Posts Tagged ‘California Institute for Integral Studies’

Almost There!

February 25, 2018

I am almost done with my PhD application!

I have submitted my writing sample–ten pages of an academic paper I wrote for my Transpersonal Spirituality class.

I figured that was a good paper to submit to the program as it, the PhD, is in Transformative Inquiry.

I refreshed and polished my resume and updated it so that it was applicable to the application and I sent that in as well.

I did the online application and submitted that.

I contacted both of the people who wrote me letters of recommendation and confirmed that they had sent said letters to the department.

And.

I ordered my transcripts from UW Madison and CIIS.

I was a little miffed at first that I had to order transcripts.

Can’t the admissions office just look up the transcripts I already sent in from UW Madison when I applied for the Masters program?

And.

Really?

Does the admissions department need a sealed envelope from the registrars office.

Can’t someone just walk that shit down from the 4th floor to the second floor?

I mean.

Fucking come on.

But.

Then I was like.

Ok, not my rules, not my bailiwick, not my place to criticize, not going to change anything by getting all fired up and I certainly am not going to fucking sabotage myself by not getting the transcripts to the admissions team.

So.

I shelled out the $40 bucks and ordered them to be delivered.

They should get there by the time the deadline closes for the applications.

And if they don’t, which I think they will, I will contact the dean of the Transformative Inquiry program and show copies of the receipts indicating that the materials are on the way.

I don’t think it will be a problem and I will also, now that I’m thinking about it, draft her an e-mail and just let her know I was unaware that they would need my transcripts again since I am currently enrolled at the university, that I paid to have them rushed delivered and shit, she can just look me up online and see that I have a 4.0 for my Masters degree.

It’s silly stuff, but I’d rather pay out the little extra and make sure that I dot my “i’s” and cross my “t’s.”

And really I am happy to do the work.

Although it is a little nerve-wracking.

I had a moment earlier today when I just didn’t know if I was going to get it all done and it felt really overwhelming and I had a mild fuck it moment.

But.

Then I remembered the glowing letters of recommendation that I have received and I thought about how disappointed I would be in myself and I just told myself to take some deep breaths and just do the next action in front of me.

Nothing more.

Just that.

Which at one point was just wash my breakfast dishes.

Then.

It was to do my morning writing.

I had hit a place in the online application process where I felt I was too anxious to continue doing it and I realized that a good way to quell that anxiety would be to do my morning pages.

So.

I just stopped working on the application and wrote three and a half pages long hand and then I did my hair and make up.

I got sassy today too.

I was feeling it.

It helps sometimes for me to get sassy when I am working on something like this, it brings my energy up to be playful and dressed up.

I dare say it worked.

I also focused on doing what the next thing was all day long.

After I got my transcripts ordered I had to mail out a piece of mail and I had to go to group supervision.

So.

I did just that.

I got in my car and I drove to the nearest mailbox and I sent off a signed document for permission to send my transcripts from CIIS to CIIS.

I let go of resentment and judgement around it and just sent in the request.

Then I drove to my internship.

Getting there with just enough time to run to Gus’s Market and grab a to go box and get a salad for lunch.

I sat through two hours of group supervision, I discussed clients, I talked about personal self-care, I checked in about a new client and I supported the other trainees in the room with their processes.

After group supervision I dashed over to Optical Underground, which had moved from Grant Avenue to Linden Alley.

The traffic was hellacious, but I made it there on time and I was able to pick out two new frames for my new prescription.

I, yes, splurged on some prescription sunglasses, and I got a nice new pair for progressive glasses for every day use.

I also asked that they tighten up my current frames, which had gone all loosey goosey on me.

I am really happy I got the glasses and then I bounced to the bank to deposit a check from my employers for the over time I worked this past week.

They always pay me for overtime in cash rather than having me get taxed, which is really quite nice.

Filled up the car with gas and found parking close to my nail salon.

Manicure and eye brow waxing.

Then off to do the deal.

And back home.

I wasn’t going to do a bunch more work on the application.

