Today I took my bike on a test ride to gauge the feasibility of biking to my second year internship, and I am extremely happy to say that it is most assuredly feasible and will definitely be my preferred method for transportation. It is only ten miles each way, so I was not concerned about the distance. I was concerned about the safety of the route, and if traffic speed and road conditions would allow for the commute. Fortunately there are only one or two sketchy parts and even in those spots there are enough pedestrians and traffic signals to keep vehicles at slower speeds. So it should be no surprise that after a school years’ worth of two hour (each way) commutes, I literally felt like jumping up and down and shouting (which I may or may not have done on the side of the road) when I realized I will not even have to get in my car three days a week when my internship starts. I guess I have a pretty good jump on my self-care for the coming school year.
Now that I know I passed my Capstone course (Woo-hoo!!!), Graduation is pretty much a sure thing. But just as soon as the cortisol levels started to come back down to Earth, here I go spiking them back up again. It’s time for me to find work with my soon-to-be graduated self.
Much to my delight, there are a number of opportunities that *don’t* require one to be licensed in order to be eligible for the position shortly after graduation. At first I was finding several repeats of very similar work, but once I expanded my search to multiple employment sites online, other choices started popping up. While there are but 2 weeks before Graduation and I’ve still not identified gainful employment, 2 things come to mind: 1) If I don’t start my new job the very first day after graduating, well, that’s actually quite alright! 2) The more jobs I apply to, the greater the chances of someone getting their hands on my resume who might be interested in my skills. So I’m taking a chance to apply to a few things that maybe aren’t exactly what I have in mind but perhaps they will be the first steps on a path towards what would be ideal.
Here’s to being hopeful!
MSPP held their annual Gala on Wednesday May 15th and my wife and I were fortunate enough to be able to attend thanks to my involvement in the Train Vets to Treat Vets program. The Gala paid tribute to both Veterans and those still serving as well as their family members, and it was an absolutely lovely experience.
There were many excellent speeches given throughout the evening, but what struck me most and what impressed me most was the obvious passion displayed by Generals (Retired) Casey and Cornum as they described the process by which they fostered the Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness Program now used by the Army. A program that I can say from, first-hand experience, works and works well. I am also proud to say that I am an instructing member of the program’s Master Resiliency program and it was an incredible honor to get to meet General Casey and Brigadier General Cornum.
The Gala and the devotion to supporting Veterans displayed by MSPP at the Gala and throughout the school in general continues to reaffirm the belief that I truly found the best possible Graduate school and I am grateful to be a student and participating member of MSPP.
I will close by suggesting to whomever happens upon this to watch the video below on MSPP Military and Veterans Psychology.
It has been some time since I have last posted a blog. Many events have occurred since that last posting; some of them unbelievably tragic and some more personally uplifting. I will try, here, to provide my perspective and (at least to myself) surmise my view on the past few weeks.
The horrible attacks that befell Boston and our Nation on April 15th and 19th deeply impacted the lives of countless people both in Boston and around the world. Even now one of our fellow students remains hospitalized, along with his wife, as a result. I do not consider myself a well versed writer and even now I struggle to find appropriate words. Though it is certainly not enough, I can only say that my thoughts and prayers remain with them and all of the victims of the attacks.
As I think of my dual roles as both a clinician in training and as a soldier and how I internally responded to the attacks, I realize the primary emotion that I have and continue to struggle with is a profound feeling of helplessness. Logically I understand that my duty in my student role is to learn and prepare to respond to crises in the future and my current role as a soldier is to train others and to be ready to respond when called upon. However, my emotions damn me for not being able to help in the immediate aftermath. I am well aware that these feelings are prevalent in many of us (and perhaps even more so to those of us in the helping & protecting professions); and while I do not know how best to respond to them, I am grateful for them, both in myself and in others. These feelings and the desire to help are what cause good men and women to run, not away, but toward danger and to fight and struggle valiantly to help one another in the face of chaos.
I will end here, for now, with two of my favorite poems/writings; because though I may not have the words to adequately describe my feelings, I have been fortunate to be able to find them in others.
THE MAN IN THE ARENA
Excerpt from the speech “Citizenship In A Republic”
Delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on 23 April, 1910
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
William Ernest Henley
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
This is it for me here on the MSPP blog. Since the beginning of my program in October, you dear readers have seen me through adjusting to online learning, becoming passionate about Student Affairs, and struggling to juggle it all. You saw me in my job search and congratulated me once I accepted an offer.
