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Friday, March 19, 2010

Personal Space

Work has annual requirements for me to fulfill, so for the past two days I drove down to Toronto to take a course on Crisis Intervention and Restraint training. I choose to take the course in TO rather than in my district because I prefer to train with a room full of people who have different cultural backgrounds. And once again I had a blast.
One of the first exercises was to split the class in two, line up and face eachother. My partner happened to be a cute young guy who had never taken this training before. I was supposed to walk across the room and when he felt uncomfortable with me approaching his personal space bubble, he would put up his hand to stop me. I would then stop. Three feet away.
Next he had to walk towards me and I put up my hand at about a half a foot away because he was looking very uncomfortable. The teacher told everyone to take a small step forward and we were toe to toe. He started to laugh. The instructor thought a third time would really nail down the theory that we all have personal space, but when I walked across the room, this man opened his arms and gave me a hug. Yeah! I did it again. Broke the ice and proved I don't really care if you are in my space.
The instructor was a bit intrigued until I explained that I have lived in third world countries and people invade my space all the time. When she asked why I let his guy in, I told her that I trusted him. It was pretty clear that we shared the same faith and position at work, so why wouldn't I trust him. I assumed he wasn't aggressive and I had no reason to fear him, and in the end I got my free hug for the day. :)
Guy number two brought out more of my humorous side. We were watching half the class do their restraint techniques and it started to look like a choreographed dance routine. Later on in the day I was watching this guy do his manoevers and so I quickly sketched an 8.5 on a napkin and held it up. He laughed, completely catching on that I was judging his dancing.
Why am I sharing these stories? I don't know, but it's just been fun to laugh and learn and once again spread my wings.

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