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Thursday, September 22, 2005

School Thoughts

A few administrative notes before I get into my real post. - I have started a new blog for those little, not full-blown pondering that I have on a regular basis. It's for those things that I don't have enough thoughts about to form into full posts, but things that do occur to me regularly and I want to share. The new blog is Sweet Rose Ramblings. Check it out and help me sort my thoughts. - NIMH has received a reprieve. We managed to convince the exterminator to set traps for him that wouldn't hurt him, just catch him so that he could be returned to nature. I was so glad, because I felt horrible about the thought of such a scared, little, white mouse being killed because of me. - I have a BIG adventure in the works for Sunday. I can't reveal the details at this point, but stay tuned for the full story after the weekend. On to my real post: I have been in school for three weeks now, and I have held back on posting about it because I really wasn't sure at first how I felt about it. I'm still not completely sure. I was so excited about starting graduate school. The road to starting a career that I really want to do - one that will be fulfilling and meaningful, and I will get to help others, students, while doing it. I thought it would be so great to be in classes that really pertained to my career goals and that I would learn so much from. The transition has not been as easy as I thought it would be. At my school in Baltimore, I had a great group of classmates that I knew and hung out with. I don't know anyone in my classes now, and with the holidays coming up, I am scared I won't be able to keep up. In Baltimore, I was in class three nights a week, so I felt really integrated into the school. Here I am only there once a week, so I am having a hard time really focusing on the fact that I am in school and that is what I really want to be doing. There is a group of people in my program who are there a lot and really seem to know each other, and I am jealous of the camaraderie and feel a bit left out. And I feel bad because I know I probably made people at my old school feel that way. I am taking two classes, back-to-back, one night a week. It feels like one class because we have the same teacher, same classroom for both. The classes are an Intro to Counseling set - one on the background and theory behind counseling and one for actually starting to practice it. The theory class is BORING so far. It has been the nitty-gritty administrative stuff that I don't care much about. The history of the counseling association and all the name changes they have gone through. The credentialing process. Etc, etc, blah, blah, blah. The practicum class promised to be a little more interesting. I took a class during my undergraduate years that explored the different schools of thought throughout history that pertained to counseling, and had to come up with my own, personal approach to it, so I am pretty well-versed in the different theories, but I had never had any real opportunity to try it out, except for on my friends. Last night we got our first chance to practice. We practiced for five minutes on a classmate. I know it doesn't sound terribly exciting, but it was pretty cool trying it out. Several of my classmates said they felt incredibly nervous in their attempt. My partner went right to problem-solving instead of listening, and felt she would be a terrible counselor (I reassured her that it takes practice and she would be fine). But I felt really comfortable doing it. And my partner reaffirmed my feeling by saying, during our five minutes,"Wow, you're really good at this!" I know it wasn't real, but it renewed my belief that I am choosing the appropriate career for myself. I know middle-school students are going to be more difficult than my classmates, but it was a start. And it felt good to have a tiny glimpse of my future. For the first time, I really saw why I moved here. I still have my doubts about New York, but not about school counseling. It feels good to have direction.

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