Saturday, November 11, 2006

The Divine Miss M's 21st Birthday party part II

Maddie turned 21 on Thursday but there were a goup of us that couldn't go out that nite so we went out to celebrate with her on Friday. A great time was had by all. 8 out of the 15 of us are Psych Majors and 7 of us were in the same psych class and missing Dr. Miserandino.

The Birthday girl and Christian
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Julia, Natalie and Christian
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Maddie, Natalie and me. No, we really aren't as drunk as we look.
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Sam, Vickie's friend (in the middel) who's name I can't remember sorry and Vicky
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Corine and Luke, really we aren't as drunk as we look.
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Joe enjoying a rest, Julia, the birthday girl and me
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I was trying to get a shot of Maddie chuging down her drink but she decided to look up instead.
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Julia and me, we were wishing that Erica was with us to be in this picture
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Saturday, November 04, 2006

Synchronisity is a very cool thing

So I worked really hard and I think, I pray, it paid off on the Social Psych test I took yesterday. If nothing else I'm really happy with the essay I wrote. Not that I found this test any easier than Dr. M.'s first one but a small part of why I think did better with this sections material is that I could really relate to it in a personal way. I had a much easier time of finding the words to explain the mental pictures I had of each of the concepts.

Speaking of finding words to go with mental pictures, I found some words that I love love love. I was listening to a new group, new to me any way, Burning Bush and their song Imagine. One of the lyrics is "Imagine the view from the top of your dreams..." I am in love with the images that lyric brings to mind for me.

Speaking of dreams, I have been a little depressed lately. Some of the things contributing to this round are the fact that I feel like I'm just barley keeping my head above water with my grades in both Social Psych and Art Therapy, the fact that I don't seem to be able to connect with the teacher that has taken over for Dr. M while she's recovering from her cancer treatments, and other usual stuff like not enough time for myself, the hubby and work. I've had trouble keeping my perspective on why exactly I'm doing this and where I'm going to end up. This past week I've finally started to come out of this round of depression. Some of the things that have helped are finding the cool song lyric, knowing I did well on my test, the fact that I may get my first professional photography credit in one of Arcadia's publications, being able to bring together some really wonderful women for a really fun dinner and studying with them for this test, there is a lot to be said for being in community with like minded people and I had forgotten about that.
The other thing that has helped so much to bring me out of my funk is that I went to a lecture sponsored by the Association of Women in Psychology last night and I'm so glad I did. Three women who spoke were just so inspirational. The first person to speak was Lynn Brown who is a private psychotherapist, the second was Lisa Bowleg who is an associate professor at Drexel, and the last was Ana Maria Garcia who is the chair of the Sociology/Anthro/Criminal Justice dept at Arcadia. Lynn got me excited when she talked about how she encourages her patients to journal, how she helped one of her patients find parts of herself thru photography, how she uses yoga and meditation as self-therapy. I had asked her a question about how she incorporates Art Therapy into her practice and while I can't quote her she basically told me that is was a valuable tool that she uses with her patients. During a break I asked told her why I had asked my question and she said that she could tell from the way I was engaged with her lecture and by the questions that I had asked that I was a born counselor. Wow!! What a compliment. Lisa, spoke about issues relating to minority women and how difficult it is for them to follow recommendations on how to achieve optimum health. One example was the advice to eat right, and how hard that is because there are few grocery stores that offer fewer healthy choices of food in low income neighborhoods. She also talked about challenges to the mental health of disabled women. This got me to thinking about weather or not there's any research on mental health as it relates to less obvious disabilities like dyslexia. Ana Maria talked about how she views her roll as a feminist teacher. I was a bit tired by then so again I can't really quote her but what I came away with from her lecture was that she feels it's important for the process of learning to take place rather than just filling her students up with facts for them to spit it back out. I got the impression that when she walks into a class room she takes it as a given that everyone will be successful rather than the expectation that some of the students will fail.

