Is there a place for soft-spoken introverts in the competitive fast-paced aggressively limited-time-offer college-industrial complex? The short answer is no. The long answer is no, thank goodness.
I don’t speak often, and when I do, people usually tell me to speak up, and when I do, I try to hand the conversation to someone else. I don’t dislike contributing. What I dislike is overtly dominating conversations, steering them in one direction or another, or making an effort to gain control of the dialogue if I’ve somehow lost it. More than introversion, I prefer to be independently passive, rather than participate actively. I am neither competitive nor aggressive.
What I noticed in teaching an introductory rhetoric class last semester is that students primarily want to know how to win an argument. They want to know how to prove they are right, regardless of whether or not they are in the…
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