trystinn: (libation)
[personal profile] trystinn
We're a very small group in the Psychology program, myself and five others. Four of us are women, the fifth is a man probably about my age but possibly older. His years have worn him harder than mine.

The youngest is in her early twenties, Catholic and very young (in every way). She's the most vocal, the most rambling and so painfully young in her responses. She's very much bleeding through emotionally from a bad marriage. She has no idea she's broadcasting what she is. The rest of us do, including the professors.

The oldest (I'm guessing) is a mother of four. She's almost 6 feet tall and built like a Valkyrie, though she's all laughter and grins. She works with teens involved in the juvenile system and those she'd like to keep out of it. From my days as a student teacher for emotionally disturbed teens, I can say with all certainty - we recognized each other at first meeting.

The next youngest to me is an African-American woman from the South, former Navy. She and I are the talkers, though I make it on time to class and she runs perpetually 1/2 hour behind. To say she brings light to the program is an understatement. Which isn't to say she's not bright, she's quick on her feet and with her wits. I look forward to seeing her sitting next to me.

The next youngest still is a young woman who is called to forensics and research. She is the "Queen of the Write In" and the professors have responded by adding a line under the multiple choice questions for her. She's a bit quieter, more introspective and as often as not, when she does speak it's profound.

The man is obviously former military. His haircut and bearing hasn't changed since retirement, he's so out of place in civilian clothes. He's the most conservative, having made the point to us early on. He sits just a bit apart from us. He's suffering through his values right now, fighting the counseling requirement to be open minded and non-judgmental. The rest of us are gently guiding him through this, we're holding firm while he squirms. At one point, he admitted he'd have trouble shaking hands with a gay man, given his background. My stern response was that there is never a righteous defense to dehumanizing another. He's been thinking since then, but when we meet gazes, he does smile in return. He's doing the work and we're there for him.

It's a good group and I'm privileged to be among them.

Date: 2010-04-08 12:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
For the gentleman: you might just suggest "You know, you've probably done that many times and didn't know it..."

A handshake is a handshake, whether it's with a gay guy or not...?!? I've never had a suggestive handshake; I've had my share of bad ones, but anyway...


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