transition from Spanish-only to fully bilingual. Furthermore, if a student arrived in this country after the start of the school year, missed essential vocabulary for this year’s subjects could be given to the student.

VIII. Vocabulary instruction compensates for socioeconomic gaps in vocabulary knowledge, according to Marzano and Pickering. Children from poorer socioeconomic levels don’t hear as many as words as those from wealthier backgrounds.

IX. A school-wide vocabulary program could include Bilingual All-Level Academic Vocabulary as a component. Native English speakers would participate in an all-English program. Check out “Using English for Academic Purposes.”

X. At times, we should use the phonetic alphabet since there are more sounds than letters in English. For example, there is a voiced and unvoiced version of the “th” sound. “This” and “that” are voiced while “thick” and “thin” are unvoiced. Also, the “oo” sound when it’s long sounds like the Spanish “u,” such as the “u” in “impromptu” while the “oo” sound when it’s short is like the “u” in “put.”


Suggesting a cognates-oriented bilingual approach for academic vocabulary after fifth grade doesn’t have to be viewed as heresy. Standard #10 of the National Council for Teachers of English (NCTE) proclaims, “Allow English language learners to make use of their first language.” Finding ways to reduce achievement gaps between English learners and native speakers should be a priority—not to mention reducing dropout rates.

Most importantly for the administrator who wants to lessen the ensuing attacks, one could bury the cognates instruction for ESOL students within an overall Direct Vocabulary Instruction program (Marzano and Pickering) for the entire school or even school district. Vocabulary instruction reduces achievement gaps between socioeconomic groups and was a key component of the state of Tennessee winning the first round of Race to the Top—a National Department of Education contest.

The formal and technical roots of English are in French and Latin while informal English is descended from German. Spanish is a Romance language like French, and both are descended from Latin. Thus, academic language naturally lends itself to cognates study.

Make tables of essential vocabulary available for all core courses. I use four columns, starting with the English word and Spanish translation. Then I give a check as to whether the words are cognates or not, something that isn’t an all-or-nothing proposition, especially when two-word terms are present. The last column is for comments, usually left blank, but can mention fine points of difference in grammar between the two languages. Essential vocabulary lists can really help when a student enters the school at a time other than the start of the school year or semester—a bigger possibility for ESOL students. Furthermore, you could quiz the newcomer on the previous year’s vocabulary for your state’s school. I noticed quite a bit of difference in essential vocabulary between Texas and Tennessee.

Refer to the phonetic alphabet. Spanish and English don’t share all the same sounds; some sounds in English don’t even have letters of their own, such as strong and soft “th”, as shown in “Like this and like that, we go through thick and thin.” Many sounds in English can be spelled a variety of ways, such as short “e.”

In short, if the newcomer has just learned to say “Mr. Meyer is writing again,” don’t expect them to understand academic terms, such as stimulus plan, photosynthesis, analogies, and y-intercept without some English-Spanish cognates and direct vocabulary instruction.

BALAV Revisited: When Spanish Instruction Sites Use Cognates Instruction.
My journey on Twitter has led me to Real Fast Spanish @rfspanish, by Andrew Barr. One of their articles is “Words You Already Know: 1001 Cognates.” Since teaching Spanish with cognates instruction is acceptable, then teaching Spanish-speakers cognates isn’t heretical either. I also met Juliana Suarez, founder of Kinder Bilingue @KBilingue and @Bilingualedchat. One of her articles was a bilingual guide for LEP parents to ask questions to their children’s teachers.

Better Breathers Luncheon, September ’13 with Dr. Luis Destarac on allergies with Sequel

The speaker for the September 2013 Better Breathers luncheon was Dr. Luis Destarac–a new doctor at Pulmonary Associates of Tyler, and his topic was Allergies. Dr. Destarac opened on an amusing note–describing fall as a time for football, getting ready for Christmas songs, and a busy time for an allergy doctor. Fall is the 2nd peak allergy season because of hay fever.

Those with allergies have an overactive immune system as shown by nasal congestion and maybe itchy eyes. The immune system fights invading bacteria and viruses. Allergy patients need nasal spray and maybe an antibiotic. Inflammation of the nose and lungs is another possibility with allergies. Asthma is shortage of breathing. Some can have food allergies:peanuts and shellfish can be fatal. 

