Christ in the City

A short film by the StoneReel Production – a ministry of Living Stones community at Grace Church.


Judicial Independence

American Exception
Rendering Justice, With One Eye on Re-election
Published: May 25, 2008
While most of the world tries to insulate judges from popular will, many in the United States are elected.


This fascinating article in the New York Times discusses the peculiar practice of judicial elections that are unique to the United States.

Summer Reading List

With varied levels of enthusiasm, people have recommended several books to be read the summer before starting law school, while others recommend that I should enjoy the free time to the fullest. I have discussed this dilemma once before in a previous post.
Rather than trying to figure things out on my own, I have sought out some help from current/former law students. Here’s one of the most helpful, well-balanced answers I’ve received.

[W]hat’s on the list? If they are about history or con[stitutional] law, skim them, but don’t expect them to be of any help as far as your grades, the law is a whole new language, there’s nothing else is like it. You just have to learn the language as you go. If they are how to succeed in law school books, read them, but with a grain of salt, in the end you’ll have to figure out what works for you. And do all the pleasure reading you can! you’ll miss it….right now it’s summer but I still have to keep updated on legal periodicals, edit articles for the law review, stay informed on the many matters the firm where I’m a summer associate at handles, and generally keep extremely informed as to world events and economics. Pleasure books always seem to come last on the list.

So I intend to heed this advice. I’ll do some law school prep reading. But I will first try to tackle a big fatty stack of pleasure reading books that have been sitting on the back burner for the last year or so. Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnina, Einstein’s biography, some Shakespeare, the good stuff.
I can’t wait to cuddle up with a good book under the shade on a cool summer evening. Throw in a good bottle of chardonnay to go with it all. It feels so incredibly good to be done with school (for now).

This is apparently who I am…

Introverted iNtuitive Thinking Judging (INTJ)
The Free-Thinker

INTJs are strong individualists who seek new angles or novel ways of looking at things. They enjoy coming to new understandings. They are insightful and mentally quick; however, this mental quickness may not always be outwardly apparent to others since they keep a great deal to themselves. They are very determined people who trust their vision of the possibilities, regardless of what others think. They may even be considered the most independent of all of the sixteen personality types. INTJs are at their best in quietly and firmly developing their ideas, theories, and principles.

The independent and individualistic INTJ manner appears early in life. As children, INTJs are often inwardly focused on their thoughts of the way the world is or ought to be; they enjoy day dreaming. They can be quite stubborn when information relayed to them by authorities, such as parents and teachers, contradicts what they believe. They are sure of their own belief system. INTJs are compelled to establish their own rules, boundaries, standards, and style.

Often at an early age, INTJs make a commitment to furthering their education. The life of the mind is very important to them. Examples abound of INTJs from economically or intellectually impoverished circumstances setting goals for themselves to continue in education, often earning the highest degree possible.

INTJ teenagers may be seen as serious and reserved young people who are labeled as bookworms by others. They set internal standards of achievement for themselves and often do well academically. Being sociable is a standard that they rarely think is worth their time and energy.

As adults, INTJs are focused on attaining their inner goals and standards. They set a particular course based on their theory of what ought to be. They work extremely diligently to accomplish what they feel is important. They enjoy what they do and see it as a challenge. They are not easily dissuaded and may regard others’ needs and wants as an impediment to attaining their objectives.

Learning and Working
INTJs learn best when they can design their won approach and when they are able to absorb themselves in an area that interests them. They tend to focus on systems, theories, and constructs relating to universal truths and principles. They prefer challenging teachers, ones who meet their standards. High grade-point averages and test scores tend to characterize INTJs, who like rigorous academic work. Learning needs to be a creative process. Rote memory can be dull and boring for the INTJ.

INTJs are diligent in pursuing new ideas and thoughts, and they exert effort to master a given subject. This makes INTJs particularly adept in most school situations. Because of their resourcefulness, thirst for knowledge, and inner needs, INTJs tend to find ways of acquiring knowledge. They gravitate toward libraries, public lectures, courses, and other learners and teachers – sources that offer them information and direction.

