Ooooh, child. Things are gonna get easier.

Maybe not less hectic, but certainly easier.  I knew it would only be a matter of time (two weeks, it would appear) before I could get used to a groove of sorts.  Of course, this week wasn’t the best for that, what with being sick and all, but I managed, and it’s certainly not as soul-sucking as the first week.  More entertaining, yes, but not as soul-sucking.

So, yes, I spend the first few days of this week sans voice.  I co-hosted my first Drugs & the Brain review session on hoarseness, cough drops and two bottles of water, but thankfully I had two other T.A.s there to help me out.  There was a great turnout, a lot of excellent questions (some a little too detailed, IMHO), and a definite future T.A. candidate in attendance.  Proctoring the exam was kind of one of the cooler things I’ve experienced lately.  Knowing the class’ procedure helped, but there was a natural leadership that just kind of poured out of me.  Maybe I just wanted to look good for someone whose attention I can’t seem to grab.  In any event, the test went well and we were out fairly early.  I worked, I went back to school for sleep deprivation study pre-test training, then went to child learning & development seminar.  Monday’s my long day, but it’s usually the one in which I have the most energy.  Unfortunately, this particular Monday I had a very slight fever and a bad case of laryngitis.

Tuesday was my mostly-sick day.  I worked my three hours and I recovered (coincidentally??) during LOST, which I watched with my mom.  I also checked under the Wednesday sleep deprivation pre-test study slot on the school’s participant site and found no one had signed up for my Wednesday slot (there’s no signing up within 24 hours of the study time), leaving my some extra time to get work done on Wednesday.

Seeing as Wednesday is my “hand in Drugs & the Brain notes” day, I polished them up extra nice at work and dropped them off under teacher’s door that night.  Sure, it was a rather kiss-ass thing to do, but I’m about to ask her to be my internship faculty sponsor, so I’m kind of glad I did it.

Thursday was my first “full” day back into the swing of things: 9:30-12:30 was spent yelling (with poor vocal range) over children, 1-2 doing my counseling assessment, 2:45-5:30 making insurance phone calls and other work related tasks until 9:00.  Needless to say, Thursday wasn’t a stay-up-late night.  I did, however, find out during that day that I was invited to interview with LaSalle College in Philadelphia.  The email was sent to a few people, myself included.  The program is a PsyD in Clinical Psychology, which would be so super amazingly awesome if I got in.  Philly’s close enough that the guilt won’t sway me from going.  Of course, I wouldn’t be able to work at the speech office anymore, but if I absolutely couldn’t find work near there in or around my field, I could always ask one’a my Philly peeps to put out a word for me.  Same for housing.  Okay, I know I didn’t get the position.  I still have a lot of work to do (for starters, how does one interview for a doctoral program?  What do I wear?  Do I take my nose ring out?  Should I bring a notebook?).  But the interview has gotten me incredibly excited.  Something about my application stuck out to someone, and that’s inspiration enough to keep a hopeful outlook.  I’ve arranged to be absolved of my responsibilities before 6pm that day (it’s Monday, February 22nd), and I’m going to see if my friend’s parents (her & her brother are away at school) will let me crash at their house that Sunday night, only miles from LaSalle.  Otherwise, I will grab a local hotel room.  It’s not like I haven’t been there before.  Heh.  I’ll try to remember to bring my license this time ’round.

Friday isn’t as bad a day as the others, since i only have T.A. class, work and then three hours with the kids.  But it’s the three hours they get picked up, so there are fewer kids, and the clean up is end-of-the-day stuff.  It’s usually a little more laid back, but alas, there are still fights all the time.  I’m getting there in the intervention department.  It’s certainly good experience and the practice will pay off, I’m sure of it.

I went to dad’s afterward; Kellen seemed genuinely happy to see me even though he buried his face in his Nintendo DS for the first thirty minutes I was there.  I definitely lost some of my play-with-my-brother umpf over the week.  I’m fighting bad guys and running from bombs, but I’m sitting down every time we stop moving, and I’m “hiding in the vent (a/k/a couch)” as often as possible.  I didn’t mind every time he stopped playing to gawk at another scene in the Alvin and the Chipmunks Squeakquel.  But we squeezed in some Clone Wars, some piano mat, and some office playing before he had to hit the hay.  After he went to bed, I accidentally caught the second half of Role Models, which got me playing WoW for the hour and a half following that.  I obviously didn’t do anything productive after that.  I tried to read, but it was too late–I was at the pass-out stage by then.