But I had a moment of realizing that I could do it, that there were in fact, a few things that I could just address tonight and get out-of-the-way.

Thus the resume, the transcript order (first one I did earlier and I couldn’t figure out how to access my UW Madison account before I left for group supervision) for the second set of transcripts, the academic writing sample (ten pages that I went back over and combed and edited to tighten and polish), and the resume.

And.

Voila!

I only have to do the autobiographical statement tomorrow and a statement about my goals for the program.

I should be able to knock that out in an hour.

Very happy with everything I got done today.

God damn.

I am almost done with my PhD application!

How crazy is that?

Advertisements

I’ll Just Leave This Right Here

February 9, 2018

For: CARMEN MARTINES

To whom it may concern: I am writing this letter on behalf of Carmen Martines, in strong and unequivocal support for her in applying to the Transformative Inquiry doctoral program. I have known Carmen since she started here in the Master’s Degree ICP Weekend program in 2015. She was remarkable, astute, smart and dedicated then, and she has only gotten better in all the areas of competence, of heart and of relatedness that are central to being a therapist. Carmen has been a consistent, always ready and engaged learner, able to manage course load, timeliness and presence in classes. Evaluations by faculty of her clinical and theoretical work and progress have been consistently high, but more importantly, have emphasized her empathic presence, social justice awareness and interpersonal care. Overall, she makes good choices, works hard at staying personally and interpersonally aware and engaged. I trust her, and truly believe that she will benefit herself, the TID program and the community by getting that doctorate. There are many more positive things I can say about Carmen in support of her application, but I think you get the picture! Please contact me right away if you have any questions or any hesitations about accepting her in this journey! Thank you,

 

Um yeah.

THANK YOU!

So freaking happy when I read this.

I reached out today to my advisor, who also happens to be the head of the department for the program I am in at school, and asked him how my letter of recommendation was coming for my PhD application to the Transformative Inquiry Department at the school I am currently enrolled in as a Masters in Integral Counseling Psychology.

Wow.

I was not expecting the quick response.

And.

The funny thing was that I was so busy at work that I had forgotten I had even reached out to him.

I had this little moment today when I was putting the baby down for a nap that I should check in with my advisor about the letter.

The application to the PhD program is due by the end of this month.

I haven’t done a lot of work on it as of yet.

I have filled out the really basic stuff and I have notified the school that I will be graduating my program in May and thus able to apply to the PhD program.

My transcripts look great.

4.0.

And even if I was to get less than perfect grades for the last semester, it wouldn’t matter, my application will be processed far before I graduate, two months, perhaps even two and a half months before I will wrap my last weekend of classes.

So for all intents and purposes I’m applying with a 4.0 to the program.

Thank you, thank you very much.

I have done a lot of work in the program.

So much.

Intense personal work.

And let me tell you, never was I more grateful for it than tonight.

I had the client session to end all client sessions.

I obviously cannot divulge what happened in session.

Confidentiality.

But.

It was one of the most intense sessions I have ever had, if not the most intense.

I had to work, consciously and with great compassion and awareness of what was happening not just for the client but for myself.

I had to not let myself get swallowed up in the session.

I held my own.

But I have to say, it took some time to shake it off after the session wrapped and the client left.

I did a lot of deep breathing.

I shook myself out.

Literally.

I stood up after writing my progress notes in the file and I shook my arms and legs and stomped my feet and brushed off my arms and prayed.

Then I went to the bathroom and slowly went out to my car.

There was a lot of activity, drug activity, happening on the street, and though I wasn’t parked too near it, I was hyper aware of being a solo woman walking down the street where there were a good-sized group of men using openly.

I got into my car and called a friend of mine in cohort.

I told her what was happening.

Not the contents of the session, again, that’s unethical and illegal, and breaks the client confidentiality.

But.

l was able to share with my friend that I was deregulated and that I had just walked past a bunch of guys using, and I was alone and I just needed to connect with a human.

Thank God for my car.

So, so, so grateful to be warm and safe and able to use the bluetooth to talk to my friend while I drove home.

