16yo Llara attends an experimental high school divided into wings based on the Myers-Briggs personality test. Her wing is an introvert’s dream, until Netflix arrives to film a documentary about their unique school. With an upcoming school board vote deciding the fate of the school, and a fame-hungry extrovert stirring up wing-on-wing hate online, Llara must fight to save the school she loves.
The Netflix situation starts to unravel on a Friday, in psychology class, during Individual Contemplation Time. We’re studying human emotions, and Mr. Walley wants us to think about how emotions can affect us in both positive and negative ways.
“Take fifteen minutes of ICT,” he says, which is what everybody calls Individual Contemplation Time. Everybody in the I wings, that is. E-wing students don’t get ICT because they don’t need it. One time, I mistakenly told my mother, an extrovert, that this was because, “introspection and contemplation aren’t really in the extrovert’s wheelhouse.” This led to a fifteen-minute lecture about stereotyping and generalizations and I haven’t made that mistake again.
What I meant to say was that introverts need quiet contemplation time to gather our thoughts. If extroverts can be eloquent and well-spoken without ten minutes of quiet prep time, well, color me impressed.
And jealous. I’d love to be spontaneously brilliant, but that’s not in my wheelhouse.
“After ICT,” Mr. Walley continues, “decide whether you feel comfortable sharing your thoughts out loud. Or, you can email them to me later.”
The class falls into immediate silence. I hunch over my notebook, jotting down a single emotion.
There was that time last week when I deliberately avoided my neighbor, Emily, at the public library. We were on-track to arrive at the check-out counter at the same time, which meant small talk.
Obviously, that wasn’t an option.