Welcome to The Wilson Gazette

By Mrs. Marchione and Mrs. Neugarten, Newspaper Advisors

The following articles have been completed by the members of the Journalism Club at Wilson Middle School. The staff writers have generated the ideas for their articles, completed interviews and research to help them become experts on their topics, and have written the finished pieces that you see here. Please check in regularly for updated articles and information about clubs, events, and news related to Wilson Middle School, as well as reviews and opinion pieces on a variety of topics.


Introversion Uncovered

By Madeleine Medeiros Grade 6 Staff Writer

Quiet people have the loudest minds.”-Stephen Hawking

What are those quiet people, who may seem shy to you called? They are called introverts, and they usually receive a negative reputation for being who they are. Introverts have abilities that some people don’t have. In the world we live in, people are trying to push the extrovert personality, when really some kids just want to be quiet with their thoughts. Is there really anything wrong with that? Being an introvert definitely isn’t a negative trait, because most introverts have the power to be quiet. Another reason why being an introvert isn’t wrong or “bad” is because they usually take the time to think through things, and by doing so, can become very successful. In other words: introversion is a sign of strength. Society should stop pushing children and adults to be extroverts (especially if that’s not who they are), and we, as a society need to understand the mindset behind the introverts of the world.

Being an introvert shouldn’t be seen as a negative trait because introverts have the power to be quiet. Being quiet may seem boring as if introverts don't have much to say or contribute to the world, but most introverts have proved that wrong. Most of them have the power to be quiet and “recharge” by being silent or alone. This definitely does not mean that introverts are not properly socialized, which is a regular stereotype. For example, I am an introvert. I don’t love to speak up in class and sometimes I would rather work on my own than with partners, however this doesn’t mean I am not social. This just means I like being quiet to “recharge”, or in a classroom situation, it means that I like slowly and quietly taking in information and thinking about the lesson until I fully understand and don’t have any distractions. According to “The Power of Introverts”-a Ted Talk hosted by Susan Cain, introversion is, "different from being shy. Shyness is about fear of social judgement. Introversion is more about, how do you respond to stimulation, including social stimulation.” Just because introverts don’t usually want to work in groups or speak up in class doesn’t mean introverts aren’t social. This means that introverts react differently to stimulation than extroverts. Introverts just like less stimulation and “introverts feel at their most alive and their most switched-on and their most capable when they're in quieter, more low-key environments.” according to Susan Cain.

    Introversion is not a negative trait and shouldn't be seen as so. In fact, it is a positive trait because introverts take time to think through things, rather than jumping into a conversation without having a train of thought. Some of the world’s most successful people are introverts. How did they become so successful? By taking time to think through their ideas and then jumping into their projects, ideas, conversations, etc. According to “The Power of Introverts” Ted Talk by Susan Cain, ⅓ to ½ of the population of people are introverts and, “Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks, Gandhi -- all these people described themselves as quiet and soft-spoken and even shy. And they all took the spotlight, even though every bone in their bodies was telling them not to..” According to Huffington Post these 16 introverts are extremely successful: J.K. Rowling, Bill Gates, Abraham Lincoln, Christina Aguilera, Eleanor Roosevelt, Courtney Cox, Albert Einstein, Emma Watson, Mahatma Gandhi, Laura Bush, Rosa Parks, Audrey Hepburn, Warren Buffett, Roy Rogers, Candice Bergen, and George Stephanopoulos. These famous introverts are probably some of your favorite authors, celebrities, actors and actresses, or role models. Did you know that they were introverts? These sources prove that introverts can become very successful, and can flourish by being so. Although these people might describe themselves as introverts, they have become very successful at what they do by doing it how they please, in their introverted way.  If introversion is stifled at a young age, the introvert may feel bad about being themselves. (For example, I have definitely felt put down for being an introvert. By my own classmates, in fact.) To conclude, taking time to quietly think before joining in the classroom (or other) activities should be encouraged and seen as a positive introvert act so those individuals can find the right answers or success for themselves.

People usually confuse shy and introverted with each other and are usually associated with one another. As I have stated above, shyness is fear of social judgement, introversion just means stimulation (including social stimulation) is a less than favorable environment. When I asked Natalie Chen what her definition of an introvert and extrovert was she explained with an interesting metaphor, “An introvert is fish that likes to stay inside the water in the bowl, and an extrovert is a fish that like to jump out of the bowl.” She, like many other intelligent people in the world, think this. When asked if she believes the popular concept that introverts are shy and that extroverts are more outgoing she said, “No, because I feel like it kind of depends on the situation. If there were friends then they would be more social and outgoing, and not shy.” If this is really what introverts and extroverts are, then maybe we should find a new name for those people who crave less stimulating environments, even though some say introverts are shy and crave those environments.

Want to know what an actual introvert thinks about all of this? The misconceptions of shyness over introversion, the wanting to be alone but not being improperly socialized? Reilly McKenna was kind enough to help me answer these questions. She says that she thinks the difference between introverts and extroverts is, “the fact that introverts are shy around people they don’t know,” and that “I am social,  just not around people I don’t know.” When asked about being told she is shy her reply was, “Yes, at some point.”

Ellery Gleason-Kaiser, another interviewee considers herself an extrovert. Why? Because she enjoys “...being around people and not keeping things inside” herself. Although I interviewed at least four people, Ellery Gleason-Kaiser is right on track with the correct (and less popular) meaning of introvert. According to her, an  introvert is, “...someone who prefers to be alone and keep to their thoughts,” and an extrovert is, “...a sociable person who prefers other people’s company.” and, “are more outgoing and prefer to be around people.”

Society pushes people to be extroverts because of the commonly used stereotype that introverts aren’t properly socialized or are shy,  just because they are quiet. This however, is not true. For example, in most classrooms you see grouped desks in clumps and partner or group activities. Like how in Wilson Middle School, there are mostly groups of desks, with children all facing each other. According to Susan Cain’s Ted Talk (“The Power of Introverts”), many schools are all set up to accommodate an extrovert’s type of personality, and not just in schools. In the video, she mentioned that workplaces are also becoming socializing or cafe-type places. (For more of Susan Cain’s work about introverts, read her book, Quiet or watch her Ted Talk.) By setting up schools and workplaces to better suit extroverts, is society stifling introvert’s personality? If this is so, how is this impacting introverts?

By setting up schools and workplaces to better suit extroverts, society is stifling introvert’s personality, and that certainly isn’t a good thing. Just think about how you would feel if you weren’t encouraged to be yourself, or express your personality? Once somebody isn’t encouraged or even put down because of something about them, they can lose confidence. Is society missing out on the introverts talents, ideas, and more because they aren’t being encouraged to be themselves? Now that we have uncovered the mind of introverts, and explaining why they don’t need to become extroverts, maybe we can uncover just why and how people have converted introversion into a negative connotation and something related to shyness.

These days, people are speaking out for more diversity, creativity, and inclusion among everyone, which is a wonderful thing. Yet, diversity doesn’t just have to do with race, gender, abilities or disabilities. As beneficial to know that those are significant parts of diversity, we also need to realize that differences of personality plays into diversity too. By stifling the introverted personality, or by pushing the extroverted personality, could you be limiting the amount of diversity and individuality within our school, town, and world?Just remember, “Courage doesn’t always roar.”-Mary Anne Radmacher