This week Lysbeth and I were able to debrief Pasadena, do some class planning, and go over my internship evaluation. She gave me 5’s down the line for the internship evaluation with the one exception of a 4 in professional dress. We actually did not talk about that 4, but it is not surprising given our cultural and age differences. Professional appearance is something I really struggle with, not because I dress immodestly or poorly, but as a larger (yet not “large”) woman with limited funds I find it incredibly difficult to find clothes that work with my body type, are comfortable and movable for doing facilitation work, and are affordable. In addition, various symptoms of my multiple sclerosis are constantly on my mind when choosing clothes to wear. For example, in Pasadena where it was 95+ degrees, I had to be mindful of my heat intolerance, or knowing that my bladder can become an issue at any time I tend towards athletic fabrics that won’t show an accident and that I have multiple pairs of so I can easily change with little to-do. And don’t get me started on shoes! When you can’t feel your feet, it is really hard to wear anything cute, let alone anything with a heel.
Professional appearance aside, Lysbeth talked mainly about how impressed she was with my understanding of group process design, as well as my ability to jump into a completely different culture and get quickly up to speed to make sense of the case development I was doing. She mentioned that there would have been no way that she could have taken on the Pasadena contract without having help. This comment made me further think about the value of having a partner for consulting, it can be really difficult to take on solo contracting: it is either feast or famine, and when there is a feast it is hard to be both in the kitchen and playing host. We didn’t talk much about my role in assisting with the class, other than my focus on detail and organization being key for managing the many moving pieces of role plays. Finally, we talked about the use of cloud tools that I have introduced to increase efficiency, such as google documents and students signing up using WeJoinIn.