On Monday morning I packed my suitcase and hopped on a train to South Station and then on another train to Philadelphia for the annual National Association of School Psychology (NASP) Convention.
It was a week of full-on NASP-iness; social gatherings, keynote speakers, research presentations, workshops, mini-skills sessions, networking meetings, poster talks and of course, plenty of schmoozing with school psychologists and school psychology students from throughout the country. The convention was in a word, overwhelming, with so many distinct activities to choose from. However, I discovered how much I really have learned this past year about topics as diverse as traumatic brain injury, special education evaluation, and response to intervention strategies. I also had the opportunity to find out more about my specific interest areas, including bilingual school psychology.
I made the trip with three other first year students; squeezing into one hotel room is a true (and hilarious) bonding experience. Turns out that after 5 school psychology sessions in a row, two sleepless nights, and four 20-somethings having a pajama party, anything is funny. We also got to see the Liberty Bell live and in person, and tour Philly in 57-degree weather. We ate greasy pizza and philly cheese steaks while debating education reform, and made it to several happy hours. We attended the annual NASP convention party; this week I learned that school psychologists can dance. We were almost consumed by an impromptu flash mob dance, and later enjoyed a lovely Italian dinner with professors and fellow MSPP students on Lombard Street. We got to know other MSPP school psychology students and alumni, and snapped pictures of the Rocky steps.
In the end, a good time was had by all. Now I am REALLY in need of a vacation – but no such luck. Time to hit the books! I wonder if I can find a good philly cheese steak around here?! It’s going to be a long night….