Tears and Love of Friends

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What’s a stressed, Catholic grad student to do when overwhelmed from being hard on herself? Go cry in a local church! I used to pride myself in finding no need to cry, but over the past academic year I’ve discovered the miraculous powers of tears and have accessed them whenever I could.

Other ways I’ve been trying to deal with stress as of late is through prayer, hence why I sought out the church today, as well as reaching out to friends more often. While it usually takes my friends a while to respond, I was lucky to receive encouraging, warm responses from them while in the church. IĀ couldn’t help cracking a smile when reading over their messages, and felt very fortunate to have my friends to cry out to.

Baseball, food, and friends

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Tonight I got to play hostess again by having a few friends over to watch the Red Sox-Yankees game. I enjoy having the opportunity to have guests. Serving snacks to fuel conversation and laughter is always one of my favorite parts of hosting, thanks to my background in Polish hospitality. Aside from the food pictured above, a friend and her boyfriend (whom I met for the first time) contributed some unique, sweet snacks, such as green tea-flavored Kit-Kats and a tough, dried fruit, as well as pork and shrimp dumplings from a local Asian mart. We also had some wings from down the street for the first time. We didn’t quite have the most typical food for watching a baseball game, aside from some peanuts, but it was all still delicious!

We weren’t tuned in too much into the game, except for the times when either team scored and noting the fact that the game was going into extra innings. There were some great stories shared, plenty of references about my hometown Chicago with my friend’s boyfriend making numerous jokes about the city after his visit there a few months back, and even thoughts about starting a meet-up group for baking enthusiasts in our area. Unfortunately the company didn’t stay for the length of the game, as it stretched out into extra innings (and is still going on into the 14th inning as I write this post!). Nonetheless, the night was a great end to the week and a much needed evening of rest before diving into the work I have to accomplish over the weekend.

Clinical achievement unlocked!

One of my students is very difficult to work with because of his low frustration tolerance. A lot of my group sessions with him have been unproductive with him keeping his head on the table and refusing to participate. Earlier this week I took the chance to speak with the speech pathologist who worked with him last year. She explained to make lessons into games rather than pure instruction in order to reel him in and make him excited about the topic.

For my group session with him today I tried to be as mellow with him as possible and to keep activities engaging but simple.  It all worked! He just put his head down briefly and covered his eyes for the start of the lesson, but he eventually stopped hiding and participated. He did so well that I awarded him the max number of stickers that a student can earn for doing “outstanding” work. I was relieved and happy that he got something out of the lesson. I look forward to workong with him more now that I know how to approach him!

Running

I love getting into the swing of running. I appreciate the endorphin wave that washes away the stress of school and helps me put things into perspective. The exercise reminds me the importance of self-discipline as I push myself to prepare to run in a 5K in a month and how its needed in other parts of my life. Most importantly, it gives me some ME time, which I don’t usually set aside time for.

Grasping a clinical placement

Today was my most successful day at my school placement thus far. The sessions were far from perfect, as I’m still learning how to balance behavior management, data collection, and structure within sessions. On top of that, I’m trying to remember to build relationships with my students. It’s a lot to keep in mind during a half hour session! Despite my stumbles today, I was comfortable in my sessions thanks to spending plenty of time the couple of days before thinking through the sessions and finding the materials beforehand. It was the most I had spent on planning an entire school day up to this point. Being able to manage the sessions today without my supervisor and without getting frustrated and stuck within a session was a good ego boost in my clinical training. I give myself a HUGE pat on the back!