Empathy No. 037
08/21/02, Brawney off. 3:07 PM
DR. BRAWNEY: Thank you for coming on time, Roderick. If this causes any problems in your school, we can certainly reschedule.
RODERICK: No, it's fine.
DR. BRAWNEY: Good. Let's start by talking about your school. You've been at Redgrove High for about a week now. What's your impression?
RODERICK: People keep asking me that. I don't know what they want me to say.
DR. BRAWNEY: I really don't think it's a trick, Roderick.
RODERICK: But what am I supposed to say? It's a high school. There are lots of them, they're all the same.
DR. BRAWNEY: How is Redgrove different from the schools you've attended in the past?
RODERICK: Okay...it's bigger. It's quite a bit bigger. I don't know...different types of students, I guess. More diverse.
DR. BRAWNEY: Do you feel safe there?
RODERICK: They're not beating me up yet, if that's what you want to know.
DR. BRAWNEY: Okay. Have you made any new friends?
RODERICK: No. People stay away from me.
DR. BRAWNEY: I understand that you're not participating in any extracurricular activities at Redgrove.
RODERICK: Because I want a break. I'm just tired, that's all.
DR. BRAWNEY: Do you think that those activities could give you a chance to meet people?
RODERICK: They never did before.
DR. BRAWNEY: Roderick, I don't want you to take anything I say here as an accusation. Your family are concerned about your social life.
RODERICK: I'm doing something this weekend. Allison invited me to go out with her friends.
DR. BRAWNEY: That's good. What will you be doing?
RODERICK: I think they want to get food and ice cream or something. I don't really know.
DR. BRAWNEY: Do you know any of the other people who are going?
RODERICK: Allison's boyfriend, and this other couple, and one of Allison's other friends, this girl Carlie.
DR. BRAWNEY: So your stepsister set you up on a date with one of her friends?
RODERICK: It's not a date. Me and Carlie are just both in the group. I don't think Allison really wants me there anyway.
DR. BRAWNEY: But are you interested in going out with Carlie?
RODERICK: I guess, I mean...whenever we've talked she's been nice to me, but someone like that won't go for me. She can do better than me.
DR. BRAWNEY: We've never discussed this aspect of your life. Many people your age are starting to date. Have you ever wanted to pursue that kind of relationship?
RODERICK: Yes, but it doesn't matter. Girls just aren't interested in me.
DR. BRAWNEY: Have you ever asked one of your classmates out?
RODERICK: Once. She said no, and then her friends told everyone I was stalking her.
DR. BRAWNEY: And you're afraid that it might happen again?
RODERICK: Of course it will.
DR. BRAWNEY: Roderick, do you plan to get married in the future?
RODERICK: I guess, it's not something I really think about.
DR. BRAWNEY: Do you want to have children of your own?
RODERICK: I don't think I want that.
DR. BRAWNEY: Why not?
RODERICK: I...too much pressure, too much to do. I wouldn't be a good father anyway.
DR. BRAWNEY: Okay. Returning to this night out you mentioned, you said that it was several couples and you and another girl. You say it's not a date, but you probably will have to interact with this girl frequently throughout the evening. Will you be comfortable with that?
RODERICK: I've talked with Carlie before. We have classes together, we were at the show together.
DR. BRAWNEY: But do you see how this might be different? In this situation, you might be expected to talk with her.
RODERICK: Yeah, I know. I'll do that.
DR. BRAWNEY: Do you find it intimidating to converse with girls your own age?
RODERICK: It just doesn't come up. I told you, none of them want to talk with me. Only Carlie ever wanted to talk to me.
DR. BRAWNEY: Do you enjoy that? Speaking with Carlie?
RODERICK: ...Yeah, I guess I do.