At work, INTJs use their conceptual strengths to analyze situations and then develop models to understand and anticipate through relentlessly to reach their goals. They will continue on with their plans, even in the face of adversity and data that might suggest to other more practical types that their goals are no longer feasible. By nature, INTJs are independent individualists. They see their visions so clearly that they are often surprised when others do not see things the same way. INTJs are strong at critiquing and as a result tend to notice the negatives. To them, a job well done should be reward enough in itself. They may neglect to comment favorably on others’ contributions.

INTJs tend to seek occupations that allow them to change the status quo and to design models to express their vision creatively. They desire autonomy and room for growth. They prefer to work in a place in which the future can be planned and where they can work for change in an organized manner.

Some occupations seem to be especially attractive to INTJs: computer systems analyst, electrical engineer, judge, lawyer, photographer, psychologist, research department manager, researcher, scientist, university instructor, and other occupations in which long-range vision is essential.

For INTJs, love means including someone in their vision of the world. INTJ men tend to be attracted to partners who enjoy living their lives with and outward vitality and zest. Perhaps it is to compensate for their internal, visionary focus that they often find partners who are more outgoing and may even run interference to help the INTJ deal with the day-to-day world. INTJ women, however, may seek someone more like themselves.

INTJs tend to have a model in mind of how their relationship ought to be. This is less a romantic vision than it is and idea that relates to how the relationship functions in a unique or special way. They tend to withhold their deep feelings and affections from the public and sometimes even from the object of their affections. They can be intensely loyal and caring, even though this is not always expressed in words. INTJs can be generous with their gifts if the gift fits their vision of what ought to be appreciated by their partner.

When scorned, INTJs retreat to their own world and may share none of their feelings with others. They may assume that there is a right way for a relationship to end and look for that. They act on the outside as if nothing has happened to them when indeed much has. They may lash out with criticisms of their former loved ones. It may take them a while to recover.

INTJs believe in constant growth in relationships, and strive for independence for themselves and their mates. They are constantly embarking on “fix-up” projects to improve the overall quality of their lives and relationships. They take their commitments seriously, but are open to redefining their vows, if they see something which may prove to be an improvement over the existing understanding. INTJs are not likely to be “touchy-feely” and overly affirming with their mates or children, and may at times be somewhat insensitive to their emotional needs. However, INTJs are in general extremely capable and intelligent individuals who strive to always be their best, and be moving in a positive direction. If they apply these basic goals to their personal relationships, they are likely to enjoy happy and healthy interaction with their families and friends.

INTJ Strengths
• Not threatened by conflict or criticism
• Usually self-confident
• Take their relationships and commitments seriously
• Generally extremely intelligent and capable
• Able to leave a relationship which should be ended, although they may dwell on it in their minds for awhile afterwards
• Interested in “optimizing” their relationships
• Good listeners

INTJ Weaknesses
• Not naturally in tune with others feelings; may be insensitive at times
• May tend to respond to conflict with logic and reason, rather than the desired emotional support
• Not naturally good at expressing feelings and affections
• Tendency to believe that they’re always right
• Tendency to be unwilling or unable to accept blame
• Their constant quest to improve everything may be taxing on relationships
• Tend to hold back part of themselves INTJs as Lovers

INTJs live much of their lives inside their own heads. They constantly scan their environment for new ideas and theories which they can turn into plans and structures. Sometimes, what they see and understand intuitively within themselves is more pure and “perfect” than the reality of a close personal relationship. INTJs may have a problem reconciling their reality with their fantasy.

INTJs are not naturally in tune with their own feelings, or with what other people are feeling. They also have a tendency to believe that they are always right. While their self-confidence and esteem is attractive, their lack of sensitivity to others can be a problem if it causes them to inadvertently hurt their partner’s feelings. If this is a problem for an INTJ, they should remember to sometimes let their mate be the one who is right, and to try to be aware of the emotional effect that your words have upon them. In conflict situations, INTJs need to remember to be supportive to their mate’s emotional needs, rather than treating the conflict as if it is an interesting idea to analyze.

