Today was my first day at Casa Dorinda. Most of my time there was spent talking with Angela, the activities director, and being shown around by Adrian, the assistant activities director. Adrian would stop at most rooms and introduce me and we would talk with the residents for a while. It’s amazing the amount of diversity found here. I met a cartoonist for Walt Disney, a renowned geologist, a newspaper cartoonist, an arts professor, and much more. One of the residents, Mrs. R., we happened to pass by was having an angry fit where she refused to return to her room and would not cooperate with the nurses or Adrian. Occasionally she would get violent and try to hit Adrian. It was definitely different seeing someone act this way, however, it was interesting to see the change in her composure later on, once I put on the Raggedy Ann costume. When I had it on and I came by to see her, her face lit up completely and her deep set frown turned into an impeccable smile. She even showed a little humor and made a joke. She would hold my Raggedy Ann doll and play with it, and it was interesting to see how drastically her attitude changed with a change of costume.
I think one thing I could focus on working on is knowing when to continue the conversation and when to end it. It’s very difficult determining whether a silent pause is okay or whether it is a cue to leave. I think it is a matter of practice that I should be able to get the hang of with more experience in conversation not only with my visits but with daily life as well.