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A Productive Week In My Life: dissertation, working with clients, and school days

Monday

Today was a great day to be a student. I only had class until noon, because one of my classes was cancelled. It turned into a “catch up” day.

I got many tasks done. I noticed that one of the shirts I bought for my sister’s birthday still had the security sensor on it, so I had to go get it removed. I exercised. Crossed off some to-do’s. This is the outfit I wore, which I really like:

In the evening, right before it closed, I managed to make it to the library:

Stocked up for the week.

Tuesday

I had a lot of class today, from 9 am to 6 pm. My morning class is 3 hours of discussion, which devolves into people sharing personal anecdotes for participation points. And there’s only so much outside work you can do before you go a little stir crazy. I’m not the type to be like “hey, your class format is not working for me”. But this time, I did it. “We’ve had some really good conversations,” I said, “but I think I would benefit even more from having a lecture component in this class. I would love to know what everyone else thinks.” Comments poured into the chat. “I agree!” someone said. “I learn better from lecture”.

You have to understand that this was a HUGE deal for me, especially because my classmates didn’t nominate me as spokesperson or anything. I just decided that I should advocate for myself here. And it worked! The professor incorporated an awesome lecture. Between classes, I had to hand in paperwork for Continuity Care. I’ve cut back on work recently, but this was from weeks ago. I also went to the gym between classes and snapped the following photo:

My “the room is empty but not for long, so take a picture while you can” pose

There was another class that did include a lecture (yay), and then I had my dissertation class.

Here’s what I learned from looking up articles for the lit review: 1) skimming an article is very different from actually reading it and 2) autism is freaking cool to research, but I’d much rather be face to face with patients. That’s why I’m happy to have picked a clinical psych program– there’s an emphasis on working with clients.

Wednesday

Wednesday was a practicum day. My schedule featured a readmit, a group, and two hours of supervision. The patient I met with had a great sense of humor, and I thoroughly enjoyed this readmit. Writing it up can take hours, but I learn a lot from the diagnosing process. Then, I led a group for group therapy (I can’t recall exactly what it was on, but I think we discussed the role of the “inner coach” and “inner bully” and how they are often the internalized voices of people around us).

I made time to stop at the gym. This is the only selfie I got there, of me in my business casual clothes:

Accompanied by my laptop case, which I can’t leave in the car, so it comes with me everywhere.

After practicum, I went on a date with my boyfriend. We found a new area in LA that neither of us had explored, so we braved the cold (I know, it’s not THAT cold in LA, but my body thinks that it’s still experiencing Russian winter).

Acai bowl with peanut butter (my favorite)

Thursday

Thursday was a whirlwind. I had another readmit. I also had a group, one-on-one supervision, and then I had to do a termination session with a client that I’d been seeing since around fall 2021. It’s bittersweet because it means that this client is ready to move to a lower level of care, but it also means that my job with this client is done, and of course that makes me sad. Don’t cry don’t cry dontcry was what I kept telling myself πŸ˜‚. Also on Thursday, I had a group member who got very verbally abusive and I had a headache on the hour ride home. So it was quite a day.

I had half a mind to stay home and lie around with my headache. However, my mom convinced me to go to the Lag B’ Omer party happening that night. It’s an important Jewish holiday (and, let’s face it, a fun one), so I went.

My family celebrated with our temple. I met many Ukrainian refugees and had fascinating conversations.

One of the refugees walked for 30 hours with no food or drink and shared that he even started hallucinating. He was so young to have experienced this — only 20 years old! The refugees didn’t speak much English, but we were able to talk with them in Russian.

Friday

After my wild Thursday, I bet you’re expecting the kind of Friday that features a celebrity, circus tricks, and perhaps a reunion with Jesus to finish it off. But Friday was not the most exciting. I had a doctor’s appointment. I got a TB test. I was supposed to also have a dissertation meeting with the school librarian, which I scheduled for 4 pm. However, when I checked my email, I saw a barrage of sweet and increasingly more concerned messages from the librarian, asking where I was.

Y’all. I couldn’t understand why she thought we were meeting earlier than 4, and then I realized that my appointment was in central time! I don’t know why the website didn’t book me in Pacific time. I apologized PROFUSELY and managed to secure another appointment with her for Monday. I vowed to sleep next to my laptop if that was what it took.

Friday’s outfits.

Saturday

On Saturday, I went to the gym again. I finished a book by Jodi Picoult about a little girl with Osteogenesis Imperfecta, which was so interesting that by the time I looked up from it, it was midnight. One of my best friends also came over and we went for a long walk. We went to her house for a sleepover. On the way there, we stopped at a vape shop (for her, not me). Guys. This place was like a museum. There were glowing lights everywhere, with gadgets that I’d never seen before. I realize this makes me sound like a 19th century colonial farmer, but I had no idea that vape shops are like this. I felt very out of my element. The guy at the counter, accustomed to the liberal area we were in, assumed that we were dating πŸ˜‚.

That night, we had many good conversations. I swear, this friend and I can talk for hours. I got to meet her cat, who has officially made me doubt my status as a dog person.

I was sitting on the couch, minding my own business, when she crawled over my legs and onto my lap. Imagine!

Sunday

On Sunday, it was my sister’s birthday. Naturally, I had to spoil her. And take many pictures. And realize that I left my phone at my friend’s house, so then my sister got to meet the cat as well while I recovered my phone and wondered how in the world I forget things like that. Anyway, some pictures:

And that concludes the longest blog post you’ve ever read, as well as my week!

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Published by adventuresofagradgirl.wordpress.com

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!

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