Since the subjects of these posts tend to be obtuse, I’ll warn you ahead of time that this is about days 3-5 of the Duke IHCPT course so if you want to skip it, you can.
“Our thoughts become things” is something one of my new friends from the IHCPT course texted to me today. I’d credit him if I had his permission to do so.
Day 3 was preceded by a prediction of one of those infamous Carolina ice storms that wreak havoc on the streets. The class admin called for a half day delay before the first drop even fell. This immediately put me in a bad mood. When I woke up the next day to see that the storm was relatively harmless (at least for me), it brought me even further down. I was debriefing with one of my classmates later in the week and she (correctly) diagnosed that this is probably one of my Asperger’s traits, discomfort with changes in the plan. But regardless of why my mood was foul, this was strike one.
Early on in class, there was a demonstration done with one of our teachers and a student who volunteered. During their exchange I felt the teacher violated one of the principles we had learned. I usually am pretty quiet when in class but I knew I had to be more engaged to make this work so I put my hand up. And in my sometimes-too-blunt way (Asperger’s) I asked about it. I really wasn’t trying to call her out. I was trying to see if I was misunderstanding one of the principles. After I asked, it appeared to me that I struck a nerve with the instructor. This was not my intention. This stuff we’re learning is not the kind of thing anyone can be perfect on. I just wanted to know whether it was a technique we should or shouldn’t use. The answer I ultimately got was kind of inconclusive, strike two.
After the demo, I immediately went to the instructor who I questioned and apologized if I was being offensive in anyway. I think the answer was yes. I was offensive but the fact I apologized seemed to be appreciated. Still, I was mad at myself and confused by both the lack of clarity on the point I was questioning and the unsettled nature of how the teacher and I left it. Foul tip.
Next we moved into our own teams of three (aka Triads) to practice the techniques we just learned. I wasn’t really feeling it and while I won’t say I blew it, I was disappointed in my performance. Foul tip.
After class, a couple of the men in the class (there are only 4 of us in a class of 42 people), arranged to go to dinner somewhere. Somehow the group ballooned to 7 of us. This is a recipe for “social awkward salad” for me.
Social Awkward Salad
1 Davey H
5 or more relative strangers
Place Davey H and relative strangers in a social situation. Be sure to remove any specific purpose, agenda, or leader. Do not warm up the environment in anyway, just let it roll. Ready immediately. Serves no one.
Swing and a miss! I’m out.
Day 4 was a lot of the same although this time my long involved question didn’t get me in trouble and it may have even been appreciated.
During class, our teachers have been saying we should step out of our comfort zone because that is where “the magic happens.” Well based on those last two days, the rabbit that I pulled out of the hat was this one:
I was really beginning to wonder whether Davey H 2.0 could ever get to General Availability. But was this a real problem or was it all in my head?
That night, I decided to maybe revisit my comfort zone. And I’ll talk about that in my next post.