I think this is precisely why I feel it's a struggle to connect with Dr. M.'s replacement. Dr. M. expects us all to rise to level of the material, is confident that we are all capable of doing so and act accordingly. As opposed to the replacement who may have the expectation that we rise to level of the material but doesn't think that we all are capable of doing so. That expectation, that belief, that all the students will be successful in their class is the common thread that runs thru all the classes where I have really connected with the teacher. These teachers are passionate about their subjects, want to inspire their students to have that same kind of passion and will go the extra mile to help all their students get there, not just their personal pet's. Dr. M. is certainly like that and so is Dr. Robbins and Dr. Blustein. I've had to work my butt off in all their classes but they inspire(d) me to want to do it. This is why, even though I only received B's in Dr. B's classes and a C from Dr. R I still value their classes more than some of the ones where the A came easy.

At one point in this round of depression I felt that some how Dr. M. didn't like me. After my dismal performance on her first test I took her up on her offer to go over the test to figure out where I had gone wrong. I did this in spite of the fact that I thought she didn't like me. Something that I have figured out, thanks to Ana Maria, is the that whether or not Dr. M. likes me she is committed to my success. Perhaps I was intimidated by her, perhaps my self doubt was getting in the way. I may just be a total fool but if I hang on to the belief that Dr. M believes in me, believes in all of us who are struggling with the material, then I know I can survive and get a good grade in the class. Now I just have to make it thru the rest of the semester with the replacement who doesn't have that kind of faith in me/us.

I also really wish that the lecture had taken place before Dr. M's test. I learned more in those couple of hours about The Fundamental Attirbution Error and it's application, and about other concepts in Social Psychology, than I have in the all the time I've spent in class since Dr.M left.

All in all, this week as helped me climb back up to see the view from the top of my dreams.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Today is a sick day

I knew it was coming back on Monday but I refused to even think about it. I've been in total denial. Today, when I woke up I just had to face it. I just had accept the fact that I have a cold. I hate it when I get a cold. No one likes to get them but I seem to get them a lot and it's always the same thing. It starts with feeling all achey and stuffed up and my throat hurts. Then progresses on to feeling like I have golf balls where my tonsels used to be, hacking up a lung from coughing and the grand finally is eventually loosing my voice entirely. The only thing that has changed about my colds is now they only last maybe 4-5 days instead of 2 or 3 weeks because I take this stuff called Musinex. No I don't have stock in the company but sure wish I did. Other than that the colds are still the same and I feel like crap. So today instead of going to work I'm at home and while I should be studying for a test that's coming up in Social Psych I'm updating my blog, and listening to my daily dose of Quirky Nomads. I really should add a button for QN under my list of Pod People but your going to have to make due with a link to Sage and Todds message board for now.

http://www.quirkynomads.com/wp/

I'm just not up to dealing with the template today. I'm also a little grumpy about being home sick when it's to early for this weeks episode of Cast-On and I've already listened to this episodes of Knitty D & the City and Lime & Violet. Dr. Miserandino, if your reading this and you haven't tried listening to podcasts you really should. It's a great way to pass the time and since I know you've got a lot of it to kill give them a listen. Just don't blame me if you bust a stitch because your laughing so hard. No, you don't need an ipod to listen to them but I think it's easiest to subscribe to them from Itunes and you can download and listen via Itunes even if you don't have an ipod.

I got a very nice comment from Lisa who created the uber-fab L&V BFL roving that I've been spinning. If you heard a loud SQUEEEEE!!!! the other morning at about 6:30 that would have been me. I don't know why her making a comment or getting a mention from Lime and Violet on their podcast makes me so happy but it does and so I'm not going to over examine it.

I had an absolutely fabulous dinner with my friends Erica, Julia, Vicky and Maddy last nite. We went to do food and study for the Psych test and we did actually get some studying done but I have to admit that we did more eating and laughing. These are some of the funniest, bodacious babes on the planet and I had never gotten them all together before. We've all had the same pych classes together so I don't quite know how some of them missed each other but that has been remedied. My ribs still hurt from laughing so hard. We managed to get Bem's studies on Self-Perception theory straight in our heads and the question of the nite was "Would the baby Jesus have shown up as a positive on a pregnancy test?"

More later, must go study, espcially if Dr. M is going read this it's her test I'm studying for.