We caught up, made lunch plans to eat together at the break tomorrow, talked about her kids, my job, life, and by the time I was home and parking my car, I was calm and together.

But wow.

That was one hell of an experience.

Super aware too how much I will have to process with my supervisor on Monday about the session, but for now, well, I can shelf it and attend to getting ready for the weekend of classes.

I am pleased to report my lunch is packed, my books and notebooks and folders are all set, I have my coffee ready to go, all I have to do is take my lunch out of my fridge and put it in my bag and off I go.

I will be taking my scooter to class.

My campus is downtown, a block away from the Twitter HQ.

There is no parking.

None.

Not for a car.

Not on a Friday.

But there is plenty for a scooter.

Parking aside, I also have a lot to do tomorrow.

I’ll be leaving class a little early to go to my first optometry appointment with UCSF.

Then some doing the deal at Irving and 7th and then back to my internship to do a consult with a referral.

I got a referral!

And after.

Dinner with my best friend.

It’s a full day, and a day where I will need to be in multiple places with expediency.

I will need the scooter.

Grateful for the option to use it.

Although, I admit I was sad to park my car, I have gotten so fond of driving her, I even briefly entertained driving it, but to park, if I even found a spot, would be exorbitant.

So, the scooter it is.

I’m ready for classes, all my work done, all my reading, the paper turned in.

I just need to show up and participate.

I can do that.

And if I play my cards right.

I will get my PhD application done this Sunday after I get out of class.

If I don’t, I still have a couple of weeks.

I’m just super happy to have gotten the letter.

It was so nice to read after I got home.

Really.

Really.

Really.

Nice.

You’re A Natural!

November 19, 2017

He said.

And his wife added, “have you done this before?  Even my kids were riveted, they didn’t even look on their phones!”

I will take that, especially since it was coming from local rap legend Big Rich.

He’s going to be one of the people sharing a lecture at “People Who Usually Don’t Lecture.”

I met him today and another of the speakers.

We did a rehearsal at Project Level, which is a place for kids in the Fillmore to make music, it’s Big Rich’s personal project.

He’ll be the finale of the show and he’ll be doing a freestyle version of his famous ode to San Francisco.

There will also be the Design Principle at Form4 Architecture, John Marx, my patron, and friend, who will be speaking on his experience with kindness.

There will be a woman talking about her eating disorder and how she dealt with it.

There will be a secular Muslim woman who decided to go back to her roots and start to wear the hijab again and what that experience is like for her in todays political climate.

Another man who is deaf will share his experience being normalized by his family and forced to act like he could hear growing up.  He’s now big in tech.

There will be a man in a wheelchair who is paralyzed from the neck down.  He experienced a car accident at the age of 19 that paralyzed him.  He’s now finishing a Master’s degree in Engineering at Berkeley and he designs machines and technology to help people who need assisted living mechanisms.

And me.

Little old me.

I’ll be speaking about my running away to San Francisco, finding myself in the party scene, losing it all and getting it back and how it happened.

Or something to that effect.

I was super happy to do the rehearsal today, albeit a bit nervous, to perform in a small group in front of people I really don’t know, but I went to the bathroom and did a little praying and got right with myself and asked to carry the message, to be a conduit and, well to not fuck it up.

And I did pretty damn good.

If I do say so myself.

I did forget one part of the lecture, but remembered it half-way through and was able to join it into the material without too much distraction.  No one noticed but me and one of the producers who had seen the narrative and I had practiced three times in front of her the lecture this past Monday.

Otherwise it was seamless.

And both the producers had tears on their face when I finished.

That felt good to see, that emotional connection was made and I was able to do the entire lecture in the time permitted.

I feel really positive about it.

I was linked to the page today and sent invites out to folks.

Come by if you’re in town!

It’s going to be interesting as well as the venue will be hosting a private Christmas party for the owner of Uber, who will be having Kaskade play.

I mean.

Fuck.

Kaskade’s playing Bill Graham at the end of December which is a gigantic show, the capaacity there is 8,500.  And. He’s going to be at the same event I’m going to be at?

Um.

