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A Day in My Life: Self-Discipline, Parking Fiascos, and High-Quality “Thank You’s”

This blogpost is brought to you from the Walgreens parking lot. Why, you might ask, would anyone other than a COVID-sufferer or a complete masochist go to a pharmacy? Well, it turns out, my brother has bronchitis, and I have some weird allergic reaction that caused me to all but itch my way through my latest grad school interview. Speaking of grad school, here’s the latest: I was wait-listed at a school that I wanted to go to, so I wrote a letter of continued interest.

Composing this letter was an arduous task, and not just because I didn’t want to confront failure. To make a long story short, I was wait-listed because this school received my letter of recommendation late. One of my recommenders became suddenly and inexcusably busy, and the school never received a letter, despite me following up on a weekly basis. It made me sad. Being deferred isn’t a ‘no’, but it’s a solid maybe, which seems even more precarious. Luckily, I applied to other programs. I interviewed for one of them yesterday. The interview lasted 4.5 hours. No joke. The school is intimate and small enough that it feels like a family. And I like the faculty a lot; this faculty is my favorite so far. Everyone is brilliant and kind enough to keep that brilliance from being intimidating. The interview went well, I think.

Today was a good day. I worked out in the morning. Running was on my schedule, but I only jogged for 15 minutes before opting for a HIIT workout. I also did the Blogilates Shape of Your Thighs workout (it’s deceptively hard) and some arms for good measure. Then, I scored 5 assessments and summarized them. One thing I like about working for my mom’s practice is that it taught me to be productive at home. Knowing how to work from home is important, because I plan to have a private practice someday.

I also called Continuity Care to ask how I should turn in my paperwork for the week.
“We wipe down our mailbox every day, so you can put your papers in there. Another option is to give it directly to us; we will be wearing gloves.” I opted for the mailbox method and drove my mom and myself down there. Our next stop: the pharmacy. The doctor prescribed some anti-allergy medication to stop my itching and some antibiotics for my bronchitis-ridden brother. And that brings us to where I am now: in the car, typing.

While I stayed in the car and jammed out to music, my mom went into the pharmacy. She was the one who knew our insurance information, and she was also the only one who brought gloves. “You wouldn’t believe it,” she said, emerging 20 minutes later. “People are pacing up and down the aisles, talking to each other and not buying anything. It’s as if they don’t know about social distancing.” She sank down onto the passenger seat and I tossed her my hand-sanitizer. Peach Bellini by Bath and Bodyworks to the rescue.
At around 6:45 pm, we came home. We’re Jewish, and we keep a holiday called the Sabbath that prevents us from doing work (including driving) on Saturday. I had about 10 minutes before the Sabbath would start. All I had left to do was park the car. My mom was next to me, offering helpful suggestions, but that was stressing me out more.

“I think I’ll be able to park faster if you go inside,” I suggested.
She gathered the medication and shrugged. “As you wish.” The door closed. I was alone. Just me and the car. I tried parking and re-parking about 5 times. My problem? I was too far from the sidewalk; I was around 15 inches away instead of the requisite 12. I was determined. I would continue trying to park until I got it right. The Sabbath was starting and I was still driving. Finally, as the clock struck 7 pm, my stepdad emerged from the house.

“Hi,” he said, smiling. “I was instructed to help you park the car.” I was annoyed at myself, but I let him do it. I went inside and vowed to teach myself to park once and for all. It’s both good and bad to be a new driver. The good: friends don’t trust you to drive yet, so they pick you up. The bad: parking fiascos like today. Pride getting in the way of learning. But I’m going to get good at this, just wait.

I also sent ‘thank you’ letters to the professors who interviewed me. I’ve been customizing ‘thank you’ letters instead of sending generic ones. As Scott Adams says: “what matters most is the quality of your thanks.” One of the professors told me that he plays Candy Land with some of his younger clients and shared his knowledge of neuropsychological assessments. Another professor asked what my favorite theoretical orientation was (CBT, for those wondering. Dr. Aaron Beck is my man!). This is probably my favorite grad school so far. They have a great APA internship match rate and several professors who specialize in neuropsychology. It’s also located in my favorite area ever (you really don’t need me to romanticize Irvine anymore, do you? I wrote all about it in 911, My Career Isn’t Feeling Well). My mom actually attended this school to get her doctorate before they moved locations.

Lastly, I started and finished the book You in about an hour and a half. One of my talents is reading very quickly, and I think it’s a talent because I’ve spent so much of my life with a pile of books by my side. All in all, it was a good day. I didn’t accomplish e v e r y t h i n g that I set out to do, and that’s because life throws you curveballs, sometimes in the form of an allergic reaction. But I’m happy with how the day went.


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Hi everyone! I started my doctorate in clinical psychology in fall 2020. A google search revealed that there are no current grad school blogs for psychology students. Anyway, I happen to know a girl who wants to document her journey to getting a doctorate (spoiler: it's me). Welcome. Hope you stay awhile!

2 thoughts on “A Day in My Life: Self-Discipline, Parking Fiascos, and High-Quality “Thank You’s”

  1. At 7.46 pm you hit button -post, and at 7.46 I hit button -mail and what did I see? New post from my all the time favorite!
    Read it twice, making notes, so I do not forget..
    Every time I learn new word from you, today it was :letter of continued interest, arduous task, deceptively! Did not google yet meaning, but will do.
    Parking it is the hardest thing to do, after ( scary to say) 30 years driving, some car damages and endless traffic Tickets…still do not have good skills for that! But YOU WILL DO IT!
    You always learn from everything life’s give to you to challenge, even in times that being at home…you “you learn how to be productive! At home.
    What can I say, again more joy and interest in your post.
    Happy you like the interview, 4.5 hours?! How could you survive it, I am sure that it was very interesting, and you left with good thoughts and feelings.
    Will read more..
    Your posts became my addiction…I love them so much, it is like connecting , when I physically can’t.


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