On Wednesday, the girls in my advisory filled out a survey to figure out what they value in life. A good idea, we thought, because it may be a challenge to articulate those sorts of things in the tenth grade. As they whipped out their pencils, I thought, “At 25, I’m not the best at articulating what I value either.” So, I decided to join in on the fun.

The survey was a whopping 104 statements on a Likert scale (very true, sometimes true, not sure, not true). Afterwards, you assign a different point value to your level of agreement with each statement. Once I tallied my points, I began to reflect.

Some of the results didn’t surprise me. According to the survey, I really value helping others, independence & freedom, and knowledge & truth. Ahhh, yes. This explains why I’m a special education teacher who prides herself on being self-sufficient.

The survey says I value friendship & companionship, as well as creativity. OK, little survey, you got me. Literature, music, theatre, fashion — I’m there. Mix with good company? All the better.

That’s where the obvious ended.

I’ll admit, I was a little embarrassed by how proud I felt when I found out I didn’t value recognition, money, or beauty and aesthetics as much as I thought I did. Way to be humble, Mercia. On the other hand, I’d like to think I highly value personal integrity and moral courage. No fear, right? However, the survey said otherwise. Oh well, you can’t win them all. No worries, though. I won’t pickpocket you or drown any kittens. I love kittens.

Pleasantries aside, the results got a little more intense from there. Stay tuned.