Ok.

That’s going to be a party.

Seriously.

I just checked The Chapel’s website and so far nothing’s been posted about that date, but the tickets for the lecture series are available through EventBrite.

What the hell am I going to wear?

Good grief.

I’m really excited to get to be a part of this experience and super grateful that I get to show up in front of friends and community and just really tell my story, some of the dramatic parts of it, anyway.

And getting to share it with not just people in my recovery community, but friends from Burning Man, former employers, school mates and even one of my professors is going to come!

It means a lot.

And in other news.

I decided to not freak out and not try to cram all my 3,000 hours into the next three years.

After a really insightful group supervision today at my internship I got a lot of super good information about the process of tracking my hours and to take the damn pressure off myself.

Instead of trying to cram every single hour I can into my week, I’m going to relax, to let things happen, to accept that I could, although I probably won’t, take the full 6 years the BBS (Behavioral Board of Sciences) allows one to take after graduation.

I would rather be a little slower, slow down, enjoy my life, enjoy the process, to the best of my ability while I’m still working full-time, and just let the hours accrue without having to be anxious about getting them all in the next three years.

I just switched over to the “new” BBS standards on track my hours.

And yes, I “lost” some hours, but ultimately, I believe, I gave myself some breathing space and some allowance to have a life.

Getting all 3,000 hours in the next three years would mean doubling, at the very least, my current client load.

Going from 8 to 16 a week.

It would be a lot for me to carry 16 clients a week and work full-time.

A fucking lot.

And that’s what I was entertaining in my head without really looking at it.

I brought it up in group supervision and got some very sound advice and suggestions from the group, especially from the two interns who went through the same program I am in at CIIS (California Institute for Integral Studies), so yup, I changed over and I have to say, I feel really positive about it.

It’s like taking an unnecessary pressure off myself that I didn’t even realize I was laboring under.

I want to get my hours as fast as I can, don’t get me wrong, but I also, at least currently, have to work full-time to support myself living in San Francisco.

Unless that changes, I don’t need to kill myself trying to get the hours.

I don’t want the next three years to be a miserable grind.

Especially as I’m also considering applying to one of the PhD programs at the school.

I do like how Dr.  would sound after my name.

Oh yes.

But.

I also have discovered that I am really good at academia and I have had a tremendous amount of growth, personal growth, by being in the masters program, I think that I would enjoy getting my PhD and really letting myself go for it all.

I mean.

Why not?

It’s just a few more student loans.

Ha.

That Moment When

January 26, 2017

You realized the decaf you ordered at 5:30 p.m., because you just really wanted some warm milk in your tummy to hold you over until you got home from working a long ass day and also going to a two-hour open house at the place you want to intern at where they have six spots and 70 fucking people showed up and you know you’re going to get it, because you are, and then you get home and eat dinner and clean and grocery shop and go do the deal and laugh and flirt and give a guy your number and then walk home past the crazy drug addled dude by the 7-11 twirling a hockey stick and doing bad moves from Karate Kid and you get home and it’s all cozy and nice and you light up all the candles in the house, and then decide to wash the bathroom sink, oh!  That might not have been decaf.

Yeah.

That moment.

Oh.

Shit.

That decaf wasn’t decaf.

Motherfuckers.

I’m like wide awake.

Fuck me.

Oh well.

At least I should be able to crank out my blog pretty quick and I’m always down for that.

I had a good day and that might be a part of the seeming adrenalin rush that I feel, but I do suspect that the decaf was full on caffeinated.

But yes.

A good day.

I walked through some fear, I talked to my employer about needing to leave early from work the next two weeks for the practicum open houses I need to attend to school.

I really only want to apply to this particular site.

I love that it’s literally two and a half blocks away from my job.

I love the modality.

Gestalt.

Think humanistic, existential, depth psychology.

If you don’t know anything about Gestalt.

That and the site that I am going to get into, because I am, is also the only academically recognized Gestalt facility in the entire United States.

Oh.

There are other places that do Gestalt.

Esalen anyone?