Today was an eventful one at South Oaks. I had an emotional response to one of the adolescents and needed to restrain of the impulse-control-deficit children in a later group.  We started the day off with an assessment, which I like, because it gives me a chance to get to know a little something about a newcomer to one of our art therapy groups.  Unfortunately, we only got one in, so we proceeded with the girls’ adolescent group until we did the adult group a little later.  The adult one is the only group I really participate in.  I wasn’t really keen on last week’s project, drawing my reaction to a fairly abstract word, but this week I was fond of the task: we had to link up four aspects of the self (brain, heart, personality & ego) with a building material (sand, glass, iron, concrete, wood and/or rubber) and then draw the connection.  I was impressed with my own response and delighted to have been forced into thinking about that, something I never would have done on my own.  (For those of you playing along at home: my heart is glass–fragile, but maintained if you’re careful; my brain is concrete–chipping over time, but refilled from the bucket of concrete-knowledge; my personality is wood–the keystone in an arch (the cornerstone of my being) but also pliable or whittleable, with some room to mold; and my ego was rubber–because I like to keep it contained so it doesn’t get too out of control.)

Our next group was co-ed adolescents, which was comprised of 11 boys, 1 transgender (boy), and 2 girls.  I found myself being more encouraging than I was last week, but I attribute a lot of that to it being my first day.  A boy who first wanted to become a landscape designer changed his 10-year goal to being a pyrotechnical engineer (or something of the sort).  He drew a lot of fireworks and missiles, all in black, and told a lot of firework stories.  Honestly, he’s lucky to still have all of his fingers.  What struck me as most interesting about this boy though, was his appearance.  He was a 12-year-old Chris (okay, I don’t actually know his age, but I’ll be reading his chart next week to find out).  More talkative than Chris in his 20s, but I didn’t know him in his earlier years, and he may have been a talker back then.  I don’t know this boy’s history, or his name (not that I could write it anyway–thanks HIPAA!), but I can tell there’s some anger in there, and some loneliness, and something resembling social awkwardness.  But his face–my god this boy’s face was an absolute spitting image.  I mean, younger of course, and probably going to develop entirely differently, but for all intents and purposes, they could have easily been brothers.  It almost felt like I was given an opportunity to help wounded Chris back before he thought he helped himself.  But that’s just unnecessary guilt on my part–when that man decides he needs actual help he will get it and feel better, but not a day sooner.  I couldn’t do anything to “save” him just as much as I can’t “save” this boy.  But I felt this inexplicable need to protect him.  If he’s still around next week, I will learn so much more on him.

Our last group, the kiddies, were treacherous today.  We had an incident where one of the girls grabbed the other intern by the hair and clawed at her face.  This was from behind her, so it was slightly difficult to defend herself.  I don’t know who else saw or was about to do anything, but I was only a few steps away and Dr. Carr’s spirit must have been with me.  The lines from his book stuck out in my brain — if a child is causing harm to another individual, force may be used to restrain them and when they are diffused they may be re-assessed.  I grabbed this girl’s wrists, knowing at that point she could only kick me, and letting go of the intern’s hair (with some strands already pulled out and in her grasp), she followed my order to get “outside. Now.”  I don’t think it really could have gotten much farther, but I am proud of myself for handling it, rather than letting the intern fend for herself, or needing someone else to rush in and help.  I feel better knowing I can intervene in the clutch without freezing up or shying away.

The rest of my night was filled with unpacking, cleaning up, foodshopping for my mother, dinner and a brief nap.  I was supposed to do some reading tonight and pay some bills, but I’m not entirely sure I’m up to the challenge(s) at this hour.  I have a fairly long to-do list tomorrow, but I wasn’t invited to any superbowl parties this year (two last year, zero this year), so I’ll be staying home all day anyway.  If I had actually gotten a majority of my tasks done by tomorrow I was going to go on a 7-mile hike with my meetup group, but it’s probably best (for my health) that I don’t do that immediately anyway.  I’ll be snooping around underground Monday night, which will be adventure enough for me this week!

Well, having gotten all of that out, I feel a little de-stressed.  I may have a lot to do, but it somehow feels more organized after I’ve gone on a writing rant.  That’s probably a good thing.  Then again, my brain gets a little fuzzy at this hour, so not all things make as much sense as they should.

Oh!  I also received a compliment on my writing today.  It came from an acquaintance of mine from back at Hunter–a guy I was told I went on a “date” with while I was with Chris.  I still claim a walk and talk in the park with a colleague is not a date, but many people insist, so the compliment came from a guy I went on this date with in Central Park back in my Hunter days (’06-’07).  He says its quite the compliment coming from him, and seeing as I know how in touch with himself (no pun there–I swear!) he is, I believe it.  So thank you for that, as I imagine you will be reading this.  I won’t mention your name because maybe you don’t want me to.  (Does HIPAA apply here as well? Doubtful.)

Anyway, loves, that is all for now.  More on the Incredible Life of Lin K. as the story unfolds!

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