Sexually, the INTJ enjoys thinking about intimacy, and about ways to perfect it. In positive relationships, their creativity and intensity shine through in this arena. In more negative relationships, they might enjoy thinking about sex more than actually doing it. They’re likely to approach intimacy from a theoretical, creative perspective, rather than as an opportunity to express love and affection. The INTJ who has learned the importance of these kinds of expressions to the health of their relationship, however, is likely to be more verbally affectionate.

INTJs are able to leave relationships when they’re over, and get on with their lives. They believe that this is the right thing to do. They may have more difficulty accomplishing the task than they like to exhibit to other people.

INTJs are highly intense, intelligent people who bring a lot of depth and insight into most major areas of their life. In terms of relationships, their greatest potential pitfall is the tendency to think about things rather than doing them, and their difficulty reconciling reality with their inner visions. INTJs are likely to be in positive, healthy relationships, because they’re likely to leave relationships which aren’t working for them (unless other circumstances prohibit that).
Although two well-developed individuals of any type can enjoy a healthy relationship, the INTJ’s natural partner is the ENFP, or the +. INTJ’s dominant function of Introverted Intuition is best matched with a partner whose personality is dominated by Extraverted Intuition.

INTJs as Parents
As parents, INTJ’s main goal is to raise their children to be intelligent, autonomous and independent. They want their kids to think for themselves and make their own decisions, and so are likely to give them room to grow, and to challenge their decisions and thoughts at key points in their lives.

The INTJ is not naturally likely to be an overly supportive or loving parental figure. Since their own need for expressions of love and affirmation is relatively low, they may have difficulty seeing that need in their children who have Feeling preferences. If they do see this sensitivity, they may not recognize or value the importance of feeding it. In such situations, there will be a distance between the INTJ and the child. This is a problem area for the INTJ, who should consciously remember to be aware of others’ emotional needs.

INTJs as Friends
INTJs are usually difficult to get to know well, and difficult to get close to. Those who are close to the INTJ will highly value them for their ideas and knowledge. Although INTJs are generally very serious-minded people, they also have been known to enjoy letting loose and having fun, if others pull them into it. They also can be really good at telling jokes, and exhibiting a sarcastic wit with a poker face.

The INTJ is not likely to choose to spend time with people who they feel don’t have anything to offer the INTJ. They especially like to spend time with other Intuitive Thinkers, and also usually enjoy the company of Intuitive Feelers. These personality types love to theorize and speculate about ideas, and so can usually relate well to the INTJ, who loves to analyze ideas.

Many INTJs believe that they are always right. In some INTJs, this belief is quite obvious, while in others it is more subtle. Some people may have a difficult time accepting what they see as a “superior attitude” or “snobbery”. Not to imply that INTJs are snobbish, just that some people with strong Feeling preferences may perceive them that way. And some individuals simply have no interest in the theoretical pursuits which the INTJ enjoys.

Update on the Law School Front

I received a very light-weight envelope in the mail from the University of Wisconsin today. I’ve seen enough mail from law schools by now to know whether it is an acceptance, waitlist/deferment, or a rejection. Undoubtedly, this one was a rejection. Sigh. But I’m alright, really. I’m happy to know that I will be going to law school somewhere come August.

Alas, I don’t know exactly where yet. We are now down to SMU and Arizona. For all the other acceptances and wait-lists, I have submitted withdrawal letters. But for some reason, I can’t seem to let go of the possibility of getting off of the wait-list and onto the admitted list for Arizona. Perhaps it’s the prospect of becoming neighbors with one of my best friends again (a nursing student at U of A). Or maybe I really don’t want to become a Texan. I have always wanted to travel the world, but Texas never has been among the top of my list of the foreign countries that I particularly wanted to visit. But I got to thinking, Jesus loves Texans, too, right?

I know I will have a fabulous time in Dallas should I decide to move there, but, for now, I wanted to roll my dice and test my luck with Arizona. I’ve never done well with gambling, but maybe my luck is turning. I’ve asked (via e-mail; I know, in person would have been better) my environmental law professor to write me a recommendation letter. We’ll see if he will oblige.

Keep those fingers crossed for me, all my silent readers! I know y’all (I’m half-way Texan already) are out there, but sometimes it’s hard to tell by the lack of comments. It get’s lonely folks, so do leave your two cents.


Posted in Law