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. I couldn’t help cracking a smile when reading over their messages, and felt very fortunate to have my friends to cry out to.
I have been overdue in getting decent pairs of shoes for swing dancing, professional wear, and rainy weather. I am not a big fan of shoe shopping, as I get overwhelmed by all the selections and usually fail to find shoes in my size. I was fortunate to have a friend who is more skilled at this endeavor than I am to come along with me. While I gave up in under 5 mins last time I when looking for shoes, my friend lifted my spirits in finding plenty of pairs that fit nicely and could serve the purposes I needed them for. I am so excited to finally have a selection of shoes I am happy with and am no longer stuck wearing my snow boots everywhere I go.
The phrase above is often used at my work as a tutor with ELL students, but I’ve found that it is also applicable to graduate school. The saying proved true today when one professor provided a later deadline for an upcoming paper and another offered an alternate date for the course final. I was personally thrilled for the changes because it freed up my weekend to watch a friend complete her black belt test. If only I can keep myself from procrastinating my work given the new dates!
Today I celebrated my first Thanksgiving away from home. I was fortunate to share a meal with some great company in a friend’s apartment out in Somerville, MA. Everyone contributed a dish that came together nicely for a fulfilling and delicious traditional Thanksgiving dinner. After stuffing ourselves, we spent the rest of the evening laughing to Whose Line is it Anyway? while fitting dessert into whatever pockets we still had left in our stomachs. On our way home we got to walk through some lightly falling snow, which was the perfect end to the evening.
Aside from the meal, what made me most happy today were the messages I received from family throughout the day. Blessings from my dad, old photos from my mom, obscure snapchats from my brother, and a snarky Thanksgiving wish from my cousin were just a few of the messages I received today that made me feel connected to my family even though I did not spend the holiday with them. My family is not very sentimental, and it’s only been recently that we’ve warmed up to showing more appreciation to each other. I have been learning to recognize my love for them the longer that I have been away. I look forward to spending time with all of them in just 3 weeks.
Today I had my final session with my first client in the graduate student clinic. It was a great and challenging semester that tested my creativity skills in coming up with fun ways of getting my client out of his shell and providing articulation therapy. My experience affirmed that I want to work with kids and pursue this area in speech therapy.
The last session was a success, especially since it was the most that I was able to tease my client and get him to smile and laugh. After debriefing with his mom, she gave me the card pictured above with warm wishes for my studies. Throughout the semester I had been nervous about whether I was making enough progress with my client, so it was nice to receive a token of appreciation for my work with him