Tue 10 May 2005
My final trip to the Stevens Center was rather uneventful in the ultimate scheme of things. Upon my entry into the building, Peanut bombarded me with a hug and proceeded to introduce me to everyone at the center. The other members remembered who I was and, and seem to find this reintroduction rather troublesome. Peanut followed me around for the entirety of my stay at the center, which was rather interesting to have her constantly on my hip. The members in the kitchen were cleaning up from lunch when I arrived, so I helped out with clean up from the dishes and the meals first, and then went to watch some television. I was able to get a few final pool tips from Van, and Peanut and I engaged each other in a few games. I finished off my visit speaking with many of the members who I had previously engaged in conversation along with some I had never previous met, and we discussed up the upcoming summer weather. Brenda informed me that she rather disliked warm weather, while Jack informed me that he thrived in the heat. I told them I was a lifeguard and one girl whose name is escaping me told me that she wished to be a lifeguard at some point. The conversation was very enjoyable and I was sad when I had to end my visit. I think I may actually continue to visit members past this requirement.
Upon the completion of my final visit to the Stevens Center, I can honestly say that my opinions and views have changed. I realized that I did use a lot of stereotyping when considering the mentally disabled. Through my time at the center I became more and more at ease holding conversations with the members and just being comfortable around them. I will admit that I was surprised to see how much we had in common and to see that the members have similar goals to myself and my friends. This experience was a very humbling experience for me.
Peanut actually reminds me a bit of Olympia in Geek Love She seems to have this quality about her that she knows everything that goes on in the Stevens Center. While Olly is ignored for being too normative for the family, Peanut is laughed at and yelled at by the other members for being too nosey, but it ultimately works to her advantage. I am unsure as to whether or not Peanut is aware of this, but I believe that either consciously or unconsciously she wields a lot of power within those confines.