Today was... very interesting and filled with an unusual amount of socialization for an introvert like me! I got up in time to grab some breakfast at the hostel (blueberry muffin, bagel with cream cheese, orange sections that I picked out of my teeth for the next three hours) before heading out. It's about a 30-minute casual stroll to the RIE centre, downhill the whole way. I arrived nice and early, and met Kate from Peaceful Parents, Confident Kids (you should read her blog, it's fantastic!) right away, along with some other fabulous people. I'm not the only one who came from afar; there were two ladies from Australia and one from India in my class. We did introductions, went over some introductory materials, and talked about things like taking time and/or waiting for a response from an infant before doing the thing you said you were about to do, and like authenticity and getting to know the small person in your care while allowing that person to get to know you.
I walked with a couple of my classmates to a coffee shop nearby and got an insanely delicious sandwich for my lunch. It is still annoying that I have to actually READ the paper money to determine its value, and I automatically put my wallet away when the change is going to be less than $5, and have to pull it back out for the $1 bills.
After lunch, we talked about specific times we felt respected and disrespected, and it was interesting how much more difficult it was to think of things on the respect side of the equation. My thought was that most of the times where I've felt respected I tend to either write it off as people respecting my skills or something, or it kind of blends in with the level of common courtesy that people automatically give each other most of the time in our society.
After watching an interesting video (which is apparently for people who were once infants, or whose friends or family members were once infants) and doing some discussion and reflection, it was time to go! I spotted the Hollywood sign on my way up the hill, and stopped at Walgreens for some supplies (did you know they can still sell cigarettes in drug stores here?), and made it to my room somewhat tired but feeling accomplished. One of my roommates was asleep, so I dropped off my stuff in my locker and came down to the common room with my laptop and books, where I met some interesting people, one of whom shared his tasty spaghetti with me. And with that run-on sentence, it's time for me to get through my homework for the night and get to bed!