But the facility is something special and I really had such a connection with the class when I took it this past summer, plus I really adore the facilities director, in fact, we had a great big hug and a nice check in chat before the open house got underway.

This does not guarantee  me a spot.

It does not.

But it bodes well.

I think.

I already feel connected to the community and I appreciate what the site is doing.

Low cost, sliding scale therapy for individuals, couples, family, and kids.

Pretty cool.

And there’s night and weekend hours available.

Although the is one day a week that is mandatory, Wednesdays 12:30p.m.-5:30p.m.

I’m a little uncertain how I would deal with that and work, but it’s possible, anything is possible.

I’ll be talking with my employer more tomorrow.

Today we got all the tax paper work sorted out and by next week I should be legally on the books and over the table.

I have to say that I’m cool with being over the table, but I haven’t had nary a qualm about this last three weeks getting paid without the plethora of taxes being taken out that normally are.

I claim zero.

So, it’s about 30-32% of my paycheck goes into taxes.

But.

I never pay in.

I haven’t paid in since I was tipped off how to run my nanny taxes to work for me not against me, that in the long run, if I can hold out, having more taken out works better as it’s also like having a forced savings account.

I’ll be doing my taxes this weekend.

I know such sexy plans.

Oh and writing my first paper of the semester for my Trauma class.

Yeah.

Super sexy.

But I’m sure I’ll have time for a little fun in there.

At least I’m going to try.

I’m also going to get some interview clothes together, although I was a bit surprised by how casual the crew was tonight at the open house, even I in my Converse was much more dressed up (long skirt, tights, blouse, black cardigan) than the majority of the group.

There will be group interviews and solo interviews and I will be prepared for them.

I’m also hoping.

I haven’t heard back from the Liberation Institute in regards to my resume, that I also get in there and don’t have to worry about doing a bunch of interviews for the site placement.

The less I can do the better.

The less time off from work.

The less effort I need to apply to applications and interviews.

The easier this whole process will be.

So much work to work for free.

Seriously.

Anyways.

I do feel a little less stressed and a little more relaxed, I have an idea of how it all works and I’ll show up for the other open houses and apply to all the CIIS sites and that’s four places.

I’m not applying to the 6-8 sites that is recommended.

I’m just not.

I can’t devote that much more time to it.

I believe I will get placed and I’m not going to get myself flustered about it right now.

I will.

However.

Focus on the awesome and sweet e-mail that I received from my advisor, who also happens to be the head of the department (I shanghai’ed him in the elevator when I found out my advisor was on sabbatical and asked him to be my advisor and to my surprise he said yes–I had him as one of my first teachers in my first semester and just loved him) who had officially today cleared me for practicum.

We’d basically already had the talk and I had handed in my application before the winter break when I went to campus to sell back my books.

But.

Today.

It was made official.

He signed the documents and forwarded them onward and upward.

To be filed in my file and to let anyone who might call to check up on my status for readiness, that I was and am indeed ready.

Pretty freaking cool.

I’m not a therapist yet.

But man.

I can see it on the horizon.

It’s rather neat.

I also see being up for a while before the rest of the caffeine drains out of my body, but I’m ok with that.

I am happy.

I am joyous.

I am free.

Yes.

Yes.

Yes.

Yasss queen.

Did I just say that?

hahahahaha.

Waiting By The Mailbox

July 18, 2015

Oh Mr Postman
Give me a sign
Tell me you’ve a letter to make me feel fine
Oh don’t you know I am waiting here for you
Tell me it will be here tonight

It’s funny now.

But man, I was kicking myself, hard, hard, hard, when I got off the phone today with the woman in the financial aid department at CIIS (California Institute for Integral Studies).

I mean.

I was fucked up.

I felt bereft.

I felt idiotic.

I felt stupid.

You may be sensing a thematic here.

I had, once again, tried to figure it out on my own.

Coming into work this morning I had asked my employers if I could use their printer to print off the deferment application for my student loan, undergraduate student loans, so that I could begin the process of not having to pay on them while enrolled in school.

They were super helpful, got me all set up, and I got the forms.

