Recent Posts

The (not-to-be) Dreaded Housing Search

Posted on March 26,2012 by shansenmspp

Looking for housing in Boston can be stressful. It’s certainly not a renter’s market, and many apartments are over-priced, under-maintained, and old, particularly in areas with high student populations. But, don’t be discouraged! There are gems to be found in places like Allston & Brighton, particularly if you don’t mind sharing a bathroom with two or three other people. While apartment-hunting last year, I decided to look off the beaten path, and after several weeks of searching, found my place in Roslindale (a mere 15 minutes from MSPP).

I love, love, love my apartment – it’s in the attic of a three story house affectionately referred to as “the big red house” by its current and former inhabitants. I often babysit for my downstairs neighbors, and the neighbors below them occasionally surprise me with homemade treats from their native India. Our landlord has had us all over for dinner, and is quite timely about fixing small problems in the apartment as they arise. There is even free laundry in the basement.

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Food for thought: School Psychology is like....

Posted on March 17,2012 by shansenmspp

'Tis the season for admissions interviews, final applications, admissions offers and decisions for school psychology programs. As first-years-to-be wade through this complex process, I am reminded of a conversation I had with other members of my cohort during our trip to Philadelphia for the National Association of School Psychologists convention. We were joking about potential interview questions for graduate students, and began ruminating on some possible topics. One of my classmates mentioned the idea of asking, what is a metaphor for school psychology? Upon my return to Boston, I decided to find out. I asked several professors and classmates for their suggestions, and compiled a list. For your ruminating pleasure:

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Q & A (and chocolate chip cookies) with the President

Posted on March 10,2012 by shansenmspp

I have been known to take on too much. This year is a perfect example of this tendency, as I juggle 5 classes, my 10-hour a week practicum, 2 work-study jobs, and a semi-regular babysitting gig, while still working out occasionally and maintaining friendships and a relationship. So I wasn’t completely surprised to find myself volunteering to be one of the first-year school psychology representatives to the Student Coordinating Committee (SCC) at the beginning of the school year. Of course, the free dinner served at meetings provided a decent incentive.

The SCC takes on a variety of tasks, but in essence functions as the liaison between the MSPP administration and the student body. The SCC provides an avenue for students to further their professional and extracurricular interests, to communicate grievances, and to provide insight on the future of the school.

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What do school psychologists do, exactly?

Posted on February 29,2012 by shansenmspp

School psychologists....

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The City of Brotherly (and Sisterly) Love

Posted on February 25,2012 by shansenmspp

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.

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Happy Valentine's Day!

Posted on February 14,2012 by shansenmspp

In the spirit of the day, I thought I'd put out this

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For you ambitious types out there....

Posted on February 05,2012 by shansenmspp

Are you thinking about studying to be a school psychologist? If you’re not sure if this field is for you, there are many ways to find out such as shadowing a school psychologist at work or attending MSPP information sessions about careers in psychology. In the meantime, here are the


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Posted on February 02,2012 by shansenmspp

A couple of weeks ago, our cohort got together for a night of potlucking and board games. We’re mostly game nerds, and there’s usually a round of scrabble, banana-grams, or gin-rummy underway whenever we have some free time (which is admittedly not too often). We decided to play The Game of Things to accommodate our sizeable group of ten people. The first category to come up was, “things you should never forget…” I immediately wrote down “stopwatch,” knowing that this crowd would get the joke. We are learning just how crucial stopwatches are to the profession of school psychology, as they are used for administering assessments, conducting behavioral observations, and giving curriculum-based measure evaluations among other tasks. As a school psychologist, you are nothing without your stopwatch! So, while we all chuckled that you should never forget your date’s name, your homework, or your girlfriend’s birthday, we all know that the most important thing to never forget is your stopwatch. Ready? Begin.

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Can you walk and chew gum?

Posted on January 26,2012 by shansenmspp

Before starting a school psychology program, I thought I was pretty good at multi-tasking. In Chile, I learned to flag down a speeding bus, while talking on the phone, and helping an elderly woman get into her car. As a tutoring program coordinator in Minneapolis, I discovered that I could prepare for the games that day, heat up snack in the oven, and calm down an anxious parent all at the same time. While these skills have helped me with juggling the demands of a graduate school program, practicum, work, and maintaining some semblance of a personal life, I may have hit my multi-tasking ceiling, so to speak.

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Posted on January 18,2012 by shansenmspp

At the end of last semester, our first-year school psychology cohort learned that we would be losing one of our members to a counseling program. We were sad to see her go but we understood and respected her decision. What none of us realized, however, is that we would also be gaining a student – from the MSPP counseling program no less. Our cohort spent a significant amount of time together last semester – 12-15 hours of class per week, informal study sessions, the occasional happy hour or potluck, plus MSPP conferences, lunches, and meetings really add up. We have become quite close during this time, and have settled into a comfortable routine. We know who to turn to when we need a joke, who will remind us about the quiz next week, and who is always up for an impromptu game of banana-grams.

While entering this tight group could be initially overwhelming, our new member recently commented to me how welcome she felt from the beginning. Honestly, I was not too surprised. I admire my classmates for their friendliness, openness, and willing to help each other out. Actually, this is one of my favorite aspects of MSPP. People are just so darn friendly (and contrary to the popular Boston stereotype of being consistenly curmudgeonly). So to Jessica we say, Welcome! ¡Bienvenida! Bem-vinda! Get ready for some serious cohort bonding...

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