Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Musings and list update

Recent list efforts: #9, #12a (most recent time-- 16:56), #87, #94.

So, today after my workout there was a bit of a commotion in the locker room. A guy I will say was obviously substantially disabled apparently wanted to go swimming, and was banging against the locked door to it. His aide (aide? attendant? I don't know the correct term) was repeating firmly and calmly "The door is locked. I don't have a key. We can't get in. Let's go sit down by your locker. The door is locked." The guy who caused the commotion continued to bang against the door, moan, and occasionally say the word "key". When he did, he just repeated it continuously.

I checked on my way out, and it turns out that this was not a time in which the pool was listed as being open to the public. Therefore, I can come up with two scenarios: 1) He wasn't aware that this was not a time when the pool was normally open. 2) The pool is normally open to him at this time, but for some reason was locked today.

I'm not sure what to think of my thoughts on this--if that isn't too dadaist of me to say. Pragmatically, I think it makes good sense to have a time for the pool to be reserved for those with severe disabilities. From my selfish perspective, behavior like this guy's is some stressful to be around. I wasn't angry at him about it, as it seemed clear to me that he's not of a mental capacity to know any better, but it's along the lines of a screaming infant on an airplane--loud and stressful. I can try to justify it by saying that it might be less stressful for the severely disabled to exercise together as well, as they'd be less likely to be ridiculed for being themselves in such a setting, but I can't be sure that it's all that altruistic of me. On the other hand, I wonder about what this says about my levels of compassion, and whether I'm advocating for sweeping people like him under the rug.

I think this is also all somewhat complicated by the fact that my gym is a university gym. From the language skills on display, I would be very surprised if this guy was a student here. Is it reasonable that I take that into consideration? I can only guess that he might be the child of a university employee, and this is why he uses this gym, but I view the dependents of the faculty/staff/students to have a lesser claim on the facilities than the faculty/staff/students themselves.

1 comment:

AdamX said...

Lesser Claim? How completely elitist!