Finished my 5th week of clinic and the adult population is slowly growing on me. It still isn’t my kind of bag but at least I’m no longer cringing over the thought of working with people older than 17.
- I’ve met some characters in all of the therapy groups, which definitely makes the days there a little more interesting – the racist old codger who interjects his enlightened thoughts into the middle of therapy and yells at the Hispanic janitors to get back to work with other colorful commentary thrown in; a guy who stares me down and never blinks; a guy who asks me if I’ll dance with him for a $1; a guy who consistently nods off to sleep when his turn is done; people with automatic speech who have pretty great phrases (basically it’s someone’s who had some kind of neurological damage, due to stroke or TBI, and now struggles with spontaneous speech. So the ingrained vocab they’ve been saying most of their lives – “yes/no”, curse words, etc. – come out automatically in response to things) – “Lock ‘n’ load” and “Hot damn” are a few favorites. It made me think what I would want as my own word or phrase and I think I decided on “Hoop there it is”. I blame it on watching too much NBA Jam Session as a kid.
- The therapy materials at the place are terribly dated. While rummaging through a card box of open-ended questions (to stimulate more abstract language use) I found useful topics such as, “Do you trust the Russians?” and “What do you think of Reagan’s performance in office?”. Of course I snapped a picture of the Russian card and it’s now my cell phone wallpaper.
- And it’s always a good idea to pre-screen some of these questions because then you’ll end up giving a riddle like “What can you put in your mouth and not swallow” and in return get snickering from grown-ups. Not like I asked that one or something… (Toothpaste, people. Toothpaste. Let’s get our minds out of the filth-strewn gutter).