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dirty ethel rackham

Help me with a school social situation (my own.)

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In two weeks, I am starting my 2 year sonography program. I am so excited to be starting this new chapter in my life.  There are 16 of us who will be taking classes together (and scanning each other for practice.)  Last semester, I took an intro to sonography class that was a prereq and met all of the people who will be in this cohort of 16.  A little background info:  There is this one woman (M) that I became fairly close to ... we both were going through some family trauma and legal ramifications at the same time.  She was also close with another group of fellow students because they had previously taken several classes together.  A couple of weeks ago, the director of the program sent out a roster with everyone's emails.  

So, M, this woman I have become friends with, is setting up a social outing for some of us in the program ... dinner and drinks at a local restaurant.  The key word is "some of us."  Not that she said those words, but the group text has only 7 people.  She asked if there were other people we wanted to invite.  In a previous conversation, she has mentioned that she didn't really like this one person in our cohort, the only male in the group.  I have gotten to know him, and I like him.  His sister and my daughter go to the same university.  He is a single guy in his late 20s who seems very family oriented ... loves his nieces and nephews, respectful of his parents, and doesn't treat the older classmates as invisible (a huge plus in my book!!)  

Back to the dinner.  On one hand, I think we can all agree that people are free to associate with whomever they want.  But, on the other hand, I am concerned that we are forming a "clique" and that would make things less cohesive for the coming two years.  These are people who will see my stretch marks, folks!  (We will be practicing scans on each other, including abdominal scans.)  I know what it is like to be on the outside of a clique and I don't want this to happen to us.  

So, do I casually recommend inviting everyone, through the emails we now have?  I know not everyone will be able to make it, nor will everyone be interested.  However, I think it is the right thing to do.  But, I am not the one setting this up.  

What say the hive?

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Maybe suggest it, but if hosting lady seems hesitant, back off. I’d offer to set up the next one and invite everyone. This is one event, and in the future you can help set a precedent of being more inclusive.

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7 minutes ago, fairfarmhand said:

Maybe suggest it, but if hosting lady seems hesitant, back off. I’d offer to set up the next one and invite everyone. This is one event, and in the future you can help set a precedent of being more inclusive.

Thanks!  I just did that and it was well received!  It just never occurred to me that I could just go ahead and do it!

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I am also thinking that the host is uncomfortable with this person (whether because he is the only male or other reasons) and so he wasn’t in the seven invited. However your cohort is 16 people so less than half was invited. So it could also be that either the restaurant is not conducive to a larger group, or she is uncomfortable hosting a larger group. 

There was a local moms gathering in a cafe that I didn’t attend (open invite to everyone in the group to drop by) which is at a location that would just end up with people in groups (cluster of small tables and no room to table hop to chat).   A location I liked for social gathering was one with open seating and roomy enough for people to walk around and chat, kind of like the setting of a hotel bar lounge but is a cafe. 

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I do think it is unrealistic for every casual outing to include everyone ... and I also think it is reasonable to respect that some people don't want to socialize with certain other people.  I would not be in favor of forcing them to pretend to be friends when they are not.

So I would consider this particular get-together as, not a class get-together, but a group of friends who have some things in common.  Since less than half of the class is included, it should not offend anyone ... it would be different if she invited most of the class and intentionally left one or two out.

But if you feel like this is a slight on someone, you are free to decline the invitation.

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1 hour ago, Arcadia said:

I am also thinking that the host is uncomfortable with this person (whether because he is the only male or other reasons) and so he wasn’t in the seven invited. However your cohort is 16 people so less than half was invited. So it could also be that either the restaurant is not conducive to a larger group, or she is uncomfortable hosting a larger group. 

There was a local moms gathering in a cafe that I didn’t attend (open invite to everyone in the group to drop by) which is at a location that would just end up with people in groups (cluster of small tables and no room to table hop to chat).   A location I liked for social gathering was one with open seating and roomy enough for people to walk around and chat, kind of like the setting of a hotel bar lounge but is a cafe. 

The seven people in this texting group are just ones that happened to be sharing advice about a certain standardized test we had to take to apply.  M did ask if there were any other people that we should ask, so I put it out there to invite everyone.  I haven't made the reservations yet (it did end up falling on me since I am the pain in the rear with the anaphylactic shellfish allergy 😁.)  But, I will your comments in mind as I finalize plans.

1 hour ago, SKL said:

I do think it is unrealistic for every casual outing to include everyone ... and I also think it is reasonable to respect that some people don't want to socialize with certain other people.  I would not be in favor of forcing them to pretend to be friends when they are not.

So I would consider this particular get-together as, not a class get-together, but a group of friends who have some things in common.  Since less than half of the class is included, it should not offend anyone ... it would be different if she invited most of the class and intentionally left one or two out.

But if you feel like this is a slight on someone, you are free to decline the invitation.

Since M did ask if we wanted to include other people and 4 more names were suggested, including the male student (only because other people had their contact info for texting), the group was getting large enough that it would seem exclusionary and I started to get an uncomfortable feeling in my gut.  If it had just been us 7, I probably would not have even thought about it.  But, as I updated above, I asked about inviting everyone and I got the thumbs up.  It has been positively received.

No one is forcing everyone to be friends with everyone.  (I do feel that M's dislike of the young man is based upon very superficial reasons, perhaps colored by her current painful divorce proceedings.)  But, I do think it is nice to start out the year being as inclusive as possible.  I'm sure that, as the year progresses, people will tend to gravitate toward those with whom they have more in common.  But, this is an intense two-year program and we will be spending A LOT of time with each other.  Starting off on a good footing seems wise.  

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Nothing to add to this particular topic, but just wanted to say how happy I am for you, DER, that you've embarked on a new chapter in your life. Enjoy it! You certainly deserve to.

😚

 

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I want to add my congratulations to you starting your program!  Tomorrow is the last day of classes for my occupational therapy assistant program. It will be the last time I am with my cohort until pinning. 🙂  I only have my clinicals/fieldwork left!  I'll be done in Dec.  We started with a cohort of 20, and now have 14.  Group dynamics are always interesting.  

I just want to say to enjoy the experience!  2 years will fly by.

 

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