The fall allergy season is slowly increasing–another effect of global warming, according to Dr. Destarac. Ragweed is already common by September. Wind-born pollen can come from far away,even if there is no grass or trees in you yard. Cooler weather eventually stops fall allergy season. The first allergy season is at the beginning of the year: winter to spring. Indoors can be the location for year-round allergies: cockroaches, dust mites (two of mine), dust, mold, cats, and dogs. One patient of Dr. Destarac’s did well until he got a girlfriend with a cat. The patient improved after the girlfriend dumped him–allergy wise, that is. One could get a food-related allergic reaction through cross-contamination if particularly sensitive. Medication isn’t the only allergy remedy;  it can be costly and the costs are uncertain. 

One solution is to wash your nose with saline solution twice per day. Dr. Destarac described the nose as “like a filter of your body.” Pollen, dust, or dander  gets trapped in your nose. Over-the-counter antihistamines are another remedy. Claritin, Allegra, and Zyrtek are a few. Singulair, another O-T-C medicine, acts differently. A basal constrictor is a decongestant that shrinks swollen blood vessels in the nose and everywhere else. Some experience raised blood pressure. Antihistamines may not work forever, and the patient will have to switch medicines. Furthermore, allergies can change over time. Sinus infections are another possibility, and they can become chronic. If allergies really bother you, then get an allergy test from someone like Dr. Destarac as I did the month after this presentation. 

Our luncheon was brought by the nearby Taylor Home Health Supply from On The Border. We had beef and chicken fajitas, cooked with red and green bell peppers and onions. The side dishes were guacamole, Spanish rice with yellow corn, picante-and-chips, two shredded cheeses, and refried beans topped with melted cheese. 


In October 2013, I got an allergy test from Dr. Destarac, as I was already a patient of Pulmonary Associates for my COPD and asthma. Thanks to Medicare A,B, and D plus Medicaid, I can afford them. For the first few months, I got allergy shots twice per week; now I’m on a once per week schedule. If my Forced Exhale Volume (FEV) is too low, I can’t get a shot, and probably shouldn’t walk to the clinic anyway! .

Way back in the late 80’s, I received allergy shots–mainly for allergies toward Bermuda and Johnson Grass. That hasn’t changed. Now I have allergies to cockroaches and dust mites. Actually, I’m more likely to see the darling nurses–Esmeralda and Emily–than Dr. Destarac. They’re the ones who check my FEV with a fancy peak flow meter that has a disposable sanitary cover. Esmeralda may be the only other person I’ve met in Tyler who also likes Tejano music! Last week, Emily noted when my rescue inhaler dose was substandard. I even like the waiting rooms because they play Accent Health by CNN, often with Dr. Sanjay Gupta.Curiously, I don’t have allergies to cats or dogs, despite bronchitis during my last cat hording phase from 2007-2010. I found out the hard way that not being allergic to cat dander doesn’t mean that too much fur in the bedroom is like living under a cottonwood tree–something I discussed with the April 2014 Better Breathers speaker, weatherman Scott Fossey. 

I have been sleeping with oxygen tubes in my nose since Fall 2012 , thanks to an overnight oxygen sensor. After another overnight oxygen reading in Fall 2013, Dr. Destarac ordered a sleep study. It turned out that I have severe sleep apnea; my breathing stopped during my sleep repeatedly. I bet sleep apnea is an under-diagnosed illness. Now I have a C-PAP machine that was acquired for me by my good friend, Forrest Garner, Durable Medical Equipment tech for Med Shop of Longview. I made compliance for Medicaid by wearing the contraption enough hours per day. Ironically, my COPD is only mild to moderate, despite my severe Forced Exhale Volume (FEV) and the fact that it was the reason for my disability. In other words, my quick exhale is like a very short old woman. 

The more access to health care that one can receive, the more knowledge of one’s conditions becomes possible. I haven’t been this healthy since I had a teaching job with health insurance–not possible for substitute teachers or adjunct instructors at a community college. Thanks to Medicaid, I’m no longer a regular at the ER and a burden on the government. Office hours are M-TH 7:30-5 and Friday 7:30-12. Allergy clinic hours are Monday 9-4:30, T-Th 8:30-4:30, and Friday 8:30-11:30.