Thu05052016

News

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Gregory Helfrich

Santa Clara Sheriff’s detectives have arrested a Los Altos Hills man they suspect repeatedly molested a child decades ago.

Detectives arrested Gregory Helfrich, 54, on a warrant at his Old Page Mill Road home April 27 and...

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Schools

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students


Courtesy of Jessica Harell
Blach Intermediate School seventh-grader Paris Harrell, who loves science and animals, recently received a scholarship from the local branch of the AAUW to attend Tech Trek camp.

It’s not every day that a junior hig...

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Community

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner


Federici

Longtime Los Altos resident Mario Federici, who turned 98 Feb. 24, is a man of many languages. He shared his knowledge with thousands of students during his long career as a teacher.

Federici was born and raised in Italy, where he stud...

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Comment

Attend an event, get involved, have fun: Editorial

You don’t have to run for city council to get involved in the community. Sometimes it can be as simple as attending a Los Altos event. You’ll have plenty of opportunities, as the May and June calendars are bustling with activity.

The Dow...

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Special Sections

Racing around Monterey

Racing around Monterey


Gary Anderson/Special to the Town Crier
The easy handling of the VW Golf R, above, makes for an ideal ride along the Big Sur coast.

 

When automotive journalists are asked to list their favorite places in the world to drive, Monterey alway...

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Business

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations


Courtesy of Eureka
Eureka, a new restaurant in downtown Mountain View, highlights local craft beer and whiskeys on a menu of food spanning from sea to farm.

Craft beer and fancy whiskeys headline the menu at Eureka, the new restaurant that opene...

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People

Stepping Out

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'


Courtesy of Palo Alto Players
The Baker’s Wife, left, and Cinderella’s erstwhile Prince stand out in the Palo Alto Players production of “Into the Woods.”

Little Red Riding Hood sets forth at the outset of “Into the...

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Spiritual Life

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International


Courtesy of Los ALtos United Methodist Church
Hidden Villa will bring some of its farm animals to Los Altos United Methodist Church Sunday to support the nonprofit Heifer International.

Los Altos United Methodist Church is scheduled to salute th...

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"Quiet" explores personality traits of introverts


A number of books in the past two or three years have highlighted new research about how the brain works to improve our understanding of how we function and even how we can improve our behavior.

Such books seek to teach readers how to be more creative (“Imagine: How Creativity Works” by Jonah Lehrer, Houghton Mifflin, 2012), how to establish positive new habits and eliminate bad ones (“The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg, Random House, 2012) or how to be smarter (“This Will Make You Smarter” by John Brockman, Harper Perennial, 2012).

Into this genre comes yet another entry: “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” by Susan Cain (Crown, 2013). But the intent of “Quiet” is a bit different than other modern advice books. Rather than inciting self-improvement, Cain seeks to let us better understand and accept ourselves, particularly those who are introverts.

The author first offers definitions, drawing heavily on psychotherapist Carl Jung: “Introverts are drawn to the inner world of thought and feeling, said Jung, extroverts to the external life of people and activities. Introverts focus on the meaning they make of the events swirling around them; extroverts plunge into the events themselves.”

Cain offers a 16-question test that allows readers unsure of their type to assess it. She then notes that since the beginning of the 20th century, Americans have been barraged with the message that extroverts are more successful than introverts in both their personal and professional lives, and that introverts could and should take classes and seminars and read books to “get over” their deficiencies.

But are most successful business leaders, for example, extroverts? Cain says no, citing the research of Wharton School management professor Adam Grant, who studied leadership extensively and found that both personality types do well in leadership positions. She also mentions that leaders in Asia tend to be generally more introspective and concerned with relationship building, and the style has worked quite well for that culture.

Cain gives plenty of advice in “Quiet.” She recommends, for example, that parents of introverted children respect their natures and not try to force them into sports, clubs and activities. She suggests that businesses reconsider the trend toward forcing most employees to work in large, open office spaces, given that some researchers have reported that “personal space is vital to creativity.” She also comments on how “mixed couples” – where one is an introvert and the other an extrovert – can communicate more effectively and learn to compromise.

The most interesting part of “Quiet” addresses temperament. Researcher Jerome Kagan studied infant behavior and labels infants as either “high reactive,” those who wave their arms and legs around a lot, or “low reactive,” those who are quiet. Kagan discovered that high-reactive babies usually became introverted adults and vice versa, suggesting a strong biological basis to introversion. Can one overcome this biological effect? Yes, Cain believes, but only to some extent.

“Quiet” is rife with useful information about personality types, and most readers should gain a deeper understanding of themselves and others. Although the book is aimed primarily at introverts, most book clubs that enjoy reading about human behavior should find it a worthwhile selection.

Leslie Ashmore is a Mountain View resident who belongs to two book clubs.

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