Now it’s time to move on. There’s about two and a half months left of work, doing our weekly classes, as well as wrapping up the field projects and writing our Capstone papers. My husband and I are moving down to Dallas in just three short weeks and I start my new job the week after that. Times are crazy right now, but I keep reminding myself that it’s a temporary crazy. I just have to rock these next few months and then it will [hopefully] be smooth sailing. There will finally be time for pleasure reading and naps again.
Thank you to everyone who has supported me while I’ve written in this space. Thanks for reading and for sharing your thoughts and for being interested in my work. Maybe once my field project and Capstone are completed, I will share a link to them in this space for those of you who have asked. Good luck to all of you who are still in school or still working on professional projects.
Also, this is completely unrelated, but spring is beautiful this year in Rochester, NY and this past weekend, my husband, sister, friend, and I ran the Color Run. So, here’s a picture of Ben & I at the Lilac Festival to say goodbye. Happy spring everyone!
The truth is there are many milestones on the way to becoming a school psychologist; finishing a master’s degree, passing the first year exam, passing the first year, successfully completing the national praxis test, handing in your last portfolio, getting a first job – and the turning point of this week, taking our last final of classes.
Starting in the fall we will meet for a monthly seminar, but most of the year will take place at our full time internship sites. Our classes are over. This means that instead of finals, we will be completing educational assessments; instead of homework, we will be planning for social skills groups. Today felt pretty darn good. School is out. Our cohort toasted this accomplishment with afternoon margaritas and pizza – definitely a milestone worth celebrating!
… Like peeling grapefruits. Tonight I stood calmly in my kitchen for the first time in a while appreciating that I could do a reasonably simple task without feeling rushed. Of course peeling grapefruits takes a bit of skill, but that comes with practice. It more importantly takes time and willpower to not eat all of the sections before your done peeling the whole thing!
Yesterday afternoon was the deadline to submit my capstone project. I still have an assignment to complete for my internship seminar as well as all of my course evaluations. Regardless, the end is near. This is assuming everything turns out to meet satisfactory standards on the capstone paper, of course.
Even though graduation is set for June 2nd, I have elected to stay at LHI-Brockton right until the Friday before. While it’s not quite over yet, I know this journey will soon end with a diploma in hand (I hope!) In these final weeks of wrapping up my caseload, I hope to give my clients everything they need. I know they have certainly taught me more than I ever could have hoped for and I am thankful to have been invited into their lives.
We have finally come to the close of the first year of the Primary Care Program here at MSPP! It has been such a phenomenal year. With all the hard work we have done together as a cohort, I just want to give my peers, colleagues, and professors a round of applause. We have made so many wonderful connections in this first year that are sure to be long-lasting. In fact, with our break finally upon us, we find ourselves asking one another what we’re going to do without each other in the break we have prior to the official start of our second year – in Summer Session!
Several of us will be traveling with our friends and family, some of us will be getting in some much needed beach time, and some of us will be catching up with the lives we placed on pause in an effort to excel in such an accelerated program. Regardless of how we choose to spend out time away from school, one thing is for certain: we will all keep in touch and have a great time.
Enjoy the break everyone! See you next academic school year : )
Let’s talk about SELF, baby; let’s talk about you and me; let’s talk about all the good things and the bad things…
This semester, I took my first-ever course on psychodynamic theory (Professor Weiner – what what), and it was the jam. I think I have always naturally gravitated toward a more psychodynamic outlook; this class, however, maximized my understanding of such theory, particularly adding more structure and dimension to my understanding of the relationship between early-attachment experiences and self.
For instance, Kohut’s self-psychology postulates that one’s sense of self is rooted in her/his early experiences with having been mirrored and validated by caregivers. If one’s primary caregivers failed to viably validate and mirror the child, she/he would most likely fail to acquire a cohesive sense of self marked by robust emotion-and-self-esteem-regulating intrapsychic structures; such failures would then lead to unhealthy reliance on self-objects for (external) regulation of emotions and self-esteem. For instance, one could develop a “mirror-hungry personality,” navigating her/his reality to facilitate being seen and admired by others to superficially “fill her/himself up” with a sense of self-worth-and-esteem; given such intense reliance on others to feel whole, in the context of feeling slighted by others, she/he would then most likely experience depleted depression or disintegration anxiety. Overall, a self-psychology approach to treating clients would involve mirroring and validating the client, “picking up from” the point at which self-development was thwarted.
This is sort of a spastically provided glimpse into self-psychology, but I hope that it might serve to invigorate your curiosity about/interest in psychodynamic theory. Given the extent to which I was inspired by this course, I am taking Advanced Psychodynamic Theory this summer – can’t wait. Will keep you updated.