Tag Archives: volunteering

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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I *should* be doing something productive right now…

…but instead I’m writing about how tired I am.

Day 2 was a little less hectic than Day 1.  I started at the child care center at 9:30 and played with/yelled at/cleaned up after a group of 3-5 year olds until 12:30.  From there I paid off my parking violation from the winter session (who knew that lot wasn’t open during off-session?  Certainly not me!) and headed to Commack for a 2-7:30 shift.   Looking for something to spend a half an hour reading to calm my mind, I realized I wasn’t in possession of my February book club book.  When I checked out the Lindenhurst Memorial Library website, it stated that the library would be open until 9…so yeah, I went.  But my library card had expired in 11/09 so I had to get a new, with-the-times, high-tech, snazzy card, which has my picture on it.  When I was offered the keychain card at no charge, I just couldn’t say no.  So now my dorky library card sits with my accounts to CVS, Bob’s Stores, Petco, and every supermarket in the Tri-State area.  But I digress.  When I returned home I was so exhausted from Day 1 + Day 2 that I passed out by 10, having read all of four pages of the book.

Day 3 only slightly kicked my butt.  I took notes in the class I’m T.A.-ing from 9:30-10:30 and then met up with some of the other T.A.s to discuss our T.A. duties and the ever-popular “how to use the big commercial copy machine.”  I ran straight from there to work at 11, where I stayed busy until the boss’s daughter grabbed me by the heart and got me to play with her for an hour and a half (time I should have been reading my new 770 paged library book).  I ran back to school at 5:30 for a post-test training meeting, wherein I learned how to walk participants of a sleep deprivation study through the second half of their testing.  And by “learned how” I mean “went through the tests myself” to get a full picture of how it’s all done.

I think that ended somewhere near 7:30, so I grabbed a cup or two of pasta salad from school and headed home.  I spent that night from 9-10:30 watching the President address Congress, which was a waste of an hour and a half because it was mostly redundant Obama-speak.  At 10:30 I filled out and drew up an essay for an application to Adelphi’s M.A. program in Mental Health Counseling in the fall.  I also put together a list of all of my former addresses, which will be required by the State of NY because I’m working with children…not that I didn’t fill out the exact same form three weeks ago for the Office of Mental Health when I attended orientation for South Oaks.  Oh well, at least it’s now saved as a Word doc!

By the time I was done with all of the above, I lay down to read some of the aformntioned book club book, Drood, but I fell asleep a few more pages in.  From what I can tell though, I like Dan Simmons’ style.  He writes somewhat similar to how I write (throwing in little parenthetical side notes entirely too often).  For many I can only imagine that gets annoying, but for me–attention-grabbing!  Now if I could only read it without exhaustion overtaking me!

Today seemed like another wuzzle (CTBS Test Word!!!!  “wuzzle” means “to mix” for those of you that don’t remember the example that was drilled into our heads at that tender age) of a thousand different things.  I played with the kiddies again from 9:30-12:30, and let me tell you that is draining.  I like it–even the handfuls are unique and special kids–but I’m amazed at how unprepared my body was for this experience.  At 12:30 I raced over to campus to find out that the post office is only open on M/W/F, the Parking Services Department has nothing to do with meters eating peoples’ money (you have to call a number to file a complaint to be ignored for that), and the University Counseling Center probably can’t accommodate my horrendous limited availability schedule, but will try.  I do, however, get 10 sessions of mental health counseling, which I am more than happy to take if they can squeeze me in every other week.  I’d welcome as much support as possible, especially considering it doesn’t particularly feel like my family is there for me.

Soooooo after all of that, I went to the Commack office to turn off for 30 minutes before having to jump into work mode for five and a half hours.  Today everyone decided to tell me their insurance had changed (on 1/1/10, mind you) and I also have five evaluations over the next three days that the office is completely unprepared for.  I blame the system for this one, though.  The “new evaluation” system is utter shit at my job.  If I had any time at all to spend on it, I would try to come up with a better system.  But alas–they are doomed to repeat unnecessary mistakes.

So after I took a beating at work, I came home to bills in the mail, a pile of laundry and a dirty litterbox.  I started the laundry and had some soup, at least, but now I’ve still a few items left on the to-do list that I have very little energy to do.  But I must, because the week doesn’t end here.  Thursday is my new Wednesday.  Tomorrow I have class, work, kiddie time and a night of homework, then Saturday will be the first day of volunteer work in the therapeutic rehabilitation department at South Oaks Hospital.  When I get home from that, I have to pack up and head to my father’s, play with my little brother, do more homework, and then get up in time for 12pm book club.  I’ll get back to my comfy, cozy room around 4pm on Sunday, at which point I will have to write a 5-6 page essay for class on Monday.

See what I mean? T.I.R.E.D.

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It sure doesn’t feel like a new year.

For some reason I had my heart set on feeling like a new person come 1/1/10, or at least 1/5/10, but I don’t.  I’m thankful my first few days of 2010 were spent up in Rhinebeck & Cold Spring, NY, hiking in the serenity of the snow-laden mountains, but it made my first day(s) back in regular life that much more difficult.

I stayed up last night to watch Troy, since we were screening it in class on 1/6 (day 2 of winter class), and I have to miss that class for orientation to volunteer on Saturdays at a mental institution.  When I get to the first day of class, not seven hours after finishing the flick, I find the first two days on the syllabus are a mistake, and the first day was a screening of Troy, not the second.  The plus side?  Not wanting to watch Troy twice in twelve hours, I did the mini attendance-assignment, explained my predicament to the teacher, and got to split from class. That way I worked more than I would normally have had time to, allowing me to catch up some.  Of course, I wound up working almost 8 hours, so it’s almost as though I didn’t really get a vacation!

But tomorrow and Thursday and Friday should be somewhat more smooth because of the effort I put in today.  (I hope.)  I also managed to have time to get that new fuel filter. Frank the stoner really creeps me out at the Jiffy Lube.  Then again, he told me to ask for a few bucks off, and I paid seven less bucks because of him.  (But he’s still creepy!)

After my school –> Stony Brook –> Jiffy Lube –> Commack office –> dinner –> Odyssey day, I think I’ll be asleep the second my head hits the pillow.

Things I didn’t get done today:
– call Sue (back, even though it was on my agenda to do anyway)
– make bloodwork appointment (to find out wtf is wrong with my fingers on my left hand)
– return Troy to Blockbuster

Here’s hoping I remember to do them tomorrow!

Off to read and exercise…

❤ Peace/Love/Happiness ❤

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I miss WoW.

No, it’s true.  I can’t find the conscience to play while I have mountains of grad school stuff and current undergrad classes stuff to do.  And now I’m looking to get some volunteer work in at South Oaks, or the SBU hospital, if anyone will let me.  But anyway, I should have been asleep like two hours ago, but instead somehow I am watching a group wow.com-ers do the PTR instances Forge of Souls & Pit of Saron.  It makes me want to play, but playing means little.  I want to be good at it, and I just don’t have that kind of time …or ambition, apparently.  I leave it in my mental “someday” pile, but I just don’t know if I’ll ever get around to that stuff.

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