And cool.

Done.

But not done.

Oh.

Wait.

I have to take them into the financial aid office and get them signed?

Fuck.

When the hell am I going to do that.

Ok.

The office has office hours, check the website and, oh, damn, exact same hours that I’m working.

Fuck.

I call the office, I speak to the woman on the phone, I’m not even sure how to phrase what I’m trying to do, but I ask if I can mail it in or if I really have to come down in person, hand over the paperwork and do the deal that way.

“Oh no, you just down load the file to pdf, and e-mail it to us, we’ll sign it and send it back, then you print it off and send it in.”

Oh.

Um.

What’s a pdf?

Ok.

I sort of know what a pdf is, but sometimes, most times, my brain is just not hard-wired that way, things that make sense to everybody else are totally foreign to me.

I parroted back everything she said and she said, “yes, that’s correct.”

Then I asked the big time question.

“When will I receive my financial aid awards letter?”

Pause on the line.

“I was awarded a scholarship and I am wondering when the funds will be disbursed, I found out a few weeks ago about the award and was told by the head of the department that an awards letter would be sent out and I just needed to sign and accept the award, but, uh, I haven’t received the letter in the mail yet.”

She did not laugh.

Let me give credit where credit is due.

She did not laugh or sigh or berate me, I did that all on my own quite handily.

“You don’t get a letter in the mail, it’s in your financial aid account online.”

OH.

OH well, fuck me, I haven’t been able to access that account and every time I try it gives me a wrong password message and contact the school and I am ready to bash my head against the wall.

Except that I can’t.

Because the five-year old is done with quiet time and is hollering a the monitor, “CARMEN! CARMEN! CARMEN!”

Oh jumping Jesus on a fucking pogo stick.

I speak into the monitor and tell my charge I’ll be right up.

But I have to clear this up.

I tell the woman on the phone about my inability to access my financial aid account online.

“What browser are you using?” She asks.

“Um, I’m sorry, I don’t follow,” I reply, turning off the monitor so I don’t have to hear the five-year old becoming apoplectic.

“On your computer, what browser are you using, some of them don’t support the website, have you tried switching browsers?”

Something in my head goes, “click.”

“I use Safari,” I say.

“Yeah,” the woman replies, “the site doesn’t work so well with that, try Chrome.”

I thank her and get off the phone, I can feel the fear choking me, I can feel the panic, and I can feel how inadequate I feel for doing all this stuff.

How in the world am I going to navigate doing graduate school if I can’t figure out to switch browsers.

Never in a million years would that have been a solution I would have thought up.

Most of my solutions take an enormous amount of work and effort and then, they don’t pan out.

Keep it simple.

I drop the stupid.

Especially after I got on the phone, after having retrieved both my charges from quiet time and was feeding them cut up organic strawberries from the farmers market I bought yesterday.

As I express to my friend that I am an “idiot” I hear the oldest boy pipe up from the floor, “Carmen, you’re an idiot.”

I paused on the phone call, “that’s not nice.”

Then I realize, he’s only repeating what I have said and imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and in his own little way he was commiserating with me.

Now I know better.

And it was actually good for me to hear it from the mouth of a babe, don’t talk to yourself that way.

My friend concurred.

I told her about the interaction with the woman in the financial aid department and how I’ve been literally, I mean LITERALLY, waiting by the mailbox, I checked it yesterday and every day since I received the e-mail telling me that I won the awards, waiting for that letter.

“That is adorable!” My friend exclaims, “cutest thing I have heard all day.”

And then.

I burst out into laughter.

The boys dance around me smelling of strawberries and the sun shines down on me again.

I get off the phone with my friend and attend to the matters at hand, finishing up the day with the boys and vowing that when I got home I would switch the browsers, now currently using Chrome, thank you very much, and get my god damn awards letter.

And yes.

I just accepted everything a few minutes before starting this blog.

It still boggles my mind that it was there all along.

Apparently one can teach an old dog new tricks.

I still checked my mail box when I got home, though.

Old habits die hard.

Ha.


%d bloggers like this: