Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Published on by Jesse Shepherd

Today was a long and interesting day.  I had originally planned on going up to the Mary Isaak Center to work as I usually do on Tuesdays when a typical miscommunication occurred with Whistlestop Wheels which caused me to cancel my work up in Petaluma for the day.  Other interesting developments occurred.  


I dropped by College of Marin where I had an hour-long office meeting with a retired, part-time psychology instructor who currently teaches the Fieldwork and Seminar Experience class this semester and will be doing so again for spring semester.  This is an instructor who has known me for well over ten years who I took both introductory psychology and child and adolescent psychology classes with.  We discussed the syllabus for the class, my current internship with COTS and my having Asperger's and how this would all connect with both the fieldwork class in the spring (if I should decide to elect taking this) and preparations for a graduate program in either counseling or social work.  He gave me a few pieces of invaluable insight: (1) that I write extraordinarily well when it comes to papers and that he recalls I don't do well on multiple-choice tests but instinctively know the material.  (2)  He feels that counseling would be a tougher graduate program for me than social work would be unless I specialized in autistic spectrum disorders.  He mentioned that he would be willing to speak with my abnormal psychology instructor Dr. Broderick to see if she would be willing to have me do a class presentation on Asperger's disorder for extra credit.  The hours I'd be putting in at MIC/COTS would well exceed the number of hours required for the Fieldwork and Seminar Experience class.  


I've been trying to contact the Autism Asperger's Syndrome Coalition for Education, Networking, and Development (AASCEND) organization via Facebook today about joining their organization in which their next monthly meeting is to take place on a Saturday in mid November at City College of San Francisco.  I'm increasingly feeling that this organization may possibly open some closed doors for me, both personally and professionally.  The goal is to find those on the spectrum who work in careers as therapists and licensed clinical social workers, to gain their perspective on the benefits and challenges of working in such careers.  Mainly because I sense that gaining this information is going to be key to whether I make it or break it in a graduate program where many of the thought processes and problem-solving abilities depend on how present "theory of mind" in the NT world of an Aspie is.  This will most likely be my project between now and the end of the year.


My mind focuses today in other areas.  Church.  Westminster Presbyterian Church is turning over a new leaf this week with the retirement of Pastor Doug Huneke.  I met with him ever so briefly for coffee two weeks ago and because of the brevity, Doug promised that we would meet one more time before he leaves Westminster.  As his final sermon approaches this Sunday, I don't know if that will still happen.  I love Pastor Barb and I have absolute faith and confidence that, though it's a lot of extra responsibility becoming the interim head pastor, she will do fabulous.  Thursday night, I will be attending the upscale community retirement dinner for Doug Huneke which will take place at the Belvedere-Tiburon Corinthian Yacht Club.  I know there will be community, church, and professional photographers taking pictures, but it's my plan to take my own camera and shoot (if possible) well over a hundred pictures of what will be a milestone event for both Doug and Westminster's history.  


Then on Sunday, following Doug's very last sermon on the church podium, a huge church party is being planned and, as a member of the Congregational Life Commission Committee who is helping with this event, I will be helping where I can and taking even more pictures.  


Tonight as I headed home, I stopped into Lotus Cuisine of India for some refreshing chai.  I sat at the bar of the restaurant where I chatted up Surinder "Pal" Sroa, the owner of the Lotus Family of Restaurants.  He was actually "chai-tting" me up as well with packets of Splenda and his various business philosophies on running a restaurant and a business.  The warmth, candor, and authenticity of the staff is what keeps me coming back every week.  It would indeed be difficult for me to leave Marin County because the Lotus Family has been very hospitable and generous with me and this is in part how a business thrives: legendary customer service!  Finally as I was the last one out of the restaurant, my heart sunk and I wanted to cry when Pal said I would eventually find someone.  It was a weak, raw place in me.  How could I possibly accept this foresight from someone I respect so much and see the many lunches and dinners I sat all alone at Lotus--completely reversed?  As a disabled man who struggles just to maintain, how could he see me being capable of giving anything to attract a worthy woman that I could not see myself doing?  I wanted to cry inside.  Because for me--finding peaceful, happy contentment being alone in a society that mocks the word "disability" and frowns upon alone-ness has been difficult for me to come to terms to.  I've wanted countless nights of intimacy, passionate meaningful sex, friendship with one other.  After all, it's what everyone else experiences, so why can't I?  If only I could see what Pal see's.  I always thought Indian marriages were blissful because Indian couples work together to maintain a kind of harmony that is different in it's manner from how American couples stay interpersonally afloat.


I'm still trying to figure out what's going on in my personal life, especially with my new friend Amber.  In astrological terns, she is a Leo and I have always been attracted to the firey nature of female Leos (I'm a Cancer).  Today, communication was at a minimum as she expressed that she was tired so she ended up not being very communicative, which I understood.  I still want to become better friends with her and I don't know how to communicate this to her.  I don't want to come across as pushy.  When I didn't hear from her tonight as she was dealing with another friend, I immediately got anxious and assummed the worst... actually, all sorts of things.  Was she asleep?  Did her cell phone die?  Was she pissed at me for a manner in which I may have come across in a prior conversation that I may have been unaware of?  Or was I possibly over thinking everything altogether?  My heart sunk when she didn't even ask how I was or how my day had been?  I tried very hard to be subservient to her feelings and needs, but I felt too that she didn't care.  

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