Which of Dean Jen Smith’s dogs are you?
During midterms season each semester, students troop dejectedly into Laboratory Sciences Room 300 and its fellow large lecture halls nearly every night of the week for evening exams. A familiar sight on these high-tension evenings, on the path from the South 40 to the Danforth Campus, is Arts & Sciences Dean Jennifer R. Smith, accompanied by her two massive dogs.
If you’ve never had the pleasure of meeting Aspen or Juneau, know that they share the approximate size, color and fur density of polar bears. If you have, like many a stressed, exam-bound student, had the chance to sink your hands into either of the dogs’ thick, white fur, you know these canines are pretty special. But did you know that they actually have very different personalities? (Yes, dogs have distinct personalities!) Take this quiz to find out if you are more of an Aspen or a Juneau. Whether this information will be useful to you in any way, I really can’t say, but maybe it will be a comfort to know that you share specific identifying characteristics with one-half of our campus’ most beloved dynamic duo.
1. What time of day are you most active?
a. Morning-I’m a total early bird (dog?).
b. Evening-I’m more of a night owl.
2. What’s your approach to making friends?
a. I just do my own thing and let them come to me.
b. I seek out friends and make an effort to get to know them.
3. Do you enjoy physical contact with friends and family?
a. No. I prefer to be left alone, and I’ll remove myself from a situation if someone gets pushy.
b. Yes! I love to snuggle wherever, whenever.
4. How do you feel about babies?
a. I love them—so cute!
b. They scare me.
5. How do you feel about dressing up for a special occasion?
a. Love it! I embrace the opportunity to go all-out when the occasion calls for it.
b. Not my thing—I prefer to keep it casual.
6. The person you’re spending time with is paying more attention to their phone than to their conversation with you. What do you do?
a. Let it go. I don’t really care; I’m probably doing the same thing to them, anyway.
b. Demand their attention—what could they be doing that’s more important than spending time with ME?
7. What is your greatest fear?
8. How do you feel when surrounded by a large group of people you don’t know very well?
a. I feel totally fine. I’m confident in myself and don’t get intimidated easily.
b. Not so great. I can get nervous in social settings, especially big crowds.
9. What’s your go-to activity when a classic St. Louis storm hits?
a. I really lean into the weather by hanging out outside.
b. I bundle up in my bed and drink hot chocolate. So cozy!
10. How do you approach interpersonal (or inter-canine) conflict?
a. I go on the offensive—using aggression if necessary—if I feel threatened.
b. Conflict scares me—I avoid it to protect myself.
Mostly As: You’re totally an Aspen.
You’re mature, responsible and confident in yourself; you march to the beat of your own drum. You don’t need anyone’s approval or affection to feel happy and fulfilled in life. Your even-keeled nature serves you well, but you may want to take a closer look at your unruffled demeanor to make sure you’re not shutting people out as a result. You have trouble opening up and being vulnerable, but you are a great friend when someone does get to know you.
Mostly Bs: You’re more of a Juneau.
You are a bit of a people-pleaser and seek external validation from those around you, and you crave affection. You have trouble saying no, but you also can get testy or snippy when things don’t go your way. You may have some anxious tendencies, so people should treat you gently to get the best version of you. You’d rather stay at home for a cozy night in than venture out into the world. You are affectionate and playful with the people you love, and your friends are lucky to